Selecting Photos in Lightroom Classic

Bear Grass Blooms
Lolo Pass, Montana/Idaho border

Lightroom Classic allows us to apply the same metadata, develop, export and other changes to a group of photographs. This makes us more efficient at organizing, processing and sharing our pictures. But before we can take advantage of these group changes, we have to select the images we want Lightroom Classic to work with. There are several helpful tricks for selecting photos in the Library module that everyone should know.

Start by choosing a folder or a collection of images in Grid view in the Library module. (These techniques also work in the Filmstrip.)

When you click on a single photo to select it, the thumbnail border becomes brighter than the pictures around it.

A single image selected has a brighter thumbnail border

If you want to select two or more images in a row (touching each other), click on the first image, hold the Shift key and click on the last image in the sequence.

Two images next to each other selected with Shift+Click
137 is the active image; 138 is a selected image
Others in the row are not selected

As soon as you select two or more photos, their borders change brightness. The first photo you click on becomes the one with the lightest thumbnail border; it is the active image (#137). Other selected photos have a medium brightness thumbnail border (#138). Photos that are not selected have the darkest thumbnail border (#136, #139 and #140).

A series of 5 photos selected with Shift+Click
136 is the active image; 137 - 140 are selected
The other pictures are not selected

If you want to select photographs that are not next to each other (touching), click on the first image to select it. Then Ctrl+Click (Windows) or Command+Click (Mac) and select the other random pictures you want.

Three separate images selected with Ctrl+Click (Windows)
131 is the active image; 139 and 141 are selected
The other photos are not selected

You can combine Shift+Click and Ctrl+Click (Windows) or Command+Click (Mac) for a variety of selected pictures.

The first selected (active) image is 136.
Shift+Click selected the next 5 frames (137-141).
Ctrl+Click (Windows) selected the remaining images.

If you want to select all the photos in the current folder or collection, press Ctrl+A (Windows) or Command+A (Mac). (A is for "all".)

All images selected.
133 is the active selection.

You can deselect individual images with Ctrl+Click (Windows) or Command+Click (Mac) on the pictures you don't want to select. Their thumbnail borders then become dark.

I used Ctrl+Click (Windows) to deselect 8 frames
from the previous Select All group.

If you don't want to have any photographs selected, press Ctrl+D (Windows) or Command+D (Mac) to select none. (D is for "deselect".)

Once you've mastered selecting a variety of images using Shift+Click and Ctrl+Click (Windows) or Command+Click (Mac), you're ready to apply changes to multiple pictures at once. Learn what you can do with all these selected photos in Speed up Your Lightroom Classic Workflow at the Lifelong Learning Center in Missoula, Montana, on October 26, 2019Click here to register.