Lightroom: Avoid Status Messages on Images

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The "Loading Image..." indicator and confirmation messages regarding history step "Undo(s)" and "Redo(s)" are displayed pretty prominently on the image.

I would love if I had the option to make them less obtrusive, for instance like the small "Before" indicator that is shown when one chooses to view an older version ("\" key in the Develop module).

I switched of the "Loading Image..." indicator but do not have this option for the history undo/redo feedback. Sometimes a key part of the image I want to observe by successive undo-redos is obstructed by the feedback message and I only see it with a delay. This makes it harder to directly judge whether the last edit step was an improvement.

I practically always have the top bar (F5) collapsed so wouldn't see status/feedback messages there either (and other panels may or may not be in view) but perhaps something along the lines of the compact progress bar that shows even when the top panel is collapsed or a less obtrusive way of displaying messages analogue to the "Before" indicator would do the trick of providing feedback, yet in a way that always allows a full view on the image?
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TK

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  • confident that there must be more who don't want distractions on the image

Posted 7 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Personally, I'd go along with avoiding anything and everything on my images, including the info overlay. I consider image space to be sacred - find a place in the UI for info & statuses... I suppose that would be a problem in a true full-screen mode, which we don't have yet anyway, but in this case, I would use it only in dual monitor mode anyway so the info & statuses would always be in other monitor.
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TK

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Rob, I often use full screen mode with a single monitor only. I think this case deserves consideration as well. Maybe the small margins around the image that exist even if all panels are collapsed could be used for status messages.
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Rob Cole

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By "true" full-screen mode I meant where the image itself takes up the full-screen, necessitating the tools to be somewhere else (presumably a second monitor). In any case, I do think some real-estate can be carved out for it that does not intrude upon the image. - fingers crossed...
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Mark Sirota

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A workaround of using the \ key is relatively easier, and faster than undo/redo. RIght-click on the previous history step and set it to the Before state, then use the backslash key to jump back and forth.

Personally, I like having most of those messages right on the image, because that's usually where my eyes are, and most of the time I want to see them. (I too have turned off the Loading indicator, but I'm usually happy to see those messages -- especially for Undo, where I want confirmation that I've undone the thing I intended to undo.
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Rob Cole

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I imagine you or anybody else could get used to looking wherever those undo (and other) messages were being displayed, even if not on the image proper.

I also imagine I'm fighting a losing battle here...
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TK

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Mark, it is much faster to just press Ctrl-Z than to use the mouse to go to the previous history step, right-click on it, and then press "\". Also, if you don't like the latest edit, the last Ctrl-Z after a Ctrl-Z/Ctrl-Y series, will automatically remove it, whereas you'd still have to do that explicitly with the "\" approach.

I'm happy to have an option for "on-image" vs "non-obstrusive" status displays. We both could be happy then. :)
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Rob Cole

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Yeah, there are a couple of blank areas that are just begging to be allocated for status&info messages, IMNSHO.
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Mark Sirota

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When I said "faster", I meant in terms of the time required for the software to switch views rather than the number of keystrokes. On my laptop the backslash key is noticeably faster.

I'd be okay with an option too, but you have to consider that taken to the extreme, adding an option for every possible behavior is unrealistic. Lightroom's design is largely about simplicity, which sometimes results in a lack of flexibility.
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TK

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Mark, switching with "\" is way faster on my laptop regarding switching times as well. I still often use the "Ctrl-Z/Ctrl-Y" approach for the reasons I mentioned above. The best solution, AFAIC, would be to enable the same fast switching time for "Ctrl-Z" as well. Makes complete sense to cache the previous image version as well (as it apparantly is done for the "Before" version).

I see your point regarding "option excess" but note that one can kill any feature request with this argument. Really, adding further optional behaviour while leaving the current behaviour as the default behaviour shouldn't hurt anyone. Preference dialogs become bigger, and maybe there are more keyboard shortcuts to control them, but that is a small price to pay for making a big difference to the users that prefer the alternative behaviour.
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Charlie Stout

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"When I'm driving nails, I don't want to think about my hammer. I just want to drive nails. If I'm thinking about my hammer, I am no longer driving nails."

With regard to the usefulness of a tool in assisting work, I like what Rob Cole says about image space being sacred. One of my only gripes with Lightroom (but believe me, it's a legitimate gripe) is that the "Loupe" view permits the intrusion of flag status notifications. You wouldn't permit anything in the way of a physical loupe - so why is there extraneous information in the way of my virtual loupe?

