I understand that I can change brush opacity by typing a number (e.g. typing "2" and "3" in quick succession will set opacity to 23%) and brush flow by pressing "Shift" and typing a number.

But I need to change between two settings for flow and opacity almost every other brush stroke. I want to paint a few lines with flow and opacity at 100%, then some lines with flow and opacity at 33%, then at 100% again. Having to type five keys (or seven, if I want to set to 100%) before I can paint the next stroke is taking more time than the actual painting – and I usually miss the correct keys and have to spend a few additional seconds correcting the faulity settings.

I would therefore like to be able to change both settings with a single click of a keyboard shortcut, and change the settings back with a single click of another.

How can I achieve that?

  • Are you on Mac or pc?
    – Alith7
    Aug 26, 2020 at 15:08
  • @Alith7 I'm on Mac.
    – user155966
    Aug 26, 2020 at 15:31
  • 1
    This question might get a better answer on a Mac Stack Exchange. You want something like AutoHotkey for Mac.
    – AndrewH
    Aug 26, 2020 at 16:15
  • That would be a Keyboard Maestro (but it's paid, but also it's awesome). So, you'll need a 3rd party app for that, in PS itself you won't be able to do so. I'm not sure quick pressing of keys for setting specific values would work though Aug 26, 2020 at 16:28
  • Thanks, @AndrewH. See my answer below :-)
    – user155966
    Aug 26, 2020 at 17:50

2 Answers 2


I think this should do what you would like.

First, in the Brushes Palette, create a "New Brush Group"

Then open the the Brush Settings Window by clicking on the little folder icon:

Open Brush Settings

Set up your first brush settings, Opacity, Flow, Style, etc. Once you have it the way you want, click on the little plus in the lower right to add the brush to your Brush Group.

Brush Settings Window

When you save your brush style, only have "Include Tool Settings" checked, if you only want to apply the brush type, and not the size or color.

Save New Brush

Repeat for as many as you want. You can change the order they are in the brushes palette by click & hold and dragging where you want, just like moving layers around. Once you have your presets the way you want them, you can flip through them by using the following built in shortcuts:

Keyboard shortcuts

  • 2
    Thank you! I had to do a little digging to find it, but it's actually a really handy shortcut to know if you do a lot of brush work. or if you start working with more than 2 sets of brush settings.
    – Alith7
    Aug 26, 2020 at 17:55
  • I'm using my own solution, but I'm accepting this answer as it works without additional software and can be used by those who don't have a tablet.
    – user155966
    Aug 26, 2020 at 17:59

Researching AutoHotkey, mentioned in a comment by @AndrewH under my question, gave me an idea. Since I'm drawing with a Wacom tablet, I already have a "hotkey manager" installed! I simply set the two buttons on the Wacom pencil to the necessary clicks (see the image below), and now I can change opacity and flow back and forth between the two settings with a single click. Simple!

Wacom pencil settings

Thank you all for your help and feedback, and thank you to @AndrewH for giving me this idea!

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