I really wasn’t sure whether yesterday’s how to make the Intuos pen’s eraser erase Lightroom’s local adjustments was a discovery of the magnitude of Columbus reaching the New World or belonged in the same “so what?” league of interest as Britain’s red tops revealing that another highly-paid footballer can’t keep it in his pants and another Conservative MP is a closet gay.

Doubting the tip’s value so much, that was where my thought process stopped, and it was only this morning as I put my feet down on the bedroom floor (wood not a shagpile) that another idea clunked into view. Now the pen’s eraser end is the Alt/Option modifier, you can use it with all sorts of other Alt/Option functions in Lightroom

Musketeer on the ruins of Basing House, twice besieged by the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War and destroyed after it was stormed in 1645

The obvious use is here, where I’m dragging the Blacks slider. Holding down Alt/Option – or using the pen’s eraser – displays the clipping.

Another is in the Detail panel, where I’m dragging the Masking slider with the pen’s eraser. Just as if I had held the modifier key, Lightroom shows which image areas will be affected by my sharpening:

No doubt someone somewhere has an anally-exhaustive compilation of all the Alt/Option modifiers ( here are a few ), but in general it’s best to keep it simple. Just keep in your mind that the modifier key often does surprisingly useful things with Adobe products and simply get into the routine of holding down the Alt/Option key – or swivelling the pen to its eraser end – and discover them for yourself.

But there is one question I couldn’t readily answer. What should I do with the hand that should have been pressing the Alt/Option key?