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PS Tut of the Day: Unbind Destructive Actions

Journal Entry: Sun Jul 15, 2012, 12:52 PM
I guess I'll start a series of real easy Tutorials that I never see people do.  Sure, there are hundreds of thousands of eye tutorials floating around Youtube and DeviantArt, and just as many tutorials for creating clouds and starfields and grass.  But these tutorials are the more obscure "never thought of that" kind of thing that I discovered just recently after a good decade of using Photoshop.

So, first up.

Let's say that you're rattling along one of your paintings, and a cursory glance at the keyboard arrangement shows that a lot of common shortcut keys are cluttered right next to eachother.  Ctrl+S will save the file.  Ctrl+A selects the whole image.  Ctrl+E merges layers.  Ctrl+D clears the current selection.  Those are all actions that are nice and tidy right next to eachother on the keyboard.

But wait!

Know what else is laying dormant in ambush position, ready to sabotage your work?  Right over those keys, perfectly placed for your bloated clumsy fatwads called fingers to smoosh against in your sporadic fluttering of common keystrokes, are the Q and W keys.  The death keys.  Ctrl+W will close your current image.  Ctrl+Q will quit the program altogether.

Now, you do get a confirmation prompt.  Something to the effect of "do you wish to flush the last two hours of work down the drain without saving?"  90% of the time, you'll catch the error and select 'no.'  But trust me.  TRUST ME.  There will be that 10% of instances when you'll be in the zone, your mind is focused on other things, perhaps your music just got to that really awesome speedtrance rendition of the Casino Stage from Sonic the Hedgehog, and lo and behold you click 'Yes' like an idiot.

Don't lie.  You've done this before.

I've done this before.

The very existence of those shortcut keys saves you zero time.  Saving, merging layers, selecting all and deselecting...these are all things you'll do dozens of times in the course of a drawing session.  But closing the image and quitting is something you'll only do once.  There is absolutely ZERO necessity to assign shortcut keys to these.

Unbind These Destructive Actions

Have Photoshop?  Currently reading this?  Cool, now you can do this along with me step by step, and have yourself a much more stable drawing platform to work with.

Here's how.

1: Open Photoshop.

2: Go to 'Edit - Keyboard Shortcuts' (at the bottom of the Edit menu).

3: You'll see the 'Application Menu Command' column in that middle chart.  Click on 'File.'

4: Scroll down the dropdown listing under 'File' and find 'Close.'

5: You'll see that 'Close' is set to 'Ctrl+W'.  Click on the 'Ctrl+W' to select the shortcut input prompt, and press Backspace to clear it.

6: Press 'Enter' to confirm the new shortcut.

7: Repeat steps 4-6, but do it with 'Quit.'  Change it from 'Ctrl+Q' to nothing.

8: Press 'OK,' in the upper right of the 'Keyboard Shortcuts and Menus' prompt to confirm your changes.

Badabing, badaboom, you're done.  Go ahead, try it out.  Open up a new Photoshop document, and attempt to close it with Ctrl+W.  Try to quit with Ctrl+Q.  You'll find that you can't.  Congratulations, you just idiot-proofed Photoshop, making it more suited for your special needs.

Lastly, remember to quit Photoshop so the changes take effect next time you start the program.  If you don't properly quit out of Photoshop, these changes won't take hold, and you'll have to redo this process the next time you boot Photoshop.

Hope this helps!  Feel free to comment below and share your own horror stories of accidentally closing Photoshop!

Add a Comment:
TracyWong Featured By Owner May 9, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Where's the like button? lol
MatiasSoto Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm not sure if it had ever happened to me before(program crashing due to low virtual memory must be the primary reason to lost work) but still, never can be too careful about these sort of stuff, so thanks bud!
420-MUGIWARA Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ever sense I found out I could record actions, and set a shortcut to apply them, I don't really use my Q & W
shortcuts as much, but that's only when I working with a batch of screenshots or something like that..

Vety nice TUT, thank you!! :nod:
johnercek Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
DAMN you delanty! you have cursed me- i just did this. only lost an hour worth of work .. but still!
a1984niceguy Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
actions seem hit and miss and especially if you do a lot of custom work period , but interesting im looking forward to the tuts
EliteJohan Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I do photography and journalism among other things in school, where I have to open loads of images, see f they're good, and close them if they're not. use the Ctrl+W hotkey a lot. But the Ctrl+Q is absolutely useless, I assigned it to horizontal flipping a long time ago ;)
Kensadi Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012
Ty for the tip :)
Master-Futon Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Professional General Artist
You're now my hero.
Raph1966 Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012  Student General Artist
Thanks. This'll save a lot of heartache in the long run, since we ARE butterfingers sometimes (some of us more than others ^^;)

Q or W = get me a gun. It's the PC or my brainpan. Undetermined yet. LOL JK. But I know how it feels. Makes ya heart melt down into your shoes, or :icontableflipplz:
johnercek Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012
yep- I've done this. thankfully only once in the past 5 years *knock on wood*

there is always the option of changing the binding to ctrl+shift+w - a combination that is much harder to hit by accident.

I do use ctrl+w pretty often surprisingly enough
SeanE Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the only hot keys I use are ctrl-i to invert when converting lineart to a channel and ctrl-h to hide the selection
Ploopie Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012   Digital Artist
Actually never happened to me.. and just because I said that.. it will ;)
And my old crappy PS7 don't even have that option to change it either lol >.>
One more reason why poor I like Sai then, "ctrl alt shift" free keybindings! :la:
WizardWannabe Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012
Ha, yeah, I had to do the same thing for 'N', because it's the 3D rotate tool, and when working on too large files, my pc can't handle it, and kills itself. Yes, it was frustrating, right next to 'B', so goodbye stupid useless 3D killswitch.
sinhalite Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Lol :-) I love the way you write your tutorials. And yes, you're right... These are the simple things that can lead to an epic facepalm if you don't think about them earlier.
I am in this comfortable situation that I learned to save my work every 1/2 hour. Just because haven't found the solution for the cat jumping right onto the "shutdown" key on my keyboard yet...
Luffsas Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the tip! :3
WingWind Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Excellent advice delivered in a way that keeps the reader, interested, educated, and entertained. This is something that had never crossed my mind, but I need to do nevertheless. I look forward to seeing more.
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Submitted on
July 15, 2012


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