Lightroom Classic: Stops responding and is slow and unresponsive when using the adjustment brush

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Lightroom Classic CC stops responding and/or becomes impossibly slow when drawing masks and making adjustments with the brush tool.

I have a relatively new iMac with 32gb memory and Lightroom is optimised according to every bit of advice available on this forum and elsewhere. Despite this, on my system, the Adjustment Brush is effectively unusable.

I'm attaching a couple of screen recordings to illustrate the issues.
Video 1 Adjustment Brush Not Responding: The adjustments start at 0:12 and complete at 1:24 (1:12 seconds to complete). The Activity Monitor show Lightroom Not Responding at 1:03. That's over a minute to update one simple adjustment.

Video 2 Adjustment Brush Not Responding: The adjustments start at 0:08 and on average each takes around 30 seconds to update


Video 5 Adjustment Brush Slow Unresponsive: Mask adjustments are slow to update on the screen making the process of painting adjustments unusable. The actual adjustments lag behind up to 30 seconds. It takes almost 10 seconds just to hide the Mask Overlay (1:42 selected - off at 1:51).

Does anyone have any answers on how to improve my system or make this aspect of Lightroom functional?












































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Harvey Kaufmann

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Posted 5 months ago

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Harvey, 

If you go to Preferences>Performance> and uncheck the Use Graphics Processor option, does the speed improve?
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, I replied last night but looks like a glitch in the system (perhaps I failed to hit the submit button) and it's not here now. So...

Yes, turning off the GPU is a big improvement. That's confounding because that option has provided very little improvement in the past. However, now I'm noticing slower page scrolling and spot removal processing and other various actions seem to be a little more sluggish in Develop. For example; the "visualisation" option (spot removal tool) can take 20-30 seconds to restore when switched off (that's improved over the previous state where it was taking up to a minute). I am also finding that screen updates during scrolling (with the hand tool zoomed 1:1) lags and can take upwards of 20 seconds to update when doing fine masking.

So, the issue has improved overall and I can work but it's far from satisfactory. 

I really love Lightroom and I'm early adopter having come across in the first days from the original rawshooter software. I'm frustrated, having just purchased a new iMac Retina with 32mb of memory and large SSD in the expectation that the investment would greatly improve my workflow and enjoyment of Lightroom.

But despite the hardware upgrade, over the past 18 months, the feature set has improved but the performance and hence the usability has dropped off massively.

The fact is that the program has been unusable at times for simple editing and I wouldn't even consider doing some of the detailed editing that I routinely now do in Luminar and ON1.

I already go to great lengths to squeeze the maximum performance from Lightroom; I restart my iMac often, I close every background process, make small catalogs; I pay strict attention to workflow order (which means I don't crop or do lens corrections until I finish editing, which is a really compromised process IMO). If I'm accumulating a large history I often clear it all and start again to reduce the system load (that's really time-consuming) and many other little things like turning off my virus software.

What can I do to get a better result with this program? Frankly I'm getting ready to change despite how much I will lose in the transition to a new platform.

Thanks for your help, regards,

Harvey Kaufmann
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David Pope

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Boy, I can really relate -- after moving to a Nikon D850 a couple months ago, LR became untenable on my 2013 MBP with those 50 MB files, so when Apple announced their 2018 MBP I jumped, purchasing a ~$5K fully configured model with 32 GB expecting the joy to finally return to photography and post-processing.

Then when I loaded LR and the fans started going off like crazy, I just attributed it to the "thermal issues" that Apple has admitted was a CPU throttling software bug, so I eagerly installed the High Sierra 10.13.6 release yesterday, which solves the throttling issue.

No joy -- LR is completely unusable whether its 7.4, 7.2, or after trying any and all the tweaks I mentioned in my prior comment.

All my other apps run just fine on my 2013 MBP, so now I'm wondering why I ever upgraded my computer, as LR seems unable to take advantage of added memory or multiple cores... Adobe, is this because there's some attempt to share a code base with Windows and therefore a reluctance to use Mac-specific API's?

