Lightroom Tips

The Lightroom Keyboard Shortcut That Messes Everyone Up

Okay, it’s time. I was finally asked this question the other day (from some one who actually knows Lightroom pretty well), why his Toolbar was missing. You know, the one that’s below the image, but above the Filmstrip in the various modules. Here’s an image of the area I’m talking about.


Or maybe you don’t know because it’s not there. Why? Because it probably got accidentally hidden. It’s got to be one of the most-asked issues/problems/gotchas that I see. I answer it countless times during my seminars and classes.

What Is It?
So here’s the deal. That little toolbar changes based on what you do in Lightroom. It holds lots of little settings and options that are pretty important depending on what tools you’re using. So when it gets hidden, you actually miss out on a lot of choices.

An Example
The Adjustment Brush is a great example. When you select the Brush in the Develop module, you’ll see some options for the actual brush in that toolbar.


So What’s the Problem?
Okay, so what’s the problem. How does this bar go away? Well, it’s actually pretty simple. If you hit the T key (T for Toolbar), it hides the Toolbar. That’s it. Gone. So if you inadvertently hit the letter T, you’re screwed. You may never actually know that you hid the toolbar until you realize it’s not there and can’t figure out how to get it back. Now, Adobe actually realized that people were having an issue with this a few years ago and added a message that reads “Press T to Show the Toolbar Again”. But sometimes it happens so fast that most people miss the message.

Well everybody, I hope in some small way this helps save you some frustration. And if you know some one using Lightroom, do them a favor and forward this post on 🙂

Oh, I posted a little story behind the photo in the screen capture above today over on my personal Landscape photography blog at, if you want to check it out. See ya!



  1. Colin 18 June, 2014 at 00:12 Reply

    Matt, that’s not the only one. The backslash key (“\”) is also a pit of horror: it hides the filter bar and if you do it accidentally, as I have, it could take a long time to show that bar again.


    • Natalie (QSOgirl) 22 August, 2014 at 09:48 Reply

      Oh! Thank you so very much for mentioning this! I have been looking desperately for my filter bar and couldn’t figure out how on earth to get it back! (And I didn’t even know what it was called, haha!) Who knows when I would have finally figured this out if I hadn’t seen your comment…

  2. vincent-b 12 June, 2014 at 15:03 Reply

    F*ck, that’s why I have to go get the bar back all the time!:D

    Thanks for having thought this post could be helpful!

  3. Pete 12 June, 2014 at 14:25 Reply

    Rhx for these great tips. Is there a cheat sheet somewhere that lists all these great keyboard shortcuts?

  4. Andrew 11 June, 2014 at 15:06 Reply

    I want to know why very common shortcuts in ACR are different in LR? The darn Crop shortcut drives me insane as I am constantly hitting (C)ompare in LR instead of R for crop after being used to C in ACR. My biggest and most frequent frustration as I can’t seem to kick the habit.

    • Hein 21 July, 2014 at 06:43 Reply

      Some how Adobe mixed the keyboards shortcuts in Lightroom, I’d like to see them have/create a second preference file so that you can select to either use the Standard Lightroom shortcuts , or use the Photoshop-Lightroom shortcuts, in this way they wouldn’t have to admit their blunder 🙂 , and people will be able to switch over to shortcuts they already know.

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