Adobe Lightroom now supports Shortcuts

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I sent this image to Lightroom with a Shortcut.
I sent this image to Lightroom with a Shortcut.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Adobe’s Lightroom, perhaps the best photo-editing app on iOS, now supports shortcuts. That is, it supports one shortcut, letting you load photo into it from the camera roll, or any other place your find images in iOS.

Wouldn’t a simple Open In… option suffice? Perhaps, but by adding just one simple shortcut, Adobe has also added quite a few powerful possibilities.

One of the biggest complaints about the new iPad Pro is that it can’t access USB storage. Or rather it can, but it can only see photos and videos on connected volumes. And those photos and videos can only be imported into the built-in iOS Photo Library.

But pro photographers don’t necessarily want their zillions of photos cluttering up their iCloud Photo Library. They want to import images directly from their SD card into Lightroom, bypassing the Photo Library altogether.

The latest version of Lightroom doesn’t fix this — you still have to import images into the Photo Library first. But it does help you to clean up afterwards. Take a look at this shortcut, for example:

A simple shortcut to import photos, and delete the originals. A simple shortcut to import photos, and delete the originals.

You would run this from the Photos app after importing a bunch of images. Just select all the photos you just imported, then tap the share arrow to run this shortcut. It imports everything to Lightroom, and then deletes the originals from your camera roll. Or it should. My shortcut fails at the delete stage, but you get the idea.

Apply presets in import

This is where things get interesting. You can choose to have Lightroom apply a preset on import. Presets are where you can save pretty much any editing parameter in order to apply it quickly in future. These can be simple brightness adjustments, a B&W conversion, or a crazy way-out set of filters. This new import shortcut can tell Lightroom to apply any preset upon import:

Import presets in Lightroom’s shortcut.
Import presets in Lightroom’s shortcut.
Photo: Cult of Mac

You can also tell Shortcuts to pop up a menu letting you pick the preset when you run the shortcut, making a single shortcut extremely flexible:

“Ask When Run” makes a single shortcut very flexible.
“Ask When Run” makes a single shortcut very flexible.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Combos

You can of course combine the new Lightroom shortcuts action with any other actions. You could just use it to replace the Save to Photo Album action in any other photo-based shortcut, for example. Or you could run a filter that only passes RAW images from a selection (based on their file extension — you can’t filter by RAW), and sends those to Lightroom. This is handy if you shoot RAW and JPG images in your camera, and want to send the RAWs to Lightroom and keep the JPGs in the Photos app.

The future

Hopefully iOS 13 will add support for hooking up USB storage, so you won’t need to go through the camera roll to get pictures into Lightroom. And if this happens, this new shortcut will still be super handy, as it will presumably still be possible to run shortcuts on photos in the Files app, just like you can do right now.

Adobe Lightroom CC

Price: Free

Download: Adobe Lightroom CC from the App Store (iOS)