Nine More Hidden Tips For Adobe Lightroom

This is a follow up post to my 5 Lightroom tips that I wrote a year and half ago. Lightroom is pretty intuitive for the most part but there are a few things that are not so obvious. Every time I discover something that I can’t believe I did not know about it I will always make a note so I can write about it later. If there is something you think I missed leave a comment below.

Lightroom 5 Tips

Recent Sources

This is one that I recently discovered and can’t quite believe how much time it’s already saved me. Quite often you will be jumping around your library from different folders and collections, most of the time you might be jumping between two different locations and it can take time to navigate between specific folders and collections. No matter what module Lightroom is in you will always have access to Recent Sources by clicking on the filename above the film strip. This will show you the ten most recent folders and collections that were selected. What’s great about this feature is that you have access to it in every module, annoyingly you only have access to folders in the library module so it’s a great way to get to folders when you are not in the library.

Lightroom 5 tip recent sources folders collections

Favorite Sources

If there is a collection or folder that you always find yourself returning to you can add it to Favorite Sources for fast access. To add a folder or collection to Favorite Sources click on the folder / collection you want to add, then click on the filename above the film strip and click Add to favorites. Whenever you access this menu you have the option of selecting folders and collections in Favorite Sources.

Lightroom 5 tip favorite places

Collapse Sub Folders and Nested Collections

After rooting around a photo library you might have lots of nested folders open and they can be quite time consuming to close. By simply holding down Alt and clicking the arrow next to the parent folder you will collapse all folders inside. Next time you open up the folder all the folders inside will be collapsed. I also noticed this works in the Finder on the Mac when you are looking at folders in list view.

Lightroom 5 tip collapse all sub-folders and nested collections

Unlocking Link Focus in Compare Mode

If you are comparing images in the Library and Develop module you can zoom into images to compare details, when you scroll around one image the other one will also scroll. This is great if both images are shot on a tripod and everything is in the same place in both images but if they were shot hand held certain details might not be in the same location which will make comparing images harder. Zoomed images can be scroll independently if the Shift key is held down when moving one of the images.

Lightroom 5 tip unlocking link focus in compare mode

Full Screen Mode Change For Lightroom 4 (F) to Lightroom 5 (F+Shift)

This one had me stumped for a while, in Lightroom 4 if you pressed F you would cycle through the different screen modes: Lightroom in its own window and fullscreen with and without menu bar. In Lightroom 5 you have to press Shift + F to cycle through the screen modes. Simply pressing F will toggle the currently image fullscreen and back again which is pretty handy too.

Lightroom 5 tip changing full screen mode


One of the new killer features added to Lightroom 5 was the perspective correction tool Upright.  With a few mouse clicks you can straighten an image and correct converging verticals. In previous versions of Lightroom you’d have to carefully drag a slider to adjust converging verticals and judge what was right using an overlaid grid, it can now be done with a few mouse clicks. If you want to see how this feature works watch this short video on Adobe’s site here.

Lightroom 5 tip correct fix converging verticals with upright

Parallel lines can be easily corrected. Note that in the version on the right all vertical lines are parallel to each other, Upright will also work on far more extreme images.

Pre Render Previews To Speed Up Looking Though Lots Of Images

If you have not viewed some images for a while sometimes their preview files can be removed to save space on your disc. This is not really a problem but it can be a little annoying  when looking through thumbnails of a large set of images and you have to wait for Lightroom to render previews as you scroll through them. Once all the thumbnails that are in view are rendered rendering stops which makes scrolling through large sets time consuming. You can fix this by selecting all the images you want to view and going to “Library > Previews > Render 1:1 Previews”, it may take a while, but once completed looking at images will be speeded up. This is also useful if batch changes have been made to a lot of images, which is something I do when working with large sets of time-lapse images.

Lightroom 5 tip forcing rendering of previews

Changing The Background Color

By default Lightroom shows your images on a 50% grey background. For the most part this is fine but it can be changed by Right Clicking or Ctrl + Click and then you get the option of changing it to White, Black and different greys.

Lightroom 5 tip change image background color

Show Crop Overlay Only When Resizing

By default once you select the crop tool you will see a thirds grid overlaid on your image which can be handy but I find it a little distracting when making crop decisions. It can be set so the grid only shows when you are actually resizing the image, once you let go of the mouse button the thirds grid will disappear. To turn this feature on make sure you are in the Develop Module then go to “Tools > Tool Overlay > Always Show”.

Lightroom 5 tip changing crop overlay

More On Lightroom

If you found these Lightroom tips useful you might also enjoy my other Lightroom tutorials:

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6 Responses to Nine More Hidden Tips For Adobe Lightroom

  1. Adam Bowie says:

    Thanks for these! In particular, I learnt a lot more about the Upright functionality than I thought I knew.

    • lomokev says:

      I assume you learning more about Upright is more down to watching the video on the Adobe site. But I will take credit for pushing in the right direction.

    • Adam Bowie says:

      Ha ha. Yes. But a nudge in the right direction is still useful! I can’t believe that I’d not tried the “Full” button on that panel.

    • lomokev says:

      Got to said that some times it dose of a little mental especially if you press the full button. But for the most part it’s pretty good.

  2. Always good these. There is also a function to have different overlays like golden spiral, diagonals etc in the crop mode. I can’t remember what key you press, but you can cycle though lots of different cropping overlays, which can sometimes be fun.

    • lomokev says:

      Press the “o” key when in the crop (I did not know that I had to Google it). I am a hardcore rule of 3rds guy, although interesting I would never use any of them. Along with all the grids and spirals there is a really weird one numbers on it? Check it out.

Questions or Comments?