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Scott Kelby Shows You How to Set Things Up Your Way in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

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Scott Kelby shows you how to customize Adobe Photoshop LIghtroom 4, including how to choose what you see in Loupe View and Grid View, how to work with Panels faster and easier, use two monitors, choose what the Filmstrip displays, and add your studio's name or logo for a custom look.
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A great name for this chapter would have been “Pimp My Ride” (after the popular MTV show of the same name), seeing as this chapter is all about customizing Lightroom 4 to your own personal tastes. Kids these days call this “pimping” (by the way, I just checked with a nearby kid to confirm this and apparently that is correct. I said, “Hey, what does it mean if something is pimped?” and he said, “It means it’s been customized.” But then I called my older brother Jeff, who had spent a number of years in the U.S. Navy, and asked him what it means if something is pimped and, surprisingly enough, he had an entirely different answer, but I’m not so sure our mom would be pleased with him for telling this to his impressionable younger brother). So, at this point, I wasn’t sure if using the word “pimped” would be really appropriate, so I did a Google search for the word “pimped” and it returned (I’m not making this up) more than 2,500,000 pages that reference the word “pimped.” I thought I would go ahead and randomly click on one of those search result links, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it took me to a page of totally customized cars. So, at that point, I felt pretty safe, but I realized that using the term “pimped” was kind of “past tense,” so I removed the “ed” and got a totally different result, which led me to a webpage with a “Pimp Name Generator” and, of course, I couldn’t leave without finding out what my pimp name would be (just in case I ever wrote a book about customizing cars or my brother’s life), and it turned out to be “Silver Tongue Scott Slither” (though personally I was hoping for something more like “Snoop Scotty Scott”).

Choosing What You See in Loupe View

When you’re in Loupe view (the zoomed-in view of your photo), besides just displaying your photo really big, you can display as little (or as much) information about your photo as you’d like as text overlays, which appear in the top-left corner of the Preview area. You’ll be spending a lot of time working in Loupe view, so let’s set up a custom Loupe view that works for you.

Step One:

In the Library module’s Grid view, click on a thumbnail and press E on your keyboard to jump to the Loupe view (in the example shown here, I hid everything but the right side Panels area, so the photo would show up larger in Loupe view).

Step Two:

Press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to bring up the Library View Options dialog and then click on the Loupe View tab. At the top of the dialog, turn on the Show Info Overlay checkbox. The pop-up menu to the right lets you choose from two different info overlays: Info 1 overlays the filename of your photo (in larger letters) in the upper-left corner of the Preview area (as seen here). Below the filename, in smaller type, is the photo’s capture date and time, and its cropped dimensions. Info 2 also displays the filename, but underneath, it displays the exposure, ISO, and lens settings.

Step Three:

Luckily, you can choose which info is displayed for both info overlays using the pop-up menus in this dialog. So, for example, instead of having the filename show up in huge letters, here for Loupe Info 2, you could choose something like Common Photo Settings from the pop-up menu (as shown here). By choosing this, instead of getting the filename in huge letters, you’d get the same info that’s displayed under the histogram (like the shutter speed, f-stop, ISO, and lens setting) found in the top panel in the right side Panels area. You can customize both info overlays separately by simply making choices from these pop-up menus. (Remember: The top pop-up menu in each section is the one that will appear in really large letters.)

Step Four:

Any time you want to start over, just click the Use Defaults button to the right and the default Loupe Info settings will appear. Personally, I find this text appearing over my photos really, really distracting most of the time. The key part of that is “most of the time.” The other times, it’s handy. So, if you think this might be handy, too, here’s what I recommend: (a) Turn off the Show Info Overlay checkbox and turn on the Show Briefly When Photo Changes checkbox below the Loupe Info pop-up menus, which makes the overlay temporary—when you first open a photo, it appears for around four seconds and then hides itself. Or, you can do what I do: (b) leave those off, and when you want to see that overlay info, press the letter I to toggle through Info 1, Info 2, and Show Info Overlay off. At the bottom of the dialog, there’s also a checkbox that lets you turn off those little messages that appear onscreen, like “Loading” or “Assigned Keyword,” etc., along with some video option checkboxes.

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