Workspace basics

Lightroom Classic application workspace

Lightroom Classic is a complete toolbox for professional photographers, organized into modules. Each module focuses on a specific portion of the photographic workflow: the Library module is for importing, organizing, comparing, and selecting photos; the Develop module is for adjusting color and tone, or creatively processing photos; and the Slideshow, Print, and Web modules are for presenting your photos.

Each of the modules in the Lightroom Classic workspace includes panels that contain options and controls for working on your photos.

Lightroom Classic CC workspace in the Grid view
The Lightroom Classic workspace in the Grid view

A. Library Filter bar B. Image display area C. Identity plate  D. Panels for working with source photos E. Filmstrip F. Module Picker G. Panels for working with metadata, keywords, and adjusting images H. Toolbar 

The Filmstrip, located at the bottom of the workspace in every module, displays thumbnails of the contents of the folder, collection, keyword set, or metadata criteria that is currently selected in the Library module. Each module uses the contents of the Filmstrip as the source for the tasks performed in it. To change the selection in the Filmstrip, go to the Library module and select different photos. See View photos.

To work in Lightroom Classic, first select the images you want to work with in the Library module. Then click a module name in the Module Picker (upper-right in the Lightroom Classic window) to begin editing, printing, or preparing your photos for presentation in an on-screen slide show or web gallery.


Hold down Ctrl+Alt/Command+Option and press a number from 1 through 5 to switch to any of the five modules.

The activity monitor displays over the identity plate when Lightroom Classic is busy with a task.

  • To cancel a process, click the X beside the progress bar.

  • To switch and view another process in progress, click the triangle beside the progress bar.

Manage panels and the screen view

You can customize the Lightroom Classic workspace by rearranging the order of Develop panels, displaying only the panels you want, or by hiding some or all of the panels to maximize the display of your photos.

Open or close a panel

  1. Click the panel header. To open or close all panels in a group, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) a panel name.

Open or close one panel at a time

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) a panel header and choose Solo mode, or Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) a panel header.

Solo mode applies independently to a set of panels. The triangle in the panel header is solid when not in Solo mode.

Scroll through a group of panels

  1. Drag the scroll bar or use the scroll wheel on your mouse.

Show or hide panel groups

  • To show or hide a single panel group, click the Show/Hide Panel Group icon . A solid icon indicates the panel group is showing.
  • To show or hide both side panel groups, choose Window > Panels > Toggle Side Panels, or press the Tab key.
  • To hide all panels, including side panels, the Filmstrip, and Module Picker, choose Window > Panels > Toggle All Panels, or press Shift-Tab.

Set how panel groups show or hide automatically

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) the outside edge of the panel group (beyond the scroll bar) and then choose an option:

    Auto Hide & Show

    Displays the panel as you move the pointer to the outside edge of the application window. Hides the panel as you move the pointer away from the panel.

    Auto Hide

    Hides the panel as you move the pointer away from the panel. You must open the panel manually.


    Turns off automatic show/hide behavior.

    Sync With Opposite Panel

    Applies the same hide/show panel behavior to the left and right panels or to the top and bottom panels.

Resize the width of a panel group

  1. Move the pointer over the inside edge of a panel group, and when the pointer becomes a double-arrow, drag the panel.

Remove or restore a panel from a group

If you don’t use a panel often, you can hide it from view.

  1. Right-click (Windows) or Control-click (Mac OS) on any panel header in the group, and then choose the panel name.

Customize the order of Develop panels

You can rearrange or customize the order of Develop panel based on your work preferences. For detailed information on the procedure, see Customize the order of Develop panel.

Change the Lightroom Classic screen mode

You can change the screen display to hide the title bar; the title bar and the menus; or the title bar, menus, and panels.

  • Choose Window > Screen Mode, and then choose an option.
  • When in Normal, Full Screen With Menubar, or Full Screen mode, press the F key to cycle through those three modes.
  • Press Ctrl+Alt+F (Windows) or Command+Option+F (Mac OS) to switch to Normal screen mode from Full Screen With Menubar or Full Screen mode.
  • Press Shift+Ctrl+F (Windows) or Shift+Command+F (Mac OS) to enter Full Screen And Hide Panels mode, which hides the title bar, menus, and panels.
  • When in Full Screen And Hide Panels screen mode, press Shift-Tab and then the F key to display the panels and menu bar.

Full Screen mode and Full Screen And Hide Panels mode in Mac OS hide the Dock. If you start Lightroom Classic and do not see the Minimize, Maximize, or Close buttons for the application, press the F key once or twice until they appear.

Turn off all settings in a panel

You can temporarily turn off all the settings in a panel of the Develop module or the filtering in the Filmstrip.

  1. Click the Panel On/Off icon  .

Dim or hide the Lightroom Classic workspace

Use Lights Out to dim or black out the Lightroom Classic workspace so that your photo stands out on screen.

  1. Choose Window > Lights Out and then choose an option. You can press the L key to cycle through the three options.

    Customize Lights Out in the Interface Preferences by specifying the dim level and screen color.

The toolbar

You can hide the toolbar or customize it in the Library and Develop modules to include the items you need.

Show controls in the Library module toolbar

Depending on which view is active in the Library module, the toolbar contains controls for browsing photos, applying metadata, starting an impromptu slide show, rotating photos, and applying ratings, flags, or labels. The toolbar Info box displays the filename of the selected photo.

  1. To show controls in the toolbar, choose any of the following from the toolbar pop-up menu:

    View Modes

    Lets you select Grid View, Loupe View, Compare View, or Survey View.


    (Grid view only) Lets you apply keywords and other attributes quickly by dragging the Painter tool across photos.


    (not available in Compare view) Specifies the sort direction or sorting criteria for displaying the photo thumbnails.


    Assigns, removes, and displays a Pick or Rejected flag for selected photos.


    Assigns, removes, and displays rating stars for selected photos.

    Color Label

    Assigns, removes, and displays color labels for selected photos.


    Rotates selected photos clockwise or counterclockwise.


    Selects the previous or next image.


    Plays an impromptu slide show of the photos.

    Thumbnail Size

    (Grid view only) Sets the size of the photo thumbnails.


    (Loupe view only) Zooms the view in or out.


    Displays the filename of the selected photo.


    (Compare view only) Displays options for zooming, swapping, and selecting compared photos.


    (Survey view only) Displays Survey view label.

  2. (Optional) Choose a selected item in the toolbar pop-up menu to remove the control from the toolbar.

Show or hide the toolbar

  1. Choose View > Show/Hide Toolbar or press the T key to toggle the toolbar on or off.

Change toolbar icons

  1. On the right side of the toolbar, click the menu  and select or deselect items to display in the toolbar.
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