What Does the Previous Button Do in Lightroom Classic?

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The previous button is a super handy tool. If you make adjustments to one photo you can use the previous button to apply the exact same settings to another photo. In other words, whatever you did to the previous photo it will do to the next photo that you select. It doesn’t need to be the next photo consecutively. But it does apply the exact same settings including any adjustment brush or radial filter settings and cropping. It will apply everything to the photo that you did to the first one.

Using the Previous Button to Copy Develop Settings to Another Image

So here’s an example. Here is a photo taken at the beach and in the filmstrip are several other photos taken at the beach at the same time, so they have the same lighting. I’m going to make a few edits to the first image. I’m going to warm this up a little and move the temperature a little to the right to about 5330. Then I’ll take down the highlights and open up the shadows. I’m also going to adjust the white by holding down the Alt/Option key and move the white slider until I just see a tiny speck of color and then I’ll set the blacks by holding down Alt/Option key and move the slider to the left until I see a little color. I’m going to adjust the exposure a little, to about .24. And I think I’ll add a little Clarity. I’ll add some sharpening to about 90 and I’m going to mask it by holding down the Alt/Option key as I move the slider so I’m not sharpening the sky.

I think the horizon is a tiny bit crooked so I’m going to adjust it. Ok, so I made my adjustments so now I’m going to select this photo in the film strip and watch as Lightroom applies the exact same adjustments. That’s a huge time saver. Ok, now I need to point out one potential issue. If you straighten a horizon or apply a graduated filter or use the adjustment brush to your first photo, Lightroom is going to make the exact same adjustments to the photo where you applied the previous button. So you may not want that and you might need to do a little bit more adjusting. But the previous button can be a great time-saver.

In my next tutorial I’ll show you how to save editing time by using the Sync and Auto Sync buttons and what the difference is.

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