I work quickly by engaging the CAPS LOCK key and using P, X, and U to make first-pass edit decisions and to propel me through the shoot. But the Flag Status notification message, which displays in my sacred space, is slowing me down considerably. I have approximated a 1.5 second interval between the time the notification is displayed and the time the notification disappears.

Making me wait 1.5 seconds to see the entirety of my photograph is simply inexcusable. Adobe Lightroom engineers have unfortunately decided that irreplaceable seconds from my life must be spent waiting to view the entirety of my next image. This becomes hours, times every exposure I've ever imported into Lightroom

This may not be a problem on slower machines where the image preview may take just as long to load. But I bought a brand new 17'' macbook pro to overcome my hardware bottleneck and save seconds, minutes, hours - only to encounter another bottleneck (one that I cannot throw money at) built into Lightroom.

An interface that calls attention to itself is a hammer that interrupts me from driving a nail.
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Rob Cole

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Even many people who claim to be OK with statuses on image turn off the "Loading" indicator. Why? - because its obtrusive. Charlie thinks the constant 'Flag As Pick' notification is also obtrusive - how about an option to turn that off too? Argument for: gets it off the image so one can get on with culling using caps-on, and if not culling with caps-on - just the usual sacred space thing. Argument against: no feedback that image was actually picked. Possible solution: move status off the image. Same arguments could be made for all the other statuses, with same solution...
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john beardsworth

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Yeah, right! Somehow I have a whole lot more confidence in my estimation of user opinions than I have in yours. Do you not know how ludicrous your "fight" sounds? And as for the image area being "sacred", U-Points are pretty popular no? IOW resign yourself to this being regarded as a trivial problem.
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Rob Cole

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I also consider forum space to be sacred, and as such prefer to stay away from personal conflict as much as possible. I'm OK with you expressing your opinion, but perhaps its a good reminder to *both* of us to limit what we presume about others. - how about we let them speak for themselves - deal?

Regarding U-points and brush strokes and pin viewing... - its not the ability to see things that aid in development that are the problem, its the other stuff that is being mentioned...
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Mark Sirota

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I'm with John, as I said before. Two reasons: (1) Not a high enough priority to spend development resources, and (2) it doesn't fit Lightroom's design.

Lightroom's design is that you're looking at the image all the time, not at sliders, controls, or other areas of the screen. Its design is to let you rest your eyes where the image is, at the center of the screen. When Lightroom needs to tell you something, it assumes that your eyes are on the image area. Transient messages outside the image area make no sense -- you have to shift your attention to see them.

Many of the examples already cited are not transient -- the "Before" in the before view, the warning triangle for PV2003, etc. They don't come and go. The bezel messages are, by their very nature, temporary and important, and need to be shown to the user in a way that the user will notice.
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Rob Cole

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In my opinion, moving statuses off the image would fit just fine with Lightroom design. I think this is a matter of personal preference...

PS - its not a big deal to me anymore - I've made my peace with it, and it doesn't bother me like it used to - but its taken me a few years, and its not how I would prefer.

I wouldn't vote for this change if I thought there was a big opportunity cost involved.

Final thought: If everybody liked things the same way, there would be no "Preferences".
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john beardsworth

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I am happy with the bezel notifications as they are - apart from the File is Missing warning which I'd want to switch off in Library / Slideshow views when I'm showing people some work and the originals are offline. If a preference for all bezels is the price to pay for suppressing this Missing message, great. Otherwise, people need these notifications to guard against their own stupidity and tiredness and I'd be against an option.
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Charlie Stout

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John, you are exactly right - I believe that a user interface is incomplete without confirmation of input or the completion of a task. People (myself included) need these notifications. After reading your input, I want to agree that I would be against removing them.

What I would propose instead is that they be moved to an area of the screen better suited for notifications than the image loupe itself. I consider the importance of an uninterrupted look at my work just as crucial as the importance of realtime data indicating what kind of work I'm doing.

I know that when I import or export images, a progress meter replaces my identify plate. I am accustomed to looking to that region for data regarding ongoing operations. Perhaps, rather than to scatter the other notifications in various places, we could consolidate them in one place. Then users would know to look to a certain region for status updates and realtime data, and it would be unnecessary to interrupt the image (which is the most important thing on the screen) with additional information.

