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Using the Library Module’s Quick Develop Panel

There’s a version of the Develop module’s Basic panel right within the Library module, called the Quick Develop panel. The idea is that you can make some quick, simple edits right there in the Library module, without having to jump over to the Develop module. The problem is, the Quick Develop panel stinks. Okay, it doesn’t necessarily stink, it’s just hard to use because there are no sliders—there are buttons you click instead that move in set increments (which makes it frustrating to get just the right amount)—but for a quick edit, it’s okay (you can see I’m biting my tongue here, right?

Step One:

The Quick Develop panel (shown here) is found in the Library module, under the Histogram panel at the top of the right side Panels area. Although it doesn’t have the White Balance Selector tool, it has pretty much the same controls as the Develop module’s Basic panel (like Highlights, Shadows, Clarity, etc.; if you don’t see all the controls, click on the triangle to the right of the Auto Tone button). Also, if you press-and-hold the Option (PC: Alt) key, the Clarity and Vibrance controls change into the Sharpening and Saturation controls (as seen on the right). If you click a single-arrow button, it moves that control a little. If you click a double-arrow button, it moves it a lot. For example, if you click the single-right-arrow for Exposure, it increases the Exposure amount by 1/3 of a stop. Click the double-right-arrow and it increases it by a full stop.

Step Two:

One way I use the Quick Develop panel is to quickly see if an image is worth working on, but without actually doing the full edit over in the Develop module. For example, these stream images have a white balance problem (too green), among other things, so to quickly see how it would look when edited, I’d click on the first image (or as many of the images as you’d like), then I’d go to Temperature and click once on the single-left-arrow to move it –5 toward blue to white balance the image, then for Tint, I’d click twice on the double-right-arrow to move the Tint to +40 (each click on the double-arrow moves it +20).

Step Three:

The other time I use Quick Develop is in Compare or Survey view (as shown here), because you can apply these edits while in a multi-photo view (just be sure to click on the photo you want to edit first, and make sure Auto Sync is turned off at the bottom of the right side Panels area). For example, I’ve selected four photos here and pressed N to enter Survey view. I clicked on the top-left photo to edit it while leaving the others alone, so I can compare the look between them. I clicked on the Exposure single-right-arrow, and the image got 1/3 of a stop brighter, then I clicked the Contrast double-right-arrow once, which increased it by +20. I clicked the double-right-arrow twice for Shadows and once for Clarity, and you can see how it compares to the rest.

TIP: Finer Increments in Quick Develop

Now you can adjust in smaller increments when clicking the single-right-arrow: if you Shift-click on a single-right-arrow, it moves up/down 1/6 of a stop, instead of a 1/3 of a stop (so, instead of moving +33, it moves just +17 for each Shift-click).

Step Four:

Here’s some other stuff you can do in Quick Develop: Apply any existing Develop module preset by choosing it from the Saved Preset pop-up menu at the top of the panel, and if you expand that black flippy triangle to the right of it, more features appear, like crop ratios and making the images black and white. There’s the Auto Tone button (see page 167), and if you mess up, there’s the Reset All button. You can also sync the individual changes you made to one photo to as many selected photos as you’d like using the Sync Settings button at the bottom of the right side panels. That brings up the dialog shown here, where you can choose which settings get applied to the rest of the selected photos. Just turn on the checkboxes beside those settings you want applied, and click the Synchronize button.

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