Brush Settings Shortcut


Today’s Question: I am using Photoshop on a Mac, but previously used it on Windows. One feature I really miss is being able to change the brush size or hardness with a right-click while holding the Alt key. Everything I read says you can do the same thing on the Mac with the Control and Option keys, but whenever I press those keys (or actually any combination of the special keys), the brush circle just converts to a move icon. Does this feature not work on Mac or am I doing something wrong?

Tim’s Quick Answer: For Macintosh you can access the brush settings popup quickly by right-clicking on the image (with or without the Option key). You don’t need to include the Control key unless you’ve disabled the right-click feature.

More Detail: On Macintosh you can achieve the same result as a right-click of the mouse by holding the Control key on the keyboard while clicking the left mouse button. This was originally a helpful option for those using a mouse that only included one button. In addition, on Macintosh you can disable the right-click feature if you find it distracting, in which case you could also hold the Control key while clicking to get the same result as you could have with a right-click.

I prefer to have the right-click option enabled, and so I don’t need to use the Control key to access the right-click feature. In other words, if you see a shortcut that calls for holding the Control key while clicking the mouse, you can skip the Control key and just right-click instead.

So, in this case you can simply right-click (or Option+right-click) on the image when using the Brush tool to bring up the Brush properties panel, where you can adjust the brush size, hardness, and other settings.