Virtual copies with Lightroom

Generate with Lightroom virtual copies of your pictures to experiment with different sizes, effects and image corrections. You don’t need more than just disk space for a picture.

Step 1 – virtual copy

See your pictures in the library mode or developing mode in Lightroom. Click with the right-click on a miniature and then on “create virtual copy”. Already you create a virtual copy – does it many times you need it. According to your settings and size of miniature you will see batch numbers to alternately see the original and the copy. The virtual copies also have edge sign at the lower left.

Tip: You do not see the numbers and the edge sign?  Change the view settings of the grid display through pressing J once or more times. The display at the film you can change after a right-click on the gray surrounding of a miniature, maybe you have to size the miniature up.

Step 2 – image editing

Edit your virtual copy like master images in the developing mode. Experiment with contrast or black and white versions or cut aspect ratio for photobooks and keynotes. Whatever you want – TRY IT! DO IT! The virtual copies don’t need a lot of disk space – that is almost nothing!

Tip: extra fast copies you can produce with CMD + T (Windows: Strg + T).

Step 3 – overview

You want to compare virtual copies? Just mark the copies with pressed CMD-button (Windows: Strg), choose library mode >>View, Overview<<. Therewith you see the pictures like on a picture table. With the shift key and tab you hide the control panels. To remove individual varieties from the overview just press the small X on the lower right in the image. With the G-button you will return to the typical grid view.

Tip: Be careful! In the overview you can click on remove button or reset button than you delete the main picture (Master image) and not just a copy. Copies you should delete in the filmstrip or grid view.

Step 4 – protocol

If you want to display all steps of image editing (Inside the developing mode) you just have to open the protocol control panel. There you can cancel all steps of image editing. Lightroom offers you a permanent canceling even if you didn’t used Lightroom for a long time.

Tip: Shall your copy looks like the original? Just click-right on the miniature and click on “reset developing settings”. If step you can cancel in the protocol control panel.


  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 13
  • Use default settings in Lightrrom

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