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Do you want to know how to use the Hand Tool in Photoshop?

The Hand Tool in Photoshop is an essential instrument for photographers who want to optimize their workflow. With this tool, you can easily drag and zoom in on a picture to over 100%, allowing you to examine tiny details and make necessary adjustments. 

In this tutorial, we’ll explore how to use the Hand Tool in Photoshop, how to access it, and its settings.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a look at what the Hand Tool is and its most common uses.

What Is the Hand Tool in Photoshop?

how to use hand tool in photoshop

The Hand Tool is a helpful application that can assist you in getting your work done a lot faster in Photoshop.

Its main function is to enlarge specific parts of a picture to discern details. This tool comes in handy when you need to check how a photo has been changed. 

However, it’s not suitable for editing, as it only allows you to move image sections for closer inspection. 

Generally, the Hand Tool is viewed more as a function than an actual tool. Unlike other tools, you don’t need to actively click on it to use it. Instead, simply hold down the spacebar while using any other tool to activate it. 

In doing so, you’ll notice that the cursor automatically changes to the hand icon, allowing you to effortlessly navigate around your workspace.

What Is the Hand Tool Commonly Used For?

how to use hand tool in photoshop

When it comes to examining specific image details, nothing beats this handy tool. Often used in conjunction with the Zoom Tool, the Hand Tool lets you bring your focused area front and center as you work on it. 

Moreover, it’s also great for scrutinizing your edits and changes in an image. Pulling the previously edited section into the image’s center allows for more focused viewing, while the Zoom Tool provides an even closer look. 

Once you’ve admired your handiwork, the choice is yours—to save as is or dive back in for more edits and enhancements.

How to Quickly and Easily Use the Hand Tool in Photoshop

Now that you know what the Hand Tool is and some common uses, let’s take a look at how to use it in Photoshop. You can either watch the video or continue reading the text with screenshots below:

Step 1. Accessing the Hand Tool

There are three ways to access the Hand Tool in Photoshop:

  1. You can find the icon displaying a hand in the toolbar and click on it. 
how to use hand tool in photoshop
  1. Alternatively, you can simply press H on your keyboard to activate the tool. 
  1. Lastly, holding the spacebar on your keyboard is another quick way to activate the Hand Tool temporarily, allowing you to move your document in the desired direction.

Step 2. The Hand Tool Settings

Once the Hand Tool is enabled, you can configure its settings in the Options bar. If you need to work with multiple documents simultaneously, check the “Scroll All Windows” checkbox. 

how to use hand tool in photoshop

The “100%” button allows you to zoom in on your picture to the maximum level. You can also use keyboard shortcuts such as Control + + (Windows) or Command + + (Mac) to zoom in at different levels.

how to use hand tool in photoshop

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Step 3. Fitting Your Image to the Workspace

To ensure your image fits the workspace area in Photoshop, you can use the Fit Screen button. This button functions as the default document view mode. 

Fitting Your Image to the Workspace

Furthermore, if you ever need to revert back to this default state after changing the view mode, you can use the shortcut Control + 0 (Windows) or Command + 0 (Mac).

And if you prefer your picture to fill the working area instead, press the Fill Screen button. This will activate the default document view mode as well. 

Fitting Your Image to the Workspace

Just like in the prior step, switching from the selected mode to the default state is simple using the Control + 0 (Windows) or Command + 0 (Mac) shortcut.

By mastering the Hand Tool in Photoshop, photographers can optimize their editing workflow, examine details, and make necessary adjustments to their creative photography.


Which button is the shortcut command for using Hand Tool in Photoshop?

The shortcut command for using the Hand Tool is the H key.

What does the hand tool do?

The Hand Tool lets you effortlessly navigate your image by simply dragging it around the window. It’s an invaluable tool for exploring and zooming in on specific details, making it perfect for post-processing in general.

Why won’t the hand tool go away in Photoshop?

To remove the hand tool in Photoshop, you can try resetting your preferences. Follow these steps:

1. Press and hold Alt+Control+Shift (Windows) or Option+Command+Shift (Mac) immediately after launching Photoshop.

2. A prompt will appear, asking if you want to delete the current settings. Confirm the deletion.

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We hope this blog post helped you learn how to use the Hand Tool in Photoshop. Before you go, you may also want to check out the following resources:

Stina Pettersson

Professional Blogger

Stina is an entrepreneur, digital marketer, and professional blogger who's passionate about real estate photo editing, being outdoors with her pup, and sweaty gym sessions. She loves the written word and has been writing for publications like Forbes and Thrive Global. Originally from Sweden, she's called South Florida her home since 2013.

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