Believe me, I feel your pain on the FILE IS MISSING warning!
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john beardsworth

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I don't think the progress bar area is sufficiently obvious, and the top panel can be hidden. But if I recall the last time I saw it, the Missing message appears at the top, above the image area. If that's good enough for that message, it's good enough for the other messages
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Nope, it is at the top but it's still on the image.
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john beardsworth

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Maybe I was looking at a landscape format image, and not zoomed in?
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TK

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In response to those opposing the feature request: Who really knows what the "true" nature of LR is? I've read one of the key designers Phil Clevenger state that focus on the image (e.g., by making the non-image area as non-intrusive as possible) was a key design goal. I feel that status message on the image go against that philosophy. Others' milage may vary.

Some are bugged by the "File is missing" warning, others think it is essential. I can see both viewpoints. As Rob put it: "If everybody liked things the same way, there would be no "Preferences".

How about letting people decide for themselves how stupid and tired they are? If just pressed Ctrl-Z for "undo", I don't need to be told that I've just done so again. A bit of feedback that the operation took place is appreciated but it should not interfere with focusing on the image. Perhaps an image frame could briefly flash? Or, as I proposed earlier, just move the status message to a peripheral area.

I don't understand the general resistance against further options. I'm not arguing that people that like the current behaviour should adapt to another one. AFAIC, the current behaviour could be retained. But why not allow others to experience LR as they regard it as optimal?

Yes, there is always the argument about limited resources and prioritising development effort, but I think not voting for a feature request should be sufficient. Why additionally argue against it with comments, if you'd lose nothing by not making use of the new option?

If a feature request forces something on somebody they don't like, yes, it makes sense to argue against it. But if the new behaviour would not be mandatory, what's not to like?
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john beardsworth

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"Some are bugged by the "File is missing" warning, others think it is essential. "

Sorry, those who understand what it means understand its importance, while those who use Lightroom to show work to others want to switch it off when doing so. No need to get mired in a YMMV mush over this one!

Where is this "general resistance against further options"? It is specific to the idea. Not all of us think it's good for the Lightroom community to smother every single thread with the sound of our own voice. In most cases we click to "Like" an idea, or choose not to do so, without feeling impelled to contribute any further wisdom. But in other cases choosing not to click is insufficient to express that (from a mix of personal opinion and experience from training, coaching and other direct contact with other users) one considers an idea to be generally damaging. This is one such case, if not hugely so, and not once one looks at the wider picture.

It strikes me that there are two ways forward with your basic idea. Firstly, make the bezel more transparent so it's less obvious and less liable to inspire objections such as yours. Secondly, allow the user to switch off these messages for the current Lightroom session - but not as a sticky preference. The messages are important to guard against our own stupidity and tiredness.

John
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TK

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John, you wrote: "Sorry, those who understand what it means understand its importance, while those who use Lightroom to show work to others want to switch it off when doing so. No need to get mired in a YMMV mush over this one! ": I don't understand your response. I simply picked the "Missing image" note as an example for how views on importance differ. I could have picked another one. I would prefer to be able to switch it off, but for me personally it is not a big deal. Nevertheless, if someone else says it is important/essential to them, I respect it and tolerate it. I would allow them to plea for an option to have it turned off. It wouldn't hurt me one iota.

"...one considers an idea to be generally damaging. This is one such case, if not hugely so, and not once one looks at the wider picture. ": I completely disagree. If you want to have the status images in your face, just don't use the option. No damage done. LR users are adults. If they chose to relegate the status messages to a less obstrusive place and have a subsequent problem, they are responsible for it. Users can hide the toolbar with "T" and then forget how to bring it back. Does that make hiding the toolbar a "damaging/dangerous" feature? I don't think so. I'd hate to see any remnants of it. I'm adult enough to use the "T" shortcut. If things go wrong, there are user 2 user forums (Just post a "How can I make the status message to be in my face again?" question).

"Firstly, make the bezel more transparent so it's less obvious and less liable to inspire objections such as yours. ": Not a solution that works for me.

