Lightroom - Setting Flags & Ratings

Once you have your images imported into Lightroom, it's beneficial to get straight into the business of deciding which to keep and which to discard. Lightroom gives you three tagging methods to do this called Flags, Color Ratings, and Star Ratings.

Star Ratings let you give a photo a rating between 1 and 5 stars. I always find this to be too many choices. I personally work on the principle that unless you give a photo 5 stars, you are not likely to ever use it for anything. For this reason, I don’t recommend people go through their library and give images star ratings. If you think about it, you would basically be spending unnecessary time tagging photos that you are not going to use.

Color Ratings are similar. You get 5 color choices. But again, if Green is a keeper, that makes all the other colors another waste of your time. Incidentally, though, I do use Color Ratings in Lightroom, but not for rating images. I use them as color tags for setting up specific smart galleries; e.g. Blue for nature, Red for places, etc.

Flags on the other hand are much simpler. If an image has no flag, it means you haven’t looked at it. An image with a reject flag means you will discard it, and a keep flag means you are happy to keep it in your library.

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Use the shortcode P for a Pick Flag and X for a Reject Fag. Or you can use the Flag icons at the bottom of the preview panel,  illustrated above. Incidentally, you can also use set Star Ratings and Color Ratings from this same area.

As well as these options for getting to Flags & Ratings, you can right-click an image and select the respective option from the pop-up menu.

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