David
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Harvey, 

7.4 was released earlier today. I would be curious to see if your brush issues persist with GPU on in 7.4 or if you have to turn it off as you did in 7.3.1
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Rikk, It's a mixed bag with the new version. I've invested a few hours checking things out with the new version. Some issues seem to have improved but others have stayed the same or gotten worse depending on the GPU state (on/off). The brushing has definitely improved overall with or without the GPU but spot removal is now a problem all the time - the screen lags so far behind the mouse movement that it's a real problem just to select the item for removal.

It really depresses me to see all these You Tubes of Lightroom users doing these quick and amazing edits that simply can't be replicated on my system. So I guess my simple desire is to just use the program to express my art without all this complexity and compromise. It just constantly stresses me out, totally interferes with my workflow and creativity and provokes my interest in alternatives.

Slightly better off and hopeful, but still frustrated.

Regards,

Harvey
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Harvey  - what is your monitor resolution?
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, it's the built-in Retina display: 27-inch (5120 x 2880), AMD Radeon R9 M395 2048 MB graphics with 32gb ram

Is there an issue with display resolution?

I've done some further testing with the adjustment brush which shows it to be very unresponsive with the GPU on and off. The show/hide selected mask option can take up to 1:20 to change it's state and brushing with low flow/density is just not a useable function. I've attached a video link to demonstrate.
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, This was posted from Adobe engineers - should I just rollback to 7.2?

Hi All,

We're really sorry for all the trouble caused you. We have identified this issue as a bug and our engineering team investigating a fix. Please add your vote to the below feedback link.

Lightroom Classic 7.3: Slow switching from Library to develop, zooming in, using brushes | Photoshop Family Customer Com...

 For now, rolling back Lightroom to 7.2 version is the only workaround available.

Thanks,

Mohit
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Harvey, it wouldn't hurt to roll back and see if you have improved adjustment brush performance. Do you happen to have the link that you are quoting from above?
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, I do have the link and have rolled back to 7.2. This is a vast improvement with some notable exceptions that I've noticed as I have been working; viewing an image in fullscreen can take up to 45 seconds;  the program seems to progressively slow down over time while editing (improved by a restart).
It seems like I get significantly better performance If I avoid auto-masking and the paint adjustment tool in favour of radial filters. But that's not a solution, it's a poor workaround. 
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with or without GPU enabled in Preferences?
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, I get mixed results when the GPU is disabled. Overall using the GPU is better.

I'm still having significant issues when I do a lot of editing - the system slows, the rotating ball starts becoming more frequent. My current workaround is to convert to .tif and export to external apps; PS, Nik, Luminar, OnOne but that's definitely not my preference - really I just want to be a Lightroom guy. 

Any news on a new update that might help?

Cheers, Harvey
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Harvey,

If this were my machine, I would still be suspicious of the install - even though you've rolled back to 7.2 and forward again.  As for updates, I don't have wide-spread reports of this behavior so I would hesitate to tell you wait for the next update. 

As I said, if this were my machine, I would:

Restart computer.
Uninstall Lightroom 7.4 Classic CC using the Adobe Creative Cloud App
Restart computer again
Without opening any other programs, reinstall Lightroom Classic via the Adobe Creative Cloud App. 
Launch and then tet Lightroom sit for an hour or so before using.

This is probably overkill on caution but I am trying to eliminate as many variables as possible.  
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, I've done what you recommend several times with completely mixed, but still unsatisfactory results. I've created and used a new library with only one image in it without seeing any improvement. I've also done every other thing that I can think of bar formatting my drive and reinstalling everything - but the issue is with Lightroom alone, nothing else on my computer is giving me the slightest problem - so I'm not convinced it would make any difference.

I've now run into a wall on a large pano image that I just can't finish in Lightroom - this one is a commission, so I'm at risk of losing a client. Not happy.

