Some of my plugins have or soon will have “Quick access URLs” which make it much faster to run some of their menu commands.

For example, Search and Replace 2.1 has a feature called Refresh Workflow Filters which I use frequently when I’m keywording and captioning. This menu command populates columns in the Library Filter and really helps me spot mistakes and monitor progress.

With Refresh Workflow FIlters I can check my metadata entry and see that I’ve overlooked 27 captions and forgotten to keyword 137 photos

Until now, refreshing these columns meant selecting the photos, then navigating to Library > Plugin Extras > Refresh Workflow Filters. Alternatively I use the auto menu’s dialog.

Now on my Windows PC I just hit the key combination Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R, and I find this so much quicker and more convenient than using the menu.

If you don’t like that shortcut, choose whatever combination suits you.

 

The quick access URLs

To see one of these keyboard shortcuts in action, open Lightroom and ensure that Search & Replace 2.1 is installed, then return to this page and click the following link – lightroom://uk.co.beardsworth.findreplace/?action=main. Your browser should warn you about opening a non-standard link, and then Lightroom should display a brief message “Search + Replace is receiving instructions” before opening the plugin’s main dialog box.

Setting up

Of course, you wouldn’t want to launch these links from your web browser!

So you will need to set them up on your Mac or PC.

Some people like using a specialist keyboard shortcut utility, while others might prefer the operating system. I don’t yet have a preference on Mac, so I hope kind Mac users will help point out the best way, but on Windows I prefer to set up desktop shortcuts.

Windows

I prefer to keep these shortcuts on my Windows desktop, in fact over in a corner of my second screen

On Windows, I like to set up Windows shortcuts, and the simplest way is to drag each of the above links out of the browser window and drop it on your desktop.

  • Rename the shortcut and right click it to set the shortcut.
  • You can choose whatever shortcuts make sense to you, and for example I decided Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R would run Refresh Workflow Filters.
  • Be wary of choosing shortcuts that clash with shortcuts built into LR or other programs. For example, imagine I am using Photoshop and want to call the “Render 3D Layer” command using Photoshop’s default shortcut which is also Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R. Instead of calling “Render 3D Layer”, I would find that the shortcut launches Lightroom and runs Refresh Workflow Filters. That may be undesirable in some cases, but in this case I can’t recall if I have ever used “Render 3D Layer”, so I am happy with Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R.
  • I recommend keeping the shortcuts on the Windows desktop or somewhere you can easily remember. Let’s say I forget my Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R is needed for Lightroom and am trying to figure out in Photoshop why Ctrl+Alt+Shift+R isn’t starting “Render 3D Layer”.

Mac

Well, I’m not sure. I have used Mac and Windows equally for about 15 years, but I’ve never really looked into setting up keyboard shortcuts. Some Mac user out there is going to tell me the perfect way….

I’ve had one recommendation to use Launchbar.