Create Hotkeys for Plug-ins in Adobe Lightroom

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Find out how to define custom hotkeys for Adobe Lightroom using the free program AutoHotkey in this blog post.

Introduction

I just started doing The Photo Editor’s Guide, which a really interesting course about learning how to edit photos (Who would have thought from that title!). I’m really getting into learning how to use Adobe Lightroom. As part of doing the Guide, I wanted to find a way to protect my photos from accidental edits. Snapshots were a perfect solution. I could import a photo, and Snapshot it with a name like ‘Original’ so I’d always be able to revert back to it.

You can’t set Snapshots for multiple images at once without a plugin. ThePhotoGeek’s Snapshotter fills that gap. Unfortunately, it can get a bit slow manually entering File > Plug-in Extras > Create Snapshot(s) from Images every time. And you can’t set shortcuts in Lightroom.

Using the program AutoHotkey, I was able to make my own shortcut, and I’m gonna teach you how to do that right now. This tutorial is specifically for Windows because I think Mac users can define shortcuts in another way within the OS itself.

1. Install Screenshotter Plug-in

2. Install AutoHotkey

Download the current version of AutoHotkey. Install it to your computer.

3. Create the Hotkey Command

Right click on your desktop and select New, then AutoHotkey Script 

Give it a name like Lightroom MultiSnapshot, leaving the file extension as .ahk

Right click on the file and choose Edit Script.

It will open in Notepad, and have the following lines already in it:

				
					#NoEnv ; Recommended for performance and compatibility with future AutoHotkey releases.
; #Warn ; Enable warnings to assist with detecting common errors.
SendMode Input ; Recommended for new scripts due to its superior speed and reliability.
SetWorkingDir %A_ScriptDir% ; Ensures a consistent starting directory.
				
			

You can leave that alone. Make a new line underneath all that and paste in this text:

 

				
					!q::
WinMenuSelectItem, A, , 1&, 23&, 2&,
return
				
			

Here’s a quick explanation of what each of these parts mean.

The first line is what you will press to activate the hotkey. Anything before the double colons :: is your hotkey.

! means the Alt key, and q is the q key on your keyboard.  You could make this something else, but it’s the first one that worked for me, and doesn’t seem to conflict with any other Lightroom hotkeys.

To understand line 2, we need to look at this screenshot of the Lightroom File menu.

Adobe Lightroom File menu with highlighted plugin for creating snapshots

Line 2 is the first set of instructions to execute. We want to access the menu Lightroom, so we use WinMenuSelectItem.

The letter A means we are using the active window.

The 1& means we are looking at the first item in the menu, which is File.

The 23& means we are looking at the 23rd item in that menu, including dividers! The 23rd item here is Plug-in Extras.

The 2& finally means we are looking at the second item in the submenu. The 2nd item here is Create Snapshot(s) from Images.

You may need to change this number, depending on if you have any other plug-ins installed.

Finally, the return on line 3 just makes the instructions end.

4. Test the Hotkey

Save the file.

Double click the file on your desktop to make it run. You’ll know it’s running if there is a green H icon in your windows taskbar to the right.

Screenshot of Windows taskbar notification area, with green H icon for AutoHotkey script

Then just go into Lightroom, select a photo, and press Alt + Q to run the hotkey.

If you have to make any changes to the code, remember to right click, Edit Script, save, then double-click the .ahk file again to run the new version.

Conclusion

I hope this tutorial has been helpful for you. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.

Peace, love and sunshine,

Jessica

   Amber