Use Keyboard Shortcuts To Expedite Your Lightroom Workflow

I was not always a photographer. I used to be a project manager and before that a coder. (If you are you using Skype, Comcast voice or TimeWarner cable modems, you are probably running my code daily).  One thing that we were thought as coders is that it is a pain to memorize keyboard shortcuts, but once memorized, it is significantly faster to work with keyboard only than with mouse and keyboard combined.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts To Expedite Your Lightroom Workflow

This is especially true for programs like Lightroom where items are hidden in sub-menus and issuing a command looks kinda like this: take hand off keyboard; find the right menu; the right sub menu; click command; regain hands-on-keyboard position.

In fact, there is an Apple study by UI guru Bruce Tognazzini saying just the same. So is how to get your Lightroom workflow mojo on:

By Watching a Video

The folks at SLR Lounge has a quick video from the A-Z tutorial that goes around the menu system and various items in Lightroom and shows the relevant shortcuts for them. including: switching between modules, panel shortcuts, rating, flagging, viewing and image adjustment.

With A Cheat Sheet

As I said before once you have the shortcuts memorized, you have a significant speed gain, however, the memorization part is what pushes photographers away from using the keyboard system. This is what cheat sheets are for. This cheat sheet from Anvil Image (click for full size on AI’s site) is a good thing to print and hang above your monitor to help you memorize the short cuts.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts To Expedite Your Lightroom Workflow

By Modifying The Keyboard

If you don’t type blindly and your eyes are always set on the keyboard, you can use this set of stickers to help remember which key maps to which function. Each sticker goes on a letter and adds the relevant Lightroom function. After a while, you’ll notice that you don’t really use the stickers anymore and remember where everything is.

By Modifying The Keyboard

By Memorizing Adobe’s Pages

This is clearly the least fun method of them all, but adobe is the official source for those shortcuts so I am including it as a point of reference.

Other ways

There are other ways to expedite your Lightroom workflow, which may or may not involve keyboard. Here is a short list:

  • Jez

    There is an app in the App Store called cheat sheet. If you hold down the command button it will open up a pop up that shows you all the keyboard shortcuts for that app. I find it invaluable.