Working with Modules and Panels in Lightroom Classic

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Tour the Lightroom Interface — The video below (Overview of the Lightroom Interface), will take you on a brief tour through the Lightroom interface to familiarize yourself with Lightroom’s tools and modular workflow.  

Show / Hide Modules Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on the name of any module in the Module picker to show/hide modules. 

Customize the Module Picker — To customize the Module picker choose:

(Mac) Lightroom Classic > Identity Plate Setup 

(Win) Edit > Identity Plate Setup 

(Mac or Win) Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on the Identity Plate

For Identity Plate, choose Personalized. Then, use the options on the right to customize the typeface, size, and color. Note you can customize the color for both the selected and rollover state.  

Customize the Identity Plate — To customize the Identity plate choose:

(Mac) Lightroom Classic > Identity Plate Setup 

(Win) Edit > Identity Plate Setup 

(Mac or Win) Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on the Identity Plate

For Identity Plate, choose Personalized. To customize the text choose “Use a stylized text identity plate”, enter the desired text and select a custom typeface, size, and color. 

To add a graphic, choose “Use graphical identity plate”. Click Locate File, to navigate to and select a graphic (such as your logo). 

Mac – Use a graphic that is no more than 41 pixels high (JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PDF, or PSD

Win –  Use a graphic that is no more than 46 pixels high BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, or TIF (Win)

Moving from one Module to Another — There are several different ways to quickly move from one module to another including:

• Command + Option + 1-7  (Mac) | Control + Alt + 1-7 (Win) moves to the Library/Develop/Map/Book/Slideshow/Print/Web module.

• Command + Option + Up Arrow (Mac) | Control + Alt + Up Arrow (Win) toggles between the current/previous selected module. 

• Tapping the shortcut key for many of the views/tools in Lightroom will  automatically take you to the module and select the corresponding view/tool (for example, tap “G” for Grid, “E” for Loupe, “C” for Compare, “N” for Survey, “D” for the Develop module, “W” for White Balance, “R” for Crop, “Q” for Spot Removal etc.).

• Option -double click (Mac) | Alt -double click (Win) an image thumbnail in Grid view to move to the Develop module. Likewise, Option -double click (Mac) | Alt -double click (Win) an image in the Develop module will take you to the Grid View in the Library module.  

Panel Visibility — Tap the Tab key to toggle the visibility of side panels. Shift + Tab toggles visibility of all panels (panels + Module picker + filmstrip). While the panels are hidden, positioning the cursor at the edge of the monitor will display the panels in order to access the tools/options that you need and, when you move your cursor away, Lightroom will automatically hide them (similar to a roll-over effect). In addition, F5 toggles the module picker, F6 toggles the filmstrip, F7 toggles the left panels, and F8 toggles the right panels.

Expanding Panel Width — Drag the edge of a panel towards the center of the screen to expand its width. Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) to expand even farther.  

Auto Show and Hide Panels — Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win)  the small triangle along the outer edge of the panel midway down the screen to change panel hide/show options. Choose bettween:  

• Auto Hide & Show – Displays the panel as you move the pointer to the outside edge of the application window. Hides the panel as you move the pointer away from the panel.

• Auto Hide- Hides the panel as you move the pointer away from the panel. You must open the panel manually.

• Manual – Turns off automatic show/hide behavior.

• Sync With Opposite Panel- Applies the same hide/show panel behavior to the left and right panels.

Note: each panel can be controlled separately.

Panel Shortcuts — Each Panel has it’s own shortcut depending on it’s placement in the panel.

• Command + Control + 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. (Mac) | Control + Shift +0, 1, 2 3 etc. (Win) expands/contracts the left side panels. 

• Command + 0, 1, 2, 3, etc. (Mac) | Control + 0, 1, 2, 3, etc (Win) expands/contracts the right side panels. 

Hiding Unused Panels  To toggle the visibility of a panel, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on the panel header and select/deselect it from the list. There are a few panels that can’t be hidden ((although their contents can still be collapsed using the disclosure triangle). The exceptions are: 

Library and Develop Module: Navigator and Histogram panels

Map Module: Navigator and Metadata panels

Book, Slideshow, Print, and Web Modules: Preview panel

Single -Click Expand / Collapse All Panels — Command -click (Mac) | Control  -click (Win) a panel header to expand/collapse all panels with a single click. Or, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on any panel header and choose Expand All / Collapse All from the list. Note, the Navigator, Histogram, Metadata (in the Map Module), and Preview panels are exceptions to this rule. 

Working in Solo Mode — To only display the options for one panel at a time, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on any panel header and select Solo Mode. While in Solo Mode, clicking on a panel header expands the contents of that panel while collapsing any other open panels (which can be especially useful when working on a laptop or smaller display as it eliminates the need to scroll through several open panels to access options).  Or, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) on the disclosure triangle (on the panel header) to quickly toggle Solo Mode. Note: the disclosure triangle icon is solid gray when Solo Mode is disabled and changes to dots when enabled. To display more than one panel while still in Solo Mode, Shift -click an additional panel’s header. 

Specific to the Develop Module: Reorder Panels — Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on any of the panel headers on the right side of the screen in the Develop module, (except the Histogram panel), and select Customize Develop Panels. Drag the three lines to reorder the panels, use the check to toggle toggle panel visibility.

Specific to the Develop Module: Show and Hide Edits   Almost all of the editing panels in display a small “light switch” icon on the left side of the panel header (the Basic panel being the notable exception). Click the “light switch” to hide/show changes made in that panel. All of the tools in the Develop module (except for the Crop tool) also have this feature (however the “light switch” is displayed at the bottom left of the tool’s options). 

The Tool Bar — while “technically” not a panel,  tapping “T” toggles the visibility of the Tool bar.Click the downward facing triangle (on the far right of the Tool bar) to customize what options are displayed.

Persistent Panels — The Collections panel is persistent to all modules making it easy to select different Collections of images while in another module (without having to return to the Library module). 

Create a Custom End Mark — A great way to add branding to the Lr interface is using a custom End Mark.

• Create your graphic (using Photoshop or Illustrator), and save it as a .png. Note: you can also save the file as a PSD file or JPEG however the JPEG file will not support transparency.

• Choose Preferences > Interface > Panels. For End Marks, choose Go To Panel End Marks Folder.

• Using the operating system, copy your graphic into the End Mark folder.

• Close the preferences dialog if still open, then reselect Preferences > Interface > Panels and choose your graphic from the End Marks menu to display it at the end of each set of panels.

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Posted on 05-05-2020


  • By Doug Johnson - 6:34 PM on May 7, 2020  

    Appreciate your survey of navigation and shortcuts. Even a user from Day 1 of Lightroom learned several handy bits. Thanks.