12 Essential Lightroom Shortcuts To Speed Up Your Workflow

12Things

Lightroom 3 has a ton of different keyboard shortcuts that will help you move through your editing workflow faster. Since there are so many shortcuts it can be difficult figuring out which ones are worth memorizing in order to save you the most time.

The following 12 shortcuts are the ones we use most frequently. Start off using and memorizing these shortcuts and you’re sure to see an increase in your processing speed. (P.S. If you’d like to take a peek at the shortcuts for each module click on the “Help” menu and then “Library Module Shortcuts…” (or if you’re in the Develop module it will switch to “Develop Module Shortcuts…”. )

1. Undo

Shortcut: Cmd-Z (Mac) Ctrl-Z (PC)

Everyone knows this one and its probably the most used shortcut. Lightroom has unlimited undos so go back as much as you need!

2. Before/After

Shortcut:  

In the Develop module press the backslash key () to toggle between before and after versions of an an image. Super useful to see the changes you make when processing your image.

3. Reset Adjustments

Being able to reset the adjustments you made is a shortcut you’ll use all the time. There are a few different options for you here.

Reset all adjustments: Shift-Cmd-R (Mac) Shift-Ctrl-R (PC)

Reset specific adjustment: Double click section name, or double click individual adjustment slider names to reset individual sliders

Reset crop: Cmd-Opt-R (Mac) Ctrl-Alt-R (PC)

4. Develop Module

Shortcut: D

Switches you to the Develop module where you can make adjustments to individual images

5. Grid View

Shortcut: G

Allows you to view a thumbnail contact sheet of all images in a folder and make adjustments to multiple images using the Quick Develop panel.

6. Zoom

Shortcut: Z

Zoom in on images. Hold the spacebar down to move around while zoomed in and Z again to zoom out

7. Clipping Mask

Shortcut: J

Lets you find blown highlights (displayed in red) and clipped shadows (shown in blue).

8. Paste Settings From Previous

Shortcut: Cmd-Opt-V (Mac) Ctrl-Alt-V (PC)

Transfers all the adjustment settings from the previously selected photo onto the current photo. When you have images that require similar processing this is the most valuable time saving shortcut!

9. Crop Tool

Shortcut: R

Quickly crop your images. Hold down “Cmd” on a Mac or “Ctrl” on a PC to bring up the angle tool, drag along a straight line in your image to automatically straighten and crop the image. Press R again to close crop.

10. Adjustment Brush

Shortcut: K

Opens the adjustment brush tool which you can use to dodge/burn adjustments (as well other localized adjustments). Powerful tool!

11. Graduated Filter

Shortcut: M

Create gradient-type effects on your image. Useful for darkening skies.

12. Spot Removal

Shortcut: Q

Remove small distracting elements. Useful for clearing sensor dust.

Memorizing shortcuts does take a bit of effort. But think about it this way. You probably end up performing these functions hundreds of times over the course of an editing session. Multiply that across all the sessions you edit per year, and you’ll end up saving yourself TONS of precious time!! Win!

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photographer and head ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

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Comments

7 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Ugh, this website is just so freaking awesome. You guys blow me away!

  2. Lol!! Thanks so much Kathryn! So glad you're digging it! :)

  3. I told to myself yesterday that I should be trying to learn the useful shortcuts in Lightroom. And there they are!
    Awesome timing thank you ! :)

  4. Number 8 alone just made my day!

  5. *@Pioum:* Awesome! That's way too cool. :)

    *@Camillie:* Lol, right on Camille!!

  6. oh man! just discovered this site! where have you been all my life? thank you so much for all this wonderful help!

  7. Thanks very much Rob for this very helpful tutorial. This will help me spend more time on creativity and less time pointing the mouse, and it’s fun.

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