Panning within a Photo


Today’s Question: Every time I retouch a picture in Lightroom with the cloning/healing tool at a 200% zoom view, I can’t find an easy way to pan around the photo. I always have to use the Navigator on the left panel, which I usually hide while retouching to see more of the picture. Is there an easier way?

Tim’s Quick Answer: There is indeed an easier way! Simply hold the Spacebar key on the keyboard while working with the Spot Removal tool in Lightroom, and you will have temporary access to the Hand tool for panning around the photo. While holding the Spacebar key on the keyboard, you can then simply click-and-drag on the image to pan around as needed.

More Detail: This same process works in Photoshop, Adobe Camera Raw, and Lightroom. The Spacebar key on the keyboard serves as a shortcut to the Hand tool, which is a tool that allows you to pan around an image when you have zoomed in beyond the available space within the interface.

In Photoshop the Spacebar keyboard shortcut has a bit more utility than in Lightroom, because when you aren’t working with a tool such as the Spot Removal tool the Spacebar keyboard shortcut will toggle the zoom setting for the image. But when working with image cleanup the Spacebar keyboard shortcut is very helpful, allowing you to pan around to check for additional blemishes as you work to clean up a photo.