Shortcut Sumo

Shortcut Sumo Puts Adobe Shortcuts at Your Fingertips


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…


Done Right

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.


Getting Started

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: iTunes



Adobe Photoshop Touch Now on iPad 2

While I have a variety of image editing Apps on my iPad and iPhone including Photoshop Express, Adobe Photoshop Touch will most likely make me forget about all of them. As a long time Photoshop user I’ve become accustom to where things are in Photoshop, what they are called and how they work. While there are some great photo editing Apps on iPad already, none of them are actually “Photoshop”. Sure they do the same kinds of image editing tasks, but each one has its own unique interface, terminology and way of doing things.  With Photoshop Touch I’m almost immediately at home with the familiar tool icons and workflows.

Work With Layered Files and Take Them To Photoshop CS5

Not only can I start a project on Photoshop Touch and work in layers, but I can finish what I start on Photoshop CS5. I don’t have to start over and I have access to all the layers that I created on my iPad. I can bring in images via the iPad’s albums, the iPad camera, Google search, Facebook and more importantly via the Adobe Creative Cloud. The Creative Cloud option gives me wireless access to my photos and Touch projects.

Beyond Simple Filters and Effects

While Photoshop Touch does offer a variety of one click effects, it goes beyond this by offering true layering and compositing of multiple images. Very few iPad Apps in this category allow this.


Your finished image can be shared directly to Facebook, Sent via Email or saved to the Camera Roll so that it can be used in any of your other applications. The layered files can also be uploaded to Creative Cloud so that you can use them in Photoshop CS5 on the desktop.

Check out my Introduction Video

The Bottom Line

While Photoshop Touch doesn’t offer every feature of the Photoshop CS5, it does offer most of the most important ones. The layered workflow between the desktop version and the touch version can’t be beat.

You can get Photoshop Touch for iPad for $9.99 here from the iTunes

• Requires iPad 2 and iOS 5. Not available for iPad (first generation).

If you’re looking for a Great Stylus to use with this App, here’s the one I use.



DI Direct iPad Apps Not Only Teaches You Photoshop, but Actually Performs the Steps Wirelessly Too


You can never learn all the possible combinations of what can be done with Adobe Photoshop. While you can certainly learn the tools and the menu commands, the combinations of how these tools work together offer an infinite number of possibilities. This is why even though I've been using Photoshop since version 2.0 in the 90's, I still learn something new every time I watch someone else use Photoshop. There are tons of books, online tutorials, online classes, YouTube videos, etc. offering to teach you Photoshop. However, Photoshop CS 5 now offers a remote connection capability that includes the iPad. This opens Photoshop up for Apps to drive it. The folks over at Dark Glass Media have taken advantage of these new hooks in Photoshop and have begun offering digital magazine/tutorials that not only walk you step-by-step through various tasks, but also at the tap of an onscreen button the app can drive Photoshop and perform the task for you!

Learn Skin Softening, Pro Sharpening, Tint & Tone and More

I bought a couple of these Apps to try out and I was really impressed with how well they are put together. Once you enable Photoshop CS 5 (5.1 or 5.04) to allow remote connections, you can then launch one of the DI Direct Apps and connect to you copy of Photoshop via your WiFi connection. Then you can proceed with the lessons and whenever you want to have the App perform the task in your copy of Photoshop just tap the button. The App can even transmit and open up the same sample image that you see in the App to your copy of Photoshop so that you have the exact image that you see in the tutorial. Of course you can use your own photos too. 

This opens up a whole new door for learning software and this is a great example of how a developer can exploit the new Photoshop CS 5 Remote Connection hooks. The Apps work as advertised and when you rotate to landscape view you can see a gallery of different effects to try. Awesome App! My only ask would be a mode that allows me to try an effect, but do it step-by-step instead of running through all the steps instantly. Let's say an effect takes 5 steps, I'd like the option to tap a manual mode and apply each step one-by-one so that I can see the effects build up. Currently when you try one of their gallery effects it just does it all in one swoop. Otherwise, I have no complaints. The App is well designed, works as advertised and is cost effective! Each App focuses on a single area of Photoshop, so if you're looking for an end to end class, this probably isn't what you want. If you're looking to learn a technique here and there, then you'll love these.


You can get DID SkinSoft for $2.99 here from the iTunes

You can get DID ProSharp for $2.99 here from the iTunes

You can get DID Tint & Tone for $2.99 here from the iTunes



Russell Brown Shows the NEW Updated Photoshop Touch Apps for iPad


Adobe has updated its 3 Photoshop Touch Companion Apps for Adobe Photoshop CS 5. The New versions take advantage of the iPad 2's camera as well as other ways to work with the images on your iPad and send them over to Photoshop on the desktop. Russell Brown is here to show us the new features.

You can get Adobe Nav for iPad for $1.99 here from the iTunes

You can get Adobe Eazel for iPad for $2.99 here from the iTunes

You can get Adobe Color Lava for iPad for $2.99 here from the iTunes


Adobe’s New Photoshop Companion Apps for iPad Now Available!

Adobe Eazel for iPad

Just yesterday, Adobe released the three companion applications on the iPad for Photoshop. The three applications utilize the brand new Photoshop SDK which is also available to developers. These three apps each do their own different things, from helping you to blend color to letting you paint on the iPad and transfer it directly into Photoshop.

Sure, it isn’t entire Photoshop on the iPad but it is parts that do very well on the iPad. I particularly like being able to use the iPad as a canvas to draw on, to then send it to Photoshop for final work. Going even further, I’d say this now makes the iPad useful to paint with (to an extent).

Here are the links to each of the three different applications. Clicking on the app name (ie. the link) will take you straight to the iTunes App Store where they are all available.

  • Adobe Eazel ($4.99): Paint on the iPad and access it through Photoshop.
  • Adobe Nav ($1.99): Use the iPad as a tool selector for Photoshop.
  • Adobe Color Lava ($1.99): Blend custom colors together for use in Photoshop.

Here is a video from Jeff Tranberry that shows all of the apps and how to get them set up and connected to Photoshop.


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