Lightroom Tips

Tip – Another Before/After Shortcut

Folks. I’m doing it again. Yep, I’m stealing tips from the unsuspecting people that comment here on the blog. But hey, would you rather I just keep them to myself? No way. You want me to steal… you need me to steal! For a second I just felt like Jack Nicholson in “A Few Good Men”. “You want me on the wall! You need me on that wall!”. OK, I digress. Here’s the tip. A while ago I told you about using the Y key as a shortcut to jump to Before/After view. After that tip, a few folks had emailed me about another shortcut. But I totally forgot about it until I saw a comment from one of the friends I met at Photoshop World last year, Glyn Dewis. Here’s the thing. The Y key is fine if you like to see your photo get smaller and sit side-by-side in Before/After view. But what if you want to see your photo at it’s full size. Instead of Y try pressing the (backslash) key. Instead of displaying the Before/After view side by side, it just replaces your photo with the original Before photo. Then, pressing it again displays the photo with all of your settings applied. Go ahead and give both a try and you’ll see what I mean. I thought I liked the Y key a lot but I think I like this one even better. Thanks Glyn! Have a great weekend everyone.



  1. Simon Block 6 January, 2008 at 21:00 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    you should compile a one page cheat sheet for lightroom that includes all these great shortcuts! I think a one page PDF would be great. Perhaps with a vial cue rather than a lengthy explanation (you don’t want to turn it into a user manual). I’m gradually learning many of them as I go but a visual prompt would be handy.
    I’d do it myself but I’ too busy keywording…..

  2. Chris 6 January, 2008 at 08:57 Reply

    Wow, this is so much better than using the “” key. However, is there a way to get the before and after in the Library Module instead of just in the Develop Module.


    Matt, you an inspiration to me as I’m sure to others, thank you for doing what you do.

  3. Daniel Gomes 5 January, 2008 at 21:22 Reply

    Hello Matt,

    First of all let me just say thank you for the excellent and mind incredibly useful blog you’ve got here; It just made it so much easier, faster and simpler to work with Lightroom that I can’t imagine not coming here everyday to learn something new!

    Oh, and the other ting I wanted to say is that I’m pretty sure I’ve already read this tip… maybe it’s just memory that’s not that good, but I’m almost sure I have.

  4. Leon Kendrick 5 January, 2008 at 14:17 Reply


    After looking at your shortcut, I started playing around with Y-key PLUS the “shift”, “tab” and “alt” keys in combination and found some interesting results; particularly the tab key. Give them a try!!

  5. Minna 5 January, 2008 at 03:35 Reply

    Hello Matt, I’ve been reading and watching the Killer Tips for ages now, has definitely improved my Lightroom skills (and my pictures)!

    But this is the first time that I’ve come across a problem.. I’m not sure if this tip will help non-English LR users. The problem is that in order to get a backslash on my Swedish keyboard, I have to press AltGr + the plus sign, and that combo doesn’t do anything in Lightroom. Changing the keyboard layout to use a time saving shortcut is probably not very time saving. 😉

    Is there any other shortcut that would do the same trick?

  6. Peter Marcaurelle 4 January, 2008 at 11:09 Reply

    Thanks for another “goodie to put under my hoodie” (I think I’m watching to much Photoshop User TV)
    Off the subject request /comment – I just finished reading and trying your tutorial for HDR simulation with PS in the Jan/Feb 2008 Photoshop User Magazine, and I love the effect.
    I tried to emulate the effect in LR so I created a preset in Lightroom that does a fair (my opinion) approximation, I would like to see your take on this subject using Lightroom and not PS.

    Thanks, have a great weekend

  7. Tim Christie 4 January, 2008 at 07:42 Reply

    Brilliant. I have been looking for something like this for a long time. Its annoying when you are working at 1:1 on detail and you have to put up with it resizing to fit when you compare before/after. I will be using this one alot. Thanks!

  8. Glyn Dewis 4 January, 2008 at 05:34 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    Glad the tip is of use; makes me want to hunt around Lightroom alot more to see what other little gems are hidden away :o)

    Happy ‘Shooting’,

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