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In this installment of the Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials series, author and teacher Chris Orwig guides photographers through the process of improving images with creative color, sharpening, and other effects in the Lightroom Develop module. The course covers each of the tools and features in the Develop module, and shows how to perform basic adjustments, such as exposure enhancement; how to improve image quality through noise reduction and clarity adjustments; how to apply creative effects, such as split toning and vignettes; and how to perform advanced tasks, such as correcting for lens distortion. Exercise files are included with the course.
Throughout the entirety of your Lightroom workflow, and especially in the Develop module, you'll be spending a lot of time navigating to the various panels on the right-hand side. Because of that, I want to share a few tips with you, which I think will help you optimize the way you work with those panels. Now, we've already talked about how we can click on a panel name, or on the triangle icon in order to expand the panel. Next, we know that we can click on the scrollbar in order to scroll up and down. This is especially helpful if we have multiple panels open; we can scroll between the settings in those two panels.
Yet another way to scroll, rather than simply clicking-and-dragging, is if you have a three-button mouse, you can hover over the panel area, and then use that third button: the scroll wheel. Here, we can simply move the scroll wheel up or down in order to scroll. All right. Well, scrolling is fine, but again, there has to be a better way. Well, there is. Let's go ahead and close all of these panels for a moment, and talk a little bit about how we can change the functionality of how these panels actually work. Have you ever seen one of those file cabinets which has a lot of file drawers, and it only allows you to open one drawer at a time, so the entire file cabinet doesn't tip over? Well, there's something similar to that in Lightroom.
It's called Solo mode. Solo mode changes the functionality of the panels, so that only one panel can be open at a time. There are two different ways to turn on or off Solo mode. Let me show you what those are. You can go ahead and hover over the panel area, and then right-click, or Control+Click. This will open up a contextual menu. About halfway down in that menu, you'll see something which is called Solo mode. If you select that option, you notice that the icon for each panel -- the little triangle button here --- well it's changed; it's now made out of dots.
If you click to open up a panel, what will happen is that panel will be open. If you open another, well, it will close the other one by default. In other words, only one panel can be open at a time, and this can be really helpful. It can prevent you from having to scroll up and down in order to view all of the different panel contents; rather, you can just focus on one panel at a time. All right! Well, so far so good. We've learned how we can scroll, how we can change the functionality of those panels, but of course, there has to be more, and there is.
The next thing I want to share with you is a really valuable shortcut. This shortcut will actually help you to open and close these different panels without even clicking or scrolling. In order to talk about this shortcut, I want to pull up a slide. So here I'm going to go ahead and navigate to my slide, and talk about the module navigation shortcuts. Now these shortcuts, well, they're not for the faint of heart. They're going to be a little bit difficult to remember, but if you can remember them, it will be well worth it. All right. Well, what these shortcuts allow us to do is to open or close the various panels one at a time.
Let me pull up the shortcut, and then really focus in and talk about it. What you can do is, on a Mac, press Command, on Windows, press Control, and then press a number. Each panel from the top down is associated with a number. If we were to press Command or Control+4, it would open or close the Split Toning panel. Let me show you how this works inside of Lightroom. What I'm going to do here is press my shortcut key -- Command on Mac; Control on Windows -- and then I'll press the 1 key. That will open the Basic panel. Press it again; that will close the Basic panel.
As you can see here, what you can do is press this shortcut in order to open or close the various panels. Now, you may be thinking, oh man! This is going to be impossible to remember. How am I going to remember all those numbers? Well, here's the good news. All that you need to remember is Command on Mac, Control on Windows, and numbers, and then you can start to just guess. You can press a number and if you didn't get it right, well press it again to close that panel, and then try another, and you can just kind of go through these one at a time trying to figure out what it is until you get it right, and until you teach yourself these shortcuts.
You also might be thinking, you know what? I don't like shortcuts at all. I just simply want to click. Well, that's fine. If you prefer to click, and just click, and then scroll, that is a really valid and good way to navigate as well. All that I want to do here is just show you what your options are, so that you can start to work more effectively with these various panels. All right. Well, before we wrap up this movie, I'm just going to navigate to Library module, and I want to highlight a Resource file that I've included with the exercise files here for you. This is one which might help you memorize these different shortcuts.
Here, you can see it; it just has all of these shortcuts written out. And again, all that you need to remember is that shortcut modifier key, plus the numbers. This particular shortcut; it works in every module, but I think you'll find it to be most helpful in the Develop module.
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