DevelopLightroom Tips

The Hidden Keyboard Shortcut For Applying A Preset

OK, my Holiday Break is officially over, and I’m back at it full time with a keyboard shortcut that you probably already know doesn’t exist, right? But wouldn’t it be great to be able to apply a preset as a shortcut — not just for speed, but so you can close the Left Side panels and see much more of your image. Well, here’s a workaround that pretty much lets you use a keyboard shortcut to apply a Develop Module preset. Hope you find it helpful:


STEP ONE: In the Develop Module, go to the Presets panel and click on the Preset you want to be able to apply with a keyboard shortcut (as seen here). In this case, I’m going to use a Finishing Move preset that applies a little bit of a clarity and a lot of sharpening.


STEP TWO: Click on the Copy button at the bottom of the Left Side panels to bring up the Copy Settings dialog you see above. Click the “Check None” button then only turn on the checkboxes beside the things that were applied in your preset. In my case, it was just two settings: Clarity and Sharpening (I always leave Process Version on as well). Now click the Copy button to save those settings to memory.


STEP THREE: Now when you find an image where you want to apply that preset quickly, you can just press the keyboard shortcut Command-V (PC: Ctrl-V) and it applies the settings of that preset.

OK, that’s just a quickie to get things rolling again after the holiday break. Tomorrow I have some news that I think you’re totally going to dig, so make sure you check back here then.

Happy New Year!




  1. Steve 13 December, 2022 at 14:22 Reply

    I completely agree with Peter. The problem you’re claiming to address is being able to apply presets with key commands, but this is just copy paste. Copy/paste is hardly a hot tip, or even a “hidden one”. Sure it works in the moment, but it falls apart for what we actually want which is key commands for certain presets.

  2. Neil Shapiro 13 March, 2017 at 12:00 Reply

    What we really need is Adobe to add the ability for LR users to map a keyboard shortcut to a preset!

    And while I’m add it, what’s with the modal shortcuts? Why is Ctrl-G only good in Library when the function to group is available in Develop?

    • Graham Carruthers 18 December, 2018 at 00:53 Reply

      Completely agree – I’m here in 2018 and this still doesn’t seem to be an option. What I find interesting is that using a LoupDeck there are 6 (I think) hotkeys at the tops for 6 of your presets. Wish this was just baked into Lightroom

  3. Royreddy 6 January, 2015 at 17:28 Reply

    uh, Ctrl-C & Ctrl-V are certainly Copy & Paste in windows

    but in LR I believe you are looking
    for shift-Ctrl-C & shift-Ctrl-V
    for Copy Settings and Paste Settings

    {careful, your credibility plummets with repeated errors like this}

  4. Paul C 5 January, 2015 at 12:20 Reply

    Thanks, Scott, another great tip. Most times we just forget to do stuff that should be obvious, so your reminders are always timely. I’d love a bit of a reminder on how to use the spray-paint tool to add keywords & develop settings to images in grid-view… it takes me so long to remind myself that it becomes quicker to work manually, but this should not be so.

  5. Mark casebeer 5 January, 2015 at 05:12 Reply

    Hey Scott welcome back. Hope you had a great break and I look forward to the great tips you’ve been showing for lightroom. I never even though about copy and paste, what a great time saver. I think we all have a few presets that we like to use to finish off our images. Happy New Year.

    • Bob Ianson 5 January, 2015 at 17:42 Reply

      But now that you mention it….I have always wished for a preset for “save to jpg” , a “finishing move” or whatever. This would be a great addition Lightroom.

  6. Peter 5 January, 2015 at 04:29 Reply

    Hi Scott and happy new year!
    Methinks you are hunting clicks. This euphemistic “hidden keyboard shortcut” of yours breaks down as soon as we copy anything else into memory, and in this multitasking world we are bound to copy something else before we get any return on the investment of setting up the Crtl-V operation. Forgot to mail that link to your friend? Sorry can’t do it now because I need to Ctrl-V a lot of finishing moves. See a gradient that you want to use on another image? Sorry, can’t do it now becuase it will kill my Ctrl-V. The use scenario is so limited for your “hidden shortcut” that we are better of just finding the presets panel (map it to a buttom on your wacom) and just click the preset it self and then send that link to your friend, copy-paste that gradient and get on with clicking the preset for the rest of the images…

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