25 Essential Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts
We have put together our 25+ essential Lightroom shortcuts that are the most important ones you need to know in order to save the most time editing and working in Lightroom.
And make sure not to miss our downloadable Lightroom Shortcut Cheat Sheet included at the end of this post!
Shortcuts for the Lightroom Library Module
G - Go to Library Module
You can quickly get to the Library Module by tapping the G key. The Library module is where you will organize your images and see your photos in grid and filmstrip style.
E - Change to Loupe View
When you are in the Library Module, if you would like to see just one image in the main image window (similar to the Develop Module), press E to change to the Loupe View.
\ - Show or Hide the Filter Bar
Click on the \ key to show or hide the Filter Bar in the Lightroom Library Module. The Filter Bar is located at the top of your grid of images. This tool will allow you to sort or search for images based on criteria you choose. You can sort by rating, color, metadata (think lens type, camera body, aperture, shutter speed, iso, date, etc.), and even text. I use this filter tool ALL THE Time when looking for a specific older image.
Lightroom Shortcuts that Work in the Library Module & Develop Module
1-5: To Give Images Star Ratings
One way to pick favorites & organize photos when going through a session is to give them star ratings. You can give your images a rating of any number between 1 and 5. Pressing the 1 key will rate the image with one star. The other numbers work the same way (2=2 stars, 3=3 stars, etc.). You can then use the filters in each of the modules to show only the images you rated with a particular numeric value.
P - Flag (or Pick) a Photo
This is another Lightroom shortcut to pick favorites when sorting through a session. Tapping the P key will "Pick" or flag an image. You can then use the filter bar in each of the modules to show only the images you flagged.
X - Reject a Photo
If you have photos that are NOT useable at all, you can tap the X key to reject the image. Then you can use the filter bar in each of the modules to show only the photos you rejected - making it quick and easy to delete all of your rejected images.
T - Show/Hide Toolbar
Tap the T key to show or hide the toolbar below the image area in each of the Lightroom modules.
Z - Zoom to 100%
In order to quickly zoom to 100% on an image tap the Z key. This is a super easy shortcut to quickly check the photo's sharpness when culling images from a session. Just tap the Z key again when you are done to zoom out and fit the image in the window once again.
Ctrl and "+" (PC) or Cmd and "+" (Mac) - Zoom In Incrementally
This is another way to zoom in using Lightroom. This method will zoom in incrementally instead of all the way to 100% with a single click. I use this method when applying brushes over smaller areas of my image. Sometimes 100% is just too much and I just want to zoom in a smaller amount.
Ctrl and "-" (PC) or Cmd and "-" (Mac) - Zoom Out Incrementally
Whenever I am zooming in incrementally, I also generally want to zoom out incrementally. This shortcut allows you to do just that. I use these two shortcuts "+" and "-" together all the time!
Ctrl and [ (PC) or Cmd and [ (Mac) - Rotate Image Left
Sometimes your image comes out of camera in a different orientation that you intended. This is a quick and simple shortcut to rotate the image back to the horizontal or vertical orientation you intended.
Ctrl and ] (PC) or Cmd and ] (Mac) - Rotate Image Right
This shortcut is also used to rotate your image - just in the opposite direction based on what you need for your image.
Ctrl E (PC) or Cmd E (Mac) - Take an Image to Photoshop
This is the quickest way to move an image to Photoshop. You can apply actions or overlays while there. When you are done in Photoshop, just press Ctrl S (PC) or Cmd S (Mac) to save the image - the image with your actions or overlays applied will then show up in Lightroom.
TAB - Collapse Side Panels
Sometimes you will want to view your image without the distraction of the side panels. Tap the TAB key to expand your main image window and instantly remove the distraction of the side panels. Tap the TAB key again to bring them back.
Cmd Z (Mac) or Ctrl Z (PC) - Undo Last Action
This Lightroom shortcut will UNDO whatever you just did in Lightroom. Whether you just applied a rating, preset, brush, crop, etc. this shortcut will undo the last step.
Shortcuts for the Lightroom Develop Module
D - Develop Module
Use the D key to navigate to the Develop Module with one click from any other module in Lightroom.
Y - Show Before & After Image
Use this shortcut to show a before/after side by side comparison of the image you are editing in the main image area of Lightroom. Tap the Y key again to exit the before/after mode.
\ - Toggle Between Before & After Image
Another way to view the image before all your edits were applied is to use the \ key while your are in the Develop Module. Tapping this key will instantly give you a view of your SOOC image. Tap the \ key again to see the edited version.
K - Adjustment Brush Tool
One of the most used tools in the Develop Module is the Adjustment Brush tool. Use this shortcut to open up the Adjustment Brush. Tap K again to close the tool.
R - Crop Tool
M - Graduated Filter
Tap the M key to open the Graduated Filter tool. Tap the M key again to close it.
Shift M - Radial Filter
Since this Radial Filter and the Graduated Filter tool are closely related, their shortcuts are related, too! For the Radial Filter Tool, just press Shift and M to open it. Tap those same keys again to close.
Q - Spot Removal
Another frequently used tool is the Spot Removal tool. I use this tool quite often on skin. Tapping the Q key will open this tool and tapping it again will close it.
L - Lights Out
Use this key to darken or even black out the entire background around your photo. Tapping the L key once will darken the background. Tapping it again with change the background to complete black. Tapping it one more time will turn the "lights" back on!
Shortcuts for Lightroom Tools
H - Hide/Show Pins
Lightroom creates little "pins" each time you make a small adjustment using the tools. Sometimes these "pins" get in the way when you are creating multiple adjustments using the same tool. Just tap the H key to hide all of the pins from the Lightroom tools that use them - the Adjustment Brush tool, the Graduated Filter, the Radial Filter, and the Spot Removal tool. To bring the pins back, just tap the H key again.
[ and ] - To Decrease or Increase Brush Size
This shortcut is super helpful when using the Adjustment Brush or the Spot Removal tools. Use the [ (left bracket key) to decrease the size of your brush and the ] (right bracket key) to increase the size.
O - Overlay
If you would like to see a red overlay where you have applied a brush or filter just tap the O key.
I find this super helpful when I need to erase part of a brush or filter or when I just want to see where the filter has been applied. I do not like seeing it all the time, so when I am done, I just tap the O key again to make the overlay go away.
Alt (PC) or Opt (Mac): Change the Brush to an Eraser
When using brushes on your image, there will be times when you end up brushing over areas where you did NOT want the brush to be. Instead of deleting the pin and starting over, just press and hold the Alt (PC) or Option key (Mac) while you are brushing and your brush will instantly turn into an eraser so you can erase the brush off any areas that did not want brushed.
Extra Tip: You will know the eraser tool is active when the + (plus) that is normally in the center of the brush turns into a - (minus) sign! NOTE: This also works with the brush tool inside the filter tools!
X - Change Crop Ratio
Yes, we have already shown you an X shortcut. This particular "X" shortcut works only when you have the Crop Tool selected. If you want to change the crop orientation while cropping in Lightroom, just tap the X key and your horizontal crop will become a vertical crop!
Here is a great cheat sheet to help you remember all these important Lightroom Shortcuts. Feel free to print it out, or even share on your website (see below)!
Share this "25 Essential Lightroom Shortcuts" Infographic on Your Website
We hope you find these Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts to be as helpful as they are to us! Even if you don't use all of these, start by picking a few that you think will help you save the most time based on how you edit in Lightroom!
Do you have any questions or comments about Lightroom Shortcuts? We would love to know which of these tips have helped you! Leave us a comment below - we would love to hear from you! And please share this post using the social sharing buttons (we really appreciate it)!