If you’re a photographer like me, you want to spend as much time as possible outside (or inside, or where ever) shooting, and less time behind a screen post processing. So if there’s any trick I can use to speed up the post processing work, I tend to take it with both hands! So, I present to you: Lightroom Shortcuts!
Shortcuts in Lightroom are simple keyboard strokes that can perform a task that would otherwise take you a few mouse moves and click. If it is for just a single action that you only perform once in a while, it doesn’t do a lot. But, for actions that you need to do a lot, using Lightroom Shortcuts will save you plenty of time! And not just that, but being able to do these task really fast without even having to take your hands of your keyboard, it will make you look like a total photography and Lightroom Hero to your loved ones! Or whoever you want to impress…
Lightroom Shortcut 1: “F” for “Full Screen” mode
Quick and easy, do you want to see a picture in Full Screen mode? Just click Lightroom Shortcut “F”, and you will get it. Seen enough? Click “F” once again to go back to the previous view mode.
Lightroom Shortcut 2: “D” for “Develop” mode
You’ve inspected the picture in full screen, and decided you want to make some changes? Use “D” to go to the Development module of Lightroom. Note: in Lightroom Cloud, “D” triggers the “Detail View”, and “E” goes to the Development module.
Lightroom Shortcut 3: “G” for “Grid” view
You’re not quite sure if this particular picture was your favorite of the series you’ve shot, and you want to see what other photographs you made of this subject? Quickly use Lightroom shortcut “G” to go back to “Grid view”, and get an overview of your pictures. You can then use the arrows on your keyboard to quickly go to another picture, and use the other Lightroom shortcuts to see it in full screen or start working on it.
Lightroom Shortcut 4: “C” or “R” for “Cropping”
You’ve made the perfect picture, and you’ve found it in the grid view, checked it out in full screen mode, and then saw that something creeped into the frame from the side, which you didn’t see while shooting… Best thing to do? Save your picture by cropping out the disturbing little thing! Use shortcut “C” to quickly jump to the cropping tool and back!
Nice little extra? The cropping tool also shows you a grid which you can use as guidelines for the rule of thirds. And, as an extra bonus, you can also use it to flip the image, or rotate it (sloping horizon on the seaside? Fixed!)
Note: in Lightroom Classic shortcut “R” is used for Cropping
Lightroom Shortcut 5: “I” for “Information” module
You’ve selected and cropped your image, but are now wondering which camera you shot it with, and if you still have enough pixels left? Use the “I” shortcut to see the technical details of your image, such as the length and width, size and fileformat, the camera and lens you used, and even which settings were used to shoot the image. All very useful! And did you know that you can use this information to filter the shown images in the Grid view (Lightroom shortcut “G”, remember)?
Lightroom Shortcut 6: “C” for “Compare” view
If you’re not really sure if you should go for picture nr 1 or picture nr 2, you can use the shortcut “C” (not in Lightroom cloud), this will show both pictures next to each other. Did you already make your choice, and post processed your picture? Then the next Lightroom shortcut will be more what you are looking for!
Lightroom Shortcut 7: “\” for switching to the original
You’ve been editing your head off, the result of your post processing efforts has cost you blood, sweat and tears, and then it strikes, that doubt… Is the edited version actually better than the original? Or did I totally ruin it? Use the “\” key to quickly switch between the original image and the current version. Working in Lightroom Classic? Then you can use the “Y” key to compare the original and the processed version next to each other.
Lightroom Shortcut 8: “Space” to zoom in and out
Quite often you want to check something up close, is the subject sharp enough? Did I mess up the colors or create banding by the post processing I’ve been doing? A quick tap on the space bar will toggle the zoom on your picture, one tap: zoom in, second tap, go back to normal view. Zooming in in this case means viewing in 100%, normal view means fit in window.
Lightroom Shortcut 9: “X”, “Y”, “Z” for flagging of your pictures
As soon as you get back at your computer after shooting, you want to start selecting your images, this can be done in several ways, but my method of working is this:
- “Select”, shortcut “Z”: Pictures I am going to use. Afterwards I may go through the list again, and use the numeric rating (shortcuts are the numbers 1-5 keys) to rate the best pictures with 5, backups with 4, and the “maybe I will use them one day” with 1
- “Don’t select’, shortcut “X”: These are pictures that, if needed, can be deleted, which I honestly rarely do.
- “Unset flag”, or ignore “U”: These pictures are back in the pool, which means I unset the flag, in order to reassess them later on.
Lightroom Shortcut 10: “W” for setting the white balance
White balance, you know, often not an easy task. Luckily, Lightroom has quite some handy tools to help you out there. One of them is the droplet or selection tool. The “W” Lightroom shortcut immediately brings up this tool.
Lightroom Shortcut 11: “H” for retouching
There it is, the once in a lifetime picture, and while zooming in using the space bar, you notice there’s a big black spot of sensordust in your picture! But fear not! before you start throwing your camera and all your lenses out of the window, hit the “H” key; Most likely, you will be able to rework or retouch your picture, and make the speck disappear.
Not sure if you are a Adobe Photoshop Lightroom user (the new cloud version), or a Lightroom Classic user (the old local version), or maybe some kind of hybrid Lightroom user, using both version next to each other, but I hope you’ve found at least a few handy shortcuts in the list. Feel free to let me know in the comments which ones were new for you, or which ones you use most often.