I'm attaching a clip that shows (on LR CC V7.3) a 30-second lag while (I guess) the smart preview loads up. I had just rebooted Lightroom after shutting down after waiting over a minute watching a spinning ball and then nearly a minute more for the screen image to reset itself from being blurred somehow during a brush adjustment. You can see the blur on the sides of this image in the clip and that it can take minutes to do the smallest adjustments. I can't experiment with adjustment faders to preview the effect because of the lag and long delays in rendering.  So essentially Lightroom as an image editing program is useless. That's core functionality that's not functioning!

Rikk, I need some real answer to these various performance issues. Is there a problem between Adobe and the new 5k Retina iMacs - is it the wrong platform for Lightroom? If, as you say, no-one else is having these types of performance issues (and I'm sure there are some significantly more serious Lightroom power users out there than me) then what's my problem? AND how does that reconcile with the admission from the Adobe engineers, that I referenced earlier, admitting that there were significant performance issues that forced the need to rollback to V7.2?

I haven't been able to work effectively for many months now. Instead of being creative, I'm investing massive amounts of time trying workarounds and reinstalling, configuring and recording clips of problems when I just want to work on my images.

I'm a long-term paid up, loyal Lightroom user and I'd appreciate some real, helpful, actual problem-solving support and answers. Even some information about things that are coming up that could help me would be encouraging. This issue (since I raised it in this forum) is over three weeks old already and apparently, it's going nowhere.

Help!

Regards Harvey
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Marty Friedel

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To chime in on this issue - I am on a 27" Retina iMac too, 32GB RAM, and SSD only, and have had such a mixed bag of performance with Lightroom, especially 7.4.

Sometimes it runs OK (but still not fast or snappy) but othertimes is just like Harvey.

Toggling Hardware Acceleration is a mixed bag too - sometimes on is better, sometimes off is better. I've been unable to find a consistent experience or set of circumstances where it goes good or bad. 

Even flicking from Develop to Library takes seconds.

I know the retina screens have so many more pixels to paint and display, but the performance is simply lacking, especially given the power of the hardware itself. It is almost like no testing is being performed on screens such as this (or the issues are being ignored).
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Rikk? Any help coming here? 

I've continued troubleshooting these problems without any progress so I've now taken the same images into OnOne and Affinity and been able to process them far more intensely and without the slightest issue.  

Since my last post, I have also discovered that file size appears to be a big part of the issue. LR 7.x copes reasonably well with files from my Fuji XE-2 and older files from my Canon 7D. Downsizing my D810 panos and other images to smaller .jpegs has enabled me to edit them with only very minor issues.

Lightroom is still my editor of choice but it needs to be functional and it's not at this point. Still waiting...
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Harvey,  I still don't have a feel for where things are stalling for you here but the investigation into large file size is a good clue. 

How large are these panos before you downsampled? Size in MB? Size in Pixels? At what size did you find they starter performing 'with only minor issues?
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk,

The large .dng pano is 203.5mb. All the other large images are raw files from the D810 which are around 40mb. I'm not able to reliably edit any of these files on any LR Classic 7.x version. 

The downsized jpeg pano is 19.4mb. I've done some more testing since my last post and I'm not having any problems editing this file in Develop so far - I'm hesitant to be 100% because the issues have been erratic and inconsistent, but it's all looking good. The Fuji and Canon 7D files are also about the same size and also seem to be OK.

I've done more troubleshooting since my last post. I removed all of my plugins and deleted the preferences (again), deleted the program and re-installed LR Classic 7.2 (again) and created a brand new catalog and imported a few images to work with. Processing on the large .dng pano was still slow(ish) when I first started editing started - but similar to my earlier experiences ground to a halt when I started brushing adjustments. I gave up when I watched the spinning ball for over two minutes.

My activity monitor showed CPU 84.11 % Idle and "Lightroom (Not Responding)" during the entire time the ball was spinning and Lightroom was frozen. What's that all about?

Editing all of the other (smaller) files is very quick and I am not seeing any lag or spinning balls even when I added extensive brush and gradient adjustments in a "torture test".

So I guess the learning here is that Lightroom Classic 7.x on the iMac has issues dealing with D810 (and bigger) files.

