Lightroom has a lot of shortcuts, but listed here are a few of my most commonly used and love using them so much!
1. Shortcut for Before&After (Shortcut Key: \)
After you apply any preset for particular image, press the backslash key, and see the before image. Press the key again to toggle back to your adjustment. As simple and even self-explanatory as this shortcut key is, the before and after toggle is invaluable to see what that preset makes to your image. The most essential shortcut for your editing journey.
2. Shortcut for Crop&Straighten (Shortcut Key: R)
We all use the crop and straighten tool a lot. I am also using it coomnly because I often prefer a shorter aspect ratio than the given 3:2 frame of DSLRs and 35mm film. Anyways, whatever your reasons, if you shoot a lot, then you’re using this tool a lot! Make it easier on yourself and remember to press the “R” key. Bonus: For quick straightening, once you’re in the Crop & Straighten module, hold down the ⌘ key or (CTRL for Windows PC) and drag your cursor along the horizon line (or whatever line should be straight and level).
3. Shortcut for Lights Out (Shortcut Key: L)
Do you want to see the image you’re editing without all of the distracting tools, sliders, and panels around it?
Press the “L” key, and it’s lights out! This shortcut toggles between a couple of options. The first time you press it, Lightroom darkens everything but your selected image by about 90%. Press L again, and it goes black, leaving nothing but your image to see. One of the best things about this tool is that it works in both the Develop and Library modules. You can also continue editing and making adjustments with the Lights Out feature turned on.
4. Shortcut for Survey Mode (Shortcut Key: N)
This tool is meant to be used with multiple images. In either the Develop or the Library module, select two or more images that you’re interested in comparing or seeing together. Once they’re selected, press the “N” key. This toggles a display of all of the chosen images. While toggled, you can still add or subtract images in the selection, as well as change, flag, and rate.
Double click on any of the images to exit Survey Mode. You may also press “D” to return to the Develop module or “G” to return to the Library. Your selected images will still be highlighted.
Survey Mode also works with the Lights Out tool, letting you focus on multiple images at one time with zero noise or distraction around them.
5. Shortcut for Star Ratings (Shortcut Key: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
It’s pretty straightforward. Press the number 1 key for one star, 2 for two, and so on. Give the most liked one a 5-stars by pressing 5.
The value of learning these shortcuts is difficult to overstate. These are a few of the ones that I use the most, and not all of them may be the perfect tools for you. Whatever it is within Lightroom that you find yourself going back to time and time again, there is probably a keyboard shortcut for it. Find out what it is, and commit it to memory. You’ll be glad that you did!