"...allow the user to switch off these messages for the current Lightroom session - but not as a sticky preference.": Of course it needs to be a sticky preference. Telling me/us that we are not adult enough to suffer the consequences, is very patronising. No offence, but I don't need anyone to tell me what is good for me and what isn't. If other people's views differ, they can choose different preferences but no one should tell anyone else what they should be allowed to do and what not. Otherwise the the "point edit" mode for the tone curve should be removed because surely only the parameterised control is safe enough for stupid and tired users.
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john beardsworth

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Views just don't differ on the Missing Image notification. Most of the time it is just the same as all the other messages - important to guard users against their own stupidity and tiredness, and so in-your-face that people notice it. But at specific times - particularly when showing work to someone using Lightroom and when originals are deliberately offline - it looks plain unprofessional. No need to equivocate.

Parallels with other features are never exact enough to hold up for long, and I'm sorry if you think it patronising but Lightroom's design ethos is normative, encouraging the user to work in a methodical fashion and guarding against common mistakes. A simple session-based setting (eg a cross on the message's top corner) strikes me as the ideal balance.

John
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TK

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"But at specific times - particularly when showing work to someone using Lightroom and when originals are deliberately offline - it looks plain unprofessional. ": So would you be happy if I said "OK, you can turn the message off but only on a per image basis and the setting will be lost for the next session because that's the only way I feel that you are sufficiently protected from your own stupidity and tiredness"?

People just have different views of what one needs to equivocate about and what not.

I would also have to respect if Adobe said "We need to protect our users and hence cannot provide such an option". But I don't quite understand why another user (such as you) would be so concerned about the well-being of other users to the extend of denying them the features they specifically ask for.
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john beardsworth

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Here you go again! That per image stuff is about as relevant as your parallels with other features....

"But I don't quite understand why another user (such as you) would be so concerned about the well-being of other users to the extend of denying them the features they specifically ask for. "
I've explained why I consider that your proposal is something I wouldn't want and why I think it is generally undesirable. I don't need to understand why you propose it, just take it at face value.
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Charlie Stout

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John, I appreciate your position in passionate defense of new or inexperienced users.

I think it's fair to say that if you have engaged the Caps Lock key with the purpose of using the P,X, and U keys as quickly as possible, then you are well aware of the function of each of these keys and you are willing to accept the consequences associated with pressing them. You already "know" that P will select an image and X will reject it. You do not need to be reminded for a period of 1.5 seconds times four thousand, or whatever your take for the day is.

(Incidentally, causing me to wait 1.5 seconds times four thousand images results in a loss of over 1.5 hours waiting to see my image unobstructed.)

While it is true that care must be taken to ensure beginning users don't become overwhelmed with the Lightroom interface, it is also true that professionals working under a deadline do not want to be encumbered by time-consuming safeguards and training wheels.

I do not propose to completely eliminate the niceties which prevent inexperienced users from becoming frustrated with Lightroom any more than I propose to cheat experienced users out of an interface that adapts as their workflow reaches maximum efficiency.

I do propose that we engage in a worthwhile discussion of how real-time data is best presented in Lightroom for both new and experienced users with regard to this sentence in TK's original post, which states "I’m confident that there must be more who don't want distractions on the image."
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Charlie Stout

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John, I apologize for missing your question about the delay I'm experiencing being related to having not yet rendered previews. This is not the case. Understandably, if I have not rendered previews, my bottleneck will most likely be the rendering process as I advance through images. However, I render previews on import automatically.

***

Let's say I've shot a basketball game. Let's say every quarter I import one card and continue shooting with another. Let's say that I render previews immediately after import, automatically. Let's say at the end of the game in the media room I've got a laptop with about 4,000 images which must be culled for various photo editors around the region.

Obviously, now I have a need to iterate through my take as efficiently as possible. This is not an exceptional use case, this is a fact: every (half) second counts to working photographers under a deadline.

***

If I physically hold down the shift key, I can P,U,X through my entire shoot and make selections as quickly as my brain is able to process the image. There is not waiting for the preview to render and there is no bezel notification when I am holding down the shift key and pressing P,U,X.

Caps Lock, as we have known it for years, engages the shift key and repeats the effect of the shift key for every key pressed. Caps Lock has been performing this behavior for a very long time.

But in Lightroom, engaging the Caps Lock does not replicate the behavior of the shift key entirely: it also triggers a bezel notification with each P,U,X keystroke. This notification appears on the screen, over my image, for a total of 1.5 seconds.

