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My Favorites From Your Ideas For New Stuff To Add/Fix Next in Lightroom

Golden star award against gradient black background

You all totally rocked it!
I read every single idea you submitted, and I gotta tell, there’s some absolute GOLD in there (and man would I be thrilled if Adobe implemented your ideas!!).

Here are my favorites from the ideas you all posted here as comments:

What I’d like to see in Lightroom is content aware fill to go along with photo merge for panoramas.
–Keith Z

Two small easy (?) tweaks – I would like to be able to highlight folders or collections with a colored label – just to make one stand out to get to it quicker. But the big one is a ‘Cancel’ button when I inadvertently ask Lightroom to close! There’s no way out when you get to the window that lets you backup or skip the backup and quit. I’ve been using LR since version 1 but I still accidentally close it constantly and it drives me crazy that I can’t just back out and go back to work.
–Carol Parker

A book template to suit panos.

I’d like to see an adjustment brush that could be different shapes. Round is okay but for a building, I’d love to have a square shaped brush to get tight in corners.

What about Letting Smart collections go to LR Mobile that would be so useful. I don’t want to send a whole collection, or create special collections every time I want to send something to my tablet.

Printing: the ability to put text anywhere on any picture or boundary area in any of the 3 available print layout variations, single package and custom packages.

Keymapper with the ability to record and use macros of repetitive steps. They have the commands under all those key sequences and menu picks, there’s no reason they can’t do that. If you never use a shortcut, you should be able to remap it to something useful.

I’d love a right click contextual menu to add a photo to a list of my existing collections. It’s a real pain (and very slow) to have to drag it all the way down to a particular collection. Target collection feature is nice but it assumes I work on populating one collection at a a time.

I’d like to see Lightroom Mobile synchronize multiple catalogs.
–Gary Lum

Smart guides in the print module.Actually, I’d like them to completely start over with print module. With everything they know from InDesign, the print module really shouldn’t be as clunky as it is. But, in the absence of a complete overhaul, just bringing in smart guides (which seems to be in, and well implemented, in virtually every other app they make) would make a world of difference for me.

Easy duplicate removal in the library module

In the import step. A way to import JPEGs and raw files separately. Another feature PhotoMechanic offers that LR does not.

What I do not like is having to keep clicking between the Library and Develop modules. Aperture was setup in a very similar way, but those two modules were combined. You Aperture users know what I mean.

Lr should also include the ability to only import images that have been flagged/protected in camera âla Aperture 3 has been able to do this since at least 2010.

I’d like to see a localized tone curve. Why can’t we have the tone curve on the brush, instead of having to go to Ps.
–Jay B

[NOTE: the next 5 are all from the same person]
1. Holding Alt while brushing should use the current brush in erase mode (same size, feather, etc). Right now it switches to the separate “Erase” brush which is always the wrong size/feathering. I find that I have to change several of the Erase brush’s settings almost every time before erasing and find this to be one of the biggest annoyances.

2. Remember panel positions for each view – make it a preference. I find that I always hide side panels when in C (compare) mode, hide all panels and a toolbar in N (survey) mode, and show all panels in G (grid) mode. Right now this constant panel showing/hiding takes a lot of time.

3. Change Tab and Shift+Tab behavior to hide currently visible panels show previously visible panels – as opposed to showing ALL panels. For example, I never use the top panel, so I have to hide it separately over and over again.

4. When I re-edit a photo I first check what adjustments have been done previously. Basic edits are easy to see, but if there were local adjustments made I have to click on each tool in turn (Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, Adjustment Brush), then hover over an image to see if there any pins that might contribute to the current edits. It would be so much easier if the tools were highlighted in some way when there’s at least one adjustment of the kind for the current image.