I'm going to update LR to the latest version later this morning (my time) and check out the performance on these files again. I'll keep you posted.

Regards,

Harvey
(Edited)
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Also get me the pixel dimensions of the offending Pano. (Unless your fresh download an test doesn't exhibit the stall behavior)
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Marty Friedel

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Just to add to this - I’m on a 5D mk IV with RAW a bit smaller than yours but larger than the 7D - 30MP sensor.

I wonder if the mid 20s is where it starts to run in to issues.

Like you, it’s inconsistent. Some times it’s fine but other times it’s unusable.
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, The large pano is 13537 x 4339, 203.5mb. The same file on my fresh download starts out fine and responsive but grinds to a standstill after I start brushing adjustments.

Regards,

Harvey
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One more clarification, Harvey.  The first brush stroke is laggy or it becomes laggy as you add many brush strokes?  If the brush is simple, say +1 Exposure vs has Dehaze, Sharpening, and several other sliders on the stroke does it make any difference?
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Harvey Kaufmann

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The editing starts snappy and definitely gets progressively worse. I usually leave dehaze, sharpening, NR and sometimes cropping and transform until later in the process because these operations all definitely impact on performance. I'm not sure if the type or values makes much difference at all. Even if it does at some point in the process I can't do any brushing at any value.
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David Pope

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Multi-year LR user here -- I am experiencing this exact same situation with a 2-day old 2018 MacBook Pro fully configured (i9 + 32 GB + 2 TB) that I have spent hours and hours trying to tweak** in order to get acceptable performance out of LR 7.4.1 (then LR 7.2, per the advice above).

The key culprit for me is file size -- I have both a Nikon D850 with 50MB files and a D500 with 26 MB files. When I do any brushing on the 50MB files I get all the performance issues detailed in this thread; when I do the same thing on 26MB files I get very responsive editing (on both a 2018 MBP with a 5K monitor and a 2013 MBP without, so for me it's not about the resolution of the display being driven).

(As as aside, this is just one aspect of my poor LR experience with 7.4/7.2 on this new MBP -- switching from Library to Develop sometimes takes seconds and pegs the CPU to 400% causing all the internal fans to come on, using arrow keys in Library to move between photos with 1:1 previews sometimes gets stuck for seconds, random beach balls in the middle of innocuous actions, zoom requests that are slow to respond, etc.)

Sign me also extremely frustrated,

David

** install / uninstall, use GPU / don't use GPU, optimize catalog, reduce catalog size, delete lrdata and rebuild all 1:1 previews, purge cache, increase cache size, move cache to secondary SSD, change workflow order, etc., etc.
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David Pope

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An update: the above performance problems occur when running LR in single-screen mode on my external LG 5K monitor. Today I was away from home and just using the built-in screen -- launched LR and it was responsive to brush edits and Library arrow-keying.

First time since I have owned this new machine that LR was speedy -- OMG what a relief.

When I return home I will try some more experiments to see if my performance issues are associated with driving an external 5K display + processing 50+ MB files.

(BTW: This is with LR 7.2)

David
(Edited)
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David Pope

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Got home, hooked up my 5K monitor, LR was still speedy. But as soon as I started doing work in the Develop module, especially brush work, everything crawled to a halt. Poor redraw, slow tool switching, delays it getting it to exit a brush and start another, giant beach balls when switching between Library and Develop, etc.

If I let it "rest" for a minute or two, the CPU usage reduces and fans stop howling, and then it becomes responsive again. This is all with 7.2. Sigh.

David
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Harvey Kaufmann

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Rikk??
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David Pope

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Hi Harvey, I am glad you have re-entered this thread and perhaps the Adobe folks will come back, too, with some sort of update.

In the meantime, I have futzed around for more hours with my setup (why this is necessary is beyond me, what are all the other poor users doing?) and here are a few things I have learned:

Library:

* My Library performance is much better since changing Catalog Settings > File Handling > Standard Preview size from 2880 pixels to "Auto (5120 pixels)" which corresponds to the long dimension of my 5K monitor. When migrating to this new machine, nothing helped me understand that all my old previews were the wrong size given that I moved from a 1080p to 5K monitor. Of course my lrdata file is now 200+ GB but I guess I can live with that given the alternative.

