Right-click (Win) / Control-click (Mac) on the header of any panel.
Develop module basics
- Lightroom Classic User Guide
- Introduction to Lightroom Classic
- Lightroom and Adobe services
- Lightroom for mobile, TV, and the web
- Import photos
- Viewing photos
- Manage catalogs and files
- Organize photos in Lightroom Classic
- Process and develop photos
- Develop module basics
- Create panoramas and HDR panoramas
- Flat-Field Correction
- Correct distorted perspective in photos using Upright
- Improve image quality using Enhance
- Work with image tone and color
- Apply local adjustments
- HDR photo merge
- Develop module options
- Retouch photos
- Cure red eye and pet eye effects
- Use the Radial Filter tool
- Use the enhanced Spot Removal tool
- Export photos
- Work with external editors
- Print photos
- Photo books
- Web galleries
- Keyboard shortcuts
The Develop module contains two sets of panels and a toolbar for viewing and editing a photo. On the left are the Navigator, Presets, Snapshots, History, and Collections panels for previewing, saving, and selecting changes you've made to a photo. On the right are the tools and panels for making global and local adjustments to a photo. The toolbar contains controls for tasks such as changing between Before and After views, playing an impromptu slideshow, and zooming.
A. Presets, Snapshots, History, and Collections panels B. Toolbar C. Histogram D. Photo information E. Smart Preview Status F. Tool strip G. Adjustment panels
- The Histogram panel in the Develop module allows you to measure color tones and make tonal adjustments to the photo.
- Additional information about the Smart Preview status of the photograph is displayed below the histogram/EXIF information/RGB values.
- The tools in the tool strip let you fix red eye, remove dust and spots, crop and straighten photos, and adjust specific areas of a photo.
- The Basic panel contains the main tools for adjusting the photo's white balance, color saturation, and tonal scale.
- The Tone Curve panel contain Histogram for fine-tuning your tonal adjustments. Tone Curve also gives additional control with Refine Sat. slider to adjust color saturation while making curve adjustments.
- The HSL/Color/B&W panel contain tools for making color adjustments. Holding Alt or Option key while making adjustments with HSL TAT tool or Color mixer sliders will show only the active hue in color and greyscale of all other hues for better visualisation.
- The Color Grading panel colors monochrome images or creates special effects with color images.
- The Detail panel lets you adjust sharpness and reduce noise.
- The Lens Corrections panel lets you correct chromatic aberration and lens vignetting caused by the camera lens.
- The Transform panel lets you correct the horizontal and vertical distortions.
- The Effects panel lets you apply a vignette to a cropped photo and add a film-grain effect to a photograph.
- The Calibration panel makes adjustments to the default calibration settings for your camera.
Customize the order of Develop panels
You can drag the Develop panels on the right of the workspace in the order you would like to see them in your custom Develop panel menu. You can also choose to show or hide the panels as required.
To customize the Develop panel menu, do the following:
Select Customize Develop Panel from the context menu that opens.
In the Customize Develop Panel dialog box that opens, drag the panel names in the desired order.
To hide any panel, deselect the check box next to the panel name. To show a hidden panel, select the check box next to the panel name. To restore the default order, click Default Order.
Relaunch Lightroom Classic to see the Develop panels in the new order in the Confirm dialog that opens.
Views in the Develop module
Reference View in the Develop module provides a dedicated 2-Up view which lets you place a Reference (static) photo next to an Active (editable) photo. This view is useful when you want to edit a photo to make it look like a different, reference photo. Here are some examples:
- Matching the look of a photo for preset creation.
- Determining the white balance consistency in photos.
- Balancing the image attributes across photos that you want to use together in a layout or presentation.
- Fine-tuning the applied camera matching profiles to the look of camera-generated JPG files.
Launch Reference View
You can launch Reference View from the Develop module and the Library module.
To launch Reference View from the Library module:
- In the Grid view or Loupe view, select the photo you want to edit.
- Do any of the following:
- From the menu bar, select Photo > Open in Reference View or press Shift+R keys.
- Right-click a photo and choose Open in Reference View from the context menu.
