Shortcut your way to a faster workflow

NOTE: This article discusses an outdated version of Capture One. To learn more about our latest version, click here.

For many releases of Capture One Pro, it has always been possible to configure your own Keyboard shortcuts, but with some limitations.

In earlier versions, the cursor tools (For example, the Crop tool, Pointer tool and Pan tool) were locked to the factory shortcuts, and many other functions couldn’t benefit from a shortcut.

Shortcut updates in Capture One Pro

Since Capture One Pro 9.2, you can configure cursor tools to anything of your choice, and a significant number of functions have been added to the Keyboard Shortcut configurator.

This also opens up the pathway for other hardware input devices like graphics tablets (See Using Wacom Tablet with Capture One Pro) and specialist keyboards or gaming mice.

But why explore keyboard shortcuts? It’s actually a very efficient way of working in Capture One Pro. You can activate most functions, select tools, and trigger processes much faster than ‘mousing your way’ to the desired menu.

Still not convinced? I quickly found some other reasons why you should be using Shortcuts:

(Inspiration: Why Use Shortcuts)

 1. Efficiency

Generally, computer professionals acknowledge that using the keyboard instead of a mouse increases your productivity and helps you do more tasks. In other words, your job is done faster and easier when you use shortcuts. Take for example the task of selecting all the images in the browser. You can simply do that by pressing Cmd/Ctrl + A, whereas using a mouse requires Shift-clicking on the first and last image.

2. Multitasking

This argument derives from the first motive, and means that when using the keyboard you don’t have to follow a pointer to see what you’re doing. You can do anything semi-automatically thus freeing your mind for other tasks. For example, to start images processing it’s a simple Cmd/Ctrl + D, regardless of what’s open or visible in Capture One Pro.

3. Complementarity

You can combine the advantages of using the keyboard with those of using the mouse. For example, drawing a Local Adjustment mask is much easier done with the mouse. However, at the same time, you can easily switch brush mode by using keyboard.

4. Health issues

RSI (Repetitive Syndrome Injury) is much more often associated with extensive mouse usage rather than with keyboard usage. By alternating mouse and keyboard usage you can reduce the risks of RSI.

Convinced? Great! Read on to see how to customize your own shortcuts.

Create your own Shortcuts in Capture One Pro

Capture One Pro ships with a default set of shortcuts, so right out the gate you can start to exercise your fingers and speed through the program.

To get an overview of those shortcuts, and indeed any further configuration, browse to Help > Keyboard Shortcut Summary:



This will open a web browser showing a complete list of shortcuts and descriptions.

Naturally, it makes sense to modify these keyboard shortcuts or completely start from scratch, as we’re all wired a little differently.

You edit shortcuts in a simple way by browsing to Capture One > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts…

This will open the Keyboard Shortcut Editor:


If you look at the Category headings in the Shortcut Editor, notice that they follow the menu headings in Capture One. So, if for example you want to Shortcut an entry in the File menu, you find the equivalent entry under File in the Shortcut Editor.

Also, there is an Other category, which covers things that can’t be linked directly to a menu item, like for example Local Adjustment functionality.

The default shortcut configuration can’t be changed. This gives you the option to always return to factory default if you need to.

To create your own shortcuts, start by clicking on Create:


Give your Shortcut set a name, as you might want to create more than one or share your system with another user:


From this point on, you can go ahead and configure your shortcuts.

One of the shortcuts I always recommend to personalize is the Show/Hide Viewer command. This command gives you an easy way to quickly hide the main viewer if you just want to see your browser on screen.

To configure, expand out the View menu to find the Show/Hide Viewer command:



By default, it’s a combination of modifiers and the V key. I choose the key that’s just below my Escape key – apparently it’s called a ‘Period’. I have no use for this key in day to day operation so it makes sense to assign it.

Click on the Shortcut entry and then click on x to clear it:


Now use your chosen Shortcut and hit Enter to apply it:


Configuring Cursor Tools

Cursor tools often have sub operations, made visible if you click and hold on the Cursor tool itself:

For example, the Straighten cursor tool’s default shortcut is R. Shift-Clicking R will cycle through each of the cursor tools in turn, but you can also assign different keys to each cursor tool.


If we look at the same tool in the Keyboard Shortcut Editor, we see that each cursor tool can take a different Shortcut, if we wish so:


Other Shortcut Possibilities

In the Other menu, you can find shortcuts that don’t necessarily fit into a menu item. For example, shortcuts are in place for many of the Adjustment tools, like Exposure


There are also many possibilities for Local Adjustments, like adding new Layers with the possibility to distinguish between Adjustment, Clone and Heal layers:


As I mentioned previously, keyboard shortcuts are also a great way to map these to other hardware input devices. Graphics tablets, like Wacom, often have buttons that can be assigned to mimic a shortcut key, which gives you a great way to exercise keyboard shortcuts further.


Here is another example from the gaming world which could be interesting to use with Capture One Pro:

Anybody willing to try? 😉


Do you have any good time saving shortcuts? Then please let us all know in the comments below.



