Lightroom is designed to be fast, and while the user interface is pretty quick, there’s still another way to make those edits faster: the keyboard. But there’s a problem. Adobe’s list of Lightroom shortcuts is somewhere in the ballpark of 300 combinations – pretty impressive for a laptop’s 80-some keys.
Unless you use a keyboard skin or you have a photographic memory, you’re probably not going to be whizzing through your edits using every memorized hot key anytime soon. Thankfully, several of the most helpful keyboard shortcuts aren’t too difficult to remember. After you’ve mastered the basics of Lightroom, memorize these 18 most-often used Lightroom shortcuts — and note that we’ve provided an easy way to remember them.
Lightroom shortcuts for organizing and flagging photos
Many photographers who start with digital shoot many more photos then they actually need (I’m so guilty of this that my first newsroom editor nicknamed me Pepper). Keyboard shortcuts make quick work of picking out the best shots. Most users know that you can use the arrow keys to navigate to the next image and the backspace or delete key to remove photos, but there are a number of other commands that are (almost) as easy to remember.
|Action||Windows Command||MacOS Command||Memory Trick|
|Switch to the compare View, to see two photos side-by-side||C||C||C is for for Compare|
|Zoom||Z||Z||Z is for Zoom|
|Add a Flag||P||P||P is for Pick|
|Unflag||U||U||U is for Unflag|
|Select all flagged photos||Control + Alt + A||Command + Option + A||Control or Command A works in a number of apps to select everything — just add an Alt or Option to select only the flagged photos|
|Reject photo||X||X||Cross out that photo|
|Delete all rejects||Control + Backspace||Command + Delete||Just add control or command to the delete keyboard shortcut to control all those rejects|
|Add a star rating||Number keys 1-5||Number keys 1-5||This one really is as easy as 1-2-3|
|Add a color label||6 – Red
7 – Yellow
8 – Green
9 – Blue
|6 – Red
7 – Yellow
8 – Green
|Color labels are used in the order of the rainbow: Remember ROY G. BIV? Just skip the vowels.|
|Add a keyword||Control + K||Command + K||K is for Keyword|
One more handy trick — Hold down shift to move to the next photo after marking, this trick works for flagging, star ratings, color labels and rejecting a photo.