If you are a heavy Lightroom user like me and more than 90% of your retouching is done in the Develop Module rather than Adobe Photoshop, then you might need to know some of the useful keyboard shortcuts that will make your workflow quicker and more efficient.
1. Moving along the Develop panels
The basic panel can be controlled by your keyboard without the need for a mouse. Press period (.) or comma (,) for selecting the next slider (e.g., Exposure) and then press plus (+) to increase the value and press minus (-) to decrease the value of that slider. To go to the next panel, all you have to do is to press period (.) again.
2. Auto Tone and Auto White Balance
Most of the time, you start with and finish with the Auto Tone in Lightroom specially if the photos are family or friends photo or even vacation documentation collections. When you don't want to spend a lot of time setting your WB and retouching:
To set Auto WB just hit Cmd (Mac) / Control (Win) + Shift + U
To set Auto Tone just hit Cmd (Mac) / Control (Win) + U
3. Star and Color Rating
After you finish retouching a photo you realize that it is a winner and you want to give it a 3 stars rating and a color code of red. Easy, just hit 3 for the stars and 5 for red. The scale is from 0 to 9 where 0 means no star rating, 5 means 5 stars, and 9 means blue color. The purple color however have no shortcut or at least I couldn't find one for it.
4. Copy and Paste develop settings
The most useful shortcuts I came across to sync the same develop settings across many photos taken under the same lighting and color conditions. Just hit Cmd (Mac) / Control (Win) + C to copy develop settings. You will be prompted to choose which ones. Always make sure the "Process Version" is checked. Select all other photos and hit Cmd (Mac) / Control (Win) + V.
5. Cropping and Straightening
The Straighten Tool within Crop tool can be used to straighten out a photo by drawing a line across the horizon that should be a straight. The crop will automatically adjust itself so this line. This is useful if the horizon line is not leveled or you want to straighten against a pillar or vertical line.
If you have many photos that need leveling or straightening, you can speed up the process by using this shortcut: Just press R to go to the crop tool. Now to straighten with the keyboard rather than accessing the Straighten Tool by clicking on the icon in the panel, just hold down the Cmd (Mac) / Control (Win) key and the straighten tool will appear. From there just draw the line and the crop will adjust. This is a quick way to straighten a photo without needing to click on the tool itself.
6. Toggle between the brush and the eraser tools
Spending a lot of time using the local adjustment brush? You will find this shortcut a life saver to your carpal tunnel syndrome :) switching back and forth between the brush and eraser tools. Use Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) to go back and forth between the two.
These are just a few of many shortcuts available in Lightroom. Shortcuts will save you hours of work in your workflow, and takes only seconds to learn. What other shortcut do you find useful to your Lightroom workflow? Share your input below. Until then, go out and shoot then go back and try and enjoy these 6 shortcuts.