Essential Develop Module Shortcuts For Photographers

by Andrew S. Gibson
Essential Develop Module Shortcuts For Photographers

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These Develop module shortcuts will help you work faster and more efficiently when you’re developing photos in Lightroom Classic. These are my favorite shortcuts, the ones I find most useful and use most often.

There’s a lot here, so you might like to type up a list of the ones you like to use (or find difficult to remember) to keep close to your computer.

Develop module shortcuts that save time

These Develop module shortcuts help you save time by getting to certain tools without having to use the mouse.

R: Go to the Crop tool.

Develop module shortcuts

L: Cycle through the lights out options. These are lights on, lights dim (shown below) and lights off. 

Develop module shortcuts

This gives you a distraction free screen that helps you see the effect of the crop more clearly. You can use it anytime  in any module that you need a clearer view. 

X: Flip the Crop rectangle from horizontal to vertical, or vice versa.

Q: Go to the Healing tool.

Shift + T: Cycle through the three Healing tool options.

/: Resample the image. Use with the Healing tool when it doesn’t select the best part of the image to sample for healing. Press as many times as you need.

H: Hide / show the Healing tool overlay. 

Tip: When the Healing tool overlay is hidden, you can apply a new Healing tool over the top of an existing one. You can’t do that when it’s visible.

[: Make the Healing tool brush smaller. Press as many times as needed.

]: Make the Healing tool brush bigger. Press as many times as needed.

Shift + [: Decrease feathering. Press as many times as needed.

Shift + ]: Increase feathering. Press as many times as needed.

Tip: You can also use the last four shortcuts with the Brush tool in the Masks panel.

Masks panel shortcuts

These shortcuts save you time in the Masks panel.

Shift + W: Open the Masks panel.

K: Create a new Brush mask.

M: Create a new Linear Gradient mask.

Shift + M: Create a new Radial Gradient mask.

Shift + J: Create a new Color Range mask.

Shift + Q: Create a new Luminance Range mask.

Shift + D: Create a new Depth Range mask (applicable files only).

O: Show/hide mask overlay

‘: (apostrophe) Invert the current mask. 

Developing shortcuts

These shortcuts help you access tools more quickly while developing photos.

Cmd + U (Mac) | Ctrl + U (PC): Apply Auto settings in the Basic panel. This shortcut doesn’t open the Basic panel. If you’re working the Masks panel, for example, this shortcut applies Auto settings and keeps you in the Masks panel, so you can continue with what you’re doing there.

Cmd + Shift + U (Mac) | Ctrl + Shift + U (PC): Apply Auto White Balance in the Basic panel. Just like the previous shortcut you can apply it from anywhere in the Develop module while staying where you are.

V: Change Treatment from Color to Black & White, and vice versa.

Shift + T: Open the Guided Upright tool in the Transform panel.

J: Show / hide clipping. 

Space or Z: Toggle between the current zoom setting, and the previous zoom setting.

Cmd + = (Mac) | Ctrl + =: (equals) Zoom in.

Cmd  + – (Mac) | Ctrl + – (PC): (minus) Zoom out.

\: Cycle between Before and After versions of the photo. 

Tip: By default the Before view shows you how the photo looks when you imported it. But you can copy Snapshot or History panel settings to before to get a more useful Before / After comparison.

Cmd + Shift + C (Mac) | Ctrl + Shift + C (PC): Copy Develop settings from the current photo. The Copy Settings window opens (see below) and you can select which settings to copy. It gives you the option to include any masks that you’ve created.

Develop module shortcuts

Cmd + Shift + V (Mac) | Ctrl + Shift + V (PC): Paste the settings copied using the previous shortcut to the current photo. Lightroom Classic recalculates any AI based masks, like Select Subject, included in the copied settings.

Cmd + Alt/Option + V (Mac) | Ctrl + Alt + V (PC): Paste all the settings from the Previous photo. This is the same as clicking the Previous button under the right-hand panels.

Cmd + C (Mac) | Ctrl + C (PC): Copy the currently selected mask.

Cmd + N (Mac) | Ctrl + N (PC): Create a new Snapshot.

Cmd + Shift + N (Mac) | Ctrl + Shift + N (PC): Create a new Develop Preset. The New Develop Preset windows open, so you can select which settings to include in the preset, including masks.

Viewing mode shortcuts

These shortcuts activate different viewing modes.

Shift + R: Go to Reference View. Then you can click and drag another photo from the Filmstrip to the empty Reference View panel. This is useful if you’re trying to make the photo you’re developing look like another one.

Develop module shortcuts

Y: Toggle the Before / After comparison view (see below).

Develop module shortcuts

Shift + Y: Toggle between the Before / After comparison view and Before / After split screen view (see below).

Develop module shortcuts

S: Show or hide the soft proofing preview.

Photoshop shortcuts

These shortcuts are for sending your photos to Photoshop.

Cmd + E (Mac) | Ctrl + E (PC): Open photo ready for editing in Photoshop.

Cmd + Alt/Option + X (Mac) | Ctrl + Alt + X (PC): Open photo as a Smart Object reading for editing in Photoshop.

You can also see my favorite Library module shortcuts, plus some hidden Develop module keyboard shortcuts that you probably had no idea existed! 

Mastering Lightroom Classic: Book Two – The Develop Module

You can learn more about every aspect of developing photos, including all the new masking tools, in Lightroom Classic with my ebook Mastering Lightroom Classic: Book Two – The Develop Module

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Mastering Lightroom Classic: Book Two – The Develop Module ebook

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