I am hoping that the behavior associated with the Caps Lock key can be modified to replicate the behavior of the shift key, so that I do not experience an interruption of my view of the image.

John, I hope I have clarified what I am experiencing and the type of behavior that I am asking for. I think it is a good idea to include preferences for disabling safeguards and training wheels as photographers learn to optimize their workflow. As your team moves forward to continually improve Lightroom, please consider this request. Thanks!
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john beardsworth

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With those kinds of users I'd accept that such high paced review is not exceptional - which is why they're often PhotoMechanic's biggest fans - but I would say it's at one end of the bell curve and not very representative. I agree that Caps Lock should replicate the shift p u x behaviour. I just don't see how it slows down progress though, as I've tested on a couple of older machines than yours and I can make successive PUX decisions well within the 1.5 secs while the bezel is visible. If there is a real delay, we've eliminated previews so one would look at the Camera Raw cache, or ask if you're doing this auto advance in Develop which would cause rendering lag.

John

btw "your team" isn't quite right. Adobe employees are shown with various badges .
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TK

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John, I think Charlie's point is that bezel is in the way regarding quick decision making. He could move forward while the bezel displays, but he doesn't want the bezel to be constantly overlayed over the image(s) while he is making quick decisions.

The feature requests proposed here, do not require a lot of development effort but would make a big difference to a number of users. I don't think that the numbers have to be "representative" as we are not talking about a huge development investment.
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TK

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John, also note that the "gonzo mode auto advance" as you call it, is not my argument but Charlie's. I think he has a very good point, but it wasn't my argument.

I appreciate that ideas can be ill-conceived and that anyone proposing ideas has to live with reasoned resistance to them.

However, I don't need to accept that someone explains to me that I'm not cold when I'm shivering (to repeat Charlie's analogy). I think there is such a thing as "overprotection" when you deny users options just because inexperienced users could use them to shoot themselves into the foot. I prefer LR to be a knife that has the option to be turned "sharp". You are advocating for LR to be a blunt knife just so that users cannot hurt themselves.

Note that allowing the "Image missing" notification to be turned off, could lead inexperienced users to shoot themselves into the foot (they could believe they have access to the images, take the laptop with them, only to find out later that they forgot the external drive where the images sit on). So what you present as a non-contentious option, has a "shoot yourself into the foot" potential as well.

Guess what? I'm all for allowing yourself to shoot yourself into the foot, should you wish to turn off the "Missing image" notifications. Hence I expect that others will allow me to shoot myself into my foot.
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john beardsworth

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Ever thought of attributing things to me that I've actually said? I haven't referred to inexperienced at any point - but stupid and/or tired. I haven't said gonzo mode was your argument but said you were incorrectly using it in support of your general case. And as for sharp and blunt knives which shoot people in the foot (I'm at it now but it was too good to resist!), it's simply trite to characterise your preferences-for-everything way as sharp and mine as blunt. FWIW I'm one of the few who advocates AutoSync as the default behaviour and for all adjustments....

There are plenty of other safeguards in Lightroom (eg the changes to filter panel in LR3, no local adjustment in AutoSync mode, no crop in presets) and the balanced way forward is an easy way to kill messages for the session. It easily deals with your laptop straw man argument, while leaving you perfectly free to shoot yourself anywhere you choose....
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Sven Beller

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Hi all,

I'm with you regarding the "File missing" message which I find inacceptable intrusive.
I often use my laptop to rate pictures while I'm not connected to the original photos, and the "File missing" message prevents me from having a clear view of the picture.
Deactivation of this message should surely be a preset option, especially as in Lr2 this message appeard only for those pictures where I zoomed in at least once.

I very much like the feedback on any other command executed in Lr, so far it has not slowed down my workflow. But I can understand that it might be the case for others. I'm a great fan of user preferences, and the more I can customize the better.

My workaround to get rid of the unwanted messages so far:
I've create a preset in the "slideshow" module where I can view the entire picture without the "File missing" message and still add ratings. It even works with the "auto-forward" option (while CAPS lock is active). Also P, X and U are working.

And if you run the slideshow (and set it to pause mode to allow for individual forward speed) all the options mentioned above work even without the feedback-message.

Still, this really is only a workaround, and in terms of a professional software as Lr there really should be a user-setting.
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Sven Beller

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Here is link to a related topic regarding the "File missing" message:
http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...