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This chapter is from the book

Choosing What You See in Grid View

Those little cells that surround your thumbnails in Grid view can either be a wealth of information or really distracting (depending on how you feel about text and symbols surrounding your photos), but luckily you get to totally customize not only how much info is visible, but in some cases, exactly which type of info is displayed (of course, you learned in Chapter 1 that you can toggle the cell info on/off by pressing the letter J on your keyboard). At least now when that info is visible, it’ll be just the info you care about.

Step One:

Press G to jump to the Library module’s Grid view, then press Command-J (PC: Ctrl-J) to bring up the Library View Options dialog (shown here), and click on the Grid View tab at the top (seen highlighted here). At the top of the dialog, there’s a pop-up menu where you can choose the options for what’s visible in either the Expanded Cells view or the Compact Cells view. The difference between the two is that you can view more info in the Expanded Cells view.

Step Two:

We’ll start at the top, in the Options section. You can add a Picks flag and left/right rotation arrows to your cell, and if you turn on the Show Clickable Items on Mouse Over Only checkbox, it means they’ll stay hidden until you move your mouse over a cell, then they appear so you can click on them. If you leave it unchecked, you’ll see them all the time. The Tint Grid Cells with Label Colors checkbox only kicks in if you’ve applied a color label to a photo. If you have, turning this on tints the gray area around the photo’s thumbnail the same color as the label. With the Show Image Info Tooltips checkbox turned on, when you hover your cursor over an icon within a cell (like a Picks flag or a badge), it’ll show you a description of that item. Hover your cursor over an image thumbnail, and it’ll give you a quick look at its EXIF data.

Step Three:

The next section down, Cell Icons, has two options for things that appear right over your photo’s thumbnail image, and two that appear just in the cell. Thumbnail badges appear in the bottom-right corner of a thumbnail to let you see if: (a) the photo has GPS info, (b) the photo has had keywords added, (c) the photo has been cropped, (d) the photo has been added to a collection, or (e) the photo has been edited in Lightroom (color correction, sharpening, etc.). These tiny badges are actually clickable shortcuts, so for example, if you wanted to add a keyword, you could click the Keyword badge (whose icon looks like a tag), and it opens the Keywording panel and highlights the keyword field, so you can just type in a new keyword. The other option on the thumbnail, Quick Collection Markers, adds a black circle (that’s actually a button) to the top-right corner of your photo when you mouse over the cell. Click on it to add the photo to (or remove it from) your Quick Collection (it becomes a gray dot).


The thumbnail badges show you (from L to R) that the photo has GPS info, it has been added to a collection, a keyword has been applied, it has been cropped, and edited



The black circle in the upper-right corner is actually a button—click on it to add this photo to your Quick Collection


Step Four:

The other two options don’t put anything over the thumbnails—they add icons in the cell area itself. When you turn on the Flags checkbox, it adds a Picks flag to the top-left side of the cell, and you can then click on this flag to mark this photo as a Pick (shown here on the left). The last checkbox in this section, Unsaved Metadata, adds a little icon in the top-right corner of the cell (shown here on the right), but only if the photo’s metadata has been updated in Lightroom (since the last time the photo was saved), and these changes haven’t been saved to the file itself yet (this sometimes happens if you import a photo, like a JPEG, which already has keywords, ratings, etc., applied to it, and then in Lightroom you added keywords, or changed the rating). If you see this icon, you can click on it to bring up a dialog that asks if you want to save the changes to the file (as shown here).


Click the flag icon to mark it as a Pick


Step Five:

We’re going to jump down to the bottom of the dialog to the Expanded Cell Extras section, where you choose which info gets displayed in the area at the top of each cell in Expanded Cells view. By default, it displays four different bits of info (as shown here): It’s going to show the index number (which is the number of the cell, so if you imported 63 photos, the first photo’s index number is 1, followed by 2, 3, 4, and so on, until you reach 63) in the top left, then below that will be the pixel dimensions of your photo (if the photo’s cropped, it shows the final cropped size). Then in the top right, it shows the file’s name, and below that, it shows the file’s type (JPEG, RAW, TIFF, etc.). To change any one of these info labels, just click on the label pop-up menu you want to change and a long list of info to choose from appears (as seen in the next step). By the way, you don’t have to display all four labels of info, just choose None from the pop-up menu for any of the four you don’t want visible.

Step Six:

Although you can use the pop-up menus here in the Library View Options dialog to choose which type of information gets displayed, check this out: you can actually do the same thing from right within the cell itself. Just click on any one of those existing info labels, right in the cell itself, and the same exact pop-up menu that appears in the dialog appears here. Just choose the label you want from the list (I chose ISO Speed Rating here), and from then on it will be displayed in that spot (as shown here on the right, where you can see this shot was taken at an ISO of 200).

Step Seven:

At the bottom of the Expanded Cell Extras section is a checkbox, which is on by default. This option adds an area to the bottom of the cell called the Rating Footer, which shows the photo’s star rating, and if you keep both checkboxes beneath Show Rating Footer turned on, it will also display the color label and the rotation buttons (which are clickable).

Step Eight:

The middle section we skipped over is the Compact Cell Extras section. The reason I skipped over these options is that they work pretty much like the Expanded Cell Extras, but with the Compact Cell Extras, you have only two fields you can customize (rather than four, like in the Expanded Cell Extras): the filename (which appears on the top left of the thumbnail), and the rating (which appears beneath the bottom left of the thumbnail). To change the info displayed there, click on the label pop-up menus and make your choices. The other two checkboxes on the left hide/show the index number (in this case, it’s that huge gray number that appears along the top-left side of the cell) and the rotation arrows at the bottom of the cell (which you’ll see when you move your cursor over the cell). One last thing: you can turn all these extras off permanently by turning off the Show Grid Extras checkbox at the top of the dialog.

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