Essential Ligthroom shortcuts

Just like Photoshop, Ligthroom makes extensive use of shortcuts. And just as in Photoshop, there are so many shortcuts in Lightroom, some quite complicated, that it’s next to impossible to remember them all. So here are the ones that I find the most useful, not only because they are associated to very common tasks, but also because they are pretty easy to remember, many of them being just one key.


  • show or hide panels:
    • F5: top panel
    • F6: bottom panel
    • F7: left panel
    • F8: right panel
    • Tab: left and right panels at once
    • Shift+Tab: all 4 panels at once
  • T: show or hide the toolbar
  • L: cycles through the 3 Light Modes (lights dim, lights off, lights on), which allow you to (partially) hide the menus and panels, thus emphasizing the picture.
  • Shift+F: cycles through the 3 Screen Modes (full screen with menu bar, full screen, normal)
  • F: show or hide the Full Screen Preview


  • Library
    • G: go to the Library Grid
    • E: go to the Loupe View
    • B: add to quick collection
    • X: reject picture
    • 1 to 5: set the rating (0 = no rating)
    • Delete: Delete the selected picture(s)
    • Ctrl+Backspace (Cmd+Delete on Mac): Delete the rejected picture(s)
  • Develop
    • D: go to the Loupe View
    • Space bar: Hand Tool. To move the picture around when other tools, such as Spot Removal, are active. Click on the picture and move it around, while pressing on the space bar.
    • R: crop tool
    • Q: spot removal
    • W: white balance selector
    • V: convert picture to black & white
    • Esc: exit from the currently active tool

Most of those shortcuts can be used from anywhere in Lightroom, which increases their usefulness even more. For instance, if you press R while in the library, it will at once switch to the develop module and activate the crop tool on the selected photo.

Do you want some more?

The following are also quite useful and are shared by many other applications:

  • Ctrl+Z (Cmd+Z on Mac): Undo last action.
  • Ctrl+Y (Cmd+Shift+Z on Mac): Redo last action, after using Ctrl+Z

Both can be used many times in a row, to go undo or redo multiple steps.

Of course, depending on your most common tasks, you might want to add a few more to this short list of available shortcuts. But I think these will be the most useful for many people.

The shortcuts for each action are shown in the menu, as well as in the tooltip when you leave the cursor on a tool’s icon for a couple of seconds, so it’s easy to learn new ones for your common tasks.

Please share with us: What other shortcuts do you use often?


This post is based on Lightroom 5.0; the described interface and functions may be different in other versions.

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