Customizing View Options in Lightroom Classic

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Here are some of my favorite ways to customize the View options in Lightroom Classic to help increase productivity.

Full Screen Preview — Tap the “F key to toggle Full Screen Preview which displays an image Full screen with a black background. Use theft/right arrow keys to move from one image to another. Note: if you have a single image selected and enter Full Screen Preview, using the arrow keys will move through all images in the selected Folder/Collection. If you have multiple images selected, Lightroom will only cycle through the selected images. 

Full Screen Mode — Shift + F cycles through Normal, Full Screen with Menu Bar, and Full Screen screen modes. When working on a larger monitor the extra real estate isn’t super critical, but when working on a laptop, every pixel counts! Note: when in Full Screen screen mode on the Mac, positioning the cursor at the bottom of the screen won’t reveal the Dock. Instead, use Command + Tab to cycle through your open applications when Lightroom is in Full Screen screen mode.

Lights Dim/Out — In order to put the emphasis on the image and not on the interface in Lightroom tap the “L” key to enter Lights Dim mode. Tap it again to toggle to Lights Out. Tapping it again will toggle back to Normal mode. To toggle in the other direction add the Shift key. Choose Preferences > Interface to to set the Screen Color and Dim Level (50, 70, 80 or 90 percent).

Customizing the Background Fill Color — To change the color of the area surrounding the image preview in Loupe view, Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) in the border area surrounding the image (or, select Preferences > Interface > Background Fill Color) and select the desired Background Fill Color. This can help, for example, to preview what your image would look like when matted with a white matte. Note: changing the background fill color effects the Library, Develop, Book Slideshow and Print modules.

Switching between Views in the Library Module — to quickly move between views, use the following shortcuts:

• Tap “G” for Grid,  “E” for Loupe, “C” for Comapre, “N” for Survey, and “O” for People View.

• Double-click an image thumbnail in Grid view to view in Loupe view. Double click an image in Loupe view to return to Grid view.

• Tap the Spacebar to go from Grid view to Loupe View. Note: Tapping the Spacebar again will zoom in, so use one of the other shortcuts (such as tapping “G”) to return to Grid view as needed.

Decreasing/increasing Grid Thumbnail size — Use the Thumbnails slider in the Tool bar or, tap the “-” (minus) and “+” (plus) keys to decrease/increase the image thumbnail size in Grid view.

Customizing Grid/Loupe View Options — Command + J (Mac) | Control + J (Win)  displays the View Options where you can select what “extras” you want to have displayed. For example, in order to quickly view any image’s file type while in Grid view, I set Show Grid Extras to Expanded Cells. Then, I set the Expanded Cell Extras to display the File Base Name in the upper left and the File Extension to the right it. This helps avoid the truncation of the file extension when thumbnails are small and  file names are long.

• Use the Loupe View options to control what information is displayed in Loupe View. Tap “I”  to cycle through the information overlays (No Overlay, Info 1, and Info 2). Note: Info Overlays can be displayed in the Library, Develop, Book, and Print modules.

• Command + Shift + X (Mac) | Control  + Shift + X (Win) will Hide Cell Extras (index numbers, star ratings, Color labels etc.).

• Taping the “J” key toggles through Hide Extras, Compact and Expanded views.

The Quick Tip below (Customizing View Options in Lightroom Classic) demonstrates how to customize both Grid and Loupe View.

Thumbnail Badges — Lightroom Classic has several different badge icons to help identify what changes have been applied to images including: Keywords, Cropping, Develop Module Adjustments, Collections, and GPS Coordinates which can be viewed at the bottom right of the image thumbnail in Grid view a well as in the Filmstrip (as long as the image thumbnails are large enough to display them).

• Command + Option + Shift + H (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + H (Win) hides/shows Thumbnail Badges.

• To toggle the visibility of Thumbnail Badges in the Filmstrip, select Preferences > Interface > Filmstrip. If the image thumbnails in the filmstrip are too small, then neither Thumbnail Badges nor any of the View Options (including Rating and Picks, Index Numbers, Stack Counts, etc.) will be displayed. Note: Enabling Preferences > Interface > Filmstrip > Ignore Click on Badges can help prevent accidental clicks when the Filmstrip thumbnails are small.

Working with Grids, Guides, and Layout Images —  Choose View >Loupe Overlay > to display a Grid, Guides, or Layout Image. 

• Once enabled, Command + Option + O (Mac) | Control + Alt + O (Win) toggles the visibility of the selected overlay.

• With the Grid overlay visible, Command  (Mac) | Control (Win) displays options for Grid size and opacity. Click-drag left/right on Size to decrease/increase the grid size. Click -drag left/right on Opacity to decrease/increase the grid opacity.

• With the Guide overlay visible, Command -drag (Mac) | Control-drag (Win) on the intersection of the guides to reposition.

• With the Layout Image overlay visible, Command -drag (Mac) | Control -drag (Win)  to reposition, change opacity and matte density.

Rotating and Flipping Images — it’s quite easy to use these shortcuts to rotate and flip images:

• Command + [ and ]  (Mac) | Control + [ and ] (Win) rotates a photograph 90° clockwise/counter clockwise. 

• Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win) on the image in Loupe View and select Flip Horizontal or Flip Vertical. 

The Tool Bar — “T” toggles the visibility of the Tool bar. Click the downward facing triangle (on the far right of the Tool bar) to customize which options are displayed.

In the video below (Viewing and Selecting Images), you’ll discover the many different ways to select and view your images in Lightroom Classic.

Adobe Lightroom Classic

Posted on 06-09-2020


  • By Sleep EZ - 5:57 AM on June 16, 2020  

    Great Customizing View Options in Lightroom Classic.

  • By Jeffrey Steres - 12:10 PM on June 18, 2020  

    When filtering, can you choose to “exclude” certain keywords or is the filter just including those selected?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 8:16 AM on June 19, 2020  

      Add an exclamation point (!) before any word to exclude it from the results. Add a plus sign (+) before any word to apply the Starts With rule to that word. Add a plus sign (+) after any word to apply the Ends With rule to that word.