- From the menu bar, select Photo > Open in Reference View or press Shift+R keys.
To launch Reference View from the Develop module, do the following:
- With a photo selected, click icon located in the toolbar.
The selected photo is added to the Active window in Reference View where you can edit this photo.
Select a reference photo
- In Reference View, drag-and-drop a photo from the Filmstrip onto the Reference window to set it as the reference photo.
You can also set a reference photo from the grid in the Library module or the Loupe view in the Develop module by right-clicking a photo and choosing Set As Reference Photo from the context menu.
To change the Reference Photo while in Reference View, do any of the following:
- Right-click a photo in the Filmstrip and select Set As Reference Photo from the context menu.
- Drag-and-drop a new photo to the Reference window.
- Switch to the Library module, right-click a photo in the grid, and select Set As Reference Photo from the context menu.
By default, Reference View displays the Reference photo and the Active photo side by side on the screen. To switch to the display to Top/Bottom in Reference View, do any of the following:
- Click the icon located in the toolbar to toggle between Reference View - Left/Right and Reference View - Top/Bottom display.
- Choose Reference View - Top/Bottom option from the pop-up menu.
Edit the Active photo
Using the tools and panels on the right, you can now work on editing the Active photo to visually match its characteristics and looks with the Reference photo.
To see a Before view of your Active photo while editing your photo in Reference View, press '\' key. Lightroom Classic displays the previous version of your photo in the Active window. The word "Active (Before)" appears in the upper-left corner of the Active window.Note:
While in Reference View, you can use all the develop tools to edit your Active photo — except the Crop tool. Apply most of the local edits to your photo including crop, before you launch Reference View.
When you select the Crop tool, Lightroom Classic displays the Selecting the Crop tool will exit Reference View dialog. You can click Continue to exit. Otherwise, click Cancel to remain in Reference View.
To change the Active Photo while in Reference View, do any one of the following:
- Select a different photo in the Filmstrip
- Drag a new photo to the Active window.
- Click the Reference Photo lock icon in the toolbar, switch to the Library module, select a new photo, and then choose Photo > Open in Reference View from the menu bar.
By default, Lightroom Classic clears the current Reference photo when you switch away from the Develop module to any other module. To lock the current Reference photo to the Reference window, click the Reference Photo lock icon in the toolbar before switching away from the Develop module.
While working in the Reference View in the Develop module, the area under the Histogram displays the RGB/LAB color values for individual pixels appearing under the Hand or Zoom tool when you move it over the Reference/Active photo:
Reference/Active R [Reference value]/[Active value] G [Reference value]/[Active value] B [Reference value]/[Active value] %
You can refer to these color values while adjusting the tone and color of your Active image. For details, see View RGB and LAB color values in Reference View.
Exit Reference View
To exit Reference view, do any of the following:
- To remain in the Develop module, press the Loupe icon in the toolbar or press the D key.
- To return to the Library module, click Library in the Module picker, or press the G or E keys.
While working in Reference View, you can also apply selected Develop settings of the current Active photo across multiple photos. See Apply develop adjustments across multiple photos in Reference View.
View Before and After photos
You can compare two versions of a photo as you apply Develop settings to it. The Before view first displays the photo as it was originally imported, including any presets that were applied. The photo remains unchanged unless you copy settings to it. The After view shows changes as you make them. Zooming and panning are synchronized in the two views.
- To switch the Before and After views one at a time in Loupe view, press the backslash (\ ) key or choose View > Before/After > Before Only. The word "Before" appears in the lower-right of the image.
- To display the Before and After photos in two views together, click the Before And After Views button in the toolbar to toggle through the choices or choose an option from the pop-up menu.
Displays two whole versions of the photo in two views, side by side on the screen.
Before/After Left/Right Split:
Displays two halves of the photo split into two views, side by side on the screen.
Displays two whole versions of the photo in two views, one on top of the other.
Before/After Top/Bottom Split:
Displays two halves of the photo split into two views, one on top of the other.
Copy settings to the Before or After version of a photo
When you are working in a Before and After view of your photo, you can apply the settings of one version to the other, and vice versa.
