VSCO Keys Speeds Up Your Lightroom Workflow with Keyboard Shortcuts

Visual Supply Co (AKA VSCO), best known for its film emulation software, has launched a new product that’s designed to reduce the time you spend post-processing your images in Adobe Lightroom. VSCO Keys is a tool that adds powerful and customizable keyboard shortcuts to Lightroom 3 and 4. You can assign keys to the various sliders in the program, allowing you to keep your hands off your mouse during photo editing.

The software comes with two preset keyboard layouts, but a simple web-based graphical interface allows you to create any number of custom keyboard layouts tailored-made for your workflow. You toggle the custom keyboard on and off by pressing the ESC key while in Lightroom.

Here’s a snazzy little promo animation:

…and here’s a walkthrough video showing how it actually works:

VSCO Keys can be tailored to fit your personal workflow

You can both fine-tune existing keyboard shortcuts and assign new ones

An online interface allows you to create multiple keyboard layouts depending on what you need to get done

If you find yourself doing the same repetitive edits using your mouse for most of your work, then assigning those adjustments to keyboard keys can definitely help make your life easier; muscle memory helps much more when you’re using a keyboard rather than a mouse.

VSCO Keys isn’t exactly cheap: priced at $125 $79 [see below], it actually costs about the same as Lightroom itself. There is a 14 day free trial though, which allows you to see what kind of time-savings you can achieve by using it.

VSCO Keys for Adobe Lightroom (via Fstoppers via PopPhoto)

Update: VSCO has lowered the price of Keys to $79 (or $59.25 for current VSCO Film owners).

  • Pierre-Yves Nicolas

    good idea but THE PRICE MAN !!!!!! :#

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Ya, I think they’d make more money if they priced it at 33%-50% of that suggested price.

  • Dr Andy

    It seems very strange to sell this as an add-on product. I’d much rather see customization built into Lightroom.

  • Eli Snook

    Aperture already has this built in. I’m not sure as to what extent, but I’ve already programmed a lot of my keys to do certain VSCO film emulations and other Aperture tasks.

  • redisred

    Hey guys, my name is Zach, I am the Product Manager for Visual Supply Co. We’re stoked that you’re interested in VSCO Keys and appreciate all your feedback. Regarding some of your concerns on pricing, VSCO Keys is actually a lot cheaper than our competitors (Motibodo, RPG Keys) and we are doing things that no other keyboard shortcut product is doing with VSCO Keys.

    The main points are:

    1.We’re not automating the mouse with macros, so you can access any tool from anywhere in lightroom and you’re not locked to a certain layout. You could even hide all the panels if you wanted and it would still work.

    2.We don’t require you to use an external keyboard. Just use whatever keyboard you already use, including the one in your laptop.

    3.Everything is completely customizable and you can create and use as many layouts as you want.

    Honestly, VSCO Keys was born out of us trying to find something like this for our own use (many of us are photographers ourselves) and not being satisfied with anything that was out there. If you have more questions I’d be happy to answer them but I recommend you take advantage of our 14 day free trial and check it out for yourself. During this trial you can create as many custom key layouts as your heart desires. Should you wish you purchase, these customized layouts will always be available to you in our Online App and if you are not ready to commit they will remain there in your VSCO Account until you decide your ready to dive into VSCO Keys.

    We’d love to hear from you so hit us up at [email protected].

  • sierrarobba

    IF you are A pro photog!This price is nothing for this stuff.

  • danorst

    wow this way over priced

  • Antonio Carrasco

    dude, you’re asking $125 for keyboard shortcuts! Lightroom itself costs $199

  • Zlatko Batistich

    Of course, who wouldn’t want to see it built into Lightroom? But Lightroom has been out for years and years and Adobe still hasn’t built this functionality into it. Lightroom is a brilliant program, but it sure can be made for efficient for high volume work environments. Using the mouse for basic tonality adjustments is very inefficient. I’m glad that VSCO and others are trying to do this.