5. Show total file size when several photos are selected. Right now it says (see “Exif and IPTC” view in Metadata panel), which is not useful.
–Olga Z

Personal customizable sub-panels
–Pieter Dhaeze
The biggest thing for me as a switching aperture user is that it doesn’t show you the size of the image as you’re cropping. It’s be super easy just to show the megapixel amount so I have some kind of idea.
It would be nice when opening the copy dialog box, that you could see right away where changes have been made so you could decide what you wanted to copy. They could be in a different color, or bold etc.
–Jeff L
And while they are at it: Come on, Adobe, how hard would it be to allow us to layout out custom pages in Lightroom Book Module? It’s right there in the print module. We’’re on Lightroom 6 ‘SIX, for gosh sakes.’ AND you had it in (the long defunct) Adobe Album! Why do I still have to use a workaround, or (worse), a different app to layout custom pages in a book?
This would be a nice addition, but what I would find much much more helpful is to be able to right-click on an image and be able to add to any collection, not just the quick collection. Perhaps an ‘Add to Collection’ sub-menu that lists the last 10 accessed collections plus an ‘Add to Last Used Collection’ entry.
I’d still like to see Adobe allow us to create a Collection Set template that can be copied and re-used when importing events, like say a wedding, with the Wedding Collection Set and then collections of various event photos during the day;,or Vacation Collection Set and various Days or Sites during the vacation. They only allowed a master Collection Set to be copied and not sub-collection sets and/or collections within it.

Thanks to everybody who shared their ideas — now let’s keep our finger’s crossed that Adobe agrees with you, too! 🙂

Have a great weekend, everybody!





  1. Donald R. Hull 13 June, 2015 at 21:49 Reply

    A little late but two keyboard shortcut features I would like to see.

    1. A simple keyboard shortcut for “Edit In>Open as Smart Object in Photoshop”.

    2. The ability to reassign keyboard shortcuts just like in Photoshop.

  2. Reiner 9 June, 2015 at 14:28 Reply

    Please Adobe USE the performance modern computer give us
    e.g. rendering of the images are starting AFTER the import is complete
    and even more worst is the fact, that the import of images from a
    second card is starting AFTER all smart previews from the first card
    images is finished!

    Is LR a tool for professionals or what?

    Hopefully Adobe will adress all the performance problems on osx
    with Metal under El Capitan in fall!

    For me LR CC Import – FAIL

  3. Steve Crane 3 June, 2015 at 17:34 Reply

    John said “What I do not like is having to keep clicking between the Library and Develop modules.” but I have never needed to do this. I’ve been a user since Lightroom 1 and very quickly learned that the distinction between Library and Develop modules is artificial. By learning a small number of keystrokes you can fluidly move around within those artificial modules without ever clicking on them.

    D takes you to Develop
    G takes you to Library in grid mode
    E takes you to Library in loupe view

    Once you have mastered these you can start adding others like R that takes you to Develop and activates the crop tool.

    I think what may have confused many is that when calling up shortcut help with Ctrl-/ the popup is titled Library Shortcuts or Develop Shortcuts depending on the current module and shows only shortcuts for that module. This hides the fact that the shortcuts work across the artificial module boundaries, though there may be some that don’t or invoke different actions depending on the current module.

    Armed with this knowledge you too will never need to click on the Library or Develop modules again.

  4. Carlos Viana 2 June, 2015 at 08:27 Reply

    I have an addendum to Jay B local adjustments (number 4). Edit pins are very hard to find on some photos, specially on very high resolution monitors. A list of pins for each tool (Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, Adjustment Brush) would be very useful. Whenever we click on a item on the list, it would activate on the photo. In Photoshop we are not looking for every change on the photo, are we? That’s why we have lists of styles, effects, layers, etc…

    Moreover, without the list, I find myself doing duplicated local adjustments when i return to photos, if necessary, a few weeks later, because I forgot which ones were already applied before.

