Lightroom Classic: Allow for keyboard shortcut customization

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Customizable keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom would be great. I just find it so confusing that crop and brush tools and things like that have such odd keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom. I understand that changing that all now would be awful for many existing users, but being able to override them like I can in Photoshop would be helpful. Doesn't anyone else out there find they use to wrong keyboard shortcuts in the wrong program?
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Peter Law

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  • slightly frustrated.

Posted 9 years ago

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Risto Leskinen

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As a windows user that doesn't make me feel much better... :-/

I did some search and it seems to me that windows does't have the capability to assign keyboard short cuts within other than MS office applications.

That leaves windows users with some plugins that are either as expensive as LR itself or are not properly supported....?

To me that confirms that there is a huge need for this capability natively within LR...
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Rob Cole

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Here is an auto-hotkey script which allows Lr-in-Windows users to configure any key to do whatever they want (assuming said function is available via the keyboard) - for free.

http://www.robcole.com/LrForumSupport...

It requires editing a script text file, but most of the hard work is already done.
Here's an example "script-let" which assigns F4 to 'Open as Smart Object in Photoshop':

/*
Lightroom
F4 -> Alt-peo (Open as Smart Object in Photoshop)
*/
F4::
lr_win_id := GetLightroomWindowID()
if (lr_win_id <> 0) {
Send {Alt down}p{Alt up}eo
}
return

Instructions:
* Download 'LrAutoHotkey.zip' (from link above) and save file inside zip with the name 'AutoHotkey.ahk' in the root of your documents folder.
* Append the above "script-let" to the end of the file.
* Download and install Auto-Hotkey (e.g. from autohotkey.com).
With Lightroom running, press F4. If all went well, it should open selected photo as smart object in Ps.

To add more mappings, copy/paste and edit the scriptlet - you'll need 3 pieces of info to get the job done:
1. The keystroke sequence in Lightroom.
2. How to specify the key being assigned.
3. How to specify the keys to send when the key being assigned is pressed.

The first you can get using the Lightroom UI.
the second and third require auto-hotkey help doc.

I realize it's more work than you'd like, but it gets the job done - can also be used for mouse clicks and other things..

Cheers,
Rob
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Risto wrote, "As a windows user that doesn't make me feel much better... :-/"

I'm sorry, I incorrectly assumed you were on Mac. On Windows, you can use the standard Windows keyboard accelerators to access all the menu items. So to open a pic as a smart object in photoshop, you'd type ALT-P E O.

Three keys aren't quite as good as a single key, I agree. But when working on Windows on repetitive tasks, I do like the a ability to access every menu command from the keyboard instantly.
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Risto Leskinen

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Hi John!

Finally a ray of hope to windows users :-) I almost started considering changing the platform.

Using keyboard short cuts especially together with Wacom tablet is of great help, indeed (even though Wacon driver for windows environment seem to have quite a few bugs...) .

I did some search about programming keyboard shortcuts in windows environment but I didn't find other that some instructions for MS office applications. Where can I find e.g. that ALT-PEO? There certainly are many other short cuts I would like to implement besides that open as smart object.

Thanks for your help!

BR
Risto
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Rob Cole

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Lightroom supports keyboard accelerators for most functions on both platforms - no extra charge.

Just press Alt-p-e-o and you'll see.

To see all Alt- possibilities, just press Alt.

To see all alt-photo-menu possibilities, press Alt-p.

etc.

Lr help may also list all possibilities - dunno.

PS - most possibilities are evidenced by an underlined character but some are active even without the underlined character, in which case the active character is the first one, e.g. on Scripts menu (which is only visible if scripts are present).
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Risto Leskinen

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Hi Rob

Thanks to your answer as well (see above).

I'm using a wacom tablet, so probably I would rather assing the valid keystroke strings to various short cut triggers in the tablet which is quite easy to do

The main problem for me is to know what are those strings (your point 3), where could I find the relevant documentation? I did some google search previously but didn't find anything useful.

