How to Use the Hand Tool in Photoshop CS6

The Photoshop CS6 Hand tool helps you to move around in an image document quickly and works similarly to a scroll bar, enabling you to do your work more quickly.

The Hand tool is more of a function than an actual tool because you rarely need to click the Hand tool to use it. Simply hold down the spacebar while using any other tool, and the cursor changes into the Hand icon, enabling you to move the image around in its window by dragging.

Here are some tips for using this tool:

  • Press H to activate the tool. To activate the Hand tool without clicking its icon in the Tools panel, just press the H key.

  • Use the Options bar to change the size of a window. When the Hand tool is active, the Actual Pixels, Fit on Screen, Fill Screen, and Print Size buttons appear on the Options bar.

    Click these buttons to display your image in a 1:1 pixel ratio (100% magnification); make the entire image fit within your screen; make the image fill your application working space; or make the document appear in the size it’ll be when printed.

  • Use the Hand tool while zooming. When the Hand tool is active, you can hold down the Alt key (Option key on the Mac) and click the image to zoom out, or hold down the Ctrl key (Command key on the Mac) and click to zoom in — without needing to press the spacebar like you would with the normal keyboard shortcut.

  • Scroll All Windows. When the Hand tool is active, this option, in the Options bar, enables you to move around all open documents simultaneously.

  • Double-click the Hand tool. Resizes the document image to a Fit on Screen magnification.

  • Press the Page Up or Page Down buttons to change the view. These buttons move the view up or down by a window.

    Now that you’ve become friendly with the Zoom and Hand tools, here’s one last tip. If you hold down the Shift key while scrolling with the Hand tool or zooming with the Zoom tool, all open image windows scroll or zoom together. This trick can come in especially handy, for example, when you create another view of the same document. (Choose Window→Arrange→New Window.)

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