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Photoshop: Toggle tool shortcut

Tool toggle shortcut for touchup brush tool:
when using the touchup brush tool, if I use the alt key, let the brush switch automatically from spot healing to healing brush (currently PS tells me I'm in a tool that doesn't support the Alt button. Obviously, if I used the alt it means that I want to designate an area to copy from, so make the software switch to the healing brush rather than give me an error message)

Expension of the toggle idea: each time I click the j key, let the brush switch from one mode to the next (i.e. if I'm using the spot healing and I click 'j', switch to healing brush, if I click 'j' again, make the brush change from healing brush to patch tool, etc.)

It will be nice in fact if all tools acted that way, so that when you use the shortcut the tool switches between its many modes.
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  • Chris Cox (Sr. Computer Scientist) September 06, 2011 17:56
    Rotating between tools uses the shift key for a reason: to prevent users from accidentally/unintentionally changing tools while they work.
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    While holding the Alt will switch some tools to an opposite mode (Burn/Dodge, Blur/Sharpen), the reverse also has to be true. In this case, holding the Alt key when using the Healing Brush tool would change it to the Spot Healing Brush tool (which would undo a core fuction of this tool). Plus, Spot Healing and Healing are not opposite functions. Alt doesn't change a tool to an alternate mode for any other tools. For example, using Alt with the Paint brush does not temporarily enable the Pencil tool.

    As a continuation of this logic, holding down the Alt key is a temporary change to the other tool. If you hold down Alt to switch from Spot Healing to Healing, then the Alt click will be making a choice of the source area. But then you have to release the Alt key to start using the Healing Brush tool with the selected source area. Upon releasing the Alt key, you are also undoing the temporarily switch from the Spot Healing Brush to the Healing Brush, thus you are back to the Spot Healing Brush.

    However, the second part of your suggestion is already part of Photoshop. Go to the General Preferences and uncheck "Use Shift Key for Tool Switch". Now, when you click a key such as J, you will cycle through that family of tools without using the Shift key.
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    Thanks! That's fantastic> I didn't know you could toggle like that.

    I understand the logic with the alt - thanks for your thoughtful answer.
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