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Is there a keyboard shortcut to step through presets in Lightroom?

I have development presets grouped in folders, for example one of them is B&W. I often find myself stepping through a number of presets in a group to get a look I like for a particular photo.

At the moment, it is mouse-click on the preset and Ctrl+Z to undo if I do not like it; then click on the next one, etc... Can I step through presets using just the keyboard?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't answer your question, but I would like to know what your work flow is. \$\endgroup\$
    – reuscam
    Jul 16, 2010 at 11:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @reuscam I tend to shot RAW and I am using solely Lightroom for post processing. After import and selecting photos I want to work on I usually test a couple of presets on one photo to get the look I am interested in, sometimes doing some small adjustments. After I am happy with the result I would apply the setting to other pictures from the same set taken in the similar condition followed by some small adjustments again if necessary. Selecting the development preset is the start point here so I was wondering if I could optimise it a bit. \$\endgroup\$
    – kristof
    Jul 16, 2010 at 13:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also I sometimes use laptop without a mouse and scrolling through the presets with the touch pad is far from being smooth. \$\endgroup\$
    – kristof
    Jul 16, 2010 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I understand your difficulties. I know its not the right direction you want the answers to go, but photoshop offers two things that would help above and beyond lightroom - actions (basically macros) and layers. This way you can automatically create layers and apply all your typical adjustments, then go back and either tweak or completely disable each one. Sorry, don't know about lightroom though. \$\endgroup\$
    – reuscam
    Jul 16, 2010 at 13:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'd love to know if this is possible as well; I haven't been able to find any way of doing it. \$\endgroup\$
    – user13130
    Oct 20, 2012 at 2:03

5 Answers 5

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I think the unfortunate answer to your question is......you can't. Sorry!

Perhaps it might be possible to use some kind of automation system to do this outside of Lightroom (if you could guarantee each preset was going to be in exactly the same place on the screen every time, for example), but that's all I've got!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks for answer, I am not planing to use any external tools so will have to live with the way it works \$\endgroup\$
    – kristof
    Jul 16, 2010 at 15:09
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If you're on a Mac, and there is a menu-item for what you are willing to do, you can assign keyboard-shortcuts to these menu-items. These are the instruction: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH3957

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Actually, I think you can do this. I'm not at my computer with Lightroom right now, but there is a menu option to copy various settings from a picture and then a key combo to paste them to another pic. The copy settings option lets you choose just to copy certain categories of settings, like just white balance or exposure.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How would copying help to cycle through presets? \$\endgroup\$
    – Imre
    Oct 20, 2012 at 9:30
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we are in the same boat, i've been looking for a way to cycle through presets in lightroom and the only thing i found was VSCO KEYS, that gives you 10 preset slots then with Command 1, Command 2, etc you can scroll through your favorite 10 presets, its sad that lightroom doesn't allow you to scroll.

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There is a tool now. You can go through your presets using the up and down arrow keys! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qzvmcKduGs

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this something you wrote? Is the software available? \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Apr 14, 2013 at 22:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes its my tool i wrote it, download link in the video description. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2018 at 21:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hello Timar, I saw that the Dropbox download seems to have expired. Any plans to reupload it or maybe make it open source? \$\endgroup\$
    – adamasan
    Oct 12, 2023 at 20:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh my, I must've deleted it by mistake. Very surprised a full 11 years later still isn't built in. I currently don't have access to the hard drive with the original. If you don't want to wait you can try the software I used it's called AutoHotkey and download the .ahk file in the link below and run it. It's self-explanatory what the code does you can adjust hotkeys and pixel-distance. gist.github.com/sugoidesune/b532a88df94249f63f07e25bed310ecb \$\endgroup\$ Feb 5 at 21:59

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