If you use Photoshop, and you’ve used it for any time at all, you probably know about some of its more basic keyboard shortcuts. You can zoom in and out using Ctrl/Cmd and the plus or minus key. You can fit an image to the window using Ctrl/Cmd plus the zero key. Ctrl/Cmd + Z to undo…
One key that most people find particularly handy is the spacebar. Holding down the spacebar temporarily switches the cursor to the hand tool, allowing you to move around an already zoomed-in image, changing the view in the document window to a different part of the photo. When you release the spacebar, you will automatically be switched back to the tool that you had been using before pressing the spacebar.
This can be a helpful shortcut, but not always.
I sometimes find that spacebar trick is difficult to use, especially when I’m zoomed in really close. At really close zooms, it’s not always easy to know what part of the image you’re seeing in the document window and, given that, it may not be obvious which direction you need to pan to get here you want to go. In those cases, I usually have to zoom out first before panning just to get my bearings straight.
A Better Way to Pan
There’s found a better way.
Instead of holding down the spacebar, press and hold the H key instead. Then, with the key still pressed, click and hold on the image.
The document window will change to show the entire image, with a box around the zoomed in area.
Drag the zoom box to a different place on the photo and release the mouse. The view will change to zoom in on the new area. Release the H key and you will again be switched back to the tool that you had been using previously.
I find this shortcut to be a lot easier to use because you get to see the whole picture while you’re panning.
Next time you’re moving around an image in Photoshop, give this trick a try and see how it works for you.