The Most Useful Button in Lightroom?

Great video clip from my buddy Matt Kloskowski on what he thinks may well be the most useful button in Lightroom (he originally ran this over on last week). I can’t say I disagree, because I use it literally every single day dozens of times (if not more). If it’s not “the” most useful button, it’s surely is among the very top!

Hope you all have a great Monday. :)

  1. Now THIS is helpful! I always thought that button was to return to the “previous” adjustment, but it never worked so I ignored it and moved on. Would love to see a full list of keyboard short-cuts like the one’s you showed for whites & blacks and the backslash key, never knew you could do that.

  2. I always wondered what that one did. Really useful, thank you. It’s not very well named though is is? Perhaps Adobe could think of a better name.

  3. Hey Matt !

    One of my most favorite advantages using LR! In fact I wish to goodness we could apply keyboard shortcuts because Id set one ( and a pen or tablet shortcut) to do just this!!

    I’d love to offer another tip:

    When you select the image you want to develop… and decide..hmm…that other photo way over on the other end of the filmstrip would be the perfect settings you have to then click to go to that photo. Then you have to go back to the photo you want to apply the settings to .. so you have to look for it right? Nope!!!

    Once you are there (at the image whose adjustments you wish to use ) simply hit cmd-z (Ctrl-z on a pc) to ‘jump back’ to the image you had last selected ( the one that you are wanting to adjust) and now hit apply previous!

    The Undo function in LR takes you even back to other modules.. say you leave to go over to the ( dare I say it ) WEB module hahah ) ( Hey someone might ! ) and you were previously in the Library mode. Hitting the undo shortcut will actually take you back to the Library mode!

    Word of caution though….the undo WILL undo any presets you create! So if you created a preset.. then made two adjustment brush strokes…and you apply the undo THREE times… it will undo the two brushstrokes.. as well as the create preset! I’m not 100% positive.. but I also believe it will undo a snapshot! Just checked…and YES its a snapshot killer, least it is on LR5 … and I’m almost 100% sure it is in LR 4 as well. Perhaps they should fix that!!

    So ok.. to answer the episode of The Grid you and Scott did recently… Id like the new LR to have the ability to create our own keyboard shortcuts (like Photoshop allows) and.. Id like the undo.. to not destroy things I’m trying to save.

    Seems logical no?



    1. Dude, I soooo agree with you. I’d love the ability to modify or create my own shortcuts. We’ve told Adobe about it but I’m not sure if/when it’ll make it into the mix.
      As for the Undo shortcut, you’re right – it’s great in so many ways, because if you forget something it’ll bring you back – but it literally does undo EVERYTHING.

  4. Scott:
    I think Matt found that missing Photoshop button you were looking for a few weeks ago….the “Let me do that last thing again” button! Who knew it would be in Lightroom all along!
    Another excellent tip, Mr. Kloskowski.

  5. Oh – by the way, did you know there is a Reset button next to it? I was affraid to use it, since Lightroom 1 – I thought it would ruin my whole work… but I’ve clicked it in Lightroom 5 Beta… It’s amazing – try it for yourself…. Nothing resets better than this button… I’ve lost years of life…

    Not to mention you can click on another image thumbnail in the filmstrip and guess what? It will take you to another image – awesome!

    (No offense Guys)

  6. Quick Question: Does Lightroom let you copy a set a adjustments applied to any photo (not just the last photo adjusted), then delete any of those adjustments from a list and then batch apply the remaining adjustments to a group of photos (or just one photo for that matter)? Thanks!

  7. I’ve never commented before but read your blog everyday and love it! You do suck different work than my own and I think that’s why I love it so much! Who knew I would ever be fascinated by how to light car photos! HA! Or sports! But seriously, you’re amazing. Anyway, I have LR4 but I don’t have that button… mine says “Sync…” (it actually has the periods…). I use it all the time to sort of batch some of the basic edits but I really love the idea of the “previous” button. Is there something I’m missing? Mine are “sync…” and “reset” next to each other. Thanks for your help!

      1. oh my gosh I could have SWORN I was in develop! I’m sorry! so i’ve been using it all along just didn’t notice what it was called! :) BUT I always though i had to do all the ones in-between the first edit and the one i wanted to duplicate the edit on so that was huge for me to realize! thank you!!

  8. Hey guys, I have a question for Matt…

    What is the trick/technique in LR to take one adjustment, and apply it to a large series of photos in the film strip all at once? Example: first shot, I include a gray card, make the WB adjustment, and want to quickly apply that to all the subsequent photos in that same setting.

    I know I heard you or RC mention it on a podcast somewhere, but I can’t find it.



  9. It’s funny how the most obvious things escape us at times. I’ve never used the previous button. So this is essentially the same as using the “sync” button except this works better for one photo at a time vs. sync being better for multiple photos.

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