Keyboard shortcuts are a way of accessing all the commands and actions in Lightroom directly with the keyboard.
Rather than dragging your mouse around and hitting the menu too many times, you are able to access a specific action by hitting a single or multitude of keys on the keyboard.
For example, the most common keyboard shortcut is the “Copy & Paste” which is applied by holding the CTRL + C keys to copy something, and CTRL + V keys to paste it somewhere else (CMD+C and CDM+V for MacOS).
In this article, we share the best and most efficient Lightroom keyboard shortcuts to make your editing experience more enjoyable!
1. Find All Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts on the Menu
Every keyboard shortcut is listed in the main menu next to each option. Click anywhere on the menu and see the shortcut on the right side of the drop down menu.
(i.e. To Rotate Right hold CTRL+] )
2. Use Auto Tone to Auto-Adjust Settings
A great place to start when you are in the Develop Module, is to use Auto Tone. It’s a great way to begin editing your images, especially if you don’t have an extensive knowledge of Lightroom. What it usually does is to drop the highlights, lift the shadows and fix the exposure.
Auto Tone Lightroom Keyboard Shortcut:
Windows: CTRL + U
Mac: CMD + U
3. Reset All Previous Edits in Lightroom
There are two ways to reset your edits. You can go to each slider and reset it individually by double clicking on the name (i.e. Exposure) or click the RESET button at the bottom right of the right side bar.
Reset Lightroom Keyboard Shortcut:
Windows: CTRL + SHIFT + R
Mac: CMD + SHIFT + R
4. How to Zoom In / Out with the Keyboard
Using the keyboard to zoom in and out our image is by hitting the “Z” key or “Space Bar”. This way we can have a more detailed look of our photo, either we are in the Library or Develop Mode.
5. Crop a Photo Using Grid Overlays
The best and simplest way to crop your image is to hit the “R” key on the keyboard. Then, the crop tool will appear showing two vertical and two horizontal lines.
Now, hit the “O” key on the keyboard until the grid changes. You will notice different grid overlays each time you press the “O” key. This way you can achieve different types of composition.
Crop Image Lightroom Keyboard Shortcut:
Windows: “R” key to show the Crop Tool and “O” key to change the Grid Overlay.
Mac: “R” key to show the Crop Tool and “O” key to change the Grid Overlay.
6. Dim the Background and All Lightroom Settings
When you are editing for quite a time, you want to stop, check your image and evaluate how your editing goes without the distractions from the settings and what is happening around your workspace.
In this case, hit the “L” key once to dim or twice to completely isolate your image from everything using a black background. It’s a great way to tap that LR keyboard shortcut, sit back, look at your photo and get a clear perspective.
Dim the Background LR Keyboard Edit:
Windows: “L” Key once or twice
Mac: “L” Key once or twice
7. Check the Before / After of your Image with this Lightroom Shortcut
This is one of the most popular Lightroom keyboard shortcuts but some people don’t use enough. Use this comparison view to check the before / after so you can see how far you’ve come during an edit.
Before / After LR Keyboard Shortcut:
Windows: “\” Key
Mac: “\” Key
8. How to Use Clipping Lightroom Keyboard Shortcut
Our eyes can’t really tell when the highlights in a photo are blown out or not. You might look at a photo and think, it looks fine but when you hit “J” on the keyboard, Lightroom will show you where your photo is clipping.
Clipping will show you red dots in a blown-out area (overexposed) or blue dots in the shadows (if you drag the slider all the way to the left) if your area is too dark.
Clipping LR Keyboard Shortcut:
Windows: “J” key
Mac: “J” Key
9. Radial Brush Adjustment Keyboard Shortcut and Use
Instead of vignetting your photo, you have another option where you can highlight a focus area of whatever shot you have taken, and make that particular area stand out more by using an adjustment layer within Lightroom.
Hit SHIFT + M to activate the Radial Filter, and under effects choose EXPOSURE. Now, drag an oval, make it the size you want, and drag it to the area that you like. Last but not least, drag the exposure slider to the left, to reduce the surrounding light and give more emphasis on what is happening inside your selection. Click DONE to finish and exit the Radial Filter tool.
Radial Brush Adjustment Lightroom Keyboard Shortcut:
Windows: SHIFT + M Keys
Mac: SHIFT + M Keys
10. Create a New Preset with this LR Keyboard Shortcut
Sometimes we might have to edit a huge batch of photos that were taken in the same location with the same lighting. When we have completed editing our first image, we can create a new preset and increase our workflow and efficiency by applying the preset to the rest of our images.
Create a new Lightroom preset by hitting CTRL + SHIFT + N keys (CMD + SHIFT + N on MacOS). Name your new preset and hit CREATE at the bottom of the pop up window.
You can find your new preset on the left sidebar under the User Presets Tab.
Pro Tip: To see all the available shortcuts in the Develop Mode hit the CTRL + / Keys (or CMD + / for MacOS) to see a list of the best Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts.
The Lightroom keyboard shortcuts are there to speed up your workflow. Once you start to memorize them, you’ll be able to use them each time you need them. They are so easy to use, and will make a difference in your editing.
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