Your Complete Guide to Capturing Wedding Details

Post Production Tips

Understanding the History Panel in Lightroom 4

By Pye Jirsa on May 13th 2013

Introduction

In this video from our Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD, we will explain the History Panel in Lightroom 4, which can be found on the left panels in the Develop Module. The History Panel stores a history of all adjustments made to an image. In this article, we will also address the options available in the History Panel.

Watch the video or continue reading the article below!

Watch the Video

The History Panel

To expand and collapse the History Panel, press “Ctrl + Shift + 3.” As mentioned earlier, the History Panel records a history of the adjustments made to an image.

01-lightroom-4-history-panel

You can use the History Panel to get back to any point in your processing workflow for a particular image. To go back to any recorded point in history, simply click on the step in the History Panel. For example, if we click on Highlights, it will undo all the other previous adjustments made to the image, from Vibrance to White Clipping.

02-lightroom-4-history-panel-undo-previous-steps

The History Panel Options

If we right-click on one of the steps in the History Panel, we have 2 options.

03-lightroom-4-history-panel-options

Create Snapshot
First, we have the option to create a Snapshot from where we are, depending on the step in the History Panel selected.

Copy History Step Settings to Before
This step is similar to the Snapshots settings discussed in our article, “How to Create Snapshots and Virtual Copies in Lightroom 4.” We can copy a particular history setting so that when we hit the “\” button (Before/After shortcut) on our keyboard, it will show that history step in the Before setting.

Clear History
Although this is not an option when we right-click on a step in the History Panel, we can also clear all of the history recorded in the History Panel. Just click on the “X” at the top of the History Panel to clear all history recorded.

Note that although you clear the History Panel, this does not reset the adjustments made to the image. This simply clears the saved history. To reset the settings on an image, click on the Reset button at the bottom right of Lightroom 4, under the right panels.

History states do not take up much space at all on your hard drive, so we don’t really recommend deleting your history unless you have a very good reason to!

04-lightroom-4-history-panel-clear-all-history

Conclusion & Learn More!

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.

Comment

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Sam

    “History states do not take up much space at all on your hard drive, so we don’t really recommend deleting your history unless you have a very good reason to!”

    I can’t image a “very good reason” to delete the history steps while retaining their effects. Can you? The ability to Clear History is a feature without a purpose (as far as I can tell) and is especially “evil” because there is no recovery from taking this action. At the very least, LR should provide a Preference for turning off this feature.

    | |