Streamline Your Workflow With Lightroom Shortcuts

Like most photographers I prefer my time shooting to that spent behind the computer.  Downloading and editing images sucks up precious energy and time so I’m eager to streamline my workflow and shave time wherever possible.

One of the best ways to do this is by using keyboard shortcuts.  Whenever you find yourself continually repeating a menu command, its time to memorize that shortcut.  Most keyboard shortcuts can be found by looking to the right of the menu item as seen below.  On my Apple Computer when I press Command+A, I will Select All Images.  The PC equivalent would be Control+A.

While most shortcuts are easily found in this manner, Lightroom provides a slick alternative to identify shortcuts.  Click on the Help Menu and choose Library Module Shortcuts.

The figure below shows the resulting screen displaying most of the shortcuts available in the Library Module!

This is a great feature that Adobe has included in the software.  It’s of interest to note that unlike many other programs, some shortcuts in Lightroom can change when you move from module to module.  For example the backslash key ( \ ) Hides and Shows the Filter Bar in the Library Module, while it Shows the Before and After Effects in the Develop Module.  For the most part, shortcuts are the same from Apple to PC with the Command (⌘)key in Apple performing many of the same functions as the Control Key on a PC.


One aspect of using an Apple is the cryptic symbols used to represent the Shift, Option and Control Keys.  Here’s the translation:

⌘ – Command

⇧ – Shift

⌃ – Control

⌥ – Option

⇪ – Caps Lock

Here are my favorite time saving shortcuts in the Library and Develop Modules

Library Module


Viewing Shortcuts

G                 Changes the mode to Grid Mode

E                 Enlarges the selected image to Loupe Mode

Shift+Tab       Hides and Shows all of the Side and Top Panels

T                 Hides and Shows the Toolbar

  \                Hides and Shows the Filter Bar


Rating and Flagging Shortcuts

1-5             Sets the ratings on your images.  1 =1 star, 2=2 stars, etc.

0                 Sets the rating to no stars on your image.

6-9               Sets the color labels on your images.

X                 Flags the image with a Reject Flag

P                 Flags the image with a Pick Flag

U                 Resets the image to be Unflagged.

Target Collection Shortcuts

B                         Adds selected image to the Target Collection

⌘+B (Apple)          Shows the Target Collection on an Apple
Control+B (PC)

Photo Shortcuts

⌘+E (Apple)          Edit in Photoshop
Control+E (PC)

⌘+S (Apple)          Save Metadata to File
Control+S        

⌘+G (Apple)          Stacks images together
Control+G (PC) 

⌘+Shift+G (Apple)    UnStacks images

Control+Shift+G (PC)  UnStacks images

Develop Module


View Shortcuts

Shift+Tab       Hides and Shows all of the Side and Top Panels

T                 Hides and Shows the Toolbar

\                  Shows Before and After Effects

⌘+I (Apple)    Show/Hide Info Overaly
Control+I (PC)

I                 Cycle Info Overaly


Mode and Tool Shortcuts

R                 Enter Crop Mode

X                 Rotates the Crop (vertical/horizontal)

O                 Show/ Hide Paint Overlay

- Hold down the Option Key (Apple) Alt Key (PC) to reveal Reset on most of the develop settings.
- Double Clicking Effect while in the Gradient Tool, Radial Tool, or Local Adjustment Brush resets all of the sliders to their default settings.
- Double Clicking any slider resets it to its default position.
- Hovering your cursor over the Clipping Triangles in the Histogram temporarily shows the clipping on the image without having to click the triangle.
- Double Clicking on the number to the right of the sliders, makes the number active and allows you to move the slider in small, controlled increments with your Up or Down arrow keys. 
- Holding down the shift key moves the slider by larger increments.
- Holding down the Option (Apple), Alt Key (PC) while moving most of the Tone Sliders reveals the clipping directly on the image.

I’m excited to teach the upcoming Lightroom Library and the Lightroom Develop classes. Join me on September 20 or November 22 for the Introduction to Lightroom -  The Library class, and on October 18 or December 6 for the Lightroom Develop Module class.  Until then, enjoy saving some time with the shortcuts listed in this article. 

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