With the release of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Beta 4, Adobe has posted a web page for the Lightroom Beta 4 Release Notes. Anybody downloading and using B4 should read the release notes to find out more about new features as well as the known issues.
New Features in Beta 4
- The toolbar now is based on a new design and can be hidden and shown using the T key (or the corresponding menu command in the View menu). Like many keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop Lightroom, this one supports a “long press” behavior where the state of the toolbar is temporarily toggled, can be worked with using the mouse, and will then revert to its original state when the key is released if it has been held down rather than just pressed and immediately released.
- The panels are based on a new design.
- Panels can be used in a “solo” mode by option-clicking one of the panel headers. When in this mode (as signified by a different style of arrow next to the panel names), only one panel at a time will usually be visible. Opening a panel will automatically close the other panels in the same panel track.
- Panels can be removed from the panel track. This is done by right-clicking (and control-clicking on the Mac) the header of any panel in a panel track and choosing the panel to hide or show from the menu.
- Panel tracks now have a few different behaviors. Right-clicking (and control-clicking on the Mac) the bar on the side of the panel will give a menu with choices for Auto Show & Hide, Auto Hide, and Manual modes. The mode is remembered on a per-panel basis.
- The font size used in the panels can be adjusted using the Interface tab of the Preferences window.
- Progress feedback is now displayed in the upper-left corner of the screen, in the area normally occupied by the Identity Plate. Progress will only be observable here when the panel is not collapsed.
- The filmstrip now sports a grid icon and a forward and back icon. The grid icon goes to the Library module’s Grid view. The forward and back buttons go between recent view states. Currently, this is somewhat limited, but will be enhanced in the future. It will now go to the previous module, previous view when in the Library module, or the previous selected “source” in the Library module.
- Information about the selection and active photo are now displayed in the filmstrip.
- The filmstrip is now only re-sizable by clicking and dragging on the top bar.
- You can move photos from one installation of Photoshop Lightroom to another via Photo Binders. A photo binder is a folder containing all of the photos you’ve selected, plus the data you’ve created about them in Photoshop Lightroom. You can find these commands in the Library menu.
- There is an option to control what kinds of previews Photoshop Lightroom should collect or generate for the photos being imported.
- Import-time file naming now supports various EXIF metadata fields.
- Export now supports running an action after the export has finished. There are a few such actions built-in.
- If your drive supports burning, you can burn exported photos to disc by selecting Burn Disc as Photo Binder. You can also right-click on a shoot, collection, or keyword and select Burn to Disc as Photo Binder.
- The Grid view sports a new appearance that can display a few pieces of user-selectable information for each cell. The visible information can be controlled using the View Options window from the View menu. The previous view is still available as an option and is now also customizable. The “J” key can be used to cycle between the grid view configurations.
- The Loupe view and the Develop module now support an information overlay. The information being displayed can be configured in the View Options window. The information overlay supports two sets of info, and the “I” key can be used to cycle between these and no information overlay.
- There is new search code which should be generally more responsive.
- There are optional badges on photos in the Library Grid view and the filmstrip. These badges signify a photo with Develop settings changes, a specified crop, or some applied keywords. Also, note that these icons can be double-clicked to go to an appropriate place to edit the settings they indicate. Currently, there is a bug where the Develop settings icon will always display when there is a crop, even if the adjustment settings in Develop have not been changed.
- The Filter panel now supports presets. These can be saved from the panel and accessed there and in the Filmstrip when in any module.
- The Metadata panel now shows the combined metadata from all of the selected photos and changes affect all of these photos when in Grid view (but only the active photo when using Loupe or Compare).
- There is now a command to go directly to the Crop view of Develop from the Library module.
- There is a command to rename the selected photos.
- There is a command to convert previously-imported photos to DNG.
- When photos are copied or moved into the Photoshop Lightroom Managed Photos directory on import, they will be moved around as they are moved from one shoot to another (and changing those shoot names will change the names of the corresponding managed folders). Note that currently there isn’t any indication whether a photo/shoot is managed, and it is possible to mix managed and unmanaged items.
- Holding down the shift key when assigning a rating to a photo will automatically advance to the next photo.
There are several new controls, some revised controls, and other controls that have been brought into alignment with their meanings in Adobe Camera Raw. While we have endeavored to preserve the overall look of the settings from beta 3, we have decided that since this is beta software, we aren’t going to keep things backwards compatible forever with beta versions. (However, once we ship version 1, we intend to preserve the effects of the settings in future versions.)
