Lightroom: Keyboard Shortcuts for Basic Tone and Color Adjustments

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Please add keyboard shortcuts for basic tone and color adjustments, either for Develop module sliders or Library module click buttons. Photographers who do any volume of work in Lightroom know that mousing around is a pain. Unfortunately, 3rd party keyboard add-ons suck or are very expensive. Keyboard shortcuts for basic tone and color adjustments would offer much greater efficiency.

By "basic tone and color adjustments", I mean:
temperature
tint
exposure
highlight recovery
fill light
black clipping
brightness
contrast
saturation
vibrance
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Zlatko Batistich

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Posted 7 years ago

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Lee Jay

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Since almost all the keys are already doing something, adding all this would require giving up those other things.

You can use the , and . keys to select an item and the +/- keys to adjust already.
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Brian Tao

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Well, the typical keyboard has at least 47 keys that can be assigned to shortcuts, and as many as 80 or more. Assuming three modifier keys (Ctrl/Alt/Shift on Windows or Command/Option/Shift on OS X), that gives us 8 possible modifier combinations. Even after removing system-reserved combinations, we still have at least 350 combinations available to us, and as many as 600 combinations for those with full keyboards.

Ergonomically, tapping a single key (since I can remap any key combo to my USB keypad) will be many times more efficient than using the period and comma keys to shift control focus, never mind grabbing the mouse, aiming the pointer at a tiny on-screen control (thus taking my eyes off the image), then clicking or pressing keys.

Adobe: You already know how to do this. Just give us a Photoshop-like keyboard shortcut preference pane in Lightroom, and we'll take it from there.
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Jeff Ellis

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What he said! Hope you're listening Adobe......
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Even some obscure multiple-key shortcuts would satisfy many volume users, as those shortcuts could then be assigned to shortcut keypads. Gets my vote for sure.
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john beardsworth

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I think the real solution isn't adding shortcuts to individual features, but making shortcuts customisable.
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Zlatko Batistich

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However it's done, I want to be able to access the basic tone and color adjustments instantly via the keyboard. Cycling through them with , and . keys to select an item is needlessly tedious when going through hundreds or thousands of photos.
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john beardsworth

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I've never once felt the need for keyboard shortcuts for the basic tone and colour adjustments, despite the tens of thousands of pictures I process.
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Zlatko Batistich

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Really? Do you individually adjust the tens of thousands of pictures? It would improve my efficiency greatly. Searching for an exact clickpoint for the mouse before every click adds so much effort when multiplied by tens of thousands of photos.
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Lee Jay

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"Really? Do you individually adjust the tens of thousands of pictures? It would improve my efficiency greatly. Searching for an exact clickpoint for the mouse before every click adds so much effort when multiplied by tens of thousands of photos."

Yes, really. First of all, most of the time is spent deciding what I want to do to an image, not actually doing it. Second, I can grab a slider and adjust it quickly. Third, I can hover and use the arrow and shift-arrow keys very quickly. Fourth, I can use Quick Develop which is very fast as well for the basics. There's never a need to find an "exact clickpoint".
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Brian Tao

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You've never used a proper keypad setup. It is physically impossible to be faster at making fine, precise adjustments using a mouse pointer to select a control than simply tapping a single key. This is easily proven: type with your mouse with an on-screen keyboard. Compare your mouse-typing speed with typing one-handed (so we're doing a fair comparison) on a real keyboard.
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john beardsworth

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Yes, seriously. I use auto sync 99% of the time and also see keyboard shortcuts as v important for productivity, but I am perfectly content activating those basic panel sliders with the cursor and either dragging the slider or using the + / - adjustments. I didn't actually know about the . / , and expect I will have forgotten them in a couple of days.
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Zlatko Batistich

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John: OK, if you use auto sync 99% of the time, you are not individually adjusting tens of thousands of photos, not even close. I use auto sync about 10% of the time, so I am individually adjusting the remaining ~90% which add up to tens of thousands of photos every year. Most of the adjustments are very minor, but once I have the ability to make them, it's hard to look at a photo and not tweak it just a little and make it visibly better. Keyboard shortcuts would be an enormous productivity boost.

Lee: as for "exact clickpoint", that's just a matter of definition. OK, it's not exact as in EXACT, but your mouse still has to end up pretty close to a certain point to activate the desired control. Yes, that's very quick, but whether it's quick enough depends on how many photos you are adjusting. When I adjust a small number of photos, using the mouse is perfectly easy and quick. When I have to adjust 1,200 photos in a day or two, keyboard shortcuts would speed things enormously. I know this from using a programmed X-Keys with Lightroom. When the thing works, it's a wonderful time saver. But I've had two of them break, so I feel they are pretty unreliable (and they cost ~$200 each).

As for "most of the time is spent deciding what I want to do to an image" -- that's perfectly fine. If I were working that way, then the time spent to mouse click would indeed be trivial. But my decision process is almost instant for most photos. It has to be in order to complete the volume of work. The clicking takes me more time than the deciding.

Honestly guys, if you feel keyboard shortcuts would not help you personally, do you really need to speak out *against* them? How would they hurt your workflow? They would help mine immensely. Please appreciate that people have different needs for a product as rich and useful as Lightroom.
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john beardsworth

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You do know what Auto Sync means, I assume? It certainly is the same as "moving multiple sliders or clicking multiple buttons for many of those photos", just instead of always working on one image at a time it means selecting bursts of similar frames (almost inevitable with volume) and having each slider motion apply immediately to that burst - whether it's 1, 10s or 100s. I've just never felt the need for shortcuts for the sliders.

