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Lightroom is part of my daily routine, I spend lots of time editing my images. So after some time, you start asking yourself: “How can I save some time and make my editing workflow more effective?” There are many ways for doing it, but the most basic thing to start with is using shortcuts.

These Lightroom shortcuts were a game-changer for me, I use them every day and every time I edit an image, they make my process smoother, faster, my workflow is clean, organized and more effective.

Lightroom has many shortcuts, and probably you already use some of them. But there are so many more which are very useful and you might not know about them.

Cheat Sheet 14 shortcuts for LIghtroom | Healthy Goodies by Lucia

Free Cheat Sheet of 14 Lightroom Shortcuts

I also prepared a free pdf for you, a cheat sheet, where I summarise all these shortcuts in one page. After you subscribe, you can access it in our VIP e-library. You can print it, have it next to your computer and use it while editing. You will see how you will fall in love with these shortcuts and after a short time, you will start using them automatically during your editing process.

My 14 most favourite Lightroom Shortcuts:

1. X – Reject an image

After importing images into the library, you want to keep only good ones, and images that are. not good or you simply don’t want to keep, you can delete them from Lightroom. For this press X and Lightroom will reject that image. You will notice the image will get grey and you will find a small flag with x on it.

14 Lightroom shortcuts for image editing | Healthy Goodies by Lucia

If you reject some photo by mistake, do not worry. You can always un-reject the image. Go to the Library mode, from the tool bar (the panel below the image), you can see 2 little flags there, to un-reject it, click on the one with a cross.

3. Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) and Cancel – delete rejected images from Lightroom

Rejecting images is no the end of this process, as your images won’t be deleted from Lightroom yet. For that, you need to do one additional thing, and it is to delete the rejected images. When you press Cmd (on Mac) or Ctrl (Windows) and Cancel together, Lightroom will give you two options: whether you want to delete the image from Lightroom only, or also from the folder where your image is saved.

I like deleting images from Lightroom only and keeping them in the folders on my hard disk when:

  • the image is good but I have a better one (very similar) I will be using,
  • or when I did some action shots and I ended up with 50 images that are almost the same… in this case, I keep only the best 10 or 20 in Lightroom (which is 1 or 2 series of the movement) and I delete others from Lightroom, but keep them on hard disk still.

On the other side, I like deleting completely from Lightroom and from hard disk images that:

  • I didn’t get the right focus, so the main subject and the movement is blurred. I am sure I will never use them, not because they are not creative enough but because they are not good technically.

I recommend keeping images that you might not like, because you think they are not creative enough. It’s always good to keep such images for the future – you can use them to review your skills and how you progressed, you can use them once to show how you started, or you simply change your opinion and you will like them after some time.

2. 1-5 – star rating of images

We spoke about rejecting the images, but what you do when you see an image you like? In this case, if you press a number from 1 to 5 and you will rate the image with stars. Number 1 means 1 star, 2 means 2 stars, etc. When I absolutely love the image, I rate it 5. When I like the image, but I made a nicer one, I rate it 2 or 3.

14 Lightroom shortcuts for image editing | Healthy Goodies by Lucia

4. D – go to Develop mode

Pressing D will take you to the Develop mode. It’s quick and effective way to start editing your image.

5. \ – see before & after

14 Lightroom shortcuts for image editing | Healthy Goodies by Lucia

Press the \ and the image will turn as original. It’s a quick way to see the image before any edits were applied. I love using it for understanding how far I have got with editing. Is it too much and it looks unreal, or is the image editing beautiful and you are proud of your work? Use this shortcut to quickly understand the difference between before and after.

6. J – black & white clipping indicators

J is used in situations, when you want to have a better control of the image editing. Press J and start changing the whites and blacks. I would say, the right limit of whites & blacks is at the point, when blue and red start appearing.

What it means?

Blue color shows the area of pure black and red is referring to the areas of pure whites. Those areas do not have any texture nor data. The goal is to balance the image so you come to the point of having none or minimum pure black and non or minimum pure white areas.

7. L – Lights out

Proud of your editing? Do you want to check it for the last details? Press L and you will see the rest of the screen will get grey, press it again, the screen gets completely dark. You eyes are not disturbed by anything else and you can focus on reviewing the image, without the tendency to keep on editing. By pressing L again you will return you back to the develop mode.

14 Lightroom shortcuts for image editing | Healthy Goodies by Lucia

14 game-changing


Be more effective!

Download FREE pdf of my most used 14 Shortcuts from VIP e-Library.

8. R – Crop tool

Type R to open the Crop tool. You use it when you want to understand how to crop the image to keep a good composition. Type R or Enter again and close the Crop tool.

9. Q – Spot removal tool

Again, quick way how to get directly to Spot removal tool. When you are done with spot removal, press Enter or Q to close the tool and get back to editing.

10. M – Graduated Filter

Press M and open directly the Graduated filter. Press Enter or M again and come back to the image editing.

11. Shift and M – Radial Filter

When you need to open the Radial Filter, use Shift and M. Press it again and get back to editing.

12. K – Brush tool

Use K to open the Brush tool. When you are done with changes, press K again or Enter to close the Brush tool.

13. Shift and R – Reference view

I often use the Reference view when editing images. I use it when I need to understand if my new image edits match the mood and editing style of my previous image. Use Shift and R to open the reference view. To close it, use D (Develop Mode shortcut).

Lightroom shortcuts | LuciaMarecak

14. I – Image information

When you press I, you can open the information of the image on the left side. When you type I again, you see the other information (of your camera and lens) and press it again, the info will disappear.

Enjoyed this blog post about my favourite Lightroom Shortcuts?

Which is your most favourite Lightroom shortcut? Let me know also how you like this blog post and how useful it was for you! I use these shortcuts every day and they make my work much smoother and faster. I hope they help you too and make your editing more enjoyable!

Also, if you wish to know about other things about Lightroom, let me know!

Make sure to f@healthygoodiesbylucia @healthygoodiesbylucia to get some other hints & tips about Lightroom and Photography.

Take your Food Photography to the next level

Do you want to take your food photography to the next level? In our Members’ Club, we have new food photography courses and other resources every single month. Each month is dedicated to a specific topic and you can learn and get inspired from other industry experts too. Moreover, we run interactive group assignments, you get constructive feedback on your work every single month, to make sure that YOU will PROGRESS with your FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY quickly and without doubt!

Author: Lucia Marecak
Author: Lucia Marecak

Hi there! My name is Lucia, I am a food photographer, founder and educator on the blog Healthy Goodies by Lucia and in our Members’ Club.

I created Healthy Goodies by Lucia and our Members’ Club with one mission: to help you take your food photography to the next level so you can create beautiful images, you are proud of.

Make sure to follow me on Instagram, subscribe to my newsletters and join our challenges to learn and practice something new in food photography.

About the author

Lucia Marecak - a food photographer, founder of Healthy Goodies by Lucia and food photography teacher at HG Members Club, the most interactive learning platform for food photographers. Ex Human Resources Manager, today creating an amazing and inspiring community for food photographers, helping them to take their skills to the next level, be more creative & confident and create an amazing photography business of their dreams.


Behind the Scenes, Editing, Lightroom, Photography

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