Here is a summary of the key new controls:
- Recovery—This slider changes the hard clipping of Exposure into a soft roll-off and can pull highlight detail back in. Pushed further, it will also enhance highlight contrast. It is particularly useful for overexposed photos as an alternative to turning down Exposure and then immediately turning up Brightness to compensate for having made the photo too dark.
- Vibrance—This control was inspired by RawShooter, however, the effects are not identical. It essentially controls a non-linear saturation adjustment which will avoid blowing out the saturation on heavily saturated colors. It also tries to be smart about flesh tones.
- Tone Curve—The tone curve has been heavily reworked. We essentially have 4 regions defined by 3 split points underneath the curve graph. Photoshop Lightroom now allows for a new style of direct manipulation of the curve.
- ACR Curve—This provides limited access to the curves used in Adobe Camera Raw and is intended primarily for settings compatibility.
- There are lots of UI enhancements in Develop. Try clicking and dragging in the histogram at the top of the track. With the Tone Curve panel open, try placing your cursor over the photo and using the arrow keys.
Photoshop Lightroom now allows for direct resizing of Identity Plates, Rating Stars, and Text Blocks in the Slideshow. Also, Text Blocks can be edited by double-clicking them.
MP3-based music playback has been added to the Windows version.
- The default Photoshop Lightroom HTML template has been revised. The middle zoom level has been removed and the minimum size has been reduced to 3×3.
- The HTML gallery now has no limit on its size and should preview much more quickly.
Known Issues for Beta 4
- When moving the Photoshop Lightroom Managed Photos folder, Photoshop Lightroom will need to rebuild the cache files unless you manually move the Lightroom Previews.aglib file into the same folder as the Managed Folder.
- The Photoshop Lightroom Preview Cache mechanism has been changed and will need to be rebuilt. This means your B3 preview caches will be removed. Previews will be built in the background and as needed. To force the build out of all previews, select Render Standard Previews or Render 1:1 Previews under the Library menu in the Library module.
- Photoshop Lightroom doesn’t respect keyboard language on Windows. All keyboards are seen as English-based.
- Photoshop Lightroom crashes when libraries are created at the root of any drive.
- The application’s 1024×768 mode is not optimized. It is recommended to run with one panel hidden when in this screen mode for now.
- Duplicate files are not always detected on import.
- The new Photoshop Lightroom command, Import Photos from Photo Binder, will silently ignore duplicate files. If a file is already in the Library, Photoshop Lightroom will not import it or its metadata. There is no UI in place currently to indicate a duplicate import has occurred.
- As Imports get larger, they can get very slow.
- It is not possible to select multiple folders for Import on Windows.
- The Photoshop Lightroom Managed Photos folder cannot be moved from one volume to another on Windows.
- Photoshop Lightroom can have problems erasing CD-RW disks it writes out.
- Photoshop Lightroom won’t write IPTC data into the XMP block of a DNG file on export.
- When photos are copied or moved into the Photoshop Lightroom Managed Photos directory on import, they will be moved around as they are moved from one shoot to another (and changing those shoot names will change the names of the corresponding managed folder). Note that currently there isn’t any indication whether a photo/shoot is managed, and it is possible to mix managed and unmanaged items.
- If you move the managed photos folder, any preferences you’ve changed during the app session may be lost on Windows. We recommend quitting the app before changing the managed photos folder.
- Renaming two independent photo files so that they have the same base name (ie. File.CRW and File.JPG) will cause them to become related to each other, and the JPEG will be treated as a sidecar to the raw image when renaming again.
When Develop is the default module on launch, or Develop is entered with no photo selected, the Camera Raw popup in the Camera Calibration panel is missing. Quit and re-launch from the Library module to have the popup return.
- If you try to move an empty text field in Slideshow, Photoshop Lightroom may crash.
- The Photoshop Lightroom Slideshow playback experience is best when using the current version of Adobe Reader.
- To access autoplay in Adobe Reader, it is necessary to check the full screen checkbox in the Slideshow export dialog.
- New Photoshop Lightroom Web templates will not always have a preview in the preset browser.
- Templates created in previous Photoshop Lightroom Beta releases will not work in Beta 4. Please recreate your templates in Beta 4.
- The size of the Photoshop Lightroom HTML gallery preview image is limited by the size of the chosen grid. To enable larger image sizes, use the Grid control to select the maximum number of rows and columns.
- If the Adobe Flash gallery becomes unresponsive, switch to an HTML gallery and then select the flash preset.
- Web does not write most metadata into the JPEG files it creates.