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The Light Table

Expression Studio 2.0

Light Table mode is the best way to view and compare images. When you open the Light Table, it displays all images selected in your view.

A toolbar below each Light Table image shows each image’s color label, file name, dimensions, and scaling percentage. The toolbar also displays buttons for removing images, adjusting rotation, and changing display size. When images are open in the Light Table, you can rate the images and add labels to them by clicking the respective icons and selecting a rating or label from the menu.

You can display up to six media files at the same time in the Light Table. When you have more than one image displaying in the Light Table, you can also set image orientation. To use your monitor space as efficiently as possible, try the landscape, portrait, or grid layouts (the shortcut keys are L, P, and G, respectively). If you work with multiple monitors, you can drag the Light Table window to another monitor, increase it to full-screen display, if it is required, and work with it there when you also see your other images in the catalog views. In a multiple-monitor scenario, you can select another image in a catalog view to open that image in the Light Table. If you want to hide the toolbar to maximize the viewing area for each image, press T. Press T again to show the toolbar.

Images in the Light Table

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To enter Light Table mode

  • On the View menu, click Light Table.

    Cc294837.alert_note(en-us,Expression.10).gifNote:

    When you first open the Light Table, the Help menu appears and displays the navigation and keyboard shortcuts. Click the menu or press ESC to close it. If you want to open it again to view shortcuts, right-click anywhere in the window and, in the shortcut menu, click Shortcuts. For a list of all Light Table keyboard shortcuts, see Light Table shortcuts.

To change the number of media files displayed in the Light Table

  • In the Light Table, right-clickthe image, point to Panels, and then do one of the following:

    • Click the number corresponding to the number of files that you want to display.

    • Click Add Panel to add a single media file to the grid. You can add up to six panels.

    • To remove a panel, click Remove Panel.

To remove an image in Light Table mode

  • Click the Trash/Remove button Cc294837.470f6387-a99f-4424-8e58-37397b3493cf(en-us,Expression.10).png at the bottom-right of the Light Table, or right-clickanywhere in the Light Table and do one of the following:

    • To delete the image from the catalog and move the original file to the recycle bin, click Move to Recycle Bin.

    • To delete the image from the catalog, but have it remain in its original location on your hard disk, click Remove from Catalog.

To label an image in Light Table mode

  • Position the pointer over the image that you want to label (if you have more than one image in the Light Table) and press numbers 1 through 9 to set a label (or 0 [zero] to remove a label).

To rate an image in Light Table mode

  • Position the pointer over the image that you want to rate (if you have more than one image in the Light Table) and press Alt + [0 (zero)-5]to set a rating from 0 to 5 stars.

To adjust the image size

  • In the Size menu at the bottom-right corner of the images, click a display size option. To zoom in or out on an image, press the PLUS SIGN or MINUS SIGN key. If the SCROLL LOCK key is on, all images will increase and decrease by the same magnification. If the SCROLL LOCK key is off, the scale of only the active image will be adjusted.

To rotate an image

  • In the bottom-right corner of the images, click one of the rotate arrows.

To view the Light Table in full-screen mode

  • In the Size menu at the bottom-right corner of the images, click a display size option. To zoom in or out on an image, press the PLUS SIGN or MINUS SIGN keys. If the SCROLL LOCK key is on, all images will increase or decrease by the same magnification. If the SCROLL LOCK key is off, the scale of only the active image will be adjusted.

When an image is bigger than the window it is in, the pointer changes to a hand, which you can use to move the image by dragging.

When more than one image appears in the Light Table, all images are moved at the same time when SCROLL LOCK (keyboard shortcut: S) is on. If one of the images does not move when you scroll in this manner, it is probably because it fits in the window and there is no more of the image to show.

With SCROLL LOCK off, you can move only the image under the pointer by dragging. The SCROLL LOCK key is useful when you examine an important area of similar images.

When you zoom to an area of a particular image, the other displayed images will also zoom to show the equivalent area of their scenes.

If the images are not absolutely identical, you might have to turn SCROLL LOCK off and move images individually. Remembering the keyboard shortcut (S) for the SCROLL LOCK makes viewing similar images much faster.

The RIGHT ARROW or DOWN ARROW key changes the image in the Light Table to the next one in the catalog. Use the UP ARROW or LEFT ARROW key to change to the previous image in the catalog.

When there is more than one image on the screen, the image that is changed is the one your pointer is hovering over. When you change the image by using the arrow keys, the current zoom and scroll positions are maintained to make it easier to examine the same point on similar images.

The pixel magnifier is a floating panel that shows a close-up of the image area underneath the pointer. To select the pixel magnifier, use the M keyboard shortcut. The pixel magnifier can be quicker than zooming and scrolling, especially when you want to closely examine more than one area in any particular image.

The slider controls how far the magnifier zooms in. There are four settings, from the least magnified at the bottom to the most magnified at the top. The slider snaps to one of these four settings.

The pixel magnifier also shows the pointer’s X/Y coordinates (highlighted by a green square) and the RGB color values.

A histogram is a graph that shows the relative distribution of red, green, and blue pixel densities in an image. It shows the number of pixels with high density on the left (darker colors) and low density on the right (lighter colors). Its purpose is to show the distribution of tone throughout an image.

The histogram

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When viewing images, you might want to view the histogram and exposure warnings for each image. For example, an image without shadows has a histogram with a valley on the left, whereas a histogram without highlights has a valley on the right. You can see dark shadows as a peak of all three colors to the left and bright highlights a peak of all three colors of the right.

In the image, the exposure warnings show areas of potential overexposure as solid red, and show underexposed areas in solid blue. These overexposed and underexposed areas of an image generally lack detail because too much or not enough light was captured.

In some cases, the areas indicated as being overexposed or underexposed might appear exactly as you want them to. Therefore, you may not want to change them. Use the histogram and exposure warnings only as a guideline to help you decide whether an image is good or whether it can be improved. You can adjust the sensitivity of the exposure warnings to account for your own photographic techniques or preferences.

Knowledge of digital image–editing techniques will help you know what to look for when you use these tools. For more information, read the documentation provided with your image-editing software.

To open the histogram and exposure warnings

  • In Light Table view, press H to show or hide the histogram; press W to show the exposure warnings.

To adjust Light Table exposure warnings

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Preferences, and then click Media Rendering.

  2. Click the Images tab.

  3. In the Light Table Warnings section, select the exposure you want.

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