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Lightroom > Introduction >

8 - Problems

Refer back to this section when something minor goes amiss with Lightroom.

For major problems, go to Troubleshooting.

Missing Panels

Things go missing in Lightroom.

A Single Panel

If a single panel is missing, go to Window > Panels, and click the panel.

Panels on the Sides

If the side panels are missing, press the tab key.

All of the Panels

If all of the panels are missing, left, right, top, and bottom, press Shift + tab.

Panels on One Side

Click the tiny triangle to make the panels reappear.


There are four tiny triangles, one on each side of the screen.

Other Missing Items

No Library Filter

The Library Filter is above the work area.

Press \.

No Tool Bar

The tool bar is below the work area.

Press t.

Everything Disappears Except the Photographs

This is called Lights Off.

Press L, and maybe press it again.

Minimize Buttons Are Gone,

Along with the Task Bar or Dock

This is called Full Screen.

Press f, and maybe press it again.

No Pins

Press h to see the pins.

Six Tools Problems

Change Crop Tool from Portrait to Landscape

(Or Vice Versa)

Press x.

Spot Removal Didn't Work Well

Try the following.

1) Undo (Ctrl + z) and try again.

2) Reposition the brush.

3) Change the size of the brush.

4) Click Clone instead of Heal.

It's best to start with Heal.

5) Click and hold the second white circle, and move it to a new position.

Adjustment Brush Is Misbehaving

Zero the Sliders

Double click Effect to set the sliders back to zero.

Then, slide Exposure to the left to get some "paint" on your brush.

You have to have some paint on your brush to see where you're brushing.

After brushing, reduce the Exposure slider, as needed.

Flow & Density

Flow or Density may be set too low.


Flow is like paint coming out of a spray can.

When Flow is set to a low value, it's as if the spray can is passing quickly over the wall.

Very little paint is hitting the wall.

If the value is low, editing is being done, but slowly.

You can brush repeatedly over an area to build up the editing effect.


Density is the measure of how well the paint, the editing effect, is covering.

If the setting is low, you may be getting as much coverage that you expect.

Auto Mask

Auto masking helps to confine editing to part of a photograph.

Experiment with the setting on and off.

No Pins

Press h to see the pins.

Other Problems

Can't Paste the Editing Instruction

To More than One Photograph

You have to be in the Library module.

My Photographs Change as They're Imported

Observant users may notice that the previews change when importing.

You're seeing two different previews.

First Preview

The first preview appears briefly.

This preview was created by your camera manufacturer's software.

The software is proprietary.

Your camera manufacturer doesn't release the code to Adobe.

Therefore, Adobe must reverse engineer the first preview to create code that's similar to the camera manufacturer's code.

Second Preview

The second preview appears when Lightroom uses its code to simulate the camera manufacturer's code.

Not a Good Match?

If the second preview isn't satisfactory, don't get upset with Adobe.

It's the camera manufacturer's that won't release their codes to Adobe.

Do the following.


1) Set your camera to save both a raw file and a JPEG file.

2) Make sure your camera is set to create JPEG files using a neutral or standard setting, not Vivid or a similar setting.

Check in the Shooting or the Record menu for this feature.

3) Photograph a scene with a wide range of colors, with a gray area, and with a shadow.

You'll be comparing the colors.

The gray area will be used for seeing a color caste.

The shadow will be used for judging the contrast.

In Lightroom

4) In Lightroom, do one of the following two options.

Option #1

a) Go to Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Lightroom > Preferences (Mac).

Or, press Ctrl + ,.

b) Click the General tab.

c) In the Import Options section, in the middle, select Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos.

After importing the raw file, you'll see the JPEG version next to the raw version.

Option #2

After step 4 below, note the following.

The raw file you imported has the notation + JPG.

The JPEG version is hidden as a sidecar file.

To see JPEG version, press Ctrl + r.


5) Import the raw file.

If you did Option #1, you'll see the raw version and the JPEG version.

If you did Option #2, press Ctrl + r to see the JPEG version.

6) Select the raw file version.

You're going to edit the raw version to make it look like the JPEG version.

7) Go to the Develop module.

8) Use the Basic and the Camera Calibration panels to edit the raw version to match the JPEG version.

9) To compare, click back-and-forth on the raw and JPEG previews in the Filmstrip at the bottom of your screen.

10) When finished editing the raw version, click the + icon on the Presets panel tab on the left side of your screen.

11) In the New Develop Preset window, do the following.

a) Enter a name such as Custom Camera Profile.

b) Check what's selected in the Settings section.

For example, if you changed the saturation, Saturation isn't selected by default.

You must select it.

c) Select Process Version.

12) Click Create.

The preset is saved in the User Presets menu.

13) When importing, open the Apply During Import panel on the right side of your screen.

14) In the Develop menu, select the preset you made above.

People Photographs?

If you photograph people, you may want to create a preset optimized for skin tones.

Photograph several skin tones in the same photograph.

Repeat the steps above, and create a second preset.

All I See Are Pixels

Click Fit in the Navigator panel.

Weird Blue or Red Color on Photographs

The blue color is where the photograph is underexposed.

Red areas are where the photograph is overexposed.

Under- and overexposed areas are hard to edit.

To remove the blue color, click the triangle in the upper-left corner of the Histogram panel.

To get rid of the red, click the triangle in the upper-right corner.


Histogram Panel