(E.g. concerning this particular string - do I need to hold ALT pressed when typing all 3 characters, or just when typing P...from the script it seems that the latter is the case. How about any other command strings?)

Thanks for your help!

BR
Risto
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Risto Leskinen

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Thanks Rob, I certainly like it, easy to assign Wacom short cut to it. The thing is that there is no way I would have fould that combinaison by trial & error before my tablet would have crashed to the wall out of frustration ... :-/ (why not e.g Alt p e o l?)

If in mac version those letters are underlined is there any possibility to get screen shots, otherwise I' ll be asking those short cuts separately to each menu item....

Victoria: thanks for your comment. Could you be more precise, which OS and which functionality?

Thanks for you help!
BR Risto
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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BR Risto, google "windows Underline keyboard shortcuts and access keys" for more info. That'll give you the blurb on those Alt menu letters functionality for Windows. On a Mac, you can assign custom shortcuts to any menu command.
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Risto Leskinen

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Hi Victoria
Thanks for your help, now I know that I have that option in Windows to display (or not) those accelerator keys.
However, this doesn't seem to completely work with Lightroom. Ironically enough, for the two example commands that I gave: open as smart object and open as layers in Photoshop my windws 8.1 pc does not show any underlined characters... I do see those for commands for which there is a documented short cut (e.g. open in photoshop), but only thanks to the kind responses I've received on this forum I know that Alt+peo is the short cut for open as a smart object.

Any additional advises?

I don't understand why Adobe has not documented ALL short cuts they have implemented in the sw.

I guess this also leaves me without a solution for shortcuts for commands that are opening photos in external programs other than photoshop...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Risto, I understand your frustration. However, I don't think Adobe needs to document the standard Windows keyboard-accelerator shortcuts -- that is a standard feature of the Windows operating system, and no mainstream program I'm aware of documents them.

There are 4 Photo > Edit In commands that don't have underlines: Open As Smart Object, Open As Layers, Merge To Panorama, Merge To HDR. This is because by default, the shortcut letter is the first letter of the command, and there are two commands starting with "O" and two with "M". But as Rob Cole explained above, you can still select those commands by typing "O" or "M" one or two times and then hitting Enter. That is standard Windows behavior.

Adobe could improve the keyboard accelerators for the Edit In menu by explicitly assigning letters to these four commands. E.g. it could assign "S" to Open As Smart Object. This would cause the "S" to be underlined, and it would save you one or two extra keystrokes. I've submitted that request as a separate topic:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Risto wrote: "I guess this also leaves me without a solution for shortcuts for commands that are opening photos in external programs other than photoshop..."

You can use the standard Windows accelerator keystrokes to invoke those commands. For example, if you have an external editor preset named "Gimp", you could invoke it by typing ALT-P E G (since G is the first letter of the submenu command "Gimp").
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Risto Leskinen

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Dear all

Many thanks to you all who have helped in finding a solution this problem and that's really the only/main thing that matters to me.

However ( :-) ), even though I'm not saying that Adobe needs to document windows behaviour I think Adobe needs to make sure that their customers are happy and won't change from Lightroom e.g. to DXo (where to my understanding short cuts work better). I don't think they should expect Microsoft to document that in Lightroom the short cut to "Open as Photoshop layers is "ALT+PEOO" and for some reason the corresponging accelerator key is not underlined even though it is underlined in command "Open in Photoshop".

When I look back to this and many other related discussions that I found in web I can observe the following
- numerous requests about LR short cuts
- many answers like:
* "in Mac you can assign short cuts to any menu items but not in Windows"
* "there is one third party SW that can do the trick, but it costs about the same amount of money as LR itself"
* "there is one open source sw that can be used but there is no good support to it"
* "there is a script that you can use/create to assing a keyboard short cut to "open as a smart object"

Why all those work around solutions when the real answer to the problem is that YES there are short cuts to those commands and YES they can easily be assigned e.g. to Wacom tablets (but they only need to be documented somewhere).

