The more we use Adobe Lightroom™ Classic, the more we learn about it, and when we teach Lightroom classes, it often surprises us how many users aren’t aware of some of the “small tricks” that we (Les & Janet) use all the time. In this month’s blog, we’re sharing a few of Lightroom Classics’s features and shortcuts that can make your post-processing job easier.
(Watch for additional tips on how to use Lightroom in upcoming blog posts.)
Tip 1 – The F Key
In everyone of the Lightroom workspace modules (Library, Develop, etc.), you can use the “F” key to see the selected image in full frame without the distractions of side panels and headers.
This is particularly useful when you’re culling images and while you’re in the Develop module.
To return to the original-size image, simply press the “F” key again to go back to the module where you are working.
Tip 2 – Cloning Shortcut
As an alternative to manually dragging that little cloning circle all over the place, you can use the “/” (Forward Slash key) to adjust the cloning source location while cloning and healing. When you select the spot you wish to clone or heal, Lightroom automatically selects a source spot. If you’re not happy with Lightroom’s auto-selection, press the “/” key and the source spot will jump to another location. Still not happy? Press the forward slash key again to see yet another location, repeating the step until a suitable source is located.
Tip 3 – Panel End Marks
You can customize your side panels in Lightroom with personalized notes, such as a key to how you rate or categorize your images. Simply compose your notes as a graphic up to 250px wide (using Photoshop or Illustrator). Save the file as a .png. Then, go to Lightroom and click on “Lightroom Classic” in the top menu bar. In the drop down list, choose “Preferences” then go to the “Interface” tab in the pop up window. Under Panels, click on the drop down list next to End Mark and select “Go To Panel End Marks Folder.” Using your computer’s operating system, place your .png file in the Panel End Marks folder. Then close the Preferences window. Reopen the Preferences window and you’ll now see your .png file at the bottom of the End Mark drop down list. Select the file to display at the end of each set of panels.
Tip 4 – Clean Up Develop Panels
In the Develop module, you have options to customize the appearance of your development panels. Consider hiding the panels you rarely use to reduce clutter. Right click on any panel header to get the pop-up menu (see image to right). Select “Customize Develop Panel” to see a second pop-up menu with the panel list. Uncheck any panels you don’t wish to see and click Save.
You can also enable Solo Mode to clean up your panels in Lightroom. Solo Mode opens one panel at a time. Say you’re working in the Basic panel and wish to open the Effects panel. In Solo Mode, when you click the Effects header, the Basic panel closes, and you see only those tools in the Effects panel. Using Solo Mode keeps all your panels within an easy reach all the time. Simply right click on any panel header and select “Solo Mode” and you’re done.
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Tip 5 – Duplicating Adjustments
When using the Graduated Filter, the Radial Filter or the Adjustment Brush, there’s a super quick and easy way to duplicate your last adjustment. Just place the cursor over the pin for the adjustment you wish to copy. When the cursor turns to a hand, right click your mouse and choose “Duplicate” from the pop-up menu.
Let’s say you’ve used the adjustment brush to darken the shadows in an area of the image and you’ve moved the shadows slider all the way to the left, but it’s not enough. Right click with the little hand over the adjustment pin, select “Duplicate” and the same adjustment is layered on top of the first. Now you have two layers of shadows darkened all the 100 percent. Duplicating can be done repeatedly until the layers of adjustments meet your desired effect. Go too far and you can deleted the last duplicated layer without harming the layers underneath.