The Top 5 Lightroom Shortcuts and Hotkeys that Beginners Need to Know.

Before you get too into this post, this is directed more towards extreme beginners of lightroom.

Lightroom, in my opinion, is an absolute must for photographers. It is a very powerful program. It does more than just editing. It organizes your photos and helps you keep better track of them. It makes it easy to search for what you’re looking for. But That isn’t what this post is about. I will create some tutorials in the future on Lightroom.

For now, there are some hotkeys that you need to know about when getting started in lightroom.

#1 Star Rating

One of the benefits of lightroom is that you can use star ratings to cull your photos after you import them to lightroom. This helps you speed through choosing your best photos to edit. When choosing a star rating just click the number 1-5. 1 for 1 star, 2 for 2 stars and, well you get the picture. If you click shift+ 1-5 it will automatically go to the next photo. It makes it so easy to fly through those, sometimes hundreds of photos.

#2 Local Adjustments


When you’re using a brush, spot healer, radial filter, or the graduated filter the H key is very handy. Let’s say you’re doing a touch up on a portrait and you need to get rid of some blemishes, well when you’re using the spot healing tool, these circles appear everywhere that you’ve used the tool. As you can see in the photo. Most of the time they get in the way because you may need to use the brush right next to a circle. And it makes it hard to do. All you have to do is press H on your keyboard and the circles disappear so you can work. To get them back, just press H again. Easy!

#3 Before and After


To see your image in before and after right next to each other like the photo, just press y. Press it again to get back to your edited image only. Also to change the image from before and after without seeing it side by side just press the \ key. This will revert your picture back to a preview of the original until you hit the \ key again.

#4. Undo

To undo the last edit you made, just hit ctrl (cmd on a mac) Z. Pretty simple.

#5. The alt/opt  button!

This button is very useful. When you’re in the develop moduel of lightroom just try holding down the alt (opt on a mac) button while moving a slider. Each one does different things. I’ll get more into in another post, but for example when you only want to sharpen a certain portion of the image, hold down alt/opt while moving the masking slider and watch what happens. 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.


Stay tuned for more on lightroom.

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