- In the toolbar, click the Copy Settings From The Before Photo To The After Photo button.
- In the toolbar, click the Copy Settings From The After Photo To The Before Photo button.
- Click Swap Before And After Settings.
- Choose Settings > Copy After's Settings To Before.
- Choose Settings > Copy Before's Settings To After.
- Choose Settings > Swap Before And After Settings.
These menu commands are also available when you're viewing Before and After versions of your photo in Loupe view.
All of the current settings for one version are copied to the other version. To copy a single history setting, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a state in the History panel and choose Copy History Step Settings To Before.
Develop module buttons and tools
Show or hide the Develop toolbar
Choose View > Show Toolbar or Hide Toolbar, or press the T key.
Tools for performing local edits to specific areas of a photo are located in the tool strip under the Histogram panel. Select any tool to display its options in the tool drawer. Deselect the tool to close the drawer and revert to the Hand or Zoom tool.
Includes the Crop Overlay tool, Crop Frame tool, Aspect Ratio Lock button and options, Straighten tool, and Straighten slider.
Includes Content-Aware Remove option with Size and Opacity sliders as well as Heal and Clone options with Size, Feather and Opacity sliders
Red Eye Correction
Includes Pupil Size and Darken sliders. Click Reset to clear the changes to the photo.
- Add New Mask - Automatically mask Subject, Sky and Background with a single click.
- Objects tool - Mask an object by covering it with Brush Select, or drawing a box around the object with Rectangle Select, adjust selection with the Size slider.
- Brush - Includes options for brushing Exposure, Clarity, Brightness, and other tonal adjustments on specific areas of a photo.
- Linear Radiant and Radial Gradient - Includes options for creating multiple, off-centre, vignetted areas to highlight specific portions of a photo.
- Range - Includes Color Range, Luminance Range and Depth Range masks to make adjustments to your photos.
- People - Automatically scans for individuals or groups of subjects and gives additional options to mask Facial skin, Eyes, Hair and more.
Additional Develop module buttons and tools
When you hold the pointer over the photo, R, G, and B color values display under the Histogram. The tool that appears changes depending on your view. The Zoom tool is selected if the magnification is Fit. The Hand tool is selected if the magnification is Fill, 1:1, or higher. Click the photo to toggle between Fit and 1:1.
White Balance Selector
Click this tool in the Basic panel, choose it from the View menu, or press W to select it. Options appear in the toolbar.
Let's adjust certain color and tone sliders by dragging the tool in the photo. Select it in the Tone Curve or HSL/Color/B&W panels, or choose from the View menu. Once the tool is selected, you can choose different targets from the Target Group pop-up menu in the toolbar.
Although this single-photo view is available in both the Develop and Library modules, the keyboard shortcut for Loupe view in the Develop module (the D key) is different from the keyboard shortcut in the Library module (the E key). The Loupe View button, located in the toolbar, lets you quickly switch to Loupe view in each module.
Copy and Paste
These buttons at the bottom of the left panels let you copy or paste the current settings to a selected photo.
Previous, Sync, and Auto Sync
These buttons at the bottom of the right panels toggle according to whether you have one or more photos selected in the Filmstrip. If only one photo is selected, the Previous button lets you copy and paste all of the settings of the previously selected photo to the currently selected photo on the Filmstrip. If multiple files are selected, the Sync button lets you choose which of the current settings to paste from the currently selected photo onto the other selected photos. Auto Sync adjusts other selected photos automatically after each slider is moved. Press Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) to turn the Sync button into the Auto Sync button.
Before and After views
The Before And After Views button in the toolbar offers four choices. You can arrange two photo views side by side or top to bottom, display the whole photo in both views, or split the photo in two. Click the Loupe View button to turn off Before and After views.
These three buttons let you copy and paste the current settings from the After view to the Before view, from the Before view to the After view, or swap between the views. They appear in the toolbar when you have selected the Before and After view in the Develop module.
To keep track of the tools used, a dot would be visible under the tool used in the tool strip. A red dot would be shown on the tool strip under Healing when Content-Aware Remove spots need an update. Similarly, a red dot would be visible under Masking if an AI mask needs to be refreshed.
