Shortcut-S: An Intense 319-Key Keyboard Designed Specifically for Photoshop


Where Photoshop and other advanced image editing software is concerned, the standard keyboard is woefully outmatched. To get around this, Adobe and other developers use shortcuts (that aren’t always all that short), but one designer decided that instead of going down to the keyboard’s level, he would bring the keyboard up to his.

Thus was born the Shortcut-S: a massive 319-key keyboard that is designed specifically so that you never have to use more than one finger when selecting an editing function ever again.

Here’s the Shortcut-S Kickstarter video to explain what this massive keyboard is about:

As you can see, Shortcut-S creator Sorin Neica is working on the simple premise that a keyboard designed with high end image editing in mind is much better than a standard keyboard, or even a standard keyboard combined with other interfaces that are post-processing specific.

For now they’ve developed the graphic overlay of the keyboard specifically for Photoshop, but other overlays are in development. Programs like Corel Draw, Adobe Premiere, Adobe Illustrator, Final Cut, Lightroom and more are all going to get the Shortcut-S treatment.


The main selling point of the Shortcut-S is its one-finger operation. Your hand can stay on the mouse at all times because — using the 299 pre-determined keys in combination with the 20 customizable ones — you can select any function you’d like in just one touch.

Shortcuts that were once four keys long are a button click away, making this a useful tool for advanced users who would like to speed up their workflow, as well as beginners who now may never have to memorize a shortcut again.


Unfortunately, the Shortcut-S has a huge goal to reach before it can become a reality — plus a lot of competition from other customizable (albeit less comprehensive) options. In all Neica needs to raise just over $185K, less than 7 grand of which he has managed to pull in as of this writing.

Still, with 49 days to go on the clock, there’s plenty of time to reach for the stars. So if you want to learn more or help Neica reach his goal by buying one of your own, head over to the Kickstarter and get ready to plunk down $90 (plus $28 shipping) or $100 (plus $28 shipping) if all the early bird specials are gone by the time you read this.

You can also drop $9,000 and buy your way all the way to Brasov, Transylvania, Romania where Neica will personally teach you how to use your Shortcut-S keyboard less than 20 miles away from Dracula’s castle. Yeah… you know you want Option C…

(via PC World)

  • Sky

    A keyboard that doesn’t allow you to type-in a text. They even have a button dedicated to Text function but when you click it – you need to plug-in your regular keyboard anyway.
    What a nonsense.

  • Renato Murakami

    Good idea, flawed execution, not so shure about the pricing.

    I also think there could be better ways for us to interface with, not only Photoshop, but other softwares in the Adobe package.

    But then again, 120 bucks for a “keyboard” this big and with flimsy keys like that (I hate that type of button), for one very specific purpose and nothing else… well, I don’t like it a whole lot. Even less with that sort of layout – people don’t usually need all functions layed out in front of them, we only use part of it, so the keyboard ends up being more confusing than useful.

    The perfect thing for photo and video editors (and perhaps some 3d modeling softwares too) could be something like a tabletop audio sequencer or something like it, with lots of big squishy buttons and a handful of knobs, which could be programmed for shortcuts according to the user’s needs.

    Here are some examples:

    See that those are even more expensive than the project proposed, and I don’t know if there are plugins and drivers available out there to make them work with Adobe software (sounds pretty doable though, since Midi interface is a standard and all), but since you are going that route anyways, better to go for something solid that might actually help.

    Arturia’s Beatstep seems to be a good compromise between price and functionality (even better if you are a musician anyways) – it’s a midi controller that has step sequencing functionality. Coming up march this year, at 125 bucks:

    I’d imagine it would be pretty awesome if someone came up with a plugin or something to tie the knobs with controls like contrast, exposure, saturation, and then some RBG stuff, automatically switching to filter controls. Then you have 12 big buttons to use as shortcuts to oftenly used tools and whatnot.

