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Duelling in Lightroom, Working With 2 Screens

One of the great reasons to use Lightroom is that it offers such a fast and easy workflow for editing large numbers of images. Every little tip, trick or method that saves editing seconds allows us to be more effective and profitable as photographers.

My tip for today is using Dual Screens in Lightroom. The ability to work on one image while controlling a batch of images means that you can work quicker and more consistently allowing for more time doing what we love.. spending more time out with the camera.

I imagine that not a lot of people have the money or space to have a second monitor just for editing, but how many people use a Mac (or PC) and an iPad? It is a simple thing to use either a second monitor or even an iPad to create a duel screening environment for Lightroom.

So lets begin..

If you have a second screen, connect it to your computer and set it up for resolution etc, then skip to the Lightroom part below

If you are connecting an ipad, first download the Air Display App. When you run Air Display for the first time it will give instructions for setting up Air Display on your computer.

Air Display instruction for Mac


Air Display instructions for PC

Following the instructions on the iPad should allow you to connect it to your computer as a second display.

iPad is connected as a second monitor

From here the process for using either a second monitor or the iPad is the same.. Your iPad is now effectively a second screen for your computer!

Ok, so now into Lightroom for the good stuff..

Lightroom Library module

First step is open the bottom panel in Lightroom, and in the bottom left corner there are two icons labelled 1 & 2

Second Screen options menu

Clicking on the number 2 will start the second screen within Lightroom. Right Clicking on the number 2 will bring up the screen options for the second screen.

Second Screen options panel

So with my second screen set to Grid and my first screen set to Loupe, I can maximise my viewing space while maintaining the maximum of control.

Working with Duel Screens

Now maybe this is just me, but being able to touch an image on the iPad grid and having it selected on my main screen is pretty cool.

This becomes even more powerful and speeds up workflow when you use keyboard short cuts to control both the 1st and 2nd screens.

In simple terms whatever keyboard shortcuts you use for the 1st screen, adding the shift key applies them to the 2nd screen. so…

1st screen Loupe = E, while 2nd screen Loupe is Shift E

1st screen Grid = G, while 2nd screen Grid is Shift G

1st screen Survey = N, while 2nd screen Survey is Shift N

1st screen Compare = C, while 2nd screen Compare is Shift C

So for example I can be working in the Develop module, while making sure that the overall colour balance matches my selected Survey images on the 2nd screen.

2nd screen in Survey Mode, 1st screen in Develop Module

Another added bonus is that if you are using the New iPad with Retina screen, the resolution of your 2nd screen is 2048px by 1536px. Allowing you to see dust spots and blemishes so much easier. I always do an additional proof on my images using the iPad to make sure I’ve not missed anything in my edit.

2nd Screen in Loupe mode (Shift-E) and 1st screen in Grid view (G)


As you can see, there are many variations you can choose to fit the way you choose to work. I hope you have found this useful and as always please comment or question below




About Scot Baston (31 Articles)
Scot Baston is a Commercial & Wedding Photographer that lives on the south coast of Devon, that inspires much of his work. Whether it the technical or emotive sides, Photography is a passion that continues to challenge and inspire.

3 Comments on Duelling in Lightroom, Working With 2 Screens

  1. I think that should be ‘dual’ screens, a duel is a fight between two people…

  2. Thank you Peter, I think that is called a play on words

    but again, thank you

  3. Thanks! I’m going to try it tonight. Using only a notebook I do not have the space for a 2nd IPS panel (my HP is not), having a iPad available should fix my need for Lightroom. Appreciated!

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