All panels have individual eye indicators to allow you to check which panel has an active setting. Furthermore, you can hold down the eye icon to temporarily hide the settings from the sub-panel for better visual indication. To switch a panel off or to reset the settings of a particular panel's edit, holding Alt or Option key will reveal a panel switch in place of the eye indicator. You may select the switch to turn the panel off or select the option to Reset an edit within the panel. To switch a panel off or to reset the settings of a particular edit, holding Alt or Option key will reveal a switch button in place of the eye icon and show an option to reset an edit within the panel. Strike-out eye indicator will be shown in a disabled state when the corresponding panel switch is turned off.
Select tools and options
Click the tool or choose it from the Tools menu. To deselect a tool, click it, click Done, or select or a different tool.
Preview and apply a Develop preset
A set of default presets is listed in the Presets panel of the Develop module. Click the Lightroom Classic Presets folder to display the default presets.
- To preview the effects of a preset on your photo, hover over the preset.
- Click to apply a preset.
Starting from Lightroom Classic 11.4 (June 2022 release), you can access the following preset features:
- Adjust the intensity of the applied preset using the Preset Amount slider.
- When you create or update a preset, you can choose to enable the Amount slider. In the New Develop Preset or Update Develop Preset dialog box, select Support Amount Slider. If this option is deselected, the Amount slider will be greyed out for that preset.
- If you are unable to select the Support Amount Slider option, that indicates the selected settings do not support the Amount slider.
- When you adjust sliders other than those specific to the preset, the preset selection stays the same.
Import Develop presets
Beginning with Lightroom Classic CC 7.5 (August 2018 release), you can also bulk import XMP presets and profiles, DCP profiles, and LCP profiles as part of a zip file. However, .lrtemplate presets can't be imported as part of a zip file.
To import Develop Presets in Lightroom Classic, do any of the following:
- In the Presets panel [Develop module], click the plus (+) icon at the upper-right corner and choose Import Presets from the displayed drop-down options. In the import dialog box that appears, select the preset files or a .zip file containing presets. Click OK.
In this case, all the presets are added to the User Presets group.
- In the Presets panel [Develop module], right-click on the desired preset group and in the import dialog box that appears, select the preset files or a .zip file containing presets. Click OK.
In this case, the presets are imported into the selected preset group.
Manage Develop presets
Introduced in Lightroom Classic CC 7.4 (June 2018 release)
Using the Manage Presets option, you can show or hide various Develop preset groups that are displayed in the Presets panel and other places where the Develop presets list appears.
To show/hide preset groups, follow the steps below:
In the Develop module, click the plus (+) icon at the upper-right corner of the Presets panel and choose Manage Presets from the menu.
In the Manage Presets dialog, select the preset groups that you want to show. Deselect the preset groups that you want to hide.
Presets panel now displays only those preset groups which you've selected using the Manage Presets dialog.
To show all the hidden preset groups, you can right-click (Win) / Control-click (Mac) any preset group in the Presets panel and choose Reset Hidden Presets from the menu.
Create a Develop preset
Presets you create are based on the current settings of the selected photo.
In the Develop module, click the plus (+) icon at the upper-right corner of the Presets panel and choose Create Preset from the menu, or choose Develop > New Preset.
Click Check All to select everything or click Check None to deselect everything, and then click to select each of the settings to include in the preset.
Type a name in the Preset Name box, specify which folder the preset should appear in, and click Create.
The preset is added to the list in the Presets panel in the specified folder.
Create an ISO adaptive preset
Create a preset based on the ISO setting of your images. To create an ISO adaptive preset, you need to select two or more images with different ISO values. If you apply the ISO adaptive preset to an image that has a different ISO value than the one specified in the preset, then the appropriate value of the setting is calculated based on the values defined in the preset.
For example, if you create a preset using two images, one with ISO 400 and Luminance Noise Reduction set to 0 and other with ISO 1600 and Luminance Noise Reduction set to 10, and apply this preset to an image with ISO 800, the Luminance Noise Reduction will be set to 5.
