Happy Monday everybody (I know, that’s an oxymoron). 😉

I thought I’d kick off this week with some of my favorite Lightroom keyboard shortcuts — some of these I use daily and some I just think are so handy and I hope you find them helpful (note: yes, I’ve mentioned some of these here before). Here goes:

1. When you’re using the Gradient filter, you can flip the direction of the gradient by pressing the ‘ key (apostrophe)

2. If you’re wondering if a certain image would look good in black & white, just press the letter “v” and it shows you the black & white version. When you’re done, press “v’ to return to full color version (or, if you fell in love with the black & white version, don’t).

3. When you’re cropping, press “x” to toggle between a horizontal and vertical crop

4. If you don’t like the area where the Spot Removal tool chose as the source for your spot removal, press the ‘ / ‘ key (slash) and it will pick a different area.

5. Press the letter “o” when you’re painting with the Adjustment Brush to not only see the area you’re painting on appear in a red tint, but it’s stays “on” so you can continue painting. This is really handy when you’re painting over a large area (maybe a sky) and you want to make sure you didn’t miss any areas.

6. Hold the Shift key, then Double-click the Whites and Blacks slider to have Lightroom automatically set your white and black points for you

7. If you’re using the Spot Removal tool to remove wrinkles, but you don’t want to “remove” them, you just want to “reduce” them, try this: right after you use the tool to remove the wrinkle, go to the Spot Removal tool’s Opacity slider and lower the opacity to bring some of the wrinkles back. That way, their wrinkles are reduced rather than removed. This is also handy if you’re retouching a facial feature like a mole, where if you remove it everyone that knows the person will realize the photo has been retouched, so in that case, don’t remove it — just reduce it’s impact.

That’s a quick seven to get us up and running this Monday. Hope you see you here again tomorrow. 🙂





  1. Jeff 21 January, 2015 at 07:49 Reply

    Thanks for these great tips Scott!

    Just a small correction, Adobe calls it the “Graduated” filter (not gradient)…can you have them change that to match your article? 😉

  2. Christine 20 January, 2015 at 15:27 Reply

    Maybe this doesn’t fit here … or maybe it does.
    Your shortcut on switching the direction of the crop with the ‘x’ key reminded me of this.

    In LR mobile, is there a way to switch it from vertical to horizontal to vertical? I can’t seem to find it.

  3. Nils 20 January, 2015 at 14:45 Reply

    Thanks for the tips!
    I’m searching for a way to start a new adjustment brush selection within another selection in LR5. But it always jumps to the already existing selection and won’t let me overlay another selection. The only workaround is to start the new selection outside the existing one and paint into it. I’m sure I read a shortcut to fix my problem, but I can’t find it again.
    Can anyone help? Many thanks!

  4. Steve 20 January, 2015 at 13:21 Reply

    Hey Scott I’m wondering why under the Basic panel if you click on Auto the white and black points are different than when you use the method you describe in tip #6?

  5. Steve 20 January, 2015 at 12:20 Reply

    Thanks Scott for those great tips. Now if I can just find a place in that file cabinet in my brain to remember them when needed that will be great. Here’s a tip I picked up from where I don’t remember, but if you go all the way down to Camera Calibration and then go to Blue Primary and move the Saturation slider all the way to the right (+100) it will add some pop to the image. When I first heard this I thought it sounded kind of wacky but gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised. Doesn’t work on all photos and YMMV. Of course you can always dial it back if it’s too much.

    • raden 16 May, 2015 at 14:55 Reply

      I read somewhere about this, moving the blue slider to 100%, so I tried it and it will definitely add some pop to many of your shots.

  6. George 20 January, 2015 at 11:55 Reply

    Need a tip….
    I recently purchased your book and I have gone over your video.
    Quick question is there an easy way to migrate picasa folders and pictures (30,000 +) into lightroom.
    At this point it seems you need to move each folder individually.
    I would think that this must a common question.

  7. Dennis Zito 20 January, 2015 at 06:24 Reply

    Hi Scott,

    What Great tips on Shortcuts!! I’ll never remember them all so if you don’t mind … I copied them into Word and printed them off. Boy, I’m liking these daily tips!!!


  8. Tim 19 January, 2015 at 21:23 Reply


    When did the impromptu slideshow stop being impromptu?? It takes forever now to prepare images. It’s quicker to use the slideshow panel preview button.

  9. John 19 January, 2015 at 14:15 Reply

    Scott. Sorry to go off on a tangent, but I have a question. At some point in one of your books, of which I have several, or somewhere online, you showed how to make a little reflecting surface for indoor still lifes. I am too incompetent with to find the source or to figure it out for myself. Do you have a link? I know you have nothing better to do than answer off-the-wall questions like this, so …. 😉

    • Scott Kelby 19 January, 2015 at 19:31 Reply

      Hi John: In short: Make a selection from directly under the object all the way to the top of the image. While you’re selection is in place, press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to put that selected area up on its own layer. Press Command-T to bring up Free Transform. Right-click inside the Free Transform handles and from the pop-up menu that appears choose “Flip Vertical” and press Return to lock in your change. Then, drag this upside down layer straight downward under the bottom of the still life object meets the bottom of the one on the layer below it. That creates your reflection. Now lower the opacity of this top layer to make it more realistic. Hope that helps.

  10. Valerie G 19 January, 2015 at 14:05 Reply

    Thanks, Scott. I will use #4 a lot (I always forget that Spot Removal reselect source shortcut). Inevitably Lightroom picks some off-the-wall area the first time. I think you meant “spot removal” not “crop removal”?

  11. jlua 19 January, 2015 at 13:47 Reply

    Great tips. Although, as it has been said many times, many special character shortcuts, like “/”, “\”, and “´”´don´t work except on English keyboards. At least until the time when Lightroom includes a key shortcuts re-mapper, just like the one Photoshop has.

  12. lyle 19 January, 2015 at 13:07 Reply

    Nice ! The “o” comes in really handy – wish it were the default… I finally learned to unwind adjustment brush effects by re-painting while pressing ALT… and to “paint” with the brush in perfect vertical or horizontal sweeps by pressing SHIFT while using the brush and just moving the general direction needed… I sometimes rotate the image, do the “paint” for accuracy on straight edges… and then rotate it back. Thanks.

  13. MIke G 19 January, 2015 at 12:38 Reply

    Scott – good list, but what does number 6, “automatically set your black and white points” actually do for me?

  14. Paul C 19 January, 2015 at 07:50 Reply

    Great shortcuts… every reminder helps. Hey Scott – Please ask RC to make a quick video on “Getting Started with LR-Mobile for Android” which was released at the end of last week. Thanks again

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