Now that you’ve learned how to import your images, you’ll need to learn how to manage, select and prune your collection using the Library module in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. By curating your collection, you’ll reduce disk usage, free up resources, make your photos easier to view and your picks easier to find.

Getting into the Grid
In the library view, you can change the size of your photos’ thumbnails by dragging the thumbnails slider on the bottom right of the center area. To view a photo, simply double-click on it and it takes up the entire center area. This view is now called the Loupe view. To zoom in closer on your photo, simply click again in the area you want to inspect and the photo is enlarged. To go back to the library’s grid view, press the shortcut key G. Pressing G here or anywhere in Lightroom will instantly bring you back to the Library grid view.

Inspecting Your Cells
Each thumbnail in the grid is surrounded by a light grey cell, which can be customized to show as much or as little info as you want. Go to View > View Grid styles > Expanded view and it shows you more info, choose compact view instead and it shows you less.

Lights Out
To place absolute emphasis on your images, try pressing the L shortcut key. The area around your selected photo will then black out and if you press L again the surrounding area will go completely black, showing you nothing hut your photograph. To bring everything back, simply press L again.

Make it Big
This shortcut works well with the Lights Out mode, especially if you have less screen estate. To give your images even more screen estate and make them view bigger, press Shift+Tab to hide all the panels in Lightroom. Then press F twice, once to fill the entire workspace with Lightroom, and the second to hide the menu bar. Then press T to hide the toolbar, and your images really take center stage. Coupled with Lights Out and the management shortcut keys you’ll soon learn, this view is great for quick reviews or demos. To return to your regular view, simply press the shortcut keys again.

Tip: Too many shortcut keys to make it big? Simply press CMD+shift+f or CTRL+shift+F on the pc and then T to achieve the same result, use the same shortcut keys to return to regular view.

Managing Folders
If you glance over at the bottom left of your Library panel, you’ll see the Folders section, which lists the folders you’ve imported into Lightroom. You can drag and drop photos within folders, and they’ll actually be moved on disk. If you’ve dragged new photos into an existing folder outside of Lightroom, the new photos won’t automatically show up. You have to right-click on the folder and then choose Synchronize Folder from the pop-up. If you right-click and choose to Remove folders though, that doesn’t delete the actual folder from your hard-drive, but simply removes it from the Lightroom library.

Tip: Can’t remember exactly how many folders have new photos dragged into them from outside Lightroom? Simply right-click the highest parent folder and choose to synchronize. Lightroom will sync all the existing folders within that folder.

Flag Your Winners
The goal of managing your photo library is to delete the bad photos and highlight your good ones, and you can start by using nags. Whenever you see a photo you like, press P to mark the photo as a pick, to mark the photo as a reject, hit the key X. A little message appears each time to tell you what you’ve marked, and a little flag icon appears on the bottom left of that photo to indicate That it’s been flagged – a white flag denotes a pick, a black flag denotes a reject. If you make a mistake, simply press u to un-flag it.

Delete the Rejects
If you glance over at the bottom left of your Library panel, you’ll see the Folders section, which lists the folders you’ve imported into Lightroom. You can drag and drop photos within folders, and they’ll actually be moved on disk. If you’ve dragged new photos into an existing folder outside of Lightroom, the new photos won’t automatically show up. You have to right-click on the folder and then choose Synchronize Folder from the pop-up. If you right-click and choose to Remove folders though, that doesn’t delete the actual folder from your hard-drive, but simply removes it from the Lightroom library.

Fine-Tune Your Picks
The great thing about using flags is that you can always view your picks easily by using the Attribute filter in the Library’s central panel. Simply click on the white flag and all the photos you’ve flagged as picks will appear. You can now go through a second pass to fine-tune your selections.