The fifth step is a simple one: Learn the keyboard shortcuts for the functions that you use the most and, as a consequence, the ones that will save you the most time and effort.
I was never a big keyboard shortcut fan until I started to use them. Now, I am one of their biggest advocates. Even just a few shortcuts can greatly speed up your workflow in Lightroom as well as other image editing applications.
The biggest complaint that I hear is that it is hard to remember all those shortcuts and I would agree if you needed to remember all the shortcuts in Lightroom. However, you don’t need to remember all the shortcuts; learn the ones that will save you time. Also, learning them one at time is helpful as well. Pick one or two and use those regularly; once they become a habit for you, choose one or two more and do the same.
For example, I find it easier to double-click an image than use the “E” shortcut key to view an image in Loupe View. When in the Develop module, I use the shortcut keys to invoke the Crop, Spot Removal, Graduated Filter, Radial Filter, and Adjustment Brush tools. It is simply easier and faster to click on Q to open the Spot Removal tool than navigate the cursor to the Spot Removal tool icon and click on it.
To help you decide which shortcuts to learn, we have prepared a list of 50 important shortcuts in Lightroom. There are many more shortcuts than those in our list. However, the shortcuts on our list are the ones that are most likely, based on our experience, to save you a significant amount of time. Download it by clicking on the figure or hyperlink above.
Editor’s Note: In early May, Brian started a series of ten posts each outlining one or more simple but small things you can do to speed up your Lightroom workflow. This is the fifth post in that series; the first post was about how to efficiently manipulate Lightroom’s interface to reduce clutter; the second about the improving your efficiency inside Lightroom by using context menus; the third about how to name folders; and the fourth about how to name image files.