I love teaching keyboard shortcuts. But sometimes they come back to bite me. In this particular case, to help my students speed up their workflow, I teach them the keyboard shortcut of tapping the Y key in the Develop module for a preview of side-by-side before and after develop changes. Tap the Y again and you’re back in the Develop Loupe View. And here’s the common keyboard shortcut error in Lightroom: the T key is positioned right next to the Y key. And when T is unintentionally tapped instead of Y, you may not notice that it causes a change across all of the Lightroom modules; it hides the Toolbar! Sometimes you don’t notice it’s missing until you need it, especially if you use a lot of keyboard shortcuts or work in a hurry (like I do).

Tapping the T key hides and reveals the Options Panel in Lightroom

This notification banner only appears for a couple of seconds, just above the bottom filmstrip. In Lightroom versions 1 through 4 there was no notification banner!

There you are, having such a great time developing your photos and enjoying tapping that Y key to jog back and forth to preview your Before/After. You take your eyes off the monitor, press the T key by accident, then press the Y to cover your mistake. Oops! Banner goes up, banner disappears. You missed it because you’re still looking at the keyboard! You look up. You’re in Before/After, so all is right with the world. But you missed the warning banner and now, at some point, you find yourself wondering, dude, where’s my Toolbar?

Tapping the T key hides and reveals the Toolbar in every one of Lightroom’s modules not just the Develop module. Simply tap T and the Toolbar returns.

Before and After animation of T Key

Tapping”T” Hides and Reveals the Lightroom Options Bar

Unlike Photoshop where keyboard shortcuts are consistent throughout the application, many of Lightroom’s keyboard shortcuts do one thing in a given module and have a different function in another module. So it’s really important to look over Lightroom’s keyboard shortcuts in the manual.

Here’s the link to the current Lightroom manual in its entirety – you’ll find all of Lightroom’s keyboard shortcuts in Chapter 17.