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70 Points

Thu, May 17, 2018 11:05 AM

Photoshop: Quick Keys Stop Working (macOS)

While using Photoshop, I was able to identify which step in my workflow was causing this issue and a workaround to fix it. 

ReCreating the Problem
1. Duplicate Background layer
2. Create and manipulate a Curves adjustment layer
3. Select the Duplicated layer + the Curves adjustment layer and Merge them with Cmnd+Alt+Shift+E (This merges the selected layers into a new layer without deleting the selected layers)
4. Delete the previous mentioned Duplicate and Curves adjustment layer
5. Quick Keys stop working (brackets won't change brush size, can't switch to new tools from current tool)

1. Go to another open document in Photoshop and attempt to use a Quick Key (change from Selection Tool to Brush Tool [V>B], change brush size with brackets "[" or "]". 
2. Go back to document with frozen quick keys, and it starts working again. 

Photoshop 19.1.4
Mac OSX 10.13.4
May 17, 2018 (May 17, 1721)

Sick of this problem already. It's been years, but at least there's a work around, finally... 

PS user since v5.0


Adobe Administrator


3.5K Messages


53K Points

3 years ago

Howdy Laura,

Are you getting this problem reliably and/or frequently?  I ask because I tried these steps on two machines with 10.12.6 and 10.13.4 running 19.1.3 and 19.1.4.  I couldn't reproduce this problem at all.

Do you have some third-party plugins installed?  What kind of keyboard are you using?  What other hardware do you have connected?  Do you have any side-cars apps installed that read keyboard input and/or are activated by keystroke when dormant?  Does this happen with all images/documents?