I’m a heavy Creative suite user. On any given day I easily spend multiple hours in Lightroom, and equally as many in Photoshop. I’m not as well versed in Indesign or Illustrator but I’m getting there. This week Kelby Media announced the release of it’s latest App entitled Shortcut Sumo and I can’t tell you how excited I’ve been for this App to become available! This App not only teaches you ALL of the keyboard shortcuts for EVERY piece of the Creative Suite, but it also provides you with a quick point of reference to jog your memory when you forget one! I’m extremely excited and you should be too! Finally with the tap of your finger on your iPad screen you have access to every keyboard shortcut that the pros use to streamline their workflow and stay profitable. So you can stop right here, right now and go buy it. You don’t have to read this review as to why it’s amazing, just take my word for it and head over to the App store. If however you want to see all of the awesome features contained within, read on…
We all know that every learning tool coming from Kelby media is top notch. If you’ve ever read any of the books, taken any of the online courses, or attended any of the seminars then you know that Kelby media is full of some of the best instructors of Photography, and the Creative suite the industry has to offer. I say that to say this, when they release an App like this, we all expect that it will be done right and they didn’t disappoint with Shortcut Sumo! From the extremely well thought out categories, to the extremely (sometimes too) powerful search function, you have every keyboard shortcut that you could want. On top of the ability to search, they have included the ability to bookmark your favorite or most used sections as well as add notes. They’ve really thought this App through.
The first thing you’re bound to notice when you search the App in iTunes is that it’s FREE! Like Light It Magazine (also from Kelby Media) the App itself is free to download and comes with the ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) “module” for free! That in itself is enough to download the App. There are tons of keyboard shortcuts to learn just in ACR which (again) they give you for the low price of nothing! Once you finish up with ACR you are more than likely going to want to download the rest of the modules for all of the products you use. (As of this writing Photoshop is the only other module available for download but the rest are coming shortly) For me Photoshop was the obvious choice of places to start. I’m in Photoshop non stop and it’s the place where I truly stand to save the most amount of time. To access the desired module you have to be connected to data (either wifi or over your cellular network) and you simply tap on the desired module on the “bookshelf” Once you have them downloaded however, they’re local; meaning they are on your device to read no matter if you have a data connection or not. Once downloaded you launch the module exactly as you would expect by simply tapping the desired title. When you do you are presenting with a home screen asking if you would like your shortcuts in Mac or Pc. This is awesome for anyone that hasn’t made the inevitable jump to Mac and still uses the Windows platform (kidding). This will ensure that you are reading the shortcuts for your machine as some of the buttons very from Windows to Mac. Like I said, Photoshop was where I was headed first because that’s where I will save the most amount of time with my shortcuts.
A Little Something Extra
Inside of every module there is a “bonus tips” video accessible by tapping the play button on the main screen. The video for Photoshop happens to feature my buddy RC from “The Photoshop Guys”. He’s doing his best impression as a sumo wrestler but anyone that knows him, knows that he’s a pretty in shape guy, and the absolute last person I’d expect to see throwing a punch but it’s funny all the same seeing him dressed like that!
Using the App
Once inside you either search or use the menu hierarchy to select the topic you are looking for shortcut wise. When you do find your desired topic LAYERS for example, you will see sub menus below the main topic. Selecting a sub menu will bring up that particular shortcut. In the screen shot above you see the shortcut for NEW LAYER. Below the dialog box that would pop up within Photoshop you see a virtual keyboard showing the key combination. This is to ensure that you know exactly what keys to push.
In the upper right corner of the screen you will find the “search” option. This is where you will type in the topic that you’re trying to find info on. This is also where you’re going to find the only flaw with this App (if you want to call it that). When you search a topic, the search results bring back both Mac and PC (hey at least it’s thorough!), and you can’t determine which is which until you click into the shortcut. Once you click into the shortcut you have to open the search bar again (it saves your previous search results so it’s easy to switch selections) and tap on a different shortcut until you find your platform. So far this is the only flaw I’ve found with the App and I look at is more as search being thorough.
Next to the search bar you will notice the three small icons and the browse button. The tag pencil icon (closest to the search button) is a search for sections that you have bookmarked or left notes on. This is where you would quickly access your favorite shortcuts and/or notes. The next small icon (the one in between the two tags) is the notes button. This is where you tap if you want to add a note for the particular section that you’re in. The third icon (tag furthest away from the search button) is used to bookmark the page. This is extremely helpful if you want to mark a section for quick access later. The browse button is exactly what you would think it is. You can use this to browse the sections.
The Bottom Line
There isn’t a better way to easily keep All of the Creative Suite keyboard shortcuts in one place and have them be so readily accessible. Again, I showed you, and talked about Photoshop shortcuts, but they have ACR available now, and will have the other parts of the Creative Suite available shortly. With a cheap price (the App is free and each module is $2.99) this is a must have for anyone, new or seasoned pro that uses Lightroom, Adobe ACR, Photoshop, Indesign, or Illustrator.
Get Shortcut Sumo from the iTunes store for your iPad for free here: