Lightroom Tips

Tip – Get to Before/After View Quick

You’re going to love me for this one. I just figured this out today and it’s already one of my new favorite shortcuts (at least for a day – until I either a) forget it or, b) find a new one). Anyway, if you’re in the Develop module and you want to see a quick Before/After view of your photo, just press the Y key. Then press Y again to get back to your regular Loupe view. Yep, that’s it. Short and sweet today, but it’s a really cool shortcut. If you ever forget the shortcut just look at the before/after icon. It’s got a little Y on it (I know, I never noticed it before!). Oh, and thanks so much for all the great comments since I turned commenting on yesterday. I really appreciate the kind words. And I’ll have you know that “Mr. Angry Pants” hasn’t shown up once. What a bonus! Take care everyone.



  1. Andrew Gaunt 17 December, 2007 at 12:07 Reply

    Hey Matt, loving ur tips, really helpful. Not sure where to post this comment, but this seems like a good place.

    Just randomly discovered a cool shortcut, one i reckon you may already know as it is rather obvious, but i find it helpful. When your in the Library view with your photos spread before you, you double click to view the selected photo larger, don’t worry that ain’t the tip. If you double click again on your enlarged photo, it takes you back to your previous view, with all your photos spread before you.

    Anyway, if this you already know, ignore this post. Keep up the great work.

  2. Jorge Amorim 17 November, 2007 at 22:09 Reply

    When you import your RAF files, you are just seeing the JPG thumbnail preview inside the RAW file. Not the actual RAW. Colors and some other adjustments in that preview are not seen in LR (as any other RAW processor except the camera brand one).

    When LR finishes its own preview those adjustments are not seen.

    (sorry for my english, I’m portuguese)

  3. Jorge 12 November, 2007 at 12:42 Reply

    I have a lightroom question:
    When I import my RAF (Raw) images into Lightroom as an example the images are very vibrant in color. When I double click the image – still in the library module, the colors get muted. What is going on? and HOW DO I TURN THIS OFF?

    Many thanks to whoever can help answer this question

  4. Ed Goodfellow 11 November, 2007 at 12:58 Reply


    These comments are great! I hope you don’t mind me answering Jim’s question about stacking edited photos, but I will if it’s OK. When you have the photo highlighted in Lightroom and select Photo/Edit in Photoshop (or press Ctrl/E if your a keener) there is a check box at the bottom of the pop-up window that says “Stack with Original”. Check that box and your free-sailing. Once you’re finished in Photoshop, save the file (my preferance is as a PSD) and it will show up right beside your original file in Lightroom. Lightroom then can handle the file the same as it does any other.


  5. Phil 11 November, 2007 at 03:28 Reply

    Also very valuable – for every keystroke or combo cited in this thread, you can press and hold, to see the desired view, and then release to return to starting state. Many keystrokes throughout the app respond differently to short and long presses in this way…

  6. Dave 10 November, 2007 at 23:36 Reply

    I really liked the video on creating a watermark. However, I am having an issue, when I goto open the watermark in LR, .pds files are not supported. Can you help?

  7. Glyn Dewis 10 November, 2007 at 14:26 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    Great to see you’ve now added the ‘comments’ section.
    I’ve just checked out the shortcut for the before/after preview … can’t believe I didn’t realise this before :o) Great tip though mate, so thanks a bunch for that one.

    Keep up the great work,
    Glyn :o)

  8. KenC 10 November, 2007 at 14:13 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    Great tip and great site/podcast!

    I have an off-topic question. A while ago you were in Belgium and used a photo of a château is one of your podcasts. I am in Belgium and would love to visit it. Can you tell me the name?

    Cheers – Ken

  9. S Masters 10 November, 2007 at 09:40 Reply


    Great tips! Quick & to the point.

    Will there be a “Killer Tips” publication on the market soon?

    Thanks again. Appreciate all the hard work being done for the users benefit!

  10. Jeroen Akershoek 10 November, 2007 at 03:16 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I enjoy watching your podcasts. Also great website with tips and thanks for opening the comments. This way people can also learn from eachother.

    Jorge Amorim gave a great tip about the backslash key. I have to agree with him, I prefer that one above the Y-key.

    Keep up the good work.

    Best regards,
    Jeroen Akershoek
    The Netherlands

  11. Jim Greif 9 November, 2007 at 19:35 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I am an avid follower of your tips. Keep ’em coming, please!

    I do have a question (unrelated to today’s tip, but I couldn’t figure out how to send something to you through another channel). After I process a photo in Lightroom and I take it into PS CS3, is there an easy way to have that Photoshop-modified photo show up in Lightroom, preferably right next to the original photo? I’m sure this would be helpful to other folks as well.

    Thanks very much,


  12. Dale 9 November, 2007 at 14:06 Reply

    Hello Matt,
    Is there a way to remove “custom Crop Ratio” settings. My list is getting rather long, confusing and not very helpful any more! Appreciate any help you could provide.

  13. Anton 9 November, 2007 at 13:56 Reply

    Hallo “Killer Matt”
    Is there a way to show the first and the last step from the history list.
    If you have, for example, import, crop retangle, dark tones, sharpen
    in the history list. Is it possible to switch between import (the first step), and sharpen (the last step).

  14. Wiseman 9 November, 2007 at 11:38 Reply

    The difference is that with the Y key you can compare before & after side by side in several ways, with the “” key you can see before OR after image fullsize.

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