  5. Steve Ricketts 1 June, 2015 at 12:09 Reply

    great suggestions!

    a few that I didn’t see:
    1. have the histogram be able to show only the info for a cropped image or only the area selected by a brush
    2. be able to compare 2 images in Develop (instead of having to go into Library)
    3. under Quick collection, add a “add to existing collection” option
    4. add HSL and individual colours to gradient and radial filters

  6. Brian Rodgers Jr. 1 June, 2015 at 07:27 Reply

    Everyone has really good ideas in the comments section! A lot of these would be welcomed features! For me, personally I have always wanted .psb support in Lightroom. It’s photoshops large file format for really big files. I know, I know, I’m probably the only one who creates .psb files. Fact of the matter is, when I retouch, I really like to keep my layers, especially when building complex composites, or commercial automotive photography. I always use Lightroom, but when I start saving .psb files, lightroom doesn’t recognize them, so I have to use bridge in that case.

  7. Filip De Backer 1 June, 2015 at 05:32 Reply

    I would like to see customizable keyboard shortcuts like in Photoshop. When you use an azerty keyboard, a lot of import (for me) shortcuts don’t work.

  8. Peter L. Nielsen 1 June, 2015 at 03:10 Reply

    I would like the following:

    – Costum keyboard shortcuts (like in PS)
    – When a costumer picks his/her favorites on LR Mobile, I would like the option to filter only the picked ones. I have found workarounds, but they are not easy to use.
    – An easier way to view before/after (Y or Shift+Option+7 is currently ways, but not practical)
    – Better noise reduction

  9. Angelo 31 May, 2015 at 14:15 Reply

    I often work on the same pictures at home/at work. Why can’t I do this without constantly “export folder as catalog”? We’ve got these smart previews … The Lightroom Mobile can make use of them. That’s nice, but I still work a lot faster on my computer (AND the Mobile version still has a lot of limitations …) WHY can’t I take advantage of the smart previews on my laptop at home? These smart previews are up there, in the cloud – send them down to my second computer, please!

    • Ross Chevalier 2 June, 2015 at 08:57 Reply

      This idea really resonates with me. I have multiple machines in the same physical place (studio and office) and would love to be able to work on the same photo in two different places at different times.

  10. Howard Dickson 30 May, 2015 at 18:06 Reply

    I would also like to see, particularly in the Develop, right-hand panel, the ability to drag and drop the sub-panels, so you can order them to match with your personal workflow.

  11. Howard Dickson 30 May, 2015 at 18:03 Reply

    some great ideas here…

    I would like to see in the Slideshow module the ability to manually adjust the display time for each individual image, so you can customise image screen time to match music. Not difficult, I would have thought!

  12. dhani borges 29 May, 2015 at 20:10 Reply

    I would like to see a LR launch that actually worked without needing 4 updates to be stable. Lightroom CC is almost a joke with it being awfully slow and just downright buggy. Every version since LR2 has just gotten slower and slower and CC is the worst yet.

  13. Meep 29 May, 2015 at 18:05 Reply

    I second a number of these…

    I agree with the suggestion to merge Library and Develop. I’m constantly switching between these two since the Develop module doesn’t have a grid view and the basic editing controls in the Library module are too simplistic. I end up doing quite a bit of cropping when I’m sorting. I’d like to see a single Photo module with maybe having a couple of tabs at the top of the right pane – one for all the keyword and exif stuff and another for all the develop stuff.

    I also agree with the suggestion of having an option to show the mpix of the photo. Both as part of the user adjustable info overlay and when cropping.

    Having content-aware fill and the ability to add a text layer would almost eliminate my need to go to PS. Of course I’d still have PS available since I think it’s useful to keep around for a measly $10/month.

    One thing I don’t see in the list is a more powerful noise reduction option. Something like DxO’s Prime or MacPhun’s NoiselessPro.

  14. Josh G 29 May, 2015 at 08:32 Reply

    Another vote for syncing smart collections!

    Great job on this, Scott. I love hear your suggestions and the readers’. I would also like to see a poll where we could vote for our top five.

  15. Bonnie 29 May, 2015 at 07:29 Reply

    Lots of great ideas. My favorites are colored folders/collections and syncing smart collections in Lightroom mobile.

  16. Peter 29 May, 2015 at 07:00 Reply

    I’m a bit late to the party, but I’ve got a few more to add:

    – Vector shapes with variable feathering for localized corrections, just like in SpeedGrade or After Effects have them already. Why do I still have to fill in shapes with a brush? The ellipse tool was a great help already, but why not go all the way with actual custom shapes?

