Photoshop File Browser Tweak Pt. 1

January 6, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

I love the File Browser in Photoshop CS as much as the next guy, but there are a few tweaks I've found that make it much easier for me to work with.

Here's a good one to start off with. I'll cover more in subsequent issues.

Open/Close from the Keyboard
I think it's a pain that when you double-click an image in the Browser to open it, the File Browser remains open in the background (unlike in version 7, where it'd close automatically). I suppose if I had a 2-monitor set up I wouldn't mind so much — I'd just keep the Browser open in the side monitor — but my 2nd monitor has been on the blink for months, so I'm shoving palettes and windows around all the time on my single dinky screen. (OS X's Expose feature and Photoshop CS's workspaces feature are the only things keeping me sane.)

Command/Ctrl-Shift-O opens the File Browser but doesn't close it. Command/Ctrl-W closes it, just as that command closes most windows, but when I press that, I end up closing the image I just opened. Duh … a brain glitch. I always forget to click on the Browser window to bring it to the front first.

So for a while I tried remembering to Option/Alt-double click an image in the Browser when I wanted to open it. That closes the File Browser automatically as it opens the selected image thumbnail(s). That brought me back to version 7 usefullness.

But since sometimes I wanted the Browser to stay open, what I really needed was complete keyboard control: One single command that would open the File Browser and close it, regardless if it was active or not.

I noticed the Options bar going across the top of the screen had a Toggle File Browser button that did exactly what I wanted. (It looks like a little folder at the far right side of the Options bar.) Regardless of which window or tool was active, clicking the same button would either close the Browser or open it.

I looked through all the entries in Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts to see if that button had a keyboard equivalent. Nope. However, I did notice there was a shortcut-less entry for File Browser in the Window menu section. Ah-ha! I assigned a keyboard shortcut to it and voila, I had complete keyboard control.

Now I just double-click an image in the File Browser to open it. If I decide that the Browser window is too distracting, I just press my keyboard shortcut and it closes … I don't have to click it to bring it to the front first.

Shangara Singh, a Photoshop guru I admire on the Photoshop listserv, suggested a tweak to my tweak recently: Use the same default keyboard shortcut for the File Browser (Command/Ctrl-Shift-O) for the custom one you add to Edit -> Keyboard Shortcuts -> Application Menus -> Window -> File Browser.

Photoshop will show a warning that it's in use, but just click the Accept and Go to Conflict button to override it, and then click the OK button to close the dialog. Now Command/Ctrl-Shift-O both opens and closes the File Browser. Woo-hoo!

Read Part II:

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.