Shortcuts for Auto Advance

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Today’s Question: If the Caps Lock is on, Lightroom will auto advance [when you assign an attribute to an image].

Tim’s Quick Answer: This is a follow-up to yesterday’s Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter, which addressed the Auto Advance feature in Lightroom. You can indeed turn on the Caps Lock feature to enable auto advance. In addition, holding the Shift key while using a keyboard shortcut to assign an attribute will cause Lightroom to advance to the next photo.

More Detail: Even after more than fifteen years of addressing questions from photographers, sometimes it surprises me to see which specific issues generate the most (and strongest) response. The Auto Advance feature discussed in yesterday’s email provided one of those surprises, with a large number of replies from readers.

In some respects you can think of the Caps Lock key as being an “inverter” for the Auto Advance feature. The specific result depends on whether the Auto Advance feature is already enabled.

As noted in yesterday’s email, you can enable the Auto Advance feature by choosing Photo > Auto Advance from the menu. Note, by the way, that this feature can only be found on the Photo menu if you are in the Library module.

If you have turned on the Auto Advance feature (in which case there will be a checkmark icon to the left of the Auto Advance item on the Photo menu), then turning on Caps Lock on your keyboard will actually disable Auto Advance temporarily. On the other hand, if you have the Auto Advance feature turned off, then turning on Caps Lock will enable Auto Advance.

With this “invert” option for the Auto Advance feature you can temporarily enable or disable the feature. If you prefer to use Auto Advance most of the time you can enable it, and then turn on Caps Lock if you want to disable it temporarily. Or, if you only use Auto Advance occasionally, you can turn it off on the menu and then turn on Caps Lock when you want to use Auto Advance temporarily.

Similarly, you can also add the Shift key to the keyboard shortcut for the attribute you want to assign to an image to invert the current setting for Auto Advance. So, with the Auto Advance feature turned off you can press Shift+1 to assign a one-star rating and advance to the next image. The same Shift key feature works with star ratings, pick and reject flags, and color labels.