Cool Little Lightroom Tip For Seeing The Before/After You Want (instead of the default)

Hi Everybody — Here’s today’s tip, and I’m going to use it in a way I use it, but you can apply this to all sorts of situations. OK, let me lay out the situation (below):

History1

Above: I opened a color image and I converted it to a Black and White. Then I tweaked the image to make it more contrasty, and I adjusted all sorts of little stuff (you can see a list of what I did over in the History panel. It keeps track of each step you did, and the settings).

History2

Above: If I hit the “y” key on my keyboard to see a split-screen before/after (as seen here), the “before” it takes me all the way back to the original color image. But what I want to see is how the image looked when I converted it to black and white — before I did all the tweaks to the black and white image. So, I want a before/after of the black and white. That’s where this tip comes in.

History3

Above: You can actually choose any one of the those steps listed in the History panel as your “before” image by right-cllicking on that History State (as I have here) and from the pop-up menu that appears choose “Copy History Step Settings to Before” (as shown here where I right-clicked on the Convert to Black and White state).

History4

Above: As soon as you choose that, your “Before” changes to the state you right-clicked on and choose “Copy History Step Settings to Before” (as seen here), so now you can do a before/after of your black and white conversion, as seen above.

Hope you found that helpful!

-Scott

Author: Scott Kelby

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Editor of "Lightroom magazine"; Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books. You can learn more about Scott at http://scottkelby.com

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13 Comments

  1. Great tip, these little things that make the digital dark room so much friendliier.

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    • Thanks Scott! Another super-helpful tip!!

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  2. Great tip Scott, Thanks.

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  3. Thanks Scott. This is very helpful.

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  4. Agree with everyone here, Thank you Scott for all your time and commitment to the community.

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  5. You can also just drag and drop the version you want from the history palette to the before section.

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    • Lightroom is full of hidden gems, a lot of which I learned of here. Thanks Scott!

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  6. Thanks for this awesome tip! I can use this one “like a boss”!!

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  7. Thanks. I did find it helpful. I developed a wayyyy awkward procedure. Now you’ve shown me a better way.

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  8. Best tip ever! I’ve been looking/hoping for this for years. Thank you!!

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    • Creating snapshots is handy, too. With snapshots, you can have more than one “before”.

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