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Lightroom Filmstrip Quick Tips

Lightroom filmstrip

In Lightroom, the strip of photos along the bottom of the screen in each module is called the filmstrip.

Here are a few tips for working with it:

  • The filmstrip shows whatever photos you have selected in the Library module — a folder, a collection, or a catalog selection.
  • You can navigate through your photos in the filmstrip with the left and right arrow keys on your keyboard.
  • You can hide or unhide the filmstrip by clicking on the triangle at the bottom center of your Lightroom window:

Hide and Unhide Lightroom Filmstrip

  • The shortcut for  hiding and unhiding it is shift-F6.
  • You can make the filmstrip larger or smaller by hovering over the top black edge of it until you get the double arrow, and then clicking and dragging up or down:

Change Lightroom Filmstrip Size

Note that if you make it too small, your thumbnail badges (symbols for GPS data, keywords, crop, develop settings, virtual copies, stacks, collections, etc.) won’t show:

Lightroom Filmstrip Too Small for Badges to Show

  • If you hover over a thumbnail, Lightroom displays its file name:

Lightroom Filmstrip Display Filename

  • If you have given your virtual copy a copy name, it will display after the file name (Black and White in this case.) See my post on naming virtual copies for more information on this topic.

lightroom-filmstrip-virtual-copy-name

  • Clicking on the triangle to the right of file name / copy name is a convenient way to jump to folders or collections that you have used recently or that you designate as Favorites. Here’s a post with more information on using this Recent Sources list.

Lightroom Filmstrip Recent Sources

  • The right side of the filmstrip has a small version of Lightroom’s filter bar, allowing you to filter according to number of stars, flags, and color labels. Click on the word Filter to collapse or expand this. Watch my video on how to find your photos in Lightroom for more information on this filter bar, as well as the main Library Filter bar.

Lightroom Filmstrip Filter Bar

  •  Finally, here are explanations of the symbols at the top left of the filmstrip :

Lightroom Filmstrip Shortcuts

Click here to read more about working with two monitors, and here for an idea for using the second monitor window even when you only have one monitor!

 

2017-09-03T14:59:45-07:00 March 25th, 2013|13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Barrie Wedding Photographer March 26, 2013 at 12:29 pm - Reply

    Great LR tips, thank you!

  2. Michele Goebel March 28, 2013 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Thank you for all your wonderful teaching! I watched your CreatLive workshop last week and bought all the tutorials. Thank you so much for your clear teaching!

    I have a question: all my photos are on my desktop. Is that
    A problem and if so how can I move them to the regular c: drive, not on the desktop.

    Should I move them within Lightroom as usual? Will if affect my Catalog?

    • Laura Shoe April 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      Hi Michele, I am not sure if there is a space constraint for the Desktop folder on a PC. I do think it would be better to put them in your Pictures folder, and put a shortcut to that folder on your desktop. If your Pictures folder is already showing in the Folders panel in LR, you can drag your folders into it. If it is not showing, you’ll have to add it. Make sure there is one photo in Pictures that is not yet in LR, and import that picture, using Add in the top center of the Import dialog. This will force it to appear in Folders.

    • Kathy Eyster June 22, 2013 at 9:17 am - Reply

      Having too many icons of any kind on the desktop, whether Windows or Mac, can cause a substantial slow-down in performance. Keep your desktop clean by removing unused shortcuts (Windows) and filing documents, pictures, folders, etc. in an appropriate place on your hard drive. I use the Taskbar (Windows) to collect shortcuts to frequently used programs. (Sort of like using the Dock on a Mac.)

  3. Kathy Eyster June 22, 2013 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Having too many icons of any kind on the desktop, whether Windows or Mac, can cause a substantial slow-down in performance. Keep your desktop clean by removing unused shortcuts (Windows) and filing documents, pictures, folders, etc. in an appropriate place on your hard drive. I use the Taskbar (Windows) to collect shortcuts to frequently used programs. (Sort of like using the Dock on a Mac.)

  4. w.m July 24, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

    I can’t thank you enough .. i have been going crazy wondering why the thumbnail badges won’t show. I had been updating , reinstalling and hovering over the internet looking for an answer while All i had to do was increase the size .. Thank you once again !!

  5. Mary July 8, 2016 at 11:46 am - Reply

    The icons on my filmstrip have disappeared (ratings, edit)–any idea on how to get them back?

    • Laura Shoe July 15, 2016 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      Your filmstrip is too small, Mary. Hover over the black/gray border to the filmstrip until you get the double-arrow, then click and drag up.

  6. Lynne October 11, 2016 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Help! The top black edge of the film strip has disappeared so I can’t see the information that is displayed there. And I can’t resize the strip smaller either. Is there a fix?

    • Laura Shoe October 21, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply

      Sorry for the delay, Lynne. If you haven’t resolved this, then I’d recommend posting at lightroomforums.net (create an account, then sign in first) – you’ll be able to post a screenshot there so folks can see your issue – you can’t do so here.

      • Lynne October 21, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

        Thanks for responding, Laura. I ended up contacting Adobe support. They had to delete my preferences file to solve the problem.

  7. Anthony September 6, 2017 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Just a request, as we learn Lightroom it is easy to forget what some of the Develop sliders do. A page of definitions , e.g. what are Vibrance, Clarity, Saturation, Highlights etc. would be a useful thing to have on my desk. I feel this would help in the post production side of things.

    • Laura Shoe September 9, 2017 at 4:39 pm - Reply

      Thank you for the suggestion, Anthony! I’m pretty buried right now but I’ll consider it for some point down the road – I agree that it would be useful.

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