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Join photographer and author Chris Orwig in Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, as he explores the interface of this popular image-management program and shows how to use its Library module to organize and manage a photo library. The course covers importing both still images and video; shooting in tethered-capture mode; organizing and rating images with flags, stars, labels, and location tags; and working with collections. The course also details how to export, email, and share photos, and introduces the Lightroom 4 video-editing features, as well as its ability to work together with the full editing power of Photoshop. Exercise files are included with the course.
Here I want to introduce you to the Lightroom interface and a few helpful shortcuts which will help you navigate around Lightroom and work with this tool a little bit more effectively. This will also help us develop a common vocabulary, so you know how to refer to the different elements of Lightroom. All right! Well, I have a few slides here I want to go through. You can see that what I am going to do with these slides is dim out an area of Lightroom so we can focus on one particular aspect of it. Starting off at the top, up there we have the Menu Bar, and immediately underneath that we have the different Modules; in the right-hand side, those are called the Module Pickers.
We can click on the names of the different modules in order to navigate to them. There also are some shortcuts we can use as well to navigate to those different modules. Then in the middle of Lightroom we have what's called the Work Area, this is where we'll be viewing our photographs and this is true regardless of the different module we're working on, we can view the slideshow, or the print, or the web gallery, or whatever it is we're working on, we'll view that in that Work Area. Next we have the Panels. The Panels on the left and the right are really important, because in Lightroom this is where all the controls are, this is where we're going to make all the changes and do all the stuff that we do in Lightroom.
Moving to another element of the interface, below the Work Area we have what's called the Toolbar. Now, the Toolbar, we can do a lot of different things with and what we do here will really depend on some of the options that we set up. Yet the Toolbar will become really important for us in regards to a few different aspects. Then beneath everything, at the bottom we have what's called the Film Strip. Now, the Film Strip gives us a wonderful way to access our photographs. We can also choose to display some information down there which describes our photos, whether it's a label, or the way the image has been processed, or the type of photograph.
So again, Film Strip gives us the ability to access and to also identify some important things that we've done to our photographs. All right! Well, that's the Lightroom interface, now that we've been introduced to it, let's move back around, and here what I want to do is highlight a few shortcuts. Now, I know there are users out there who absolutely love shortcuts and others who don't. Well, one of the things that I've found is true with Lightroom is that there aren't a ton of shortcuts, and taking some time to learn some of the essential shortcuts can really help you out. Here are a few.
In the Toolbar you can see we have the ability to add Flags, Stars, or Labels. Now, for Flags you can press P for Pick, U for Unpick, or X for Reject. For Stars, press 1-5 to add the star rating of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Labels, it's 6-9. So if you're taking notes, I'd recommend you write those down, because they are indeed some helpful shortcuts. There's another shortcut for the Toolbar, it's the T key. This is definitely one I'd write down, because occasionally you'll accidentally press that and the Toolbar will be hidden and you won't know how to get it back.
Well, simply press the T key to either hide or show that Toolbar. Next, the Panels. Now, the Panels are important, right, that's where all the controls are in Lightroom, that's where all the sliders and everything, where we work on our images will do in that area. Well, sometimes those Panels take up too much space, so there are a few helpful shortcuts that we can use. Tab, it will hide or show those Panels on the side, and then Shift+Tab, it will hide or show everything, so we can really just focus in on the image.
So again, if you were taking notes, I'd recommend you write down Tab and Shift+Tab equals hide and show different parts of the interface. You don't have to really memorize what each one does, but just know that those two shortcuts will help you work with the interface. Then we have some shortcuts which allow us to minimize specific areas of the interface. F5, we can show or hide the top of the interface. F6, down below, that's the Film Strip, and then you can see F7 and F8 work on the various Panels.
Now, you may be thinking, okay, well, why would I want to do that? Well, sometimes what you'll find is you'll just work on the Panel in the right, you don't need the left-hand Panel, it's taking up too much screen real estate, well, you can hide it, and you can do so with a shortcut. All right! Let's take a look at a couple more. Another helpful shortcut is the F key for Fullscreen. That helps you to expand Lightroom to take up the most amount of space so you can really focus in on the work you're doing. Another shortcut that's good is L for Lights Out. This is going to help you dim aspects of the interface so you can focus in on the image.
And then the last one I want to highlight here has to do with our Modules. You can work with these modules and you can actually right-click or Ctrl+Click up there in that Module Picker area to show or hide the modules that you use most frequently. All right! Well, back to the interface. Now, so far we've taken a little bit of this tour, and I've talked about a few of the shortcuts, and I wanted to do that before I started actually using the shortcuts, because I find it's helpful to step back and just kind of absorb the interface, absorb some of the shortcuts.
But then next of course what we need to do is see some of those shortcuts in action. We'll go ahead and explore how we can use those shortcuts, and we'll see them alive and in action in the next movie.
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