Radial Menu

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The Radial menu is one of the really great innovations in the Intuos4 tablets.

What it does is give you the opportunity to place your most used keyboard shortcuts in an overlay on your screen right there in front of you!

To access any of the commands on the menu you simply tap on one of the pie pieces with your Wacom pen and that command is activated.

What a great way to access your favorite keyboard shortcuts!

It's useful, fun, easy to program and really, really useful.

It's amazing ...

radial menu

This is a screen shot of my most often used keyboard shortcuts that was programmed in the Wacom Tablet Properties in the Control Panel (Windows) or System Preferences (Mac).

Each of the little pie pieces can have a different keyboard shortcut applied to it for a total of at least 8 and there can be many more than 8.

The pie pieces with the white arrows are a top tier menu and when they are selected a whole new menu appears with up to 8 keyboard shortcuts.

To activate the menu one of the Express Keys on the Intuos4 has to be set to Radial Menu and that is done in the Wacom Tablet Properties as well.

When the menu is activated and on your screen you simply tap your pen tip on the action you want Photoshop to do - no need to run off to menus or find little dialogues.  It makes everything so much easier!

radial menu

Adding New Keyboard Shortcuts

The puzzling thing in Photoshop is that there are no keyboard shortcuts for the Adjustment Layers - and wouldn't it be great to have your favorite adjustment layer sitting there as an overlay on your screen.

Well - it is possible to create a keyboard shortcut for any of the Adjustment Layers and this is how to do it ...

  1. Open the Keyboard Shortcut dialogue in Photoshop - Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts ...
  2. Drop down the Shortcuts For: menu and select Application Menus.  On the pane below the drop down menu all of the menus that are normally at the top of the screen are now visible.
  3. Down the pane your will find the Layer Application menus.  Click on the little arrow to open up the complete Layers menu.
  4. Now scroll down until New Adjustment Layer is visible.  

  5. radial menu keyboard shortcuts

  6. Highlight the Adjustment Layer for which you would like to create a new Keyboard Shortcut. When you do that a little box will open up where you can type in your new Keyboard Shortcut.

  7. radial menu adjustment layer

  8. Now I can let you struggle trying to find some Keyboard Shortcuts that are not assigned or I can simple give you the list of the ones I found - the ones that work.  OK - I'll give them to you ...

    The following key combinations will work just fine :

    Windows MAC
    Ctrl-F1 Shift-Command-A
    Ctrl F2 Option-Shift-Command-B
    Ctrl-F3 Option-Shift-Command-O
    Ctrl-F5 Option-Shift-Command-D
    Ctrl-F7 Option-Shift-Command-F
    Ctrl-F8 Option-Shift-Command-G
    Ctrl-F9 Option-Shift-Command-H
    Ctrl-F10 Option-Shift-Command-C

    If you enter either Ctrl-F4 or Ctrl-F6 (Windows) you will discover that they are assigned to the Windows OS and will not work.  It took a lot more searching with my Mac to find shortcuts that would work.
  9. After entering the new Keyboard Shortcut click the Assign button to save the new shortcut.  (If you are doing all of the Adjustment Layers it might be a good idea to make a note of what shortcut combination is assigned to each adjustment layer).  Go through each Adjustment Layer you would like to add and when you are done click OK.
This really isn't difficult bit if you have never done it then it may cause a bit of a problem - really - nothing is difficult after you know how to do it, right?

Now with the list of fresh new Keyboard Shortcuts available it is time to do some programing ...

Set Up The Radial Menu

This is the screen where you do all of the programming.  It is accessed in Control Panel > Wacom Tablet (Windows) or System Preferences > Wacom Tablet (Mac).

Radial Menu

The first thing to do is to make sure one of the Intuos4 Express Keys has been assigned to display the Radial Menu.

To add a keyboard shortcut to one of the pie pieces this is what you do:

  1. Select the pie piece and then drop down the Function: menu - selct Keystroke.
  2. On the next screen enter the new keyboard shortcut (Ctrl-F1 for instance) and click OK.
  3. On the next screen name the shortcut - this will be the name that appears in the pie piece.

Simple, right?

If you want the top level to open up a bunch of new options do this ...

  1. Select the top level pie and then drop down the Function: menu - select Submenu.
  2. Enter the name of this piece in the box directly below the Function menu (Adjustment Layers, for instance).
  3. On the left of the Properties Box there is a file structure tree - select the name you just entered (Adjustment Layers, for instance).
  4. This will bring up a new, blank radial menu - select each one in turn and enter your new keyboard shortcut and then give it a name.
  5. Keep going until you have all of the shortcuts entered.

Equally simple, right?

On my system I can add specific Radial Menu items for the different software packages (Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and Painter X).

Here are some screen shots of the actual Radial menu items for Photoshop.

Radial Menu Main
Main Menu

Radial Menu Adjustment Layers
The Adjustment Layer Submenu

Racial Menu Tools
The Tools Submenu

radial menu select
The Select Submenu

That's all there is to it, folks.  Give it a try with some simple shortcuts and if you like the speed and convenience then get creative and add some submenus.

Radial Menu

  • Speeds up work flow.
  • Easy access to favorite keyboard shortcuts.
  • Easy to set up and easy to use.
  • Convenient.

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