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24 Essential Daily Keyboard Shortcuts in Adobe Lightroom

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Saving precious seconds here and there really adds up. Speed up your workflow in Adobe Lightroom with the most-used keyboard shortcuts.

This definitely isn't a comprehensive list, but it's a round up of all the short cuts I use on a daily basis. All shortcuts are listed for PC, but they are exactly the same on a Mac: Option is the same as Alt, Command is the same as Control.


Navigating around different views in Lightroom can be a bit cumbersome at first. Viewing your photos is the most important feature of Lightroom, so getting to those different views needs to be quick and effortless.

Switch to Grid View
Switch to Loupe View (single photo)
Toggle Full Screen modes
Toggle Lights (Dims the interface around the photo, keeps full tool functionality)
Toggle side panels
Toggle all panels
Lights on lights dimmed lights offLights on lights dimmed lights offLights on lights dimmed lights off
The different Lights Out screens. Press L to dim all the parts of the interface except the chosen photo.

Here's one more quick tip for moving around your panels quickly. Hold down Alt, and click your mouse to swing out one of the panels on the right side of the Lightroom interface. This is a quick way to toggle "solo mode". Solo mode will collapse any panels except the one you are working on. Done doing white balance and exposure enhancements? You can either scroll down the panels until you find the one you need next (like the Detail panel) or you can toggle solo mode and when the Detail panel opens, the Basic panel closes.

Sort, Rate, and Photo Edit

While culling photos (choosing the best ones from the group), or editing (sorting and sequencing) you only want to see photos for a split second and move on to the next one as quickly as possible.

Switch to Survey mode, which displays only currently selected photos
Flag current photo as Pick
Flag current photo as Reject
Unflag current photo
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Set the Star rating of a photo to 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 stars
Set color label to Red
Set color label to Yellow
Set color label to Green
Set color label to Blue

While you culling through photos, if you turn on your Caps Lock setting a flag (P or X) will not only set the flag for that photo, but automatically advance to the next photo. This saves you having to click the arrow key in between each photo. Multiply that by however many photos in your wedding take, for example, and you've saved a good amount of time.

Image Processing

Lightroom is a powerful RAW processor, but a lot off the time what we use it for is basic cropping and tweaking of images.

Switch to Develop module
Activate the Crop tool
Switch Crop tool vertical/horizontal
Holding to Constrain Proportions of your crop
Resize both sides of a crop equally
Apply Crop
Control-' Create a Virtual Copy

A virtual copy is a great tool that allows you to make different version of the same photo without adding the additional file size of making an actual copy of the photo. This is useful for having a color and black and white version, 4x6 and 8x10 crops, or anything else you may need multiple edits or copies for.

How to Memorize Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts

Every app has keyboard shortcuts. We all know these shortcuts would save us time, but the problem is that they're hard to remember and commit to memory.

Sure, there are those cross-app shortcuts like copy and paste that are ubiquitous. But most apps have specific shortcuts that are hard to remember and implement in your day-to-day work.

In the screencast below, you'll learn to use Anki, a flashcard program, to commit your essential  Lightroom to memory.

Are you already a Lightroom ninja? Have any secret keyboard shortcuts you can't live without? Be sure to share your favorite in the comments!

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