Save Time Editing Photos in Apple Photos with These Keyboard Shortcuts

As always, there are lots of great keyboard shortcuts that can save you time in Apple Photos. Apple has a comprehensive list of these shortcuts.

But some of these shortcuts are especially useful when you edit photos, since they allow you to switch around among the different editing tools. And these aren’t the usual keyboard shortcuts, with modifier keys (such as the Command or Option key); these are single-key shortcuts. Here’s what you can do when in edit mode with these shortcuts:

  • Space: Press the space bar in library view to view a photo full screen. Press it again to return to thumbnail view.
  • Return: Press Return in library view to edit a photo.
  • Arrow keys: Move through your photos – even in edit mode – by pressing the right- or left-arrow key.
  • C: Activate the Crop tool.
  • A: Open the Adjustment tools.
  • F: Display Filters.
  • . : Press period to mark or unmark a photo as a favorite.
  • Z: Zoom in and out.
  • M: Toggle between the original photo and the version showing your edits.

There’s one other shortcut that works with the editing tools, but is a bit more complicated. To rotate a photo 90 degrees, press Command-R (to rotate counter-clockwise), or Command-Option-R (clockwise).

You can also copy adjustments from one photo to another, as I explain in this article, by pressing Command-Shift-C, then paste them to another photo with Command-Shift-V.

If you learn the above single-key shortcuts, you’ll save a lot of time editing photos. And that M shortcut is indispensable, to compare your original photo with your edits.