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Post Production Tips

How to Use the Previous and Reset Buttons in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on May 5th 2013

Introduction

In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we will go over how to use the Previous and Reset Buttons, which are found in the right side panels of Lightroom 4. The Reset Button will reset all settings applied to an image while the Previous Button will apply settings from a previously selected image.

Watch the video or continue reading the article below!

Watch the Video

The Reset Button

The Reset Button is pretty self-explanatory. When you click on Reset, this will reset all of the settings on your image, back to default. The shortcut for the Reset Button is “Ctrl + Shift + R.”

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The Previous Button

The Previous Button will copy the settings from a previously selected image and then apply those same exact settings from that image to the next image you select. The images you select do not need to be right next to each other since the Previous Button copies the settings from an image that was previously selected, and not necessarily the image right before. Think of it as more of an “automatic cut and paste” button.

The Previous Button is extremely useful if you are editing images that were shot in the same scene with the same camera settings. You can quickly move from image to image and use the Previous Button every time to sync over the previous settings. The shortcut for the Previous Button is “Ctrl + Alt + V.”

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An Example of Using the Previous Button

First, go to the Grid View by pressing “G.” Then, select an image in your catalog and press “D” to bring that image into the Develop Module. Press “Ctrl + 1” to expand the Basic Panel and make some adjustments. It does not matter what adjustments you make to your image, as long as you can see a difference. To see the Before/After version of your image, simply press “\.”

Below, the left image is the original image with no settings applied. As you can see, adjustments have been made to the right image. Keep in mind that we would not normally edit an image this way; however, we need to be able to see a difference between the original and edited version for the purpose of this tutorial.

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Next, select another image and apply these same settings by pressing the Previous Button or “Ctrl + Alt + V.” As you can see below, the same settings from the previous photo have been applied to the next photo. However, this is not a correct edit of the image for 2 reasons.
#1: The settings from the first photo were not correct to start out with.
#2: The image below is from a completely different scene. As mentioned earlier, the Previous Button is great when editing images from the same scene. However, if you use the same settings from a different scene, the end result of your image may not look too great.

So, just try and make sure that when pasting settings from one image to another, the final image was shot in a similar lighting situation, with a similar original exposure.

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We can apply the same settings to images that are not next to each other. When you apply the previous settings to another image, it will be the settings from the image selected.

For example, we can paste those same settings from the previous picture to the picture of the monk, even though those images are not next to each other.

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Conclusion & Learn More!

To reset all of the settings that were applied to the 3 images in this tutorial, simply select on each image and press “Ctrl + Shift + R” or use the Reset Button.

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.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice tutorial

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  2. Trey Villarreal

    I actually found this very informative, since for the longest time I’ve always assumed “Previous” to be a glorified back button of sorts. Many thanks!

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