Tip – Choosing a new "Before" image

Happy Friday everyone. Here’s a quick tip for you when viewing before/afters in Lightroom. If you press the [Backslash] key in the Develop module, it toggles you between the original image (with absolutely no changes), and the photo as it looks now with your edits. But what if you don’t want your Before photo to be the original? For example, let’s say you did some Basic panel edits on a photo, and then you used the Adjustment Brush to do some more specific changes. Maybe you’d like to see the Before photo showing the Basic panel edits after they were applied, but before you started brushing. To do that, go to the History panel (in the left side Panels area), and scroll down until you find the step right before you started using the Adjustment Brush. Then, Right-click on that history state and choose Copy History Step Settings to Before. That now becomes your new Before photo when you press the key. Pretty neat huh?

That’s it for this week. Hope you have a great weekend and don’t forget to put your Christmas tree up if you haven’t already 🙂


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  1. Will doing this perminently post these changes to my imported image or will I still be able to go back to the imported image?

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  2. Awesome tip! Thanks again.

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  3. Google “Unzip software” and download the program. There are for free versions.
    Hope it helps.

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  4. it’s my first time trying presets and I’m trying to download. How do you unzip the file?? Sorry for being a non-computer geek 🙂

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  5. Thanks for the tip !
    Do you know if there a way to have also the crop in the before / after view or that’s only for colors ?

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  6. Matt,
    I must say that you are hands down the best source for learning new things in Lightroom. Just when I think I have mastered it you keep showing me something that I never new about!!!
    Keep up the GREAT work,

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  7. One of the simplest but best of your tips yet…Thanks!!

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  8. Good tip!

    You can also drag and drop the desired History state directly onto the Before image and it will do the same thing.

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  9. hey matt,great tip….i feel so sorry for people who have lightroom and never check your postings.keep em coming!!

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  10. Well, now….that’s just too slick, Matt. Thank you!! 🙂

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