The Alt (PC) or Option (Mac) key reveals a lot of convenient additional functionality in most or all of Lightroom’s modules. The problem is, there is nothing on the screen to tell you where holding it down may reveal something useful. In this post I will list all of the Alt/Option functionality that I have found in the Develop module. If I miss something that you are aware of, do leave a comment to let us all know! I’ll follow up with one or more posts on its use in other modules.
Alt/Option Key Uses in the Develop Module
- All Panels: Alt/Option-Click on a panel name (e.g. Basic, Tone Curve, Detail) to open that panel and collapse all others in the column (if you are not already in Solo Mode, which you can get to by right-clicking on a panel name.)
- Right-hand Develop panels: Within each panel except the point curve, holding down Alt/Option will reveal a Reset button that you can click on to reset all sliders in that section back to their defaults.
- Basic Panel – holding down Alt/Option on the slider triangle as you slide:
- Exposure, Highlights, Whites will reveal completely clipped (blown-out) highlights in white, and individual colors clipped in color. Black means not clipped.
- Shadows, Blacks: will reveal clipped shadows in black; white means not clipped.
This functionality can help you see where your clipped highlights and shadows are, and help you to set your sliders so that you don’t clip them. Many images look good with tones that range from almost pure black to pure white — but remember that your goal is to produce something that looks good aesthetically.