In the previous Mastering Lightroom series article, “Lightroom Grid View Options”, we learned how to set-up Cells in Grid View so that they display the information of your choice. Grid View options are only available in Library Module, but that is not the only view mode available in Lightroom. In this article for beginners we are going to learn how to set-up Loupe View, which is available in Library Module and is also the default and only view mode in Develop Module.
Lightroom Loupe View Information Overlay
As I’ve already mentioned, Loupe View is available in both Library and Develop Modules. In Loupe View, to overlay some information over image preview, simply hit “I” key on your keyboard. Such information overlay is called Loupe Info. Hit the “I” key once to go to Loupe Info 1, hit it again to go to Loupe Info 2. Hitting it the third time will hide any information overlay. To go to Loupe View Options dialogue, you need to hit “Ctrl+J” on your keyboard (same as in Grid View). Alternatively, you can select the appropriate option from the “View” menu or by right-clicking on the image itself. Both hotkeys – “I” to toggle Loupe Info overlays and “Ctrl+J” to open the Loupe View Options dialogue – work in Library and Develop Modules, but because the options dialogues themselves are ever so slightly different for both Modules, I will cover them separately. Let’s start with Library Module Loupe View Options.
A side note: the other three Modules that allow additional information to be overlaid are Map, Book and Print Modules. The latter two show print-specific info, such as page size, number of pages, preliminary cost or printer model depending on the Module, when toggled with the “I” key. Map Module will show the location that is being viewed at that time.
1) Library Module Loupe View Options Dialogue
The first thing we need to do is, naturally, go to the Library Module. Then, hit “Ctrl+J” to open the Library View Options dialogue. Once that is done, make sure that you are in the Loupe View tab, which is located at the top of the said dialogue. Switching to this tab will automatically toggle Loupe View. The following screenshot shows how the Options dialogue should look like if you are using Lightroom 5:
Now, let’s go through every option one by one:
- Show Info Overlay – select this checkbox to turn on Info Overlay in Loupe View and preview the changes you make in the Library View Options dialogue, Loupe View tab, in real-time.
- The Loupe Info 1/Loupe Info 2 drop-down menu – this drop-down menu is available only if the “Show Info Overlay” checkbox is marked. Toggle between Loupe Info 1 and Loupe Info 2 with this menu whilst in Library View Options dialogue.
- Show briefly when photo changes – if the “Show Info Overlay” checkbox is not marked, you will still be able to change the options in the Loupe View Options dialogue (contrary to Grid View Options, where it is mandatory to turn Grid Extras on). This is because Loupe View allows the information overlay to not be displayed at all times, but only for a few seconds as you go through the images. As you might have guessed, to do that, you need to select one of the two “Show briefly when photo changes” checkboxes. Naturally, only one such checkbox can be marked at a time.
- Loupe Info 1/Loupe Info 2 Options – the three drop-down menus in each section allow you to customize the information overlaid in Loupe Info 1 and Loupe Info 2. The top-most menu is also the most prominent, so it makes sense to assign the sort of information that you need to see at a glance to it more than anything else. It’s the file name by default, but if you expand the menu you will see a bunch of other options ranging from exposure settings (you can display all of them by selecting Common Photo Settings) to metering mode or copyright information. The same stands true for the remaining two drop-down menus in each section. Any one of these can also display no information whatsoever if you choose the top-most option from any specific menu (“None”).
Since both Loupe Info 1 and Loupe Info 2 work basically the same way, it would be a good idea to really think through what sort of information to overlay with each mode so that it does not duplicate. My suggestion is setting up Loupe Info 1 so that it shows the most important camera and exposure settings – shutter speed, aperture and ISO setting, perhaps metering mode and focal length, while Loupe Info 2 could be responsible for things like file name, image resolution after cropping and date of capture.
- Show message when loading or rendering photos – whenever Lightroom takes a while to load a preview of the image or render one – right after you’ve imported the image files into your Catalog, for example – it displays a message allowing you to know that it is still prepping that photograph for you. Here is how it looks like:
Unmark this checkbox if you’d rather not see the “Loading…” message.
- Show frame number when displaying video file – select this checkbox if you would like to see not only the playback time, but also frame number when viewing video files in Lightroom. Since I don’t post-process videos with Lightroom nor have any video files imported in any of my Catalogs, I just leave the checkbox unmarked and forget about it.
- Play HD video at draft quality – when dealing with high definition videos, this will lower the quality at which the movies are played back in Lightroom, but also increase the speed of processing. Again, not really relevant for us, so I leave it marked (in case I ever do work with a video file in Lightroom) and forget.
That’s it for Library Module and its Loupe View Options! Develop Module has an ever so slightly different and simpler View Options dialogue (called Develop View Options) as the Module itself does not support Grid View (if you engage Grid View, the Module will automatically switch to Library). So all that is left is discussing the slight differences in Develop Module.
2) Develop Module Loupe View Options Dialogue
First thing we should do is actually take a look at how the Develop View Options dialogue looks like. To do that, go to your Develop Module and, as always, hit “Ctrl+J” on your keyboard to open it.
As you can see, the differences really are slight. If the Develop View Options dialogue seems more compact than its counterpart in Library Module, it is because, firstly, there are no Grid View and Loupe View tabs to choose from at the top of the dialogue and, secondly, no options for video. Other than that, they are completely identical. One important thing I should note is that whatever changes to Loupe Info 1 and Loupe Info 2 you make in, say, Library View Options, they are carried over to your Develop Module and vice versa. In other words, you can not have separate Loupe Info overlays for Library and Develop Modules. For once, though, I think that is a good thing – after all, there’s not that much information that you ever need at a glance and two Loupe Info overlays are plenty. More than that, I could hardly think of the sorts of information that would be useful in strictly one of the two Modules, but not the least in another.
A side note: if you’d like to know why there are no video-related checkboxes in Dvelop View Options dialogue, that is because you can’t actually do much with videos in Lightroom and the main functionality can be found in Library Module only.
With this follow-up article to the previous “Lightroom Grid View Options”, “Lightroom Interface Customization Tips” and “Branding and Customization” articles, we’ve finally discussed pretty much all the ways Lightroom’s environment can be changed to suit the needs of individual photographers. Some of the advice provided affect only the way the user interface looks, while others can actually speed up your post-processing and image management workflow. If you follow the tips provided in all these articles, you should be able to make sure everything is as tidy and informative-at-a-glance as you need it to be. And, as always, I hope you found the article useful!