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Spofford, New Hampshire, United States
Jeff Newcomer has been a physician practicing in New Hampshire and Vermont for over 30 years. Over that time, as a member of the Conservation Commission in his home of Chesterfield New Hampshire, he has used his photography to promote the protection and appreciation of the town's wild lands. In recent years he has been transitioning his focus from medicine to photography, writing and teaching. Jeff enjoys photographing throughout New England, but has concentrated on the Monadnock Region and southern Vermont and has had a long term artistic relationship with Mount Monadnock. He is a featured artist in a number of local galleries and his work is often seen in regional print, web publications and in business installations throughout the country. For years Jeff has published a calendar celebrating the beauty of The New England country-side in all seasons. All of the proceeds from his New England Reflections Calendar have gone to support the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Program at the Cheshire Medical Center. Jeff has a strong commitment to sharing his excitement about the special beauty of our region and publishes a weekly blog about photography in New England.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Ten Favorite Lightroom Short-Cuts (Sort of)

Lightroom is all about being more productive in the organizing, editing and sharing your images, and the use of the program’s many short-cuts is one of the most powerful ways to to streamline your work-flow.  Within Lightroom, there are literally hundreds of short-cuts available to control almost every function.  The trick is to find the short-cuts which apply to the tools which you use most frequently.  Of course, I have my own favorites. 

Shortcuts in Drop-Down Menus

Happily Lightroom makes it easy to find the appropriate short-cuts.  Many of the choices in the program’s drop-down menus include the short-cut for that function.  If you like tables, each module has its own list of common short-cuts found in the “help” drop-down menu.  Just select the specific short cut list.

Library Short-Cut List

The best way to assemble your own favorites list is to step through your work-flow and notice the short-cuts that apply to the functions that you use the most or that are the most difficult to access through the menus. Functions that are available with the push of a button, such as cycling between Loupe and Grid views in the Library Module, may not be as important to learn.

You will find your own favorite short-cuts, but here are some of mine.


1) Crtl-Z : Undo

I may use this more than any other short-cut.  It is nice to have a quick way to back-up from my mistakes before they get the chance to taunt me from the screen.  The nice thing is that repeated Crtl-Zs will back through any series of missteps.

2} BackSlash (“\”)\

The backslash has different functions in different modules.  In the Library, it cycles through showing and hiding the filter bar at the top of the image.  There is nothing intuitive about this selection.  The “t” key brings up the bottom Tool bar, but why “\” for the Filter bar?  It must be that more obvious keys were already taken.

In the Develop Module, the back-slash short-cut’s function is to  cycle between an edited image and its original appearance, a handy before and after tool and a bit more intuitive (leaning backwards) than in the Library Module.

3) T

“T” cycles between showing and hiding the toll bar under the main preview window.  Too many times during my Lightroom classes, students will tell me that they don’t see the Tool bar functions only because they haven’t pressed “t”  to make them appear.

Tool Bar

4) D & E

There are short-cuts for all of the Lightroom Module, but I only tend to switch quickly back and forth between the Library and Develop Modules. Given the frequency of my usage, I don’t need to a short-cut to get me to the Book Module.  “D” brings up the Develop Module and, again counter intuitively, “E”  the shortcut for the Library. If you try hitting the “L” key you will end up in the Lights Out mode.


5) G & E

“G” bring up the grid mode and “E” goes to loupe in the Library module from all the other modules.  From within the Library Module, these choices are easily available from buttons on the left of the Tool bar, but they are not present in the other modules and are used so frequently that short-cuts are helpful.

6) I

Information Overlay

“I” cycles the overlays of image information in the Loupe mode.  The key cycles between two custom information screens and a blank view.  The content of the overplays are set in the Loupe options of the View drop-down.

 Screen Architecture

7) Tab

“Tab” shows/hides the two side panels.

8) Shift-Tab

“Shift-Tab” shows/hides both the side and top panels

9) Function Keys

This is a bit of a cheat, but I will include these handy function keys all as one choice, since they all work together.

Panel : Show / Hide

“F5-F9” individually show and hide each of the panels and are worth the effort to quickly optimize the screen for a particular activity.  Happily These four keys are clustered together on my keyboard.

            F5 : Shows/Hides the Module picker (Top panel)

            F6 : Shows/Hides the Filmstrip

            F7 : Shows/Hides the Left Panel

            F8 : Shows/Hides the Right Panel

If I want to get the fullest view as I edit an individual image in the Develop Module, I can first hide all the panel with “Shift-Tab” and then bring back only the Develop Panel by hitting “F8”.

10) F

“F” is one of my favorite short-cuts that show the active image in full screen.  It provides the best view of the image without any distractions.

11,  ) Rating Short-Cuts
         I know ! "11", Consider it an Alternate "10"

Picking ten favorites is impossible, so I will cheat once again by grouping together 14 short-cuts which all have to do with rating images. 

 As I review images that I have uploaded to Lightroom, one of my first task is to rate the them based on there quality and how much time I want to spend on editing.  Lightroom has three rating systems which can be used individually or in combination, Flags(Flag, Unflag & Rejected), Stars (0-5) and Colors (Red, Yellow, Green & Blue).
 A fifth color is available but sadly Purple has no short-cut.  Regardless of the system you use to rate your images, it is convenient to use short-cuts to quickly mark each picture as you fly through the filmstrip.  You will probably choose just one or two of the rating systems and therefore I feel no shame in grouping them together as if they were one.


           “P/U” : Flag/Unflag, think of “P” as “Pick”

            “X” : Reject,  

This does not delete the image but only marks it for future sorting and consideration


            “0-5” : 0,1,2,3,4,5 Stars

            “]/[“ : Increase/Decrease Rating


            “6-9” : Red, Yellow, Green, Blue

I think “0” should have been used for Blue, but tragically, I don’t work for Adobe.


Gold Ascending Jaffrey Center, NH
OK, I know that I have listed 11 favorites, but, if you count, I have actually mentioned   30 Short-cuts!  I’m obviously not a stickler for numbers.  Enjoy, and get going with your own favorites.  Each one saves only a second or two, but when used together, they can significantly speed your work-flow.  Isn’t that what Lightroom is all about.

For a comprehensive list of the mass of other shortcuts check out "The Lightroom Queen's" collection.

Jeffrey Newcomer

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