Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

4 Things that drive me mad about Adobe Lightroom

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UPDATED – 11th April 2018

Before I begin, please don’t tell me that I should be using C1 or something else. I have tried everything and for my purposes – and I know this is true for lots of photographers like me – Lightroom is the nearest thing to “the best tool”.

That doesn’t mean it is perfect. It has its “quirks”.

These aren’t new either. Some of these have been bugging me for years. I’ve brought them up in the Adobe Forums and had “experts” tell me it was supposed to be that way (for some unknown Adobe-only reason!)

Focus stealing on start up

If you search the web you will find I am not the only one who finds this annoying, and it’s not just Lightroom either, it seems to be standard practice with Adobe applications in general.

Here’s a common scenario:

You’re writing your blog and you realise you want to insert a photo but it will need recropping and exporting from Lightroom first. You click the app’s icon in the taskbar and carry on typing.

Instead of loading quietly in the background, allowing you to carry on working for the time it takes to load, it pops up in front of the active window and steals the focus.

You Alt Tab to go back to your browser. Lightroom steals the focus back again.

(repeat several times)

Finally, once loaded, Lightroom will allow you to use a different application (but only if you are good).

The Select All sound alert

Ever been in a metadata field in Lightroom and done a Ctrl-A (Cmd-A) to select everything in the field?

I do it a lot because I am a stickler for metadata and sometimes copying metadata and then adjusting it is the quickest means to an end.

Select everything in a field in Lightroom and you get a warning sound. Weird, huh? Is it dangerous to select all? Who knows?

Text editing shortcuts don’t work in Lightroom

This is the most annoying, but also controversial, complaint I have with Lightroom.

I am used to using several keyboard shortcuts when editing text fields (yes, the metadata thing again, sorry).

When I am in a text field in an app or browser I have got used to a couple of ways to move around quickly. I don’t want to have to use the mouse if I don’t have to. When editing the metadata on a thousand images from a shoot a few seconds moving from keyboard to mouse and back again, multiplied by a thousand, is significant.

If I click the up arrow/cursor key, I expect the cursor to return to the start of the field. Down, to the end. Shift-Up should highlight to the beginning, Shift-Down to the end. You get my drift. I am convinced this was the case with Lightroom on the Mac but it is NOT the case on the PC. Drives me mad!

Forum users tell me that I should be using Ctrl-Home instead of a single press of Up. They tell me I should use Ctrl-Shift-Home to highlight back to the beginning of a field, instead of Shift-up. I’ve tried to familiarise myself with these alternatives but they are just not as easy or speedy.

White Balance slider zeroes on import

I’m not saying the value assigned to white balance in camera gets changed, but the slider regularly appears to be zero after importing a RAW file. Why?

The result is that if a small change is needed then you are guessing where to click on, or drag the slider to. You can’t make a tiny tweak.



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