Five Keyboard Shortcuts to Bliss

by Michael Clark

Ok, maybe bliss was overstating it in that header but keyboard short cuts are key in just about every software application and Lightroom has a few that I find super useful. I'll list my most favorite and most used keyboard shortcuts below with the most used first. Here they are:

F - Full Frame Modes
By pushing the F key on your keyboard you can toggle through the different full frame modes of Lightroom. Push it once and the top bar disappears, push it again and Lightroom takes over your monitor and uses all the available space. I like this last full-frame mode because it doesn't leave any space for extraneous light leaks around the Lightroom interface as in the image below.


G - Grid Mode
Pushing G from any Module in Lightroom will take you back to the Grid mode in the Library which is the basic browser as in the image below. After switching to full frame mode this is the keyboard shortcut I use most often.


The Numbers 1 though 5
I normally rate my images using stars. By pushing the corresponding number from 1 through 5 I can rate my images very quickly. With one finger on the arrow key and my other fingers on the numbers I can zip through images and rank them.

( \ ) Backslash Key
In the Develop Module pressing the backslash key shows you the image you are working on as it was when you imported it. This allows me to see where an image started and where I have taken it - and I can then decide if I like where I have taken it. It's a VERY useful keyboard shortcut.

L - Lights Out
By pressing the L key successively Lightroom will cycle through three modes: normal, lights dim and lights out. I use this key a lot in the Develop Module to adjust the brightness of images. First, I will work the image up then as a final check I will push the L key once to dim everything else in the interface and adjust the brightness as needed. This really helps because it removes all of the distracting glare of the sliders and panels but you can still see and adjust your sliders as in the image below.


I hope these keyboard shortcuts help out. Most of you I'm sure use the first three but perhaps you have not known about the last two. That's it for this week.

Adios, Michael Clark


Mike Lao
2007-05-21 08:29:27
Hey Michael, I am actually using most of these keyboard shortcuts but thanks for the backslash key! i havent used that one yet. The ones I use most while picking/selecting my photos are actually P, U and X...
Nick Miners
2007-05-21 13:15:37
I've just discovered another clever trick - in the Remove Spots mode, the mouse wheel lets you adjust the size of the brush on the fly.
I will definitely be using the backslash trick again.
Rene Hache
2007-05-21 13:22:51
Thanks for the backslash tip!

I also really like using the shortcuts for compare mode (C), survey mode (N) and crop (R). Amazing how a few keys can save you so much time.

Nick Miners
2007-05-21 13:25:30
Oh and one more tip - if you press SHIFT with the number keys 1-5 it ranks the image and moves to the next one for you, so you don't even need the arrow key.
Michael Clark
2007-05-21 13:28:44
Nick -

Thanks for that last tip. I didn't even know about that one. So many hidden gems.....

2007-05-23 13:04:00
For the last tip:
don't hold the shift, turn the capslock on,and it will do it for you !
Pitty that the backslash key doesn't exist on a Belgian (azerty) keyboard...
Benjamin Mooney
2007-05-24 12:57:22
Should note too that shift clicking 1-5 will take you to the next image as you rate them :)
2007-05-29 19:53:37
Another option with cap locks: similar to 1 to 5 rating, selecting a flag will auto-take you to the next shot.