Publishers of technology books, eBooks, and videos for creative people

Home > Articles > Digital Photography > Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

This chapter is from the book Introducing the Lightroom interface

Introducing the Lightroom interface

The following screen shots provide a quick overview of the Lightroom interface, which you’ll find provides a consistent layout design from one module to the next. One of the new features in Lightroom 3 is that the side panels’ auto show/hide behavior is not quite so sensitive as it was previously. This means if you overshoot with the mouse, you are less likely to reveal the side panels by accident. Unfortunately, it has so far only been possible to implement this interface refinement on the Mac version.

Lightroom menu bar

As with any application, the main menu commands are located in the Lightroom menu bar at the top of the screen (Mac) or at the top of the document window (PC). If you are in absolute full-screen mode, the menu bar will be hidden, but it can be revealed by simply rolling the mouse to the top of the screen.

Top panel

The top panel section contains the Identity Plate, which normally shows the Lightroom logo. But you can customize this via the Lightroom → Identity Plate Setup menu. For example, you can replace this with your own name or add a company logo graphic. On the right, you have the module selector menu for selecting the Lightroom modules. The Library module is where you preview and manage your catalog collections. Develop is for processing images. Slideshow enables you to output image collections as on-screen presentations. The Print module is for making prints, and the Web module allows you to generate Web sites and upload them automatically to a specified FTP server. You can use the F5 key to toggle showing and hiding the Top panel.

Content area

The content area is the central section of the interface where you can view the photos you are working on. In the Library module Grid view (shown here), you see the images displayed as thumbnails in a grid cell layout. In the Library module Loupe view and Develop module, the photos are displayed at a fit-to-view or 1:1 scale size. In the other modules—Print, Slideshow, and Web—you can see previews of how the images or screen pages will look before you output them from Lightroom.

Filter bar

Whenever you are in the Library module Grid view, the Filter bar can be made to appear at the top of the content area. This allows you to carry out matching text searches using the Text search section, or search by rating or flag status using the Attribute section. Or, you can use the customizable panels in the Metadata filter section to search for photos using various search criteria, such as a specific date, camera type, or lens type. You can use the Shift key to display more than one Filter bar section at a time and use the \ key to toggle showing and hiding the Filter bar.


A Toolbar is available in all of the Lightroom modules and is positioned at the bottom of the content area. The Toolbar options will vary according to which module you are in and can be customized when you are in the Library or Develop module via the Toolbar options menu (circled). You can use the T key to toggle showing and hiding the Toolbar.

Left panel

In the Library module, the left panel is mainly used for selecting the source photos via the Catalog, Folders, or Collections panel. In the Develop module it is used for the Presets, Snapshots, and History panels, and in the remaining modules it is mainly used for accessing preset settings and collections. For example, if you are working in the Develop module, you can save custom Develop settings as presets, where they can be readily applied to other images. The individual panels can be expanded or collapsed by clicking on the panel bar header. Alt–clicking a panel bar toggles expanding to show the contents of that panel only or expanding to show all panels. You can use the Tab key to toggle showing and hiding both the left and right panels.

Right panel

The right panel section mostly contains panels that provide information about an image, the controls for adjusting an image, or the layout control settings. In the Library module, you can manage the metadata settings for the currently selected photos, and in the Develop module, you can apply image adjustments. In the Slideshow and Print modules, the right panel controls govern the layout and output. As with the left panel, individual panels can be expanded or collapsed by clicking the panel bar header. Alt–clicking a panel bar toggles expanding to show the contents of that panel only, or expanding to show all panels. You can also use the Cmnd key (Mac) or Cntrl key (PC) in combination with a keypad number (0, 1, 2, 3, etc.) to toggle opening and closing individual panels in the order they are listed from the top down.


The Filmstrip is located at the bottom of the Lightroom window. It contains thumbnails of all the images currently displayed in the Library, highlighting those that are currently selected. The Filmstrip thumbnails are accessible in all the other modules, which allows you access to individual images or sub-selections of images without having to switch back to the Library module.

Peachpit Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Peachpit and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Peachpit products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive:

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020