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.
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.
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!