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10 Important Library Shortcuts and Tips in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on March 20th 2013

Introduction

In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we will go over the shortcuts of the 10 most commonly used functions in the Lightroom 4 Library Module. We have already covered these shortcuts in previous tutorials but this tutorial is a quick summary of the different features available in the Library Module.

To learn more, be sure to check out the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop, which is also a part of the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection.

Watch the Video

1. Import and Export Shorcuts

The first shortcut we will cover is importing and exporting. To import inside of Lightroom, or to bring up the Import Dialogue Box, simply hit “Ctrl + Shift + I”. To bring up the Export Dialogue Box, just hit “Ctrl + Shift + E.”

2. Module Shortcuts

Next, we will go over the shortcuts for the different Modules, which are shown below. Each Module, which is found on the top right, has a number assigned to it. To get to a Module, simply hit “Ctrl + Alt + 1-7.” The Library Module corresponds with the number “1,” the Develop Module corresponds with the number “2,” the Map Module corresponds with the number “3”, and so on. So for example, if you want to get to the Develop Module, simply press “Ctrl + Alt + 2.” You can also get to the Develop Module by simply hitting “D.”

01_lightroom-module-shortcuts

Besides hitting “Ctrl + Alt + 1,” you can also get to the Library Module through the different Library View Modes. We will cover the shortcuts for these different View Modes later on.

3. Panel Shortcuts

The third shortcut is our Panel shortcuts. The Panels can be found on the far left and right sides of Lightroom. The Panel shortcuts are very similar to the Module shortcuts as they also correspond to a number. The left side Panels correspond with the numbers “0-4.” Navigator is 0, Catalog is 1, Folders is 2, and so on. To shrink or expand the left side Panels, simply hit “Ctrl + Shift + 0-4.”

02_lightroom-left-side-panels-shortcuts

The right side Panels correspond with the numbers “0-5.” Histogram is 0, Quick Develop is 1, Keywording is 2, and so on. To control the right side Panel, hit “Ctrl + 0-5.”

03_lightroom-right-side-panels-shortcuts

4. Library View Mode Shortcuts

Next, we will cover the Library View Mode shortcuts. In the Library Module, you will usually be in the Grid View Mode or the Loupe View Mode. We can easily access these View Modes by simply hitting “G” for Grid View Mode and “E” for Loupe View Mode. You can also access the Compare View Mode by hitting “C” and the Survey View Mode by hitting “N.” However, you probably will not be in these 2 View Modes that often. If you want to go to the Library Module, another quick way to do so is by hitting any of the Library View Mode shortcuts mentioned above. You can be in any Module, such as the Slideshow Module or the Develop Module; by hitting any of the View Mode Shortcuts, we will automatically be back in the Library Module.

5. Star Rating Shortcuts

The shortcut for the Star Rating is 1-5. By hitting “1,” the image is ranked with 1 star. “2” means 2 stars, “3” means 3 stars, and so on. You can also hit “0” to reset the Star Rating on images.

6. Color Label Shortcuts

To assign Color Labels to your images, simply use the numbers “6-9.” “6” is Red, “7” is Yellow, “8” is Green, and “9” is Blue. If you want to use the Purple Color Label, then you would have to go into the Edit Menu, as shown below. However, 4 Color Labels should be enough.

04_lightroom-purple-color-label

To remove a Color Label, simply hit the corresponding number again. For example, you would hit “6” to label an image “red.” To remove that Red Color Label, just hit “6” again.

7. Flag Shortcuts

To flag an image as a “pick,” simply hit “P.” This means that we would deliver the image. To remove the flag, just hit “U.” To mark the image as “rejected,” simply hit “X.” A “rejected” image means that we will not deliver it.

8. Target Collection Shortcuts

The Target Collection is a very handy tool because it allows us to quickly organize images by simply hitting “B.” By hitting “B,” it adds the image you have selected to the Target Collection. You can either create a new collection and set that new collection as the Target Collection, or you can select a collection you have already created and set that collection as the Target Collection.

To create a new collection, go to the Collections Panel on the left side. Click on the arrow next to “Collections” and select “Create Collection,” as shown below.

05_create-new-collection
Once you have selected “Create Collection,” a dialogue box will show up like the one below. Name your new collection and hit “Create.”

06_create-collection-dialogue-box

To make a collection your Target Collection, simply right-click and hit “Set as Target Collection.” As you can see below, we have selected our “Example” Collection to be the Target Collection.

07_set-as-target-collection

Now that you have selected a collection to be your Target Collection, simply hit “B” to add an image to your Target Collection. All Target Collections will have a “+” next to the name. Below, we have a “+” next to our “Example” Collection.

08_example-collection-plus-sign

9. Rotation Left/Right Shortcuts

Another common shortcut that I use is the Rotate Left/Right shortcuts. To rotate your image to the left, simply hit “Ctrl + [” and to rotate your image to the right, hit “Ctrl + ].” We can also rotate multiple images at once. First, you need to be in the Grid View (“G”). Then, select the images (to select multiple images at once, hold down “Ctrl” while you click on each image) that you want to rotate. Then hit “Ctrl + [” or “Ctrl + ]” to rotate your images to the left/right.

10. Edit in Photoshop Shortcuts

Sometimes we need to take our images from Lightroom into Photoshop in order to edit them. We can do this by selecting our image and then simply hitting “Ctrl + E.” When you hit “Ctrl + E,” Photoshop will automatically load up and import the image into Photoshop. Then, when you save the image out in Photoshop, it will also bring it back to Lightroom. To close your image in Photoshop, hit “Ctrl + W.” You will then see your Photoshop copy of the image in your Lightroom catalog, as well as your Lightroom copy of the image.

Conclusion & Learn More!

So, these are the 10 shortcuts for the navigational and organizational functions that are frequently used in the Library Module in Lightroom 4. Hopefully these shortcuts and tips have helped speed up your workflow!

We hope you enjoyed this article and video excerpt from the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD. Stay tuned for our next article and episode!

The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD is a 14 hour video workshop turning any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop can be purchased by itself, or within the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which also contains our award winning and industry standard Lightroom 4 Preset System, as well as the Lightroom 4 Workflow System.

About

Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

Follow my updates on Facebook and my latest work on Instagram both under username @pyejirsa.

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Thanks for the tips.

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