As Mr. Christer said - the mortgage lates impact your credit score much more dramatically than the short-sale event itself. How much? It's impossible to say since credit is calculated on a ratio formula and is different for every individual.
It will, however, be much less detrimental than "walking away" a.k.a foreclosure. The foreclosure event is very damaging to credit, not to mention the mortgage lates leading up the the foreclosure. I've seen many cases of Bankruptcies that had better scores than people with foreclosures.
If you're wondering how long it will take you to become loan worthy -
Conventional loans: 7 Years after foreclosure vs. 2 years after short-sale (assuming your credit has been restored to a point where you can qualify again)
FHA loans: 3 years regardless of if it's a foreclosure or short-sale. EXCEPTION, if you conduct a short-sale due to an extenuating such as a job relocation with no mortgage lates. In this case you could be loan worthy again immediately.
Hope that helps.