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This chapter is from the book

Using Ratings and Labels

There is no right or wrong way to use Lightroom’s ratings and color labels. Some photographers use ratings a lot, others hardly at all. Some love the color labels, others can’t stand them. When reviewing photos, I’m quite conservative in awarding four or five stars to photos. That leaves me some leeway later for marking truly standout photos. It’s much easier to upgrade a few three-star photos to five stars than to go back and revise downward all your over-rated photos. I use the color labels to designate temporary categories for photos, such as applying purple to images that still need a lot of development work. As I tweak photos, I shift the color labels upward until I finally apply red to photos ready to post on the Web or print. That’s one approach. Other photographers use collections (explained in the next chapter) to track their workflow. It may take some experimenting to discover how you best like to work.

To turn on ratings or labels in the Grid view, see “Grid and Loupe View Options” on page 39. To use ratings or labels to find particular photos, see “Using the Library Filter” on page 96.

To apply ratings:

  1. In the Filmstrip or any of the four view modes (Grid, Loupe, Survey, or Compare), select one or more photos to which you want to apply the same rating. Then, depending on your view and toolbar settings, do one of the following:

    • Press the 1 through 5 keys.
    • Right-click (Control-click on a Mac) and in the pop-up menu, choose Set Rating and the number of stars you want applied (Figure 4.41).

      Figure 4.41

      Figure 4.41 To apply ratings, you can right-click (Control-click on a Mac) a photo, then choose Set Rating and the number of stars you want applied.

    • If the ratings option in the Library module’s toolbar is active, click the appropriate star in the toolbar (Figure 4.42).

      Figure 4.42

      Figure 4.42 If the toolbar’s ratings option is active, select the photo(s) and click the appropriate star.

    • If you’re in the Grid or Compare view, click one of the five dots below any selected image. (The first dot corresponds to one star, the second to two stars, and so on.)
    • Select the spray can button in the toolbar, set the rating and apply to one or more photos. (For more information on using the Painter tool, see “To mark photos using the Painter tool” on page 66.)
  2. The corresponding star rating is applied.

To apply color labels:

  1. In the Filmstrip or any of the four view modes (Grid, Loupe, Survey, or Compare), select one or more photos to which you want to apply the same label. Then, depending on your view and toolbar settings, do one of the following:

    • Press the 6 through 9 keys, which correspond with the red through blue labels. (Oddly, there is no key for the fifth label, purple.)
    • Right-click (Control-click on a Mac) and choose Set Color Label and the label you want applied in the pop-up menu (Figure 4.44).

      Figure 4.44

      Figure 4.44 To apply color labels, right-click (Control-click on a Mac) a photo and choose Set Color Label and the label you want used.

    • If you’re in the Grid or Compare view, click the gray square at the bottom-right corner of one of the selected images and select a label in the pop-up menu (Figure 4.45).

      Figure 4.45

      Figure 4.45 In the Grid or Compare view, click the small gray square at the bottom right of the selected image and select a label.

    • If the label option for the toolbar is active, click the appropriate label in the toolbar (Figure 4.46).

      Figure 4.46

      Figure 4.46 If the toolbar’s label option is active, select the photo(s) and click the appropriate color.

    • Select the spray can button in the toolbar, set the color label and apply to one or more photos. (For more information on using the Painter tool, see “To mark photos using the Painter tool” on page 66.)
  2. The color label is applied.

To use the Review Status label set:

  • Besides the Default label set, Lightroom includes a second label set that you can use to mark a photo’s review status. To switch, choose Metadata > Color Label Set > Review Status (Figure 4.47). This label set now is available whenever you right-click (Control-click on a Mac) a photo and choose Set Color Label (Figure 4.48). To switch back to the default set, which just uses the names of colors, choose Metadata > Color Label Set > Default.

    Figure 4.47

    Figure 4.47 Choose Metadata > Color Label Set > Review Status to switch to Lightroom’s second built-in label set.

    Figure 4.48

    Figure 4.48 After switching, a new set of label choices appears when you right-click (Control-click on a Mac) a photo and choose Set Color Label.

To create a new label set:

  1. While in the Library module, from the Menu bar choose Metadata > Color Label Set > Edit (Figure 4.49).

    Figure 4.49

    Figure 4.49 To create a new label set, choose Metadata > Color Label Set > Edit.

  2. In the Editor Color Label Set dialog box, choose Default in the Preset drop-down menu (top, Figure 4.50).

    Figure 4.50

    Figure 4.50 Choose Default in the Preset drop-down menu and type new text for each label.

  3. Type in the new text you want to use instead of the existing label text. Repeat for each label you want to change (bottom, Figure 4.50).
  4. Do not click the Change button. Instead, click the Preset drop-down menu at the top and choose Save Current Settings as New Preset (Figure 4.51).

    Figure 4.51

    Figure 4.51 Click the Preset drop-down menu and choose Save Current Settings as New Preset.

  5. In the New Preset dialog box, name your new set and click Create (Figure 4.52).

    Figure 4.52

    Figure 4.52 Name your new set and click Create.

  6. When the Edit Color Label Set reappears, choose your new set in the Preset drop-down menu and click Change (Figure 4.53). The new preset is saved.

    Figure 4.53

    Figure 4.53 Choose your new set in the Preset drop-down menu and click Change.

  7. To switch to your new preset, choose Metadata > Color Label Set and choose it in the drop-down menu. Now, you can right-click (Control-click on a Mac) a photo and apply the labels from your new preset (Figure 4.54). To switch to the another preset, choose Metadata > Color Label Set and make another choice.

    Figure 4.54

    Figure 4.54 After switching to your new label set, the new labels are just a right-click (Control-click on a Mac) away.

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