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 as well as 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 apply adjustments to 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 and HSL/Color/B&W panels contain tools for fine-tuning your color and tonal adjustments.
The Split Toning 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 Effects panel lets you apply a vignette to a cropped photo, add a film-grain effect, or adjust the amount of haze or fog in a photograph.
The Camera Calibration panel makes adjustments to the default calibration settings for your camera.
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.
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 any of the following:
- With a photo selected, click icon located in the toolbar.
- 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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Clone or Heal options and the Size slider. Click Reset to clear the changes to the photo.
Red Eye Correction
Includes Pupil Size and Darken sliders. Click Reset to clear the changes to the photo.
Radial Filter Includes options for creating multiple, off-center, vignetted areas to highlight specific portions of a photo.
Includes options for brushing Exposure, Clarity, Brightness, and other tonal adjustments on specific areas of a photo.
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.
Lets you 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 it 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.
Click the tool or choose it from the Tools menu. To deselect a tool, click it, click Done, or select or a different tool.
Presets provide a way to save a group of settings and apply them to other photos. Once you create and add a preset to the Presets panel in the Develop module, it remains there until you delete it. It also appears in the list of Develop settings that you can select it when you import photos.
A set of default presets is listed in the Presets panel of the Develop module. Click the Lightroom Presets folder to display the default presets.
- To preview the effects of a preset on your photo, move the pointer over it in the Presets panel and view the effects in the Navigator panel.
- To apply a preset to the photo, click it in the Presets panel.
If you drag a Lightroom preset template to a different folder, the template is copied to that folder.
By default, custom (user) presets are stored in a folder in the Lightroom folder. For the specific locations on Mac OS and Windows, see Preference and other file locations in Lightroom 5.
- 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).
You can export presets you’ve created to share with colleagues or to use on a different computer. Preset templates are saved with an .lrtemplate extension.
- To export a preset, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a preset and choose Export. Type the name of the preset template file and click Save.
- To import a preset, right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the area where you want the preset to appear and choose Import. Double-click the preset template file.
Lightroom 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.
- Click the Reset button to revert back to the Lightroom 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 tracks each setting you make. You can undo all of them by choosing Undo multiple times.
In Lightroom 4.1 or later, you can import and work with 16-, 24-, and 32-bit floating point images—often referred to as HDR (high dynamic range images.) You can use the Develop module controls to edit HDR images, and then render the images for export or printing as 8-bit or 16-bit images. Lightroom imports TIFF and DNG format HDR images. Make sure the images are in process version 2012. See Process versions.
The Develop module Exposure control has an expanded range when working with HDR images (+10 to -10).
Lightroom imports HDR images, but does not assemble them. To assemble a 32-bit image, you can choose the images in the Library and then edit them in Photoshop. Make sure to save the HDR files as a 32-bit TIFF. See Merge photos to HDR in Photoshop.
Set your Lightroom preferences to save files edited in Photoshop as Tiff . Choose Lightroom > Preferences (Mac) or Edit > Preferences (Windows). In the External Editing section under Edit in Adobe Photoshop <version>, choose Tiff for File Format. The <version> of Photoshop may vary based on the version of Adobe Photoshop installed.
For more information about HDR images, see High dynamic range images in Photoshop Help.