LIGHTROOM: Shades of grey for different selection states are not different enough

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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Lightroom has three different levels of selection (not selected, selected, most selected) and represents this state with different colors of grey. This is a poor choice, because they are very difficult to differentiate.

For instance, it's very difficult to identify the beginning or the end of a long selection when scrolling, because everything is just grey.

Please make the colors customizable, or at least set them to easily distinguishable colors.
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oliv

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  • frustrated

Posted 6 years ago

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jdv, Champion

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I would really love it if Adobe and other vendors started using the notions behind things like Solarized in their UIs.
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Ian Seward

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I could not agree more!!! Whilst I appreciate that for a designer harmonious gentle shading may give something that is aesthetically pleasing, it is more important with a productivity tool to ensure that selection is clearly identifiable without strain.
I have had several times when I unexpectedly applied an action to a selection because in the pressure to get a job done I did not notice I still had more than one photo selected. Perhaps if you let the user set some of the UI interface colours then the product could ship with an excellent aesthetically pleasing, but impractical colour scheme. This would be good for product shots, reviews etc, but then the user could set whatever garish colour they want to be able to see selected shots easily.
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Lee Jay

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Whenever someone posts this, I wonder if they have their blackpoint miscalibrated. Monitors usually come WAY out of calibration especially in blackpoint, so this is certainly possible. There three shades are so blatantly obvious to me, that it's hard for me to understand how they could be hard to see on a properly adjusted viewing system - especially the beginning and end of a selection.
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john beardsworth

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Whenever I see someone making this point, I just think they're right.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I don't have an issue spotting the difference myself, but I've heard it enough times to think that a higher contrast option and a cursor showing the number of photos selected wouldn't go amiss.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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To clarify a bit, there are actually four shades of gray usable for cells in Grid view.

If stacks are involved in selection you see the fourth shade.

White and Black are reserved for interface items

10% Gray is Most selected (active)
25% Gray is Selected
50% Gray Is not Selected (either a single image or a collapsed stack)
70% Gray is not Selected but part of a stack that is expanded

I am kinda with Lee Jay here. If you can't tell the difference your monitor is likely out of whack or you are probably having trouble just adjusting your images
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oliv

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Nice overview, thanks !

There is however at least one shade missing : if you hover your mouse over a picture, you will see that its background becomes slightly lighter.

Also, the percentages are not the one I have in my Lightroom 4.

This is what I see, in RGB values (0=black, 255=white):
235 : Most selected
203 : Selected
162 : Not selected, under the mouse
146 : Not selected
103 : Not selected, part of stack, under the mouse
95 : Not selected, part of stack

Grey shades are already not a good idea for the selection, but it's even overloaded with other features (mouse hovering, stacks). I just realized that. That's probably playing an important role in the confusion.
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oliv

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Thanks for the clarification Rikk.

The calibration argument is very weird and weak. All Lightroom users should have a calibrated monitor, but making the usability of the software depending on that is very questionable.

And I think everyone can see the difference between the shades when they are next to each other, but that's not the point. The points are:

1) the human brain is very good and quick at associating colors with meanings. This is widely used: red error messages, traffic lights, girly pink... But it doesn't work with shades of grey, at least not in my brain.
I am sure we will all agree that traffic lights are much better with their current color scheme than they would be with the shades of grey Lightroom is using. So we are asking Lightroom to let us use this natural ability too.

2) It's not easy for everyone to identity an isolated shade of grey, especially when you are focusing on a higher level task (e.g. tagging, deleting pictures...). It is however very easy to identify the majors colors; it's just mechanical.

3) obviously a non negligible amout of users are complaining about the current color code, which is critical in everyday's work with Lightroom. It would be very unprofessional from Adobe to ignore them.
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Lee Jay

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Odd as it might sound, some outstanding photographers are color-blind. My favorite bird photographer is. Traffic lights work for these people because red is on top, yellow is in the middle, and green is at the bottom. My friend that is color blind tells me when the city chooses to mount their lights sideways, he can't tell when it's red and when it's green.

For those of us fortunate to have full color vision, realize that colors that surround your images affect your perception of the colors within the images. I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect this is the reason LR's background choices are all gray.

And if you did choose colors for selections, etc. how would you distinguish those from the colors of the color labels?
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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No where near all LR users have calibrated monitors. Many who do calibrate for color do not for brightness and that is where much of the problem lies. I see post after post of people with "too dark" prints whose fault is truly the brightness of their monitor. LR minimum specs do not require calibration.

What colors would you use? Most of the common colors are taken. See attached. If you put all these colors on screen as is currently possibly what color is going to give you the distinction necessary to define selection. (I personally don't have any trouble picking this out)

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Ian Seward

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Oliv's point:

"2) It's not easy for everyone to identity an isolated shade of grey, especially when you are focusing on a higher level task (e.g. tagging, deleting pictures...). It is however very easy to identify the majors colors; it's just mechanical."

Exactly mirrors my view, and I use a calibrated monitor.

As to how to improve the selection colours, I am absolutely confident in the LR teams abilities and that they will be able to implement a suitable scheme in a future release.
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oliv

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I don't pretend to have a perfect solution for everyone and every case. I originally opened this thread as "issue", not "idea" (see http://forums.adobe.com/message/4713116 for the full story).

The point is that selection is a critical feature, and the current representation is just not working for many people.
I expect that Adobe has people specialized in usability, and know the big picture, and that they should find out a solution.
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Final Cut User Group

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1.) I would like to see a better separation/contrast in between selected items an non selected items. this effect is most annoying in the filmstrip view. you have to look very hard to see if there is an item selected or not. also in the multiple library view.

2.) there also has to be more room in between items in the filmstrip view.

3.) make the filmstrip view more accessible and make scrolling more enjoyable.

and fourth: don't be lazy and add a damn slider in the interface preferences for adjusting brightness/darkness for the interface! This is so lame bacause even Adbe Bridge has a slider for adjusting GUI brightness.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Contrast for selected items, scrolling and other brawl.