    As for me, I’d love to have physical controls like that for Premiere and After Effects. Oh man, it’d be really awesome to control all those levels with knobs…

  • Ray Hennessy

    The whole point of shortcuts for me is that I don’t have to stop looking at the image to use them. Sure, 4 button combos sound hard at first but once you have muscle memory you can do them without even looking at the keyboard. This monstrosity would make you have to look at the keyboard and not your image. It seems like a step backward to me.

  • jrconner

    That’s not a keyboard for touch typing. And touch typing is why combination key shortcuts speed editing. But there is a bona fide use for this 319-key monster: it will look great in techo flicks.

  • Sam Dickinson

    Just wait until a new version of Photoshop comes out with extra shortcuts, and all of a sudden, this becomes useless.

  • petapixelguest

    Was that video made in the 1980’s? As for the keyboard – terrible execution. It takes up way too much space and now with that many non-tactile keys, it means having to keep looking at it slowing down your workflow.

  • Tyler Magee

    Iv been using photoshop since CS4 and not much has changed and im using CC. (I know some has) but these are key feature short cuts that will always be the same.

  • tomdavidsonjr

    This will never get funded.

  • JD

    I would look for something with keys more the the like of Apple’s (to where you have to push down a distance, but not too far) and maybe something that’s not dedicated to a single program, so it could be a better investment. maybe have a driver or application that comes with it to customize it to lots of programs.

  • louisleblanc

    It seems to me like this would be better suited as an iPad app. Adobe has Nav but it looks half-baked and hasn’t been updated in 15 months, it only lets you switch tools…

    Something tidy and customizable could be really useful. Have different toolboxes you can switch between. Start from a main menu with tools and useful shortcuts (submenus for stuff you don’t use as often). Say you pick the brush tool. When you’re drawing with the brush it would show you sliders for opacity and flow, size and hardness, a rotary button to rotate the canvas, a simple controller to zoom and pan in the image and so on.

    Something like the Apple Logic (audio software) Remote for iPad but built for speed.

  • Eugene Chok

    I’ve been using it since cs2 and i can’t recall anything having changed really

  • Eugene Chok

    Guy is so dedicated to photoshop he has a short cut keyboard yet no wacom tablet!

  • Ex – Romanian

    you can switch, change or customize any of the current setups, can adapt it to many other programs easy as well. There is also 20 free buttons you can map to anything you want.
    overlays to other software are in the pipeline, even the ability to design your own.

  • Ex – Romanian

    the video lacks some vital information, but most of the things you wish it had it does have, sans the tactile keys.

  • joushikijin

    A complicated and bloated keyboard for complicated and bloated software!

  • John Flury

    For me an advantage of the classic keyboard is, that for a lot of the keys, my eyes don’t have to leave the screen, staying focused and productive. Maybe he’s got some sort of layout where you eventually don’t have to look at it as well. I doubt it though. Also, als mentioned, the key action looks very flimsy – something like on a super old Spectrum ZX computer…

  • Andrew Hollywood

    The tablet is a great idea. Good call on that. I could image having multiple pages of buttons that would match a module in lightroom. Having it switch pages when u switch on the pc would be great.

  • Andrew Hollywood

    Why not just use voice commands. The technology is there. image just saying, copy, paste, brush bigger, smaller. zoom in, zoom out.

  • nestazhe265

    My Uncle Aaron just got an awesome 12 month
    old Audi A5 Convertible only from working part time off a home computer… find
    out here J­u­m­p­9­9­9­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Jackson Cheese

    Yeah….no. Talking out loud to your computer would get really old after like 5 minutes. Now imagine doing that every time you wanted work on PS, or in an office setting?

  • Burnin Biomass

    This might make sense for someones workflow, but it’s too bulky and more complicated than what I would need/want.

  • Matt

    Looks like an idea from a person that does not really use PS but is sure there is a problem with it.

  • Adam Cross

    jeez, looking at that I think it would be easier to use my mouse and go through menus.

