Lightroom’s Powerful Little Arrow Buttons (That Nobody Knows About)

Well, not nobody…but just about nobody. If you haven’t seen them or seen them and didn’t know what they do, don’t feel bad — it’s not the least bit obvious. Here’s an example of what they do and how to use them. 

STEP ONE: Here’s a behind-the-scenes image of me shooting open in Lightroom Classic’s Library module. Go to the Metadata panel (as seen here) because that’s where the arrows are (this is better than it sounds — stick with me here). 

STEP TWO: In the Metadata panel, if you look to the right of many (most) of these metadata fields, you’ll see a square icon with a right-facing arrow (shown circled here in red). These arrows are actually buttons that are so much more powerful than they look. For example, when I scrolled down near the bottom of the Metadata panel, I could see that this image had GPS location data embedded into the image. If you click on that arrow button to the right of the GPS data field…..

STEP THREE: …it takes you to the Map module and shows you a satellite picture of where you were standing when you took the shot, and it marks your exact location with a yellow tag (in this case, I was in Venice, Italy, in a ballroom at the beautiful Ca’ Sagredo Hotel). 

STEP FOUR: If, instead, I had clicked on the arrow in the field above, the one called “Cropped,” it would…

STEP FIVE: …take me directly to Lightroom’s Develop Module and automatically activates the Crop tool so I can crop the image. If I had clicked the Capture Date arrow instead, it would have immediately displayed all the other photos I took on that same date. See, these arrows are pretty awesome! 

Above: FYI: here’s the final shot that was taken at that location using a super wide-angle lens, where I got down low to give the shot a more epic feel. Pretty incredible ballroom, and our model, dressed in a rented Carnivale gown (it was not Carnivale time), was very patient. 

I hope you’ll give those powerful little arrows a look next time you’re in the Metadata panel. :)

Have a fun weekend, everybody!


P.S. I’ll be teaching at B&H Photo’s OPTIC 2022 Outdoor, travel, and wildlife photography conference this weekend in New York City. You can still sign up and either go in person, or you can watch virtually online, and the amazing thing is – whichever you choose, they’re both absolutely free! Why not register right now (it’s free, did I mention the free part?) over at – I’m teaching classes on travel photography (Monday) and how to post-process your travel images (Sunday). Hope I see you there (or online). 

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