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Most photographers will admit that we are always looking to find ways to reduce screen-time and make our workflow more efficient.

Lightroom has been my editing software of choice for many years now and perfecting my workflow is a never-ending task of trial and error and careful refinement. Whenever I discover shortcuts I’m keen to share the knowledge.

So if you’re a Lightroom user, listen up. I am going to share with you three of my favourite and less obvious shortcuts that I have discovered over the years which have all helped smooth out the kinks in my own editing process.

Survey View (N)

When editing a series of portraits – especially corporate portraits and headshots – there will be times when I need to compare the look and feel of each image. The easiest way to do this is in Lightroom is by activating Survey View.

To do this, simply select the photos you want to view in the filmstrip at the bottom of the screen and hit N. You’ll be taken into the Library module and into Survey View, where all of your selected images can be viewed at the same size next to one another.

I always use Survey View at the end of my editing for final consistency checks for white balance and contrast, or when I am deliberating about which images to keep / reject. It is so much easier to see them all like this rather than tabbing through one at a time.

Black & White Preview (V)

We’ve all been there: we view an imported image and instinctively wonder what it would look like with a bit of black and white treatment.

Before you get stuck into the editing, press V on your keyboard in either the Library or Develop module and Lightroom will instantly generate a black and white preview to help you make your decision and visualise the end result.

Like most great ideas, it’s as simple and easy as they come. You can of course click the black and white conversion option on the editing panel for a quick conversion but this is only available in the Develop module.

Portrait / Landscape Crop (X)

Similarly to the above, there are often times when you will wonder if that landscape orientated photo would look more effective in portrait. Or vice versa.

Enter the crop tool (R) and instead of wasting time dragging the edges of the outline to covert the orientation, just hit the X key and the crop instantly switches.

And another tip here: as you do this keep an eye on the preview image in the top left of the screen under the Navigator panel. This preview will change according to the crop so in a split second you can see the potential (or not) of flipping the orientation.

Do you have any tips for working in Lightroom? Any obscure shortcuts that help speed up your workflow? Share your time-savers in the comments below!

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