Don't get we wrong, I'm really honestly happy that I got your support and I found the solution (I just need to use trial & error method to find the correct key strokes to my external editors, I think there are matching first letters among them...). This will make my workflow with LR, Photoshop etc SW MUCH smoother when using those short cuts with my Wacom tablet. Probably it's the fact that I have been responsible for customer support in one fairly big interational company and I think that suppliers need to feel their responsbility for keeping threir customers happy.

Once again: thank you! (I might still have a look in DXo as I was told that they have some algorithms that work better for micro contrast than "clarity" in LR/ACR)

:-)
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Dennis Dreyer

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Keyboard shortcuts in Lightroom.

One useful feature in Photoshop that is not available in Lightroom that would be helpful is the ability to modify and / or define keyboard shortcuts.
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Nick Nieto

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Aperture has a great implementation of customizing keyboard shortcuts. As a new Lightroom user I would love to see Lightroom have a feature as easy to use as that!
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way phat

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Why is this not "Under Consideration"?

Would this even be difficult to implement?
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Seeing as the original request was over 4 years ago, it would have been implemented long ago if Adobe hadn't apparently decided against it would be my guess, although I'm just speculating.
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Carlos Oliveras

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With every new release of Lightroom, I feel pretty confident that customisable keyboard shortcuts are on its way.
With every new release of Lightroom, I'm disappointed... :(

It's not just a matter of making for a more pleasant experience, as with any customisation: with LR, there are 2 extra factors that make keyboard redefinable shortcuts a must IMHO:

1) If setting LR to "english" on non english keyboards, some shortcuts are simply impossible to use. I've tried to simulate the key-presses with auto-hotkey and other apps, to no avail.

2) Keyboard shortcuts are not consistent between acr/ps and LR. I would like to be given the ability to choose (consistency among applications vs. LR specific shortcuts)

I wish this will be considered some day, although I must admit that over the years I've grown so used to this limitation, that sometimes I'm not sure it's worth it anymore. Still... I'll keep hoping for it.
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Lindsay Carmack-Lack

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Can't believe this hasn't been implemented yet. Everyone's brain works differently, everyone has different shortcut keys that they are already used to. Having to relearn a whole new set, that puts emphasis on the actions and shortcuts YOU think are important does nothing whatsoever to help me.

Please make this happen.
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Axel Buecker

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There are so many functions I use hundreds of time for each set of pictures that require me to click 2-3 times. Assigning these often-used tasks to a keyboard shortcut could potentially speed up productiveness a lot.

Please get those configurable shortcuts into the engineering plan for the next Lightroom CC version.

Thanks ...
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Toni Lähdekorpi

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This will most likely be one of the, if not the biggest obstacle for people trying to switch from Aperture to Lightroom.
Not only can't you change the shortcuts to what you've used to, but some of the keys are just mad when using a non-US keyboard.

Toggling between original and modified image in Aperture (M key by default, or anything you choose).
In Lightroom, SHIFT + ALT + 7.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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You're a star, thanks for checking that John.
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Toni Lähdekorpi

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Thanks John.
I'll have to just wait then.

Although, not having high hopes as we are already on version 6 with a feature missing that any other software would consider a must have since version 1.
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John Ellis

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Yeah, at a minimum it will be LR 7, since Adobe rarely introduces new features in minor releases.

Why not assign a single letter like "a"? I'm sure there are lots of other letters available too.
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Toni Lähdekorpi

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Coming from Aperture and having used "m" for years...
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Chris Oaten

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Coming from Aperture and using whatever key I damn well like. For years.
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Chris Oaten

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Damn right. Customisable keyboard shortcuts is, well... key.
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andrew stenz

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This is REALLY needed more now than ever.

Paddy doesn't work well since CC (LR 5 really). VSCO just said they aren't going to be supporting Keys anymore.

