Sep 162012

I find that half the battle in writing a blog is coming up with ideas for what to write about. I do my best to come up with ideas  that I think will be helpful to you, but I’m curious — what do YOU want to learn or read about?  Please leave a comment below with any and all suggestions. I’d love to build up a list of ideas.

Thank you in advance!


Sep 142012

Many of you know that I am a fan of adding keywords to photos in Lightroom, so that you can find them quickly later. In this post I will go over some  shortcuts to help you add keywords more quickly.

With a photo selected (or group of photos selected in Grid view):

  • Ctl/Cmd-K will open up your Keywording panel on the right-hand side in the Library module, with the cursor in the box to add new keywords.

ctl-k keyword shortcut keywording lightroom


  • Ctl/Cmd-Shift-K will put the cursor in the larger Keywording box, so that you can edit keywords you have already added (or type in new ones.)

ctl-shift-k lightroom edit keywords


If there is one keyword or a list of keywords that you would like to be able to apply to selected photos with a keyboard shortcut (Shift-K), you can set up the keyword in one of two ways:

  • In the menu bar in the Library module, go to Metadata>Set Keyword Shortcut... Type in the keyword, or set of keywords, separated by commas.
  • In your Keyword List panel (below the Keywording panel), right-click on the desired keyword, and choose Use this as Keyword Shortcut. (You now will see a “+” to the right of it.) With this method, you can only select one keyword.

With the keyword(s) assigned, select a photo, or a group of photos in Grid view, and type Shift-K to assign.

If you want to set up different keyboard shortcuts for several keywords, you can use Keyword Sets to do so. I will discuss how to set up and use Keyword Sets in my next post.

Related Posts:

Three Ways to Keyword Your Photos on Lightroom

Organize Your Lightroom Keywords into Keyword Hierarchies

Don’t Forget to Keyword Your Photos — How to Keep Track of Them So You Can

How to Add Hierarchical Keywords when Importing

Eliminating Lightroom Keyword Duplicates and Misspellings

Sep 072012

Jeffrey Friedl Lightroom Preview ExtractorHopefully most of you will never need this post, because you have an effective backup strategy, that backs up both your Lightroom catalog and your image files. I have written about this in the following posts:

Avoiding Lightroom-Generated Headaches and Heart Attacks

I Would Cry If I Lost the Work I Did Today: How to Back Up Your Lightroom Photo Library

But what if you did not read these, and really do lose your image files? (Perhaps you mistakenly thought that you could delete the original image files because you thought that Lightroom had its own copy, or you did not back up your image files and lost them in a crash.)  If you still have your catalog, meaning that Lightroom opens successfully and you can see image previews, but they have question marks, you can probably recover something.

Before I get into what and how, let me say that most times users have question marks on photos and folders, it is not because they have truly lost their images — it is because they have moved, renamed or deleted them outside of Lightroom. Here’s a post on why question marks occur and how to resolve them.

But if you truly have lost them, there is some hope to get back something — at best, full-size jpeg copies of your files. Lightroom stores up to three jpeg copies of your photos behind the scenes. It stores a little thumbnail jpeg, which you see in Grid View in the Library Module or in the filmstrip, it stores a standard, or screen-sized preview, that you see in Loupe View in the Library Module (and the output modules), and it can store a full-size, 1:1 jpeg copy of your image file. The fact that Lightroom stores these jpeg copies (that on the surface we are not usually even aware of) is what allows us to see all of our photos almost instantly when we open Lightroom, and as we move from task to task. Whether Lightroom has all three of these jpeg copies for any one of your photos will depend —  on how you set your import settings and your preferences, and what you have done with your photos (for example, zooming in on a photo causes Lightroom to create the 1:1 preview if you hadn’t done so during import).  Bottom line, you have lost your photos, so the idea is to get the best jpeg preview copy available.

So how do you recover these previews?

Continue reading »

Sep 042012

Mac Retina Display Support

Adobe announced this past week that within the next few months they will provide a free update to Lightroom and Photoshop (and some other programs) that will include MacBook Pro Retina Display support  (i.e. high pixel density display support). Until they are redesigned in these updates, certain elements of the software interface will appear jagged when viewed on these higher resolution displays.   Click here to read the announcement from Adobe. Note that if you are planning to get a Mac with the new Retina Display, there is no reason to hold off on account of Lightroom or Photoshop — the software interface still looks very good. Here is an article by Matt Klowskowski on his experience thus far.

Adobe Creative Cloud Pricing

Creative Cloud is Adobe’s subscription service for CS6, Lightroom and other software. For individuals, it is $49.99/month with an annual subscription, and entitles you to periodic updates to all software included in the Cloud. Adobe originally offered a special deal to current owners of at least one CS3 or later product — their first annual subscription at $29.99/month — but this was set to expire August 31, 2012. However, Adobe has now extended this offer for CS3 or later product owners through June 1, 2013.

Here’s an earlier post I wrote on the Creative Cloud and on deciding whether to subscribe to it or purchase stand-alone products.

Click here for more information from Adobe on the cloud and to subscribe.

Aug 272012

As is often the case in advance of an official release, Adobe tonight has made available a “release candidate” of Lightroom 4.2, available for download from Adobe Labs. The release candidate has been tested by Adobe testers, but they are now seeking broader user experience and feedback before finalizing 4.2.

This RC contains several bug fixes, as well as support for several new cameras. If these bugs are significant issues for you or you have one of these new cameras, I would update to this RC. Otherwise, I would suggest waiting for the official release. For those of you who have been experiencing performance issues with Lightroom 4.1, the list of bug fixes released below does not include any fixes for these issues.

New cameras supported:

  • Canon EOS 650D / Rebel T4i
  • Canon EOS M
  • Fuji FinePix F800EXR
  • Leaf Credo 40
  • Leaf Credo 60
  • Panasonic DMC-FZ200
  • Panasonic DMC-G5
  • Panasonic DMC-LX7
  • Pentax K-30
  • Sony DSC-RX100

Bugs fixed: Continue reading »

Aug 202012

Keyword Hierarchy in LightroomI wrote a post several months ago on how to organize your Lightroom keywords into keyword hierarchies. This allows you to more easily manage your keywords, and also to efficiently assign the full hierarchy by simply assigning the lowest level keyword.

Will D. wrote in to ask how you could assign a hierarchy when importing photos, and suggested that it would make a good blog post  — I agree!


In the Apply During Import section on the right-hand side of the Import dialog, you have the opportunity to add keywords that apply to all photos in the shoot you are importing (keywords that you want to apply to only a subset of the shoot should be assigned in the Library module after import.)  Let’s say I want to add the following hierarchy of keywords to all photos I am importing:

    • North America
      • United States
        • Idaho

There are three scenarios:

1. If this hierarchy does not yet exist  in your Keyword List panel in the Library module (or if you haven’t added Idaho to it), then you would type Idaho>United States>North America>LOCATION:

lightroom import new keyword hierarchy

Alternatively you could type “LOCATION | North America | United States | Idaho” — the “|” key is shift-\, and is above the Enter/Return key on U.S. keyboards. (Thank you to John Beardsworth and Gene McCullagh for this tip.)

Continue reading »

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