Adobe: When Library pegs the CPU and is struggling to render and respond to scrolling and zooming, can you add some dialog / warning that helps users understand that their Previews are the wrong size?

Develop

* I have changed my Develop workflow to remove Lens Correction > Enable Profile Corrections from the Preset that is normally applied when I import my photos. Don't remember where I read this, but I guess brushing, etc., applied to a Lens Corrected image requires much more graphics processing, so now I leave this for the end. (Similarly, I always knew that sharpening should be left for the end).

* Somewhere along the way I figured out disabling "Use Graphics Processor" does seem to improve brush performance. (When I tried this initially it didn't seem to make a difference, but perhaps I didn't give it enough of a chance.) Maybe the AMD Radeon Pro 560X in the new 2018 MBP is not yet supported? Maybe it is and my performance elsewhere is suffering with it off, but the increase in rendering Masks when I press the O shortcut key is worth it.

* Also, somewhere along the way, I built a set of Smart Previews (in addition to 1:1 Previews) at the cost of another 30 GB and enabled Preferences > Use Smart Previews instead of Originals for image editing, and it seems (maybe?) that the overall responsiveness in Develop is better. I always thought Smart Previews were only useful when a source drive was unavailable, but perhaps they are useful even when you have the original and a 1:1 Preview available.

Adobe, could you please shed light on whether this is true or not and whether this is a suggested best practice when you want maximum Develop module performance and don't mind the time it takes beforehand to generate Previews?

(Actually, re-reading what I wrote just now, I realize that Previews have nothing to do with Develop since they're only used in the Library module, but my question to Adobe still stands -- is Develop module performance better with Smart Previews even if the original is available?)

I am still on 7.2 figuring that it is better than 7.4.

I still get occasional beachballs, slow Library <> Develop transitions, and fans coming on when the CPU gets loaded, but it seems less frequent than before.

Since I am about to go on a photo workshop where I will have to post-process images quickly, my fallback solution should LR 7.2 become flaky again is to go into Photoshop and edit using the Camera Raw Filter (which for some reason is always responsive, despite the fact that PS and LR are supposed to both rely on ACR -- Adobe, why is that the case??) and save as JPG so I don't get PSD bloat.

David

(Edited)
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@Harvey

Just so I am clear. You have many screenshots of history posted here. This is the continuous history of one file's adjustments - not multiple copies of the same screenshot? 

I would like to schedule a remote session with you to watch you work an image if you are willing.  Is the email address with which you've registered at this forum the correct address to contact you?

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Harvey Kaufmann

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Hi Rikk, Yes this is one file. The explanation for the number of edits is that sliders don't update in real-time forcing me to wait for an edit to be rendered and then make another adjustment and repeat until I achieve the result I need. Very happy to do a remote session at any time. Regards, Harvey
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Harvey, 

Try 7.5 - it was released earlier today. If you are still seeing the lag, we will set up a remote session. 
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David Pope

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Hi Rikk, thank you for the heads up on 7.5 — as one of the other commenters on this thread, I wanted to convey that brush performance is vastly improved for me on my large files, Library to Develop module switching (and vice versa) is way faster, and in general my MBP 2018 fans don’t get ramped nearly as frequently as they were on 7.3 / 7.4 — so thanks for following thru on this issue!

I have one comment and one question — after working in the Develop module for quite a while on an image at high magnification, brushing and panning around, sharpening , etc., when I then switch to the Library module, I have gotten on occasion 90 second beach balls, almost to the point where I was about to force quit. In contrast if I’m just arrowing around in Library and just switch back and forth to Develop, switching is very fast. Is it advisable to open a new issue about this, or should I add to existing module-switching threads?

Second, up-thread I mentioned that I had created a set of Smart Previews in addition to 1:1 Previews — is this considered “best practice” to maximize Develop module performance (even when the source files continue to be available) as well as Library performance, respectively?

David