Lightroom Ultimate Guide – Library Module

Lightroom Library Module

When you open Lightroom, by default you enter the Library Module. The Library Module provides some powerful ways of managing your images. Our previous Lightroom Classic article covered Metadata and Keyword Tags. This article covers the image viewing and selecting/picking capabilities of the Library Module:

Grid View

The Lightroom Grid View allows you to view multiple images at the same time, whether you are in a Folder or a Collection. The Grid Tool is accessible from the bottom toolbar in the Library View, and the grid view is displayed as standard.

Lightroom Grid View

Grid View is a great way to quickly view the contents of a collection or folder. If you have multiple images, you can opt to scroll through them. You can also change the image thumbnail size with a slider in the bottom tool bar. In fact, the bottom tool bar is customisable in all the views. You can include (or exclude) Pick Flag (P), Reject Flag (R), as well as Color Flag, Rating etc. So you can also use the Grid View to help sort newly imported images. Double clicking an image automatically takes you to the Loupe View.

Lightroom Library Module

Loupe View

Loupe View is a curious selection of a term by Adobe, I have assumed it to be a reference to a jewellers magnifying glass. In any case, it is a single image view. As alluded to above, you can enter Loupe View either by double clicking an image from Grid View, or by selecting the Loupe View icon in the bottom tool bar.

Lightroom Loupe View

Which ever method you choose, you get an expanded view of the image that was selected.

Lightroom Library Module

The Loupe View is a great way to more closely inspect images that you need to take a closer look at. I often use it in conjunction with the Navigation window, as you can zoom right in to e.g. help in the section or rejection of images, or prior to any post-processing that you want to do.

Lightroom Library Module

Double-clicking on the image on Loupe View takes you back to Grid View, allowing you to easily navigate between the two views. So as you can probably guess, the Grid and Loupe Views are two of the most frequently used library views in Lightroom.

Compare View

The Compare View is a mode specifically to help you select or reject candidate images. It places two images on the screen for you to choose between. One is badged as “Select”, and the other “Candidate”

Lightroom Compare View

At the bottom left of each image, you get select or reject flag and at the bottom right a de-select image cross. If you deselect the Candidate (the right-hand side image), Lightroom automatically selects a new candidate image from the folder or collection you are viewing from and displays it. Alternatively, if you deselect the Select image (left-hand side image), then the previous Candidate becomes the new Select image and Lightroom picks a new Candidate.

Using the Compare view then is useful if you are trying to select down to a single image from a photo-shoot. I have to admit that from a personal view, I prefer the Survey View rather than Compare View because rarely am I trying to condense down to a single image from a shoot.

Lightroom Library Module

Survey View

Survey View is another mode specifically to assist you in selecting or rejecting candidate images. The difference between Survey View and Compare View is that Survey View gives you more control over the candidate images. Before going into this mode, you manually select images you want to compare.

Lightroom Survey View

After selecting your images and selecting Survey View, you are presented with a grid with all of your images. From this screen you can set Accept or Reject Flags, and if you want to remove the image from the Survey View, you press the little cross in the bottom right-hand side of the image.

Lightroom Library Module

One of the great features I like, is if you need to have a closer look at a particular image, you can double click it, and you automatically go into Loupe View. Double click again, and you return back to Survey View.

People View

If you take pictures of people, then the People View mode in Adobe Lightroom is a tool that helps you organise your images. After selecting a Folder or a Collection in your library, entering the People View mode then identifies any faces in your images and presents you with two sub-tabs.

Lightroom People View

The Unnamed People sub-tab identifies any faces in your images that you haven’t named. It is therefore a very efficient way to add name tags to people in your photo collection. As you use the system, it becomes more efficient. As you add name tags, Lightroom starts to recognise names and suggests them to you.

The other sub-tab is the Named People. As its name suggest, clicking this displays the people in your Folder or Collection that you have already named.

Lightroom Library Module

Paint Tool

The Paint Tool in the Lightroom Library Module allows you to speed up many of the processes in Lightroom such as adding keywords, flags, ratings, metadata, or even processing settings. You access the Paint Tool through the little spray-can icon in the bottom toolbar. This also reveals a pull-down menu with Paint Tool Options.

Lightroom Paint Tool

So, for example, if you wanted to set keyword tags for several images. You select the Paint Tool. Then select Keywords in the Pail Tool Options pull down menu. This in turn brings up a keyword box for you to add your keywords. You then left-click onto the images you want to add the keywords to.

Another example is if you have a standard present that you want to apply. You are able to select this in the Paint Tool Options pull-down menu, and then left-click the images you want to apply the effect to.

Lightroom Library Module Conclusions

The Lightroom Library Module provides some ultra-efficient ways to reduce the workflow associated with image management. From the selection of images, meta-tagging, and even the application of post-processing effects.

If you enjoyed this article, then check out some of our other Lightroom Articles and How-To Guides. Here are some which may interest you.

Lightroom Ultimate Guide
Lightroom File Management

Image File Management may not be the most exciting subject, but it’s important to get it right. This article covers techniques to get the best from Folders and Catalogues

Lightroom Metadata
Lightroom Metadata & Tags

Using metadata and keyword tags with your Lightroom image library, is a powerful way of optimising your images for the web.

Lightroom - Drawing Straight Lines with the Adjustment Brush
Drawing Straight Lines with the Adjustment Brush

In this article we use the adjustment brush to create light beams in an image


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