In this Lightroom 4 tutorial, we will discuss the Filmstrip which is the bottom panel of the Lightroom interface. The Filmstrip is the only navigational constant in Lightroom, meaning it is always available to you regardless of what Lightroom module you are using. The purpose of the Filmstrip is to navigate from image to image while giving you the ability to quickly filter. It acts as a quick resource throughout each module. Whether you are working in the Develop Module, Map Module, Library Module, etc., the Filmstrip is always present. This is the first of a two-part tutorial, and in this tutorial we will talk about the top bar that goes across the Filmstrip.

Watch the Video Tutorial

The following video is from the SLR Lounge Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, a 14-hour workshop covering everything in Lightroom from file management to advanced artistic processing techniques.

Main and Secondary Display

Let’s discuss each component beginning with the top bar that goes across the Filmstrip. On the left side, we have options for the Main Window and Secondary Window.



If you click the Main Window button it will provide you the options for switching to different views. This can be useful if you ever forget the different Library views or their shortcuts.


Choose from Grid, Loupe, Compare, or Survey, and it shows you the shortcuts for switching between views. This menu also shows the different Full Screen Modes which you can also toggle between by hitting the shortcut [ F ].

The next option we have is the Secondary Window. The Secondary Window can be accessed by clicking the “2” icon shown below or by hitting the shortcut [ SHIFT + E ].


Once enabled, the Secondary Window will display as shown below:


This gives us an alternative view which can be extremely useful if you have multiple monitors hooked up to your machine. The Secondary View can be dragged onto another screen so you can view multiple images at the same time.

One of our favorite ways to use this tool in our workflow is to leave our Secondary View on Loupe View so that we can see the image in full preview size as we cycle through images in the Main Window.


Secondary Display Modes

When in Loupe View within the Secondary Display, on the top right you will see that there are three different modes. “Normal” is the default and displays whatever image is selected in the Primary Window. In “Live” mode [ SHIFT + Z ], the Secondary Window displays whatever you mouse over in the Primary Window.


This way, you don’t have to use the arrows to navigate or click on any image to see a preview in the Secondary Window.

The final Secondary Display mode, the “Lock” mode [ CTRL/CMD + SHIFT + ENTER ], locks the Secondary Window to whatever image you have selected while the Primary Window can navigate through images freely. This can be useful when comparing images in Lightroom.


The Grid View Icon

The next option on the Filmstrip is simply the option to go to the Library Grid View, which is also accessible by simple hitting [ G ].


It’s really just a quick shortcut to get to the Grid View.

Left and Right Arrows

The left and right arrows allow you to go backward or forward for whatever action you have taken. However, this is not to be confused with the left and right cursor. These two arrows function more like an undo and redo versus a left and right cursor.



This concludes Part 1 for this tutorial. If you are interested in owning the Lightroom 4 A to Z DVD, it can be purchased in the SLR Lounge Store. Stay tuned for the next article.

In our next Lightroom 4 A to Z DVD tutorial, we will be covering the second part of the Lightroom 4 Filmstrip.

Purchase the Lightroom 4 A-Z DVD Guide

The Lightroom 4 A-Z training DVD will turn any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The DVD which can be played on a Mac or Windows PC includes the following:
– 130 Video Tutorials and nearly 14 hours of content!
– Over 6 hours of tutorials dedicated to developing techniques
– Full Menu System for easy navigation through the tutorials
– Bonus DVD Content that includes Advanced Lightroom 4 Techniques
– Full HD 1080p Resolution for all Video Tutorials
– On-screen Shortcut Tooltips for Lightroom 4
– Exercise Files + Final Catalog so you can follow along during the tutorials
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