How Lightroom’s Survey Mode Makes Finding Your Best Image Faster and Easier

Hi Gang! It’s 2017 — I’m back to work — let’s not waste any time.

I did a short tutorial on Lightroom’s very awesome Survey Mode, which is great for helping you find the best image (from a group of very similar images) much faster and easier.

> If you don’t know what Survey mode is; watch the video
> If you already do know what Survey mode is, you might still watch the video to see how I use Survey Mode

It’s short and sweet, but really helpful. Check it out:

Hope you found that helpful.

Great to see you back here — I have a lot of fun planned for us this year here on the blog in 2017, and I’m glad you’re a part of it. 🙂



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

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  1. Awesome work. Very interesting tips in there. Thank you very much for sharing.

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  2. I can’t believe you eliminated all the pics I thought were the best!

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  3. Cool feature,
    I think would be nice to add some option for quick zoom in to 100%, just to see some fine details during the selection process.

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    • If you have a second screen (even if it’s only the one from the notebook) you can use the second-screen-mode. I think when you set it to the magnifier and to 100% you should see on the second screen what’s under your mouse on the first one… didn’t try it though because I’m not at home. 🙂

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  4. If you want to up your game with the survey mode you can watch my technique:
    I call it PUX.
    Its pick, reject and select all in one. A little bit “nerdy” but if you get it you will become super super fast – I promise!
    Its in German but its the fastest way I know to find the best images.

    If you want me to record it in English – and maybe want to post it here just – let me know!

    All the best for 2017 from Austria

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  5. All the best in 2017. Tip on the tip, enable a filter to remove the rejected photos and use the ‘X’ (reject shortcut) to remove the unwanted pics from the survey. This way you can remove from survey and reject in one shot, sweet isn’t it?

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  6. Is there a keyboard short cut to get out of survey mode after you picked the image you liked the best?>

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    • Press the letter to go to whatever mode you want. For example, “G” to get to grid view.

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  7. I only watched the video and couldn’t listen to the sound so sorry if you talked about it. You can also just holt CTRL/CMD and click somewhere on the image to deselect it. Makes the process even faster 🙂

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    • Great shortcut! Had no idea that would work.

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