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How to Use Screen Modes in Lightroom Classic

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Read Time: 3 min

In this tutorial, we're going to explore and get to know all of the available Screen Modes in Lightroom Classic. Understanding the different options available to view your photo can help you gain some perspective on your edit, letting you bring out the best in your photo.

What Is a Screen Mode?

A screen mode is a built-in workspace in Lightroom Classic. These are the main ways we interface with the software, and there are three main screen modes available:

  • Default Mode
  • Full Screen Mode
  • Full Screen Without Menu Bar Mode

In the Default Mode, the Lightroom workspace appears as you'd expect to see it. It appears and reacts with standard application behaviour and can be positioned and/or resized on your screen as you see fit.

Default Screen Mode in Lightroom ClassicDefault Screen Mode in Lightroom ClassicDefault Screen Mode in Lightroom Classic
Default Screen Mode in Lightroom Classic

In Full Screen mode, the workspace expands to fill the entire screen, either with or without a menu bar, maximizing your screen's real estate for more detailed viewing of your image.

LEFT: Full Screen with Menu Bar — RIGHT: Full ScreenLEFT: Full Screen with Menu Bar — RIGHT: Full ScreenLEFT: Full Screen with Menu Bar — RIGHT: Full Screen
LEFT: Full Screen with Menu Bar — RIGHT: Full Screen

How to Switch Between Screen Modes

Go to Window > Screen Mode to access the different Screen Modes. If you'd rather use a shortcut, you can press Shift-F to toggle to the Next Screen Mode.

Go to Window > Screen Mode to access the different Screen ModesGo to Window > Screen Mode to access the different Screen ModesGo to Window > Screen Mode to access the different Screen Modes

Lights Out

The last piece to learn about Screen Modes is the Lights Out function in Lightroom Classic. Lights Out allows you to quickly dim or completely turn off the lights of the entire Lightroom workspace. This allows you to view your photo completely isolated from the potential distractions of Lightroom's sliders and toolbars.

Press the L hotkey to quickly toggle to 'Lights Out: Dim' and then again for 'Lights Out: Off'.

Lights Out function in Lightroom ClassicLights Out function in Lightroom ClassicLights Out function in Lightroom Classic
LEFT: Lights Out: Dim — RIGHT: Lights Out: Off

Full Screen

The last piece of this puzzle is Full Screen. Simply press F to immediately fill your entire screen with your photo. Press F again to return to your previous Screen Mode.

full screen modefull screen modefull screen mode
Full Screen

Why Use Screen Modes?

The various Screen Modes are most effectively used as a way to quickly and easily gain perspective on your edit. By hiding the clutter of the Lightroom workspace, your eye can focus on the details in your photo without being distracted by additional colours and textures.

Next time you find yourself uncertain of your edit or simply want to view your photo as though it's a finished edit, quickly toggle into Full Screen, and switch the Lights Out to showcase your image on your screen before you export.

I hope you'll take this information and try out a new Screen Mode the next time you're editing in Lightroom Classic!

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