Killer Lightroom tips: 10 things you never knew you could do in Adobe’s software

Killer Lightroom tips: 10 things you never knew you could do in Adobe's Photoshop alternative

Killer Lightroom tips: 10 things you never knew you could do in Adobe's Photoshop alternative

Adobe Lightroom is one of the most popular raw conversion and image editing software packages around, and now that it is supplied with Photoshop CC as part of Adobe’s photography plan, it’s being used by even more people. In this article we take a look at a few Lightroom tricks that this powerful package has up its sleeve.

Killer Lightroom tips: 1. See collections on iPhone and iPad

Lightroom Mobile: 11 answers to 11 burning questions

With the upgrade to Lightroom 5.4 Adobe introduced Lightroom mobile and the ability for Creative Cloud subscribers to see synced collections on their iPad. Now with Lightroom 5.5 this has been extended to iPhones.

All you need to do is upgrade to the latest version of Lightroom and download the Lightroom for iPhone app on your phone.

Then, once you’ve linked Lightroom to your Creative Cloud account, you simply mark the Collections that you want to synchronise.

After this you’ll be able to browse images in your chosen collections, make non-destructive adjustments and flag and rate images.

SEE MORE: 8 mistakes every photographer makes using Lightroom (and how to avoid them)

Killer Lightroom tips: 2. Use an external drive

Best external hard drive for photographers - Seagate GoFlex Desk 4TB

One of the great features of Lightroom is that it can work with images stored on an external hard drive, even a NAS (network attached storage) drive, so you don’t have to fill your computer’s hard drive with images.

If you start off with images on your computer and want to move them to an external hard drive, make sure that you move them from within Lightroom so that the software can keep track of the files.

You can also store your catalog, the .LRCAT file that holds all the data about your images, on an external drive, you just need to double-click on it to open it in Lightroom. That’s useful if you switch between different computers.


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  • Steve

    Killer Tip #11: If you have a series of actions or presets that you add to EVERY image you import into Lightroom, you can specify these as a “Develop Preset”. My Develop Preset only has a few settings, all in the Lens Corrections Module; On the BASIC tab: “Enable Profile Corrections” & “Remove Chromatic Aberration”; on the PROFILE tab I’ve pre-entered ‘Canon’.

    To set up your own:
    1) Import an image into LR and open Develop mode
    2) Make the settings you want applied in the various Modules
    3) At the top of the Preset pane, click on the ‘+’ sign to “Add new preset”
    4) On the screen that opens, deselect any settings you don’t want applied
    5) Choose which folder you want to save the Develop Preset to and click ‘Create’
    6) Right click on the new preset you have created and select: “Apply On Import”

    Lightroom only allows you to have one Develop Preset at any time, so if you want to set up more, you’ll have to ensure you’ve selected the one you want to use before you import your images. To stop LR from automatically applying any Develop Presets, right click on the one you previously used (it will have a ‘+’ sign next to its name) and uncheck the “Apply On Import” option.

  • Steve

    Killer Tip #12: You can customize the LR Menu Bar. Not only can you change what the Identity Plate says, you can also change the font and colours of all the Menu items.

    To access the customization panel:
    1) Right click on the Identity Plate and select “Edit Identity Plate”
    2) Hover the mouse pointer just to the right of the current Identity Plate and a small white arrow will appear. Left click on the arrow and select “Change Identity Plate”.

    For example, aside from displaying my name, I’ve customized my LR menu bar so the main options are deep red in colour when inactive, and bright green when active. It’s not much, but I find it does make a difference!

  • While moving your photos to an external hard drive and letting Lightroom accessing them from there is a good idea, doing so for the Lightroom (LR) catalog is not. This because if you move your catalog to an external hard drive your execution of LR will be slower.