Those Lee Jay mentioned strike me as sufficient. You only have to remember two, and they conveniently cycle through the sliders. Have you ever tried them?
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Jarred Wagner

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Auto-sync is useless if most if not all of your images require unique values, which is often the case in wedding processing.
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john beardsworth

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The more you shoot the more invaluable it is.
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Jeff Ellis

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So Jared, Everyone here using LR shoots only weddings? Always?? You speak for all of us????
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Diko

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No. I don't shoot weedings. And yet I have many projects that are paid per number of photos delivered. Additionally I use WACOM Tablet. I need those shortcut keys (and tons of additional actions) to be mappable.
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Jarred Wagner

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Yep, this is sorely needed, if not a dedicated hardware controller solution (physical sliders!!!). I hand-edit around 50,000 images a year, and almost never sync. Not because I don't want to, but for us wedding and event pros photographing people, working in highly dynamic scenes, almost always in mixed light, two images are only very rarely the same. So that's 50k exposure slider moves, 50k temp slider moves, 50k contrast slider moves, etc. Working with the mouse is tiresome as it requires a high amount of precision, relative to pressing keys, let alone the ease that physical knobs and/or sliders would provide.
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Zlatko Batistich

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Jarred, thanks for your support. Your photo processing volume is similar to mine. A dedicated hardware controller with physical sliders would probably be as good or better. Ideally, we would have both options and could choose either.

Yikes! All of those mouse clicks add up to *huge* numbers, and every time you have to navigate with the cursor and take your eyes off the image.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I processed more than 200,000 images last year, all weddings with very variable lighting, some shot by better photographers than others, which added to the variation.

I love AutoSync and I use it constantly, but it's not the solution to everything. There's no way I'd consider moving sliders individually for all of those photos. I ended up with serious RSI issues from trying to do that in ACR for my first few years before LR came into existence, with far lower volumes. My ShuttlePro / Wacom pen combination works really well for this situation now, but there's definitely a valid feature request here for volume users.

Custom shortcuts would be best case scenario, but not required. These shortcuts don't need to compete with existing shortcuts - all of the users I've spoken to are just wanting to be able assign the shortcuts to custom keyboards and other gadgets.

The fact that RPG Keys, Motibodo, LR Paddy, Autohotkey, Knobroom, and all these other variations exist proves that there is a significant chunk of the userbase that would find it useful. One could say that these existing products already cover the need, however they each have significant performance or workflow issues that wouldn't exist with a LR-native feature.
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Brian Tao

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I would just like to say that "Knobroom" is the best software name ever. :-)
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Diko

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I thank you so much for the LR Paddy tip. The only possible work-around for us WACOM users. And yet this is a work-around and NOT a solution. Adobe, you are on the move.
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TK

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I'd like to support John's suggestion for custom keyboard shortcuts.

Are they overkill to address this particular FR? Yes, but only if you are prepared to invest in further hardware or live with "press three keys at a time" shortcuts. What if a standard keyboard provides all the keys one needs, provided one could tailor their assignment to one's needs?

Custom shortcuts would solve other problems too (such as certain LR shortcuts becoming unavailable because of installed helper tools or certain shortcuts requiring two hands and too many fingers) and would not be difficult to support. Custom shortcuts are a no-brainer to my mind.
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Zlatko Batistich

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Custom shortcuts would be ideal. I agree, they are a no-brainer. :) Photoshop has them, but not Lightroom.
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TK

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Anyone wishing to vote for custom keyboard shortcuts can do so here.
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Darren Ackers

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Just add the functionality to customise shortcut key, that way people can do what they want. An alternative would be 1&+ to increase, 1&- to decrease, all the way up to 9&+, etc
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Zlatko Batistich

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TK, thanks very much for the link. I have just voted for Peter Law's "Allow for keyboard shortcut customization" idea. However, I'm not sure whether his idea would allow for keyboard shortcuts for the basic color & tone adjustments. It may be just for the ability to reassign the existing shortcuts -- which is a good idea -- but would not achieve my goal of doing basic adjustments via keyboard shortcuts.
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TK

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Zlatko, you are right. The customizable keyboard shortcuts should allow one to address practically all UI elements. It will require a hierarchical organization of the mappings but would then also make a great "look up the shortcut" (without using a manual) feature.
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Henning Karl

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For those on PC, try Paddy-for-Lightroom.com.
It has both keyboard mapping and using Midi physical sliders.
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Chris Legg

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Desperately want this!
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Thomas Geist

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Bring it on! LONG overdue! Photoshop has it, Capture One has it ...
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Joe Diedrich

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DESPERATELY WANT THIS!
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Petra Hall

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The keyboard shortcuts is a huge time saver in Lightroom, so besides doing your own (that fits your style better), it'd be awesome to also be able to assign keyboard short cuts to Develop sliders as well as for popular presets.

Please pretty please, like my idea! :)

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Keyboard shortcuts on Develop sliders and for presets.
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Devon Stephens

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It would be great to have keyboard shortcuts for common Develop mode adjustments such as exposure, contrast, white balance, etc.

Currently I hover the cursor over the controls and use up and down arrows to make fine adjustments, but it would be much faster if I could make adjustments useing only keyboard shortcuts.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Develop exposure adjustment keyboard shortcuts.
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Devon Stephens

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It's nice to see I'm not the only one looking for keyboard shortcuts for basic adjustments. It would really speed up my workflow when going through thousands of images. I would love to see this make it into the next version of Lightroom.
The idea of having customizable shortcuts is good as well.
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Art Swalwell

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Frankly, I find the period, comma and plus/minus keyboard shortcuts for the basic panel in the very useful and useable. I just want the same functionality for the rest of the Develop module panels - including the gradient and brush panels.

I would vote multiple times for the ability to set my own shortcut keys.

We should all vote for more Lightroom engineers.