How to quickly switch Photoshop blending modes tutorial

blending modes and quick switch and use quickly in Photoshop

Learn how to rapidly / quickly switch and select blending modes in Photoshop CC 2018 2017 2015 etc. The key thing is the + key or - key combined with the shift key to scroll through the blends


  1. Layers panel in Photoshop

  2. Select layer

  3. Shift and + key with layer to scroll down through the blending modes such as normal and then dissolve and then darken / multiply / color burn etc

  4. Shift and - key with layer to scroll up through the modes such as lighten, darker color, linear burn, color burn, multiply etc

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Keys to scroll : If you wish to rapidly quickly switch theough Photoshop blending modes and scroll through the modes without releasing the + and shift key, just keep the + or - key selected and the modes will rapidly fly by and the image will rapidly change without any release (though you still need to release the '+' at some point unless you want to end up with a headache).


You can quickly switch through Photoshop blending modes with standard layers as well as type and also with vector shapes as well as smart objects though the changes may not be as quick if you have multiple complex layers.


History panel : Everytime you move from darken / multiply / color burn / linear burn / darker color / lighten / screen / color dodge etc you will notice an entry is added to the history panel so if you hold down the shift and the plus key or minus key for a while, you will notice that you may end up with lots and lots of the same entries in the history panel (sadly, the panel does not list the useful mode such as darken so it is tricky to differentiate between the history states.


Hot keys : If you can easily remember hot keys / shortcuts then you may find those easier to use than the shift and plus key to explore the different modes and quickly switch / scroll the Photoshop blending modes. Again, make certain you have the layer selected in the layers panel and then press the M etc keys combined with the shift and alt / option key


Sadly, many of the hotkeys are not that obvious

If you want the overlay, use O

If you want the Difference, use E (I know, an odd choice)

For lighten, use G

For Darken, use K


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