16 Lightroom Editing Tricks & Shortcuts (How many do you know?)

16 Lightroom Editing Tips & Shortcuts

These Lightroom Shortcuts & Workflow Hacks Will Improve Your Editing & Speed Up Your Workflow

In this Lightroom tutorial you’ll learn 16 Local Adjustment Brush tricks, tips & shortcuts to help you improve your Lightroom editing workflow – How many do you know?!

Inside you’ll find a combination of keyboard shortcuts and hidden Lightroom features that you might never have known existed. Let us know your favourite Lightroom tip / shortcut in the comments below!


Lightroom Shortcut #1

Press the “O” key to reveal your mask overlay

This tip is absolutely essential for fine tuning your adjustments and making sure you know exactly which areas of an image you are effecting. Pressing the “o” key will toggle on a color overlay to help you visually see where you are painting inside Lightroom.


Lightroom Adjustment Trick #2

Press shift+o to reveal mask color

If you find the default pink overlay is too intense, pressing shift and o will toggle different colors for your overlay. This is a super unknown and hidden lightroom secret.


Lightroom Shortcut #3

Alt/option key = eraser toggle

Using alt/optionkey inside Lightroom Local Adjustments lets you quickly toggle between your brush and your eraser, saving you TONS of time. The alt/option key is pretty much Lightroom’s secret weapon. If you haven’t watched our video on the alt/option key in Lightroom, you NEED to check it out!


Lightroom Adjustment Trick #4

Hold alt to adjust effect intensity

Another alt option keyboard shortcut: Holding the alt/option key will allow you to drag the dot from your adjustment layer left or right to adjust the intensity of your effect. Super handy and saves you having to adjust all your slider settings manually!


Lightroom Adjustment Shortcut #5

Hold alt to reset settings

One more alt/option trick: Holding alt/option will toggle a “reset all” button on your effect settings, allowing you to quickly reset all your brush settings without needing to reset individual sliders.


Lightroom Adjustment Shortcut #6

Use automask to quickly select hard selections

If you don’t use the automask feature inside Lightroom, you are seriously missing out! Lightroom’s automask tool saves tons of time AND helps you mask out complicated borders in seconds that wouldn’t really be possible by hand. For an in depth walkthrough, make sure to watch our tutorial on the automask in Lightroom.


Lightroom Secret Shortcut #7

Command key = toggle auto mask

This is a genius little trick I only recently came across, and it BLEW MY MIND! Simply holding the command key down while painting with your adjustment brush will automatically enable to automask feature, saving you having to manually turn automask off and on every time you want to use it. SUPER HELPFUL!


Lightroom Workflow Shortcut #8

Use the / key for A B Brush toggle

Find yourself switching between brushes in Lightroom? With the / keyboard shortcut you can instantly switch between the A brush and B brush in Lightroom. Knowing the keyboard shortcut for toggling between the different brushes in Lightroom will save you tons of time editing photos. This Lightroom Editing Shortcut is one of our favs!


Lightroom Adjustment Brush Tip #9

Hold the shift key to create perfectly straight lines

If you’re ever editing Landscape photos or architecture / real estate photography, you’ll often need to create masks along perfectly straight lines. Using the shift key in Lightroom lets you instantly create straight lines between different points, giving you a perfect mask in a fraction of the time.


Lightroom Adjustment Shortcut #10

Use Lightroom’s range mask to select specific color / luminance

Sometimes automask in Lightroom just doesn’t work. When that’s the case, the color and luminance range masks inside Lightroom’s local adjustment brushes and filters can save you hours of tedious masking. Quickly mask out a certain color in your image, or select that blown out sky using the luminance range mask. Its a great tool to have in your editing bag of tricks.


Lightroom Quick Trick #11

Add any color you want to Lightroom

Once you’ve masked out part of your image, you can add color to that area using the Lightroom color swatch in the bottom of your effects panel! Desaturate the mask and add whatever color you like. Simply duplicate the mask to reach your desired intensity and effect. This lets you change the color of pretty much anything in Lightroom. SUPER HANDY.


Lightroom Quick Trick #12

Add an overlay tint to your entire image

You don’t have to stop with local color adjustments! Using the color tool and a gradient filter you can add a colorcast / color overlay to your entire image in Lightroom. This has got to be one of the most helpful Lightroom secrets we’ve come across!


Lightroom Workflow Tip #13

Easily save & reuse your own brush presets

If you aren’t using local adjustment presets, you are wasting SO. MUCH. TIME!!!! Make sure to save common settings that you use often as their own presets so that you don’t have to start from scratch every time. Adjustment brush presets = more consistent editing in a fraction of the time. BAM Lightroom productivity hack.

All our preset packs come with a full suite of local adjustment brush presets to help you with your lightroom editing workflow. You can check them out here:


Lightroom Workflow Shortcut #14

Use the ‘ key to invert the selection of your local adjustment

Another go-to keyboard shortcut in Lightroom is the ‘ key. Selecting this key when using a radial / graduated filter will invert your selection, allowing you to quickly make adjustments and saving you the trouble of manually selecting the “invert selection” box every time.


Essential Lightroom Shortcut #15

Double click any setting to reset its value

This isn’t much of a Lightroom Secret, BUT its the most basic and common Lightroom Shortcuts that wind up saving you the most time! If you’re manually dragging sliders back to zero, try just double clicking that effect – It will instantly reset the settings without messing around with sliders.


Lightroom Adjustment Layer Shortcut #16

Add / remove from radial & graduated filters using the brush feature

The ability to add / remove sections of your radial or graduated filter mask is a relatively secret & under-utilized Lightroom feature, but can be SUPER handy. Simply make your regular radial or graduated filter selection, then click the brush icon to add to that selection however you like. Hold the alt/option key to toggle the eraser and presto, you’ve got a powerful radial/graduated filter brush combo just like the pros.

That’s it for out 16 Hidden Lightroom Shortcuts & Tricks using Lightroom Adjustment Layers! Did we miss any?
Let me know which of the 16 do you think is the most helpful in the comments below!