David Grover

Phase One

Avatar photo
David Grover

David Grover is part of the Capture One team, bringing you help, advice and education on a variety of subjects and platforms. David can be found on most weeks delivering live Capture One Webinars or anytime on our YouTube Channel.

Comments (19)

As an example above “CTL D” is used. Sadly in the 9.2 version
this has a bug and fails to process if the cursor is still active in
the file naming window.

I use a Wacom with Capture One and use to be able to control brush size with ‘[‘ and ‘]’ – these seem to have disappeared. Any chance of getting them back or have I missed something?

David Grover

Nothing missed Chris. They are probably just not active in your shortcut set. Have checked?

Got it – it’s now called increase/decrease cursor size, rather than brush size. All sorted. Thanks.

Très bien expliqué, mais la traduction Anglaid->Francais n’est toujours pas très heureuse.
Merci pour cet article

The Contour ShuttlePRO V2 is an excellent addition to the mouse and keyboard when editing images. Even its wheels can be programmed to issue key presses and it supports macro definitions including toggle semantics for buttons. In combination with Capture One’s customisable keyboard shortcuts, it provides very quick and convenient ways of operating Capture One Pro 9.

David Grover

Thanks for that tip too Class A. Looks like an interesting product as well.

Per your question above (anyone willing to try?) about the Razor Orbweaver Chroma Elite, I took the bait. I was using a Shuttle Pro V2 which is great. But, having had a few days now with the Chroma Elite, I have to say it beats the Shuttle. From a simple ergonomic point, I can reach more controls more easily than on the Shuttle. And, this thing is so programmable! One simple example: I have a custom workspace (Exposure, then HDR, then clarity, sharpening, etc) I program key 15 on the Elite to be “Tab” and 2 functions of the D pad (thumb pad) to be right/left arrows which then handle the sliders. I can fly through all those adjustments.
Thx for recommending it, or at least challenging someone to try it. Now I’ll never go back.

David Grover

That’s great Bob! Thanks for spending the 130 bucks for the benefit of all.

How does the thumb pad behave? Is it like a joy stick with four positions? Up / Down / Left / Right?

I just watched the webinar (which, at the last minute, I had to miss) and noticed you mention the Chroma again as well as my post.

The Chroma Elite is turning out to be pretty handy. Per your question about the thumb pad, it can be programmed with up to 8 functions. They can be arrows or any other keyboard shortcut. When making adjustments, I have left/right making them (and tabbing through adjustments) and then up/down taking care of previous/next photo. I have much more set up on it but won’t detail it all here.

Also, in the webinar, someone mentioned that the Chroma was under $100 on Amazon. That is the older model. The only difference is that the old one only does green background lights with intensity adjustment. The one with the fancy colors is still $129. If you don’t care about the fancy colors get the old model.

Thx for another great webinar!!!

On Oct 27, Apple will introduce the Magic Toolbar, which is a programmable OLED display strip that will replace the entire Function row on the keyboard. I’m looking forward to seeing how this may be used for Capture One Pro shortcuts in the future!

David Grover

Do you have insider knowledge Bryan? It would be a nice addition for sure for custom programming.

David Grover

Good prediction Bryan. 😉

What’s coming in 2017!

Is there a keyboard shortcut to display the “brush settings” box?
For some reasons, my Wacom does not allow me to right-click when the brush is selected. I have to keep a mouse around just to change setting (like Opacity and Flow). I made keyboard shortcuts for Size and Opacity, however. Any help would be appreciated.

David Grover

Hi Jet,

Sounds like you have some oddity in the Wacom prefs. No need to keep that archaic Mouse around!

What are the buttons set to on the pen? Set one of those to Right Click?


Tony Harrison-Smith

Great webinar about this. The keyboard you showed with all the shortcuts on it:-
When is it likely to be available?
Can you publish a list of the shortcuts on it so that I can add them to my version of Capture One so that I can program them in now? This will mean that when the keyboard is available, I wont have to relearn the keyboard shortcuts.

David Grover

Hi Tony,

Thank you! Hopefully by the end of the year for the Logic keyboard. We haven’t 100% decided on the layout yet, so it probably won’t help you much to publish them now. But when that’s finalised we could certainly do so.


I love the ability to customize the keyboard shortcuts in Capture One. “Only” 90% of what I’m looking for is there though and it’s a headache finding that 90%. Could it be possible to add a search function in the keyboard assignment tool? I’m trying to speed up my workflow by assigning keyboard shortcuts but find it’s really slow going since I need 1 minutes before I find the item to assign the keyboard shortcut to.

Capture One is much faster and more powerful than Lightroom + Pfixer. The only thing that’s slightly slower (but more versatile) is a shortcut key for each local brush (e.g., one to burn, another to sharpen eyes, another to smoothen skin).

Awesome stuff all together! This is just minor headaches and things that could make Capture One even better.

Alexander Flemming

Hi Robin,

Thanks for the input! It would indeed be a great feature with a Search function within keyboard shortcuts.

– Alex