Cleaner Panels in Lightroom

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Today’s Question: In one of your recent Lightroom [Classic] presentations I noticed that when you were using one of the sections of the right panel in the Develop module, only one section was open at a time. When you opened another section, the section you were previously using would close. How can I get Lightroom to behave this way for me? Right now all of the panel sections are open all the time, and the only way I’ve figured out to have only one section open is to manually close all of the others.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The option you’re referring to is called “Solo Mode”, which can be enabled by right-clicking on one of the headings on the applicable panel and choosing “Solo Mode” from the popup menu. Note that this feature can be enabled or disabled individually for the left and right panels in each module of Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: The individual sections of all panels within Lightroom can be expanded and collapsed as needed. So you could collapse all panels to reduce clutter, and only expand those you are actively working with. To collapse or expand a given section of a panel, simply click on the heading (title) for the panel. For example, clicking the “Keyword List” heading on the right panel in the Library module will expand or collapse that section.

With multiple panel sections expanded at a given time, you may need to scroll down a bit to get to the particular control you are looking for. This can also cause a bit of visual clutter, making it a little more difficult to find the specific option you’re looking for. Using Solo Mode can help in this regard.

When Solo Mode is enabled for a panel, only one section of that panel will be expanded at a time. When you click on the heading for a panel that is collapsed, it will expand, and the panel that had been expanded will be collapsed. So each time you click on the heading for a panel you want to work in, that panel will be the only one that is expanded.

To enable Solo Mode for a given panel, simply right-click on one of the headings on the panel for which you want to enable Solo Mode. Then choose “Solo Mode” from the popup menu that appears.

Note that the Solo Mode setting is independent for each panel (left and right) in each module (Library, Develop, Map, etc.). So, for example, you could enable Solo Mode for the right panel in the Develop module, but leave Solo Mode turned off for the left panel. This would enable you to have multiple sections open at the same time on the left panel, while only one panel would be expanded at a time on the right panel.