Skip to content

Lightroom 4 User Interface Explained | TrickyPhotoshop

Hello guys I am Vaibhav and this is my first tutorial on Lightroom 4. Last time I discussed about Creation of a Grunge Portrait Effect in Photoshop which is really and awesome effect for old people. For this tutorial I am going to use Lightroom 4.3 which I recently updated with lots of new features but the user interface of Lightroom 4.3 and Lightroom 4.0 is mostly same.

Top Panel

As you can see, top panel is located at the top of the screen.


One thing that you might have noticed that on the top left area. By default it is written as Lightroom but I have changed it to TrickyPhotoshop. You can do it by going to Edit>Identity Plate Setup. If you are working on full screen mode then this top panel might be invisible to you. For this kind of situation you can either do two things. First thing that you can do is to exit full screen mode by pressing F repeatedly. Second thing that you can do is to click on the encircled icon shown below. It will drag the menu bar down.


Content Area

It is the central part of the Lightroom. It displays all the files that are included in a particular catalogue.


As name suggests it shows the content present in a particular catalog. I took the above screenshot in grid mode. During grid mode Lightroom displays the thumbnails of all the images that are present in a catalog. To activate grid mode you can press G. You can also double click on an image to see it in 1:1 scale and after that press G to return back to grid view. If you are on Develop Module than this content area will be in fit in view or 1:1 scale size. If you are on Map Module that content area will displays you a world map where you can organize your images based on locations. In the remaining 4 module i.e. Book, Slideshow, Print and Web Lightroom shows you the preview of the images that you are going to export from the Lightroom.


It is located at the bottom of the Lightroom.


Filmstrip contains all the images that are present in a particular library. You might be thinking that what’s the use of filmstrip if you can see all the images in grid view. Well the answer to that question is that it is available in all the module whether it is develop module, map module etc. If you are on develop module than switching between images will be lot simpler and you don’t have to go back to library module and then activate grid view to see your entire collection and then use your mouse to open another image.

If by any reason you are not able to see the filmstrip then you just need need to click on encircled icon which is shown below.


Left Panel

It is present at the left side of the Lightroom.


In the library module it basically shows the catalog, folders etc. It is very handy panel when you want to switch your catalog or you want to upload photos to Facebook, Flickr etc. When you are in Develop Module it gives you option to create snapshot or let you apply several presets that are available in Lightroom by default. You can also save your preset to save your precious time. In the map module it lets you to organize your images according to the locations.

If by some reason you are not able to see the left panel then you can press Tab to make both left and right panel visible.

Right Panel

It is present at the right side of the Lightroom.


It shows you the information of the image. As you can see that the selected image is shot with ISO setting of 100, focal length set as 52mm, aperture as f/11 and exposure time set as 20 seconds. In the library module, you can also quick develop your images and change the metadata etc. Its main use is in develop module. In the map module it basically shows you the location of the selected image. In the remaining four module it shows various settings that you can so in a particular module. You can also open or close a particular panel by holding down Ctrl/Cmd and then press 1, 2, 3, 4 etc. to open a specific panel. For example suppose I am in library module and I want to open quick develop panel then I can simply press Ctrl+1/Cmd+1. I can also press Ctrl+2/Cmd+2 for keywording etc.

If by any reason you are not able to see the right panel then you can press Tab key to make both left and right panel visible.


It is present just at the bottom of the content area.


It is present in all the modules and its function varies with the module. In the library module it basically gives you the options of sorting, view mode etc. You can also customize your toolbar by clicking on the icon present at the extreme right of the toolbar. You can also press T to make it visible or hidden.

Filter Bar

At the top of the content area you can see 4 labeling’s i.e. text, attribute, metadata and none.


Just click on metadata and a new bar will open that is filter bar. It will let you organize your photo according to camera, lenses etc. As I am not a professional photographer and do photography just as a hobby that’s why I don’t have any high end camera like Nikon D800, Canon 5D Mark III etc. I have only 2 camera i.e. Nikon D7000 which I think one of the best mid range DSLR camera and other is point and shoot Nikon S8200. Whenever you are on grid mode you can use this feature. By clicking on text, you can perform search. You can set flag and organize videos etc. by clicking on attribute. You can press as a keyboard shortcut to open or close filter bar. To open filter bar as a pop out window you can press Shift+.

That’s all for today. Thank You for reading this article and Have a Nice Day.

Read my next tutorial where I will be discussing about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Shortcuts.

Share this post

Send Us Your Photos And Requirements


No credit card or sign up required

Else, you can email us at

Need help to edit your photo?

We'll edit your photo

Choose your currency

You’ll be redirected to

Choose your currency below