Is there a keyboard shortcut to close the Masks panel? Once I set a mask and make adjustments I want to be able to simply close that panel without having to click on the Mask panel icon. Same for opening it to check on what masks I have already created. (I'm using Lightroom Classic v11.1 for Mac) Thanks!
Shortly after posting this question I found a workaround answer for part of my question:
Pressing 'r' twice closes the masking panel (switches to the crop tool and then closes it, closing the masking panel as well. Works also with 'q', the spot tool.)
Still no solution for opening it.
Pressing the [Return/Enter] key (maybe a couple of times) seems to work to CLose the Masking.
As does the [Done] button- if you have the Tool Bar visible [ T }
"Opening" shortcuts I use are [ K ] for the Brush and [ M ] for Linear Gradient'
Many years ago I got into the habit of pressing the Enter/Return or Esc key to exit any tool or dialog box in any application. In most applications, including Lightroom Classic, this works.
If it’s the Masks panel, either key works: Press Enter/Return or Esc, and the Masks panel closes. If a sub-mask is selected, press the key twice: The first press deselects the selected sub-mask, and the second press closes the panel.
In short, I just hit the Esc key until the panel goes away.
If it’s a dialog box or value field, then:
To exit and apply the edit (like clicking an OK button), press Enter/Return.
To exit and not apply the edit (like clicking a Cancel button), press Esc.
Same for opening it to check on what masks I have already created.
To open the Masks panel, press any of the mask creation shortcuts like the ones Rob covered, such as M.
It turns out that when the Masks panel is open, any of those shortcuts will close it.
So you could open it with M and close it with K if you wanted (in some cases this may need two key presses).
To “walk” up and down the mask list without touching the mouse, press Option/Alt-up arrow or Option/Alt-down arrow.
If it isn’t working, then a sub-mask is selected at a lower level; first press Option/Alt-left arrow to move up the hierarchy to the top level.
To change the selection from a mask to a sub-mask, press Option/Alt-right arrow to move down the hierarchy of the selected mask.
So it’s basically Option/Alt plus any arrow key to navigate the Masks panel hierarchy.
I've just been using escape (twice).
The answer to this question has changed. This week Adobe released Lightroom Classic 11.2, and in it, Adobe added a new keyboard shortcut for opening and closing the Masks panel:
It looks like the advantage of this new shortcut is that it always works instantly. It opens the Masks panel without activating any of the Masking tools (like, if you just want to look at what’s in there), and it always closes the Masks panel in one key press regardless of the selection in the Masks panel.
(My earlier suggestion of pressing Esc or Return can sometimes require multiple key presses depending on what level of the Masks panel is selected.)
Some locales may require the use of an alternative to 'W' (e.g. Shift+V for French and Japanese locales)
Shift+W needs two keys. K followed by Esc is also two keypresses. The exact same outcome either way: mask panel open, but without any particular mask active - assuming you needed to see the existing 'pins' on the image.
If the reason you wanted the Masks panel open, was to click in the panel then do something to an existing mask - e.g. activate it for further work - you don't need to have seen all the pins, thus don't need to press Escape. Either K or M on its own is enough - LrC knows to Cancel out of placing any new mask unless you click onto the image, in which case it will proceed.
To exit the Masks panel, that is one or two keypresses of Escape; two if you were also busy editing a particular Mask. Shift+W always needs two keys.
It's good, I suppose, to have a key shortcut corresponding to every icon presented on the screen. Some people may find that completeness more reassuring. But I do recommend instead / first learning the direct tool shortcuts, as well as the Escape key - Shift+W really becomes unneeded then, IMO.
I see your point, but when I want to edit existing masks, I prefer not to have a new mask being added,
Maybe not a big deal, but it means less clutter, and potentially less scrolling if you have several masks.
As for the keyboard shortcut Shift+W, I have used Translated Strings to change it to Shift+Z, which is easier to press with one hand. Shift+Z is by default for the zoom toggle and for Depth Range in the Masks panel, but I don't use any of them.
Ideally, I would have used Z (also by default for zoom toggle), but I couldn't get it to work.
To close the masks panel, I find pressing Shift+Z a lot more convenient that pressing Escape twice.
Shift+W needs two keys. K followed by Esc is also two keypresses.
What I meant by “key press” was how many times you have to repeat the shortcut before you get the result you want. With Shift+W, it’s “one and done,” you never have to think about it. I believe that was the intention of the original post’s request.
I understand that Shift+W is not an easy shortcut for everyone, but not all shortcuts can be 100% convenient. I might be a special case because Shift+W is no big deal to me, I’m used to pressing it for a useful function in other applications such as Adobe InDesign.
And of course, like any shortcut, Shift+W may be different in other languages.
There's another improvement that I discovered today.
When dragged to a second monitor, the Masks panel will stay there for the length of the session.
When Lightroom is closed, it doesn't remember the panel's location, and it has to be dragged to the second monitor again the next time Lr is started.
Second monitor: personally I've found Masks panel functions better "docked" below the Histogram, immediately above the related adjustments panel - so both open up, or close, together. This works well provided your display has enough vertical resolution to show the whole lot in one.
So I do now prefer this, having had trouble with the floating Masks panel not always self-opening properly, or getting confused about its position, even within a single monitor.
This is great, just the update I was hoping for. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Just tried it and it works just like I wanted it to. 😁