I have put together my most used 14 Lightroom shortcuts. I literally use Lightroom every single day and in the last year I have edited thousands of images. 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, organised and 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.
Free Cheat Sheet of 14 Lightroom Shortcuts
I also prepared a free dpf for you, a cheat sheet, where I summarise all these shortcuts in one page. You will find it in our VIP e-library in the Lightroom folder. You can access it below in this blog post. 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 which are not usable, you can delete from Lightroom. In this case, press X and Lightroom will reject that image. In this case, you you keep your folders organised.
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.
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 them with stars. Number 1 means 1 star, 2 means 2 stars, etc. When I absolutely love the image, I rate it 5. When I am not sure if I like it so so much, I rate it 2 or 3.
3. Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) and Cancel – delete rejected images
When you press Cmd and Cancel together, Lightroom will cancel all rejected images. This way you can keep your lightroom folders organized, keeping only images you like. Very nice way to make your workflow smoother.
4. D – go to Develop mode
D will take you to the Develop mode. It’s quick and effective way to start editing your image.
5. \ – see before & after
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 when comparing 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 of before and after.
6. J – understand the right balance of blacks/whites
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 colour shows the area of pure black and red is referring to the areas of pure whites. Those areas do not have any texture. 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 whites.
7. L – Lights out
Proud of how you editing you image? Want to check it for the last details? Try to 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. Pressing L will return you back to the develop mode.
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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).
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 literally 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 you follow me on instagram @luciamarecak to get some other hints & tips about Lightroom. I always post on my instagram edited and original images, so you can see the difference and the power of editing!
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