How to Select Hidden Tools in Photoshop


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  • #1
Adobe Photoshop is full of tools. Some we can see readily, while others are hidden from view. In today's post, I'd like to cover three different methods for choosing a hidden tool from the Toolbar menu. These are easy and quick, so you'll love them.

First, let's find the Tools panel. It's the one all the way over to the left of the workspace.


If you'll notice, some of the tools include a small arrow in the lower right corner of their icon. Take a look.


If you see this small arrow, you'll know there are additional tools hiding behind the foremost one. What I'd like to show you is how to access these tools.

The first method is to click and drag the tool icon out to the right. So, if I were to roll my mouse over the Paint Buck Tool and simply hover, I'd see a small tooltip appear. This tooltip shows the name of the tool. Then, if I were to click on that tool and drag out to the right, I'd see all the other tools that are hidden in this group.


Once those additional tools are visible, I could click on one of them to select it. Similar to dragging, I could just as easily click and hold my mouse button to eject the additional tools. Either method is fine.

Now, if I wanted to choose one of the tools faster, I could hold down my Alt key (Windows) or Option key (Mac) and click on the tool to cycle through the rest of the tools. I would use this method primarily if I knew what the hidden tools were. Say I was a power user and used that group of tools often, this method would be good. If I had no idea what was hidden, it would be a better idea to display them using the first method above.

If you look at the above image for the Gradient Tool, Paint Bucket Tool, and the 3D Material Drop Tool group, you'll see a small G next to each one. That's the keyboard shortcut that's given to this group. Each group of tools has a different shortcut, so you'll need to check each one to see what those are. For this one, it's G, so if I were to hold down the Shift button on my keyboard and press the G key, I'd cycle through the group of tools just as I did above.

Well, that's all I've got for today. If you would like to share other methods for finding and displaying hidden tools in Adobe Photoshop, please do below. Thanks!