Identify two or more images with different ISO values based on which you want to create the preset.
Make necessary edits to these images in the Develop module. For example, set different Luminance Noise Reduction values for different ISO images.
Select these images, click the plus (+) icon at the upper-right corner of the Presets panel and choose Create Preset from the menu, or choose Develop > New Preset.
In the New Develop Preset dialog box, after selecting the settings to include in the preset, select Create ISO adaptive preset at the bottom of the dialog box and click Create.
The preset is added to the list in the Presets panel in the specified folder.
To set an ISO adaptive preset as the default setting for importing raw file format images, see Set raw defaults specific to ISO values.
The Create ISO adaptive preset option will be disabled if:
- You have not selected two or more images.
- The selected images do not have different ISO values.
Update a Develop preset
Select a user preset and modify settings as needed.
Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a preset in the Presets panel and choose Update With Current Settings.
Specify the settings you want to include in the preset and click Update.
Export a custom preset
You cannot export built-in Lightroom Classic presets or preset groups. You can export only custom presets.
In the Develop module, select a user or third-party preset in the Presets panel that you want to export.
Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the preset and choose Export.
Specify the file name and click Save.
- To export all the presets in a group, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the preset group and choose Export Group.
- If there are custom/third-party presets as well as built-in Lightroom Classic presets in the Favorite group, then only custom/third-party presets are exported on exporting the Favorite group.
Delete a custom preset
You cannot delete built-in Lightroom Classic presets. You can delete only custom presets.
In the Develop module, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a preset in the Presets panel and choose Delete.
Do not press the Delete key on your keyboard; this deletes the currently selected photo.
Determine where custom presets are stored
By default, custom (user) presets are stored in a folder in the Lightroom Classic folder. For the specific locations on Mac OS and Windows, see Preference file and other file locations in Lightroom Classic and Lightroom 6.
- To store user presets in a folder with the catalog, in the Presets panel of the Preferences dialog box, select Store Presets With Catalog.
- To see where a user preset is located, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) it in the Presets panel of the Develop module and choose Show In Explorer (Windows) or Show In Finder (Mac OS).
In the Develop module, click the plus (+) icon at the upper-right corner of the Presets panel and choose Import Presets from the menu.
In the Import Preset dialog, navigate to the required folder path and select the presets you want to import.
In the Presets panel, the imported Develop presets are available under the User Presets group.
Show partially compatible presets
On opening a photo in the Loupe view in the Develop module, some presets may not appear in the Presets panel due to incompatibility with the selected photo, such as camera profiles that are not applicable to the current photo or presets that only apply to raw files. The non-compatible presets are shown as faded and in Italics style in the Presets panel in Develop.
To see all presets even if they are not compatible with the current photo, do the following:
From the menu bar, choose Edit > Preferences (Win) or Lightroom Classic > Preferences (Mac).
In the Preferences dialog box, select the Presets tab.
In the Presets tab, under the Visibility section, select/deselect Show Partially Compatible Develop Presets to show/hide partially compatible develop presets.
Duplicate preset handling
With this release of Lightroom Classic, if you attempt to create a duplicate preset with the same name under the same group, a Duplicate Preset Name dialog box opens with options to:
- Replace - Select this option to keep only the latest preset with the same name in the group
- Duplicate - Select this option to keep two presets with the same name listed in the same group
- Rename - Select this option to append a numeric extension to the name by default or rename it yourself
Undo image adjustments
Lightroom Classic provides several ways to undo, or reset, adjustments you make to photos as you're working in the Develop module.
Save a snapshot or preset of your settings before undoing them so that you don't completely lose the settings.
To undo adjustments in the Develop module, do any of the following:
- Click the Reset button to revert back to the Lightroom Classic default settings.
- Click the General - Zeroed preset in the Presets panel to remove all settings completely.
- Select an earlier version in the History panel or Snapshots panel that occurred before you applied the settings.
- Double-click individual slider controls to reset the sliders to zero.
- Choose Undo from the Edit menu. Lightroom Classic tracks each setting you make. You can undo all of them by choosing Undo multiple times.