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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.
Now I want to talk a little bit about how we can navigate and work with the Panels inside of Lightroom. Now, as I've said before, the Panels are really important, because it's in the Panels where we're going to find all of the different controls. One of the things that you can do with the Panels is you can show or hide them by way of a shortcut. You can also click to show or hide them. Let me show you how this works. Over here on the right-hand side of the interface you'll notice a little triangle. If you click that, what that allows you to do is to hide that Panel Group. Now, if you want to bring it back just hover over this and you'll have access to all of the different controls here and you can work in this way.
Now, when you move your cursor off, all of a sudden that will be hidden. If you want a lock it so that it stays visible, all you need to do is to simply click this triangle. Now, this type of viewing works with all of the different areas of Lightroom, the Left Panel, the Module area, or the Film Strip below as well. Another way that you can work with the Panels is by hovering over the edge of the panel. When you do that, you'll notice your cursor changes, so that you have this line and two arrows. Well, when you see that, all that you need to do is simply click and drag to increase or decrease the size of that panel.
What about navigating to the different controls that we find here in these Panels? Well, one of the things that you can do is you can expand or open up the Panels. Here we can see we have different Quick Develop controls, open up Keywording, we have all of the different options for adding Keywords. Now, these Panels open and close in an accordion fashion. In other words, right now what I have to do is I have to scroll in order to get down to the other Panels. If you have a three button mouse, you can also hover over this area and use that scroll wheel to scroll up and down.
Now, as you can imagine all of this scrolling, it can get a little bit tedious, especially say when you go to the Develop Module. I'm going to click on the word Develop just to go there briefly. And here you can see I have different Panels. Well, if I have all of these open, I'll go ahead and open a few of them, it's going to be pretty tedious to scroll up and down to get to the various controls. Well, there has to be a better way, right? Well, there is. It's a shortcut. Now, this shortcut is a little bit of an advanced technique, yet I think it's helpful to introduce here, just so that you know that it exists, and so that as you progress through Lightroom, as your skills get better and better, you can start to integrate the shortcut into your workflow.
Let me show you what it is by way of a slide. I am going to go ahead and jump to that slide here briefly, and let's take a look. What you can do is you can navigate to the different Panels, by pressing Command on a Mac, Ctrl on Windows, and then a number, depending on how many Panels there are in the particular module. So if you want to go directly to Detail, you press Command+5 or Ctrl+5 and that will open or close that panel. Let me show you how this works in Lightroom. And let's close up all of these, so we have a nice compact accordion view of these different panels.
Now, as I mentioned, I can use a shortcut to open or close any of these. On a Mac I'm going to press Command, on Windows that's Ctrl, and then 1 to open or close the Basic Panel. And here you can see I can do that by simply pressing that shortcut. And what's nice about this shortcut is while it seems maybe a little bit confusing at first, all you have to remember is Command on Mac, Ctrl on Windows and then your number keys. And you can just start to press those number keys and essentially teach yourself which number is associated with which panel.
Keep in mind that we're talking about the Panels on the right. The reason why I'm focusing on those is because those are the Panels that you'll be using most frequently, and these shortcuts work whether we're in Develop or Map or Library. Let's take a look. Here I'll go to the Library Module, and just to illustrate I'm going to close all of these for starters, and here I'll press Command+2 or Ctrl+2 to open up Keywording, press it again to close it, and so on and so forth, you can see how we can navigate to these different Panels. Now, again, as I mentioned before, if these shortcuts seem a little bit too advanced for you, don't worry about it, you may want to just jot those down because they may become more helpful later as you develop more advanced skills.
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