We can have our own shortcuts in PS (which saves TONS of time for me every day). Can you PLEASE add them in LR now too?
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Karlis Kalnins

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Adobe, please integrate this option! Take a closer look over to PhaseOne and CaptureOne Pro 8 – thats the way of productivity ;-)
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Chris Oaten

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Even Aperture, at which Adobe people look down their nose, has a vastly superior keyboard customisation option.
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Diko

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Due to poor and slow performance I am currently investigating my options to migrate to Capture One. :-))))
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Chris Oaten

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I would, too, if I weren't married to an indispensable (and expensive to license) plug-in that relies on LR for roundtrip editing.
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Cristen Gillespie

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Wow! This FR has been hanging around for 5 years! I've tried LR from the first beta, but have only been using LR since it got LR Mobile. I'm a die-hard PS user, and one of the reasons I have never taken to LR is the lack of any way to customize kbsc. I really don't like learning completely foreign kbsc for every app I use. I'm not calling for LR to become more like PS by having layers and masks—why destroy the simplicity that people wanted in the first place? But it seems to me that pursuing workspace customization is part and parcel of the goal of simplicity. It's not "simple" to be forced to learn kbsc that exist in LR solely for LR—or we're stuck mousing about in menus. It makes the app feel far more klunky than it otherwise would.
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Flo Gehring

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I can't believe this ticket is 5 years old. 
Decent keyboard shortcuts would improve productivity by miles. (And lessen RSI)
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Iulian Ciprian Draghita

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled why not to have the custom keyboard inside lightroom?.

i need to made custom keyboard in lightroom like in premiere pro! All keys, arrows, backspace etc.
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Chris Oaten

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THIS is what keyboard shortcut customisation looks like. Complete control over how you want to work. You know, like invoking Crop with the C key, not the R key.

Still beggars belief that Apple can do this but Adobe can't. Even more amazing that after five years, Adobe still isn't meeting this need among its users. Get it together, ya gronks.

Yeah, and I'm fully friggin' aware Apple dropped Aperture. So don't start on me. 

  
(Edited)
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Keven J

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(I registed to Photoshop Family only to be able to post this.)

This is so frustrating for any user who...
1. Doesn't like the current shortcuts
2. Wants to add shortcuts to functions/commands that don't have one (instead of gong through various dropdown menus every single time)
3. All graphics tablet users

Probably 2/3 of Lightroom users fall in one—or many—of these categories to some extent.

Seriously, this is an important feature for all pieces software like this! And it has been 5 years!

Adobe, do something! 
(Edited)
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Chris Oaten

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Your response, Keven, indicates exactly why customisable shortcuts are necessary, which is that when it comes to workflow, each user's preference are unique, so come on, Adobe, get onto it.

To answer your question regarding system-level shortcut modification (even though you didn't direct it to me) in OS X, my experience is that it's such an inadequate solution it's not worth bothering with.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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For P, U and X, have you tried using the ~/` key to toggle flagged/unflagged?  It's right next to the X key.
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Keven J

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That's my Z key. I'm in the non-US keyboard boat as well. :) 
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Next one along?  
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Keven J

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Shift key. :D 
Victoria, see my comment below! 
(Edited)
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Keven J

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I've found a way to make all (I am 97% sure of this) custom keyboard shortcuts work for Lightroom on OS X. It is a big work-around, but it works!
1. Use 'App Shortcuts' in 'System Preferences' → 'Keyboard' → 'Shortcuts' to create keyboard shortcuts. Follow the instructions on this page if you don't know how to do this: http://www.computer-darkroom.com/lr2_keyboard/lightroom-keyboard.htm

2. Since you always need to add modifier keys with the 'App Shortcuts' feature, to create single-character shortcuts, you will need an application. There are probably different applications that can do this, both free and paid, but I use BetterTouchTool (which is paid, but it is awesome for a multitude of differnet things—screen-snapping being only one of them).

