Hiding Module, Panels, and Filmstrip

What in the world does this mean in Adobe Lightroom!?

The Five Rules

In Adobe’s Lightroom, there is a work environment that help make working on photos much easier. Sometimes, and all too often, do the toolbars or panels get in the way of working on photos. Well, adobe put together The Five Rules to help you understand the the environment better. I won’t go into those here because they’ve done a great job on their own. I will tell you though how to get to the tutorial in Lightroom, and then I’ll explain some Key Commands that they don’t cover.In Lightroom, you can access the tutorial from the Help menu and then select The Five Rules.

The main items in the environment are:

  • The Module Picker – which is where you control what work flow module you are in.
  • The Panels – which are the organizational, informational, and tool work areas.
  • The Filmstrip – which is the photo filmstrip view offering filtering and designating working sets.
All these are very valuable tools, but sometimes they get in the way. You need more space. Here is what I’ve done to enjoy working in my environment better. Way to go Adobe, you’ve made it a great user interface.

Sliding Panels

There are arrows on edge of every panel (Module Picker, Filmstrip, Navigator, and Tools). If you click on the arrows, the panel will slide away and hide itself. If you click it again, it will slide out and reveal itself.
If you press the tab key, both side panels will slide away, press tab again, and they reappear. If you press shift-tab, ALL panels on the screen slide away, do it again, and they ALL come back.

If you right-click your mouse on any of the arrows on the panels, you will see a menu option with the following options:

  • Auto Hide & Show
  • Auto Hide
  • Manual
  • Sync with Opposite Panel

Auto Hide & Show

This option causes any of the panels to automatically slide in when the mouse is hovering over it or slide away when the mouse is off of the panel area.

Auto Hide

This is almost the same as above with the difference that the panel will slide out of the way when you move your mouse off the panel area to work on the photos, but when your mouse hovers over that area, it won’t appear unless you purposefully click your mouse and it slides back in to view. This is nice so that when you are moving the mouse around all the edges working, those panel don’t start sliding out when you don’t want them to.


This is the default and the panels will only slide in to view or out of view when you click on the arrows.

Sync with Opposite Panel

I wondered what this was and never got around to trying it out and now I have it on all the time. There are times when I want to hide the thumbnail filmstrip at the bottom of my window. And at the same time I would always want to hide the Module Picker on “the opposite side” as well. That’s two clicks, one at the top and one at the bottom to hide both panels. With this option set, both panels at the top and bottom will hide and show at the same time when either one of the arrows is clicked, thus they will be “synced”.

The top panel is only in sync with the bottom panel and the left panel is only in sync with the right panel. However, if you use any of the features above, like Auto Hide & Show or Auto Hide. This feature doesn’t seem to “sync” like it does in manual mode.

Aside from that, this is a great feature and I used it all the time now.

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