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…”. )
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!
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
Switches you to the Develop module where you can make adjustments to individual images
5. Grid View
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.
Zoom in on images. Hold the spacebar down to move around while zoomed in and Z again to zoom out
7. Clipping Mask
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
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
Opens the adjustment brush tool which you can use to dodge/burn adjustments (as well other localized adjustments). Powerful tool!
11. Graduated Filter
Create gradient-type effects on your image. Useful for darkening skies.
12. Spot Removal
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!