I'm painting with a brush in Photoshop, and I want to use the same brush as the eraser. What's the quickest way to get identical settings for the brush and the eraser tool?

  • 1
    Theoretically you could make a script that saves the brush preset and switches to either brush tool or eraser tool depending on which one was selected and then selects the brush preset that was created last.
    – Joonas
    Apr 6, 2015 at 20:57
  • 5
    A Mask using the brush would be the easiest.
    – Scott
    Apr 6, 2015 at 21:00

3 Answers 3


If anyone needs a way to quickly change your current brush into an eraser in photoshop, try this:

  1. First, get and install autohotkey. It's a simple hotkey automation scripting language for windows: https://www.autohotkey.com/
  2. Open Notepad
  3. Copy and Paste the following code into notepad:
#IfWinActive,ahk_exe Photoshop.exe

erase:= !erase ? 1 : 0
keys:= !erase ? normal : clear
Send,{Shift Down}{Alt Down}
Send,% keys
Send,{Shift Up}{Alt Up}
  1. Save this script somewhere on your computer. Change the "save as filetype" to "All Files" instead of txt. Save your script under an easy name like "Photoshop Eraser Brush.ahk". It can be any name as long as you use the .ahk extension.
  2. Now go to where you saved your script and double click it to run.
  3. Back in Photoshop, try pressing the "E" key to switch back and forth between the eraser and normal mode.
  4. To quit the script, just look for the little green and white "A" icon in your system tray, right-click, and exit.

If you'd like to change the "E" key to something else, just change the part of your script with "e::" to another key. Autohotkey also comes with a good help file full of examples. This script works in cs6 - cc 2019 in my testing so far. Hope this helps someone out there!


The all-new Photoshop 2020 has this feature.

While you're using the brush, hold the ~ and the brush now is an eraser keeping the settings of the brush.

But, if you'll not switch to the new version, there is a solution:

You can change de brush mode from Normal (or whatever) to Clear.

Edit: Using shortcuts to change the mode: Shit + Alt + R = Clear Mode. Shit + Alt + N = Normal Mode.


If you are using a tablet I think Wacom has an option for this. Flip the pen and it works as an eraser.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post.
    – Dom
    Apr 11, 2015 at 1:33
  • @Dom: I disagree; this is an answer, albeit a wrong one, if I am not very much mistaken.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Apr 11, 2015 at 9:25
  • The stylus switches tools when you turn it over. So, if you "flip it" to use the eraser end, the eraser tool in Photoshop becomes activated. Simply turning the stylus over does not "use the the brush as an eraser". This is indeed an incorrect answer.
    – Scott
    Apr 11, 2015 at 10:24
  • @Wrzlprmft it's so irrelevant I find it difficult to decide what to do. 1) Nobody mentioned a Wacom tablet. 2) If people post entirely irrelevant incorrect answers (not even remotely close), are we really expected to keep them? 3) I feel that the options we have don't cover as much as we need, I was essentially trying to say 'this should be a comment.' I appreciate that it's the wrong way though,.
    – Dom
    Apr 11, 2015 at 10:37
  • 1
    @Dom: In short: Yes, incorrect answers that are addressing the actual question are supposed to remain. They are exactly what downvoting is for.
    – Wrzlprmft
    Apr 11, 2015 at 10:55

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