  • Photog

    This is retarded.

    To make a good specialized keyboard, you shouldn’t need to move your hand a lot, and you shouldn’t need to look at it.

  • Ray Hennessy

    I’ve been using it since v 4.0 Actually a lot of things have changed since then haha.

  • jdavanh

    This is overwhelming

  • Dream Art’s

    Just my opinion but ; Nowadays all keyboard are USB right ? So you could technically make the both work on your computer ( Photoshop + Text )

  • There should be an app for tht

    Im sure an App would much easier for your tablet device surely? i mean.. rather than having all the short cuts you can select which ones you use most and with two fingers scroll to the next page of other shortcuts? much cheaper too :)

  • Crissa

    Definitely. There’s a serious dearth of getting devices to work together.

  • Wodan74

    This button for each function reminds me at my days at school (end ’80) where we use to have a graphics computer system that was as big as a whole desk, totally covered with knobs and buttons, each representing a single operation. In the middle there was a mouse with crosshair. I can’t remember the name of the machine. It could be a custom build with Paintbox software or Barco Creator. But it was really silly to have to stretch your arm to the far end of the table to perform an action on screen.

  • Steve Toom

    Call me old skull but this is destroying the design market.

  • woofa

    This is laughable. Hunting for a button in 319 is worse than a simple 2 or 3 finger selection.

  • DeadMac

    use the on screen keyboard or just ask them to add a shortcut button , but they may not have room lol

  • Tyler Magee


  • Eric

    They should have just made it an iPad app. $2.99 and had it so you could customize they keys the way you want them.

  • Alan Klughammer

    I started on version 3 and yes a lot of keys have changed.

  • Alan Klughammer

    maybe we could design a keyboard that is multi-function. for example, we could have it set up so that you could put in text when you need to , but maybe have a few specialty keys so that when you press a combination of keys you get the special function. A control key plus the letter “s” would let you save your work….

  • deepone

    Hm…so is it faster for the mind to mind-map + train muscle memory for 319 different keys or typical combinations ?

  • jay

    i REALLY wish the music was louder

  • Oj0

    … with the mouse upside down.

    Well kudos to him for coming up with a solution, hopefully he can come up with the problem next.

  • Eugene Chok

    well since ‘cs’ not much has changed, i remember photoshop in high school, but back then i spent my time in the darkroom lol

  • Cris orlando

    A tablet (or even smartphone, with less space and or buttons, of course…) app could to the job…

    So, why they do not create a smarter device ?
    My idea: a product with this kind of concept should have a LCD or LED capacitive or even a good quality resistive touchscreen and downloadable layouts (and icons) to customize it for other applications, instead of overlays that even make the product cost high…
    For exemple, an user that uses PS and Lightroom would benefit from a product that could be useful for both programs, instead of having to change overlays….

    An user that uses Illustrator, Painter and any other programs would benefit from downloaded layouts focused on those programs, instead of having a good use only inside one program or having to change the overlay when changing programs…

    And why not think about 3D artists, video editors, audio people, musicians and audio engineers that use Cubase, Protools and the list goes on…

    And if Adobe releases newer versions of PS and changes anything about shortcuts, what the product will be good, or the cient is gonna have to buy a new overlay ? Very lame, dont you agree ?

    The concept is good for the PS (present versions, huh…) hardcore user, but I believe they should have thinked more outside the box about more targets (or even they own target, if they are not only gonna use PS) for this to be a really innovative solution at all…

  • Cris orlando

    If they think outside the box, they would create a product that has and LCD or LED touchscreen with downloadable latyouts and icons for the layouts, and even users from other programs would benefit from the product, like musicians that use cubase, protools and etc…
    Limiting the device > limits even the public they could sell this thing

    And BTW, if an smarter developer creates a good app that runs on ipad or android tablets (and or even cells) the app is gonna eat the supposed target for the device…