As all are gathered for a festive dinner with family and friends, somewhat exhausted after days of shopping and gift wrapping, I wanted to send a simple gift to all: A few pieces of knowledge that may help you work more efficiently in Lightroom.
Lightroom has a grid that can be turned on and off at will or automatically as needed, there is also a set of x-y grids that can be displayed and moved around. Follow the menu View/Loupe Overlay/Guides to display the guides. If they don’t display, make sure the “Show” is selected in the same menu path. After the guides are displayed, you can hold the Ctrl key to display the handle that will allow you to move it around.
Change Grid Spacing and Opacity
The grid spacing is adjustable by using the slider under the “Show Grid” caption on the toolbar and also in a way that is hidden for some reason. The same hidden method also allows the grid opacity to be changed so that it becomes visible under some difficult to see circumstances. To access these controls find the drop-down on the toolbar that controls when the grid is displayed. In all likelihood, it is set to “Auto.” Simply change it to “Always” and now you can control the grid size and opacity. When the grid is displayed, hold the Ctrl key to display the two controls at the top which you can change by moving your mouse over them, click and dragging will change the values.
The Alt Key
Many of the sliders may benefit holding the Alt key pressed by providing visual information. See the post, Alt The Magic Key, I wrote back in 2012 for a list of sliders and how they respond to the Alt key pressed.
Not yet available when I wrote the above post, the Radial Filter tool can be modified with the Alt key. It normally draws from the center out in all directions, but holding the Alt key will start it from that point out. Additionally, holding the Alt key while dragging one handle will move only that handle rather than creating a symmetrical expansion.
The Shift Key
Holding the Shift key will constrain the crop to the same aspect ratio, which is probably known by all Lightroom users. But, did you know that holding the Shift key will slow down the slider movements allowing a more precise positioning of them?
If you use the Tone Curve in the point curve mode as in Photoshop, holding the Shift key will constrain the movement of the control points on the vertical axis.
The Shift key pressed will allow dragging the Graduated Filter in perfectly vertical or horizontal directions.
Drawing a Radial Filter while holding the Shift key will make it perfectly circular.
When using the Adjustment Brush tool, Shift-Click will draw a straight line between the previous point and the new Shift-Click. And, subsequent Shift-Click will continue the straight line drawing again.
The Ctrl Key
Although not as many-talented as the other modifier keys, the Ctrl key has its useful functions. When the Crop tool is active, holding the Ctrl key will activate the straighten function where a drawn line will be considered either horizontal or vertical. Helpful in aligning those pesky horizon lines!
Happy Holidays to all!