- First, assign a shortcut in 'App Shortcuts'
- Add Lightroom in the keyboard shortcuts section in BetterTouchTool (or any other application that does the same thing)
- Add the 'App Shortcuts' shortcut and then assign a single-key shortcut to it. 

For example, assigning  'Shift+Cmd+Y' to 'Flagged' in 'App Shortcuts' (since you might need P for somthing else). Then, adding this in BetterTouchTool and assigning 'C' to it (but first changing the 'C' shortcut in Lightroom, which is the 'Compare' function, using 'App Shortcuts', to avoid shortcut conflicts). With this, Pressing 'C' toggles 'Shift+Cmd+Y', which in turn flags a picture in Lightroom.

If there is already an assigned keyboard shortcut in Lightroom (and you won't need it for another function), you can use either 'App Shortcuts' or BetterTouchTool and skip the other. 'App Shortcuts' will require a modifier key though, so BetterTouchTool would be a better option.

3. Make sure there are no shortcut conflicts!
That's it. It's quite a lot of work initially, but for Mac users (and graphics tablet users on OS X), it means not having to impatiently wait for Adobe to implement this feature, and therefore enjoying increased ease of working with Lightroom.

EDIT: Everything I've written is still correct, but there is one small problem. Assigning single-character keys to functions/commands will also be the case modify keys when typing text. 
(Edited)
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Chris Oaten

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Mate, that is WAY too much *** about. Especially if Apple changes the implementation of shortcuts in an OS update or Adobe *** about with command names, as they did with the implementation in the latest Photoshop release with "Select and Mask" replacing "Refine Edge/Mask". 

I appreciate you sharing your efforts. Perhaps it will stand as an example to Adobe to pull their finger out and get on with implementing a decent customisation solution for its supposedly valued clients.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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I completely agree. Bad enough we had to create a shortcut in Apple to get a simple Save As back. I'm not mucking about with creating all those kbsc. A very interesting set of steps that only convinces me it's high time Adobe Lightroom (and Bridge) fixed this. They can borrow the code from the guy down the hall. <g>
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Keven J

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It might initially be a lot of work, but as a Wacom tablet user, instead of having to use a tablet, a pen, a mouse AND a keyboard, this is worth it. I also don't have to rely and wait on Adobe to implement this feature.

I'll probably be buying an external numpad keyboard in a few days (I had to use the keyboard numpad anyway—for opacity, flow and other things—but it is about a foot away). I'm still don't know if numpad numbers are recognized differently from normal number keys, but either way, I'll be assigning useful functions to the numbers—alone and/or combined with different modifiers—which gives me quite a lot to work with. This means not having to switch over to the keyboard and mouse every few minutes, which is much better.
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Chris Oaten

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Horses for courses, bud.
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Patrick

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I use a Belgian keyboard and none of the shortcuts with a [ or ] don't work as these require me to already press Alt Gr. Increadible that this isn't fixed yet, customization of shortcuts would be the solution for me.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Which commands in particular are you referring to, and for which language is LR configured (French, German, Dutch, English)?  

Most (perhaps all) of the uses of [ and ] in English keyboard shortcuts have been replaced with other keys in other languages. For example, in French, to decrease or increase the size of the spot and adjustment brushes, use "," or ";".   Many of these shortcuts are not documented.

(By the way, I fully agree that it would be better if LR allowed shortcuts to be more easily customized.)
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Yves Crausaz

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OK but in QWERTZ swiss french keyboard, it's no possible to use [ and ], it's key combination of alt + 5 or alt + 6, ; , it's shift + ,, ? it's shif +? this shortcuts are not acceptable in base of a day work !! Please use the system same in PS customizable shortcuts ais the solution !!!
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Martin Hopf

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I use a Swiss German Keyboard and I have the same problems. I am a german speaker, so my Lightroom runs German language. But Swiss German Keyboard Layout differs heavily from German layout, so not even resizing a brush can be done via keyboard - I believe this is poor, as there are millions of copys in the world, still no proper localisation is done for paying customers in smaller countries. Thanks for finally solving this!