    – A “rendering” indicator in Develop. My computer is not the fastest, I’d like to know when I am looking at the actual image with all the updates after I dragged a slider, or if it is at an outdated version with the new one being processed.

    – Better image quality for image shot under colored light like neon or stage lighting without the excessive saturation clipping. That’s one of the biggest weaknesses of ACR compared to pretty much any other raw converter out there!

    – A modifier key for the “Previous” button in Develop to prevent copying of local corrections and crop. Right now I have to reset these manually all the time.

    – A lot more speed. I can edit a huge poster with a hundred layers in Photoshop no problem, but Lightroom is barely usable on a 12 megapixel raw file on the same computer. I can’t help but suspect that LR is processing the image at full resolution every time rather than only the display resolution. And the Library module should be absolutely instant, just like software like Photo Mechanic.

    – A more efficient way to store develop history, or at least an option to store it in a separate database file. My catalogue has inflated to over 2 GB over the last few years, most of it being caused by develop history storing values for every single develop setting every time I touch one single slider!

    – Support for catalogues stored on network volumes. Not multi-user network access, just support for having that file stored on and backed up from the NAS along with the images and support for accessing it from multiple computers (if it’s mutually exclusive that’s completely fine). Having to drag my catalog around multiple computers using a thumb drive or SD card instead of my network is ridiculous, and that’s not just from a 21st century perspective.

    – Option to download smart previews as DNG files from Lightroom Mobile. In a worst-case scenario, should my backup system ever fail and a transfer be incomplete at the same time, I’d like to know that I have the option to be able to download at least a lower quality version of my files if it really turns out my only copy is on LR mobile. It should never happen and it would be idiotic to rely on that, but not having that option to download one’s data is ridiculous for a cloud service that wants to be taken seriously.
    In case you will be arguing that offering that feature will make people use it as a backup anyway, well, let me point out that people stupid enough to rely on it as their only backup will also be stupid enough to inevitably screw up their (hopefully existing) backup in another way if you don’t offer such an option. If kitchen utensil manufacturers applied the same type of logic, we wouldn’t be able to have knives in our kitchens!

    – A “Copy rendered image to clipboard” command. When doing simple comps in InDesign or tests in Photoshop, I am taking screenshots right now if I quickly want to test if a particular image would work. Not very elegant.

    – WiFi sync for LR mobile. Let’s say I’m in the desert or a similarly remote location and I want to use LR mobile. Right now all the data needs to go to some slow Adobe server in the US, and then back again to the mobile device. It’s too slow with a fast internet connection already, but it is impossible to use with only an expensive GPRS connection via phone, if that’s even available. Moreover, I may not want to send my clients’ images over the internet to some company for confidentiality and privacy reasons.

    – Ability to create virtual copies from LR mobile – seriously, that should have been there in the first version!

    – Find a way to store the metadata for virtual copies inside DNG/XMP files and make these accessible from Camera Raw, similar to snapshots. These are just different renditions of the same file. There is no reason why I would only want the first one of them stored in the actual file. Right now I can’t just send a DNG to someone else to work on since the develop settings for the virtual copies only exist inside the LR catalog.

    – Enable camera profiles to be used for all camera models. If I want to match my Nikon images to those of a Fuji camera from a shoot, I’m looking at a lot of manual work. Also, there is no technical reason why profiles for newer cameras shouldn’t be usable for photos taken with older models (especially the Fuji Classic Chrome and ProNeg profiles). The only option for reasonable consistency when using different cameras is Adobe Standard, but there are certain kinds of images where that profile really doesn’t look good at all and the camera profiles are the only option to circumvent that. There are profiling solutions, but completely 100% neutral and accurate colors aren’t always desirable either.

  17. Matt S 29 May, 2015 at 06:58 Reply

    Wow! MANY great improvements, I certainly hope Adobe is paying close attention.

    Scott: please-please consider making a slight change here. Number each of the ideas and provide us the opportunity to vote for our top five!

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