  • dan

    Absolutely! although i do like their product, they lost my respect on charging 125$ for shortcuts??????? i mean its clear you’ve just lost lots of credit with announcing this, especially from a costumer who bought version 1 and 2 of your emulations!

  • Kay O. Sweaver

    You could get a Contour Shuttle Pro, a couple of pizzas and a case of beer for the same price.

  • Magnum Shots | PHOTO

    I’m a pro, and I’m not buying it. it could help a bit, but still at that price, FORGET IT. I’m not buying it for the actual price, its because of people taking advantage of things based in someone else work (Adobe in this case). If this is really important for the software it will be inprove for Lightroom 5 I’m pretty sure. Dont waste your money in this

  • Kris J Boorman

    Going to have to agree here, sadly. I was definitely interested until I saw the price.

  • John Photography

    i work entertainment and always on deadline. as much as this would speed up my workflow, it’s way over priced. you had me until i saw the price.

  • ray hocker

    I agree with the others. A very nice product and very useful. The price however is way out of line. One of the great things about our country is our free market economy. Just as my clients can choose to buy my photography products we can choose to take a pass on this one. I really think they’d sell a lot more if it was in line with what the product is, an add-on to a $150 software product.

  • Simon

    Wow, can’t believe all the negative comments on the price. Seriously? This product is aimed at professionals and enthusiastic amateurs who spend a lot of time in Lightroom – any professional that thinks $125 is too much to pay for something that could save you hours each week mustn’t have much work on or photos to edit.

  • LR-User

    My Lightroom Workflow is similar and not soo much slower: I highlight/activate one of the sliders so I can manipulate it with +/- (works best if you klick directly on the word, like “Exposure” or “Recovery”)
    I don’t think I am significantly slower than one with the VSCO-Thing active.
    Also, my macro-enabled Gamer Mouse helps a lot – for example, i change to the next picture with a mouse button.
    I am a heavy Lightroom-User, I edit about 3000 pictures monthly.

  • David Wm. Eckmier

    You know, if you brought the price down to $50, you’d make an absolute KILLING with the professional photographers out there… myself included. None of us want to spend $125 just for a program that enables shortcut keys, especially since it’s for a program that only costs $199. That pricing scheme is just insane, regardless of what your competition may or may not be doing.

    But if you guys lowered your price to something a little more reasonable [such as the $50 that I suggested], you’d remove the only hurdle that’s keeping everyone from buying it; the price. And with that would come a flood of orders. I guarantee it.

  • David Wm. Eckmier

    It’s too much when the program it’s based on is almost the same price. That’s like saying “hey, it took us 80% as long to develop this program as it did for Adobe to create Lightroom itself.” Just absurd.

  • foggodyssey

    I think you are already hearing from people now… IT’S THE PRICE, so why would people email you at [email protected] to tell you that again? No matter what you said above it doesn’t matter, since it’s almost the same price as the software itself.

    If you guys actually added something more of value to the package maybe people would be interested (like the Nik software, it’s awesome and worth the money) but as this alone you have grossly overestimated what people would pay.

  • PP

    that’s what they think some idiot “pro” will buy this because they need it, they take wedding for $2000, they have money they dont fking care, but they hate it, but still want to buy it, So that’s why they can set a 12X price for a $9.99 worth stuff.

    I wish “paddy for lightroom” will release a mac version, I prefer to donate $200 for paddy instad of paying vsco for this on.

    This company lost a lot of reputation for setting this price. feel really sad abt the company.

  • pp

    If someone can now develop a exactly the same plugin, and say. The pligin Just for pissing VSCO Keys off, and set a donation button there, He will make a freaking lots of money I believed:)

  • Dan

    Everyone is complaining about $125 for this to be used on a $200 program. Would it make any difference is if was for a $1000 program?? Would using it on a $1k program make the price ok, even though it’s the same software that you’re buying??

    $125 is a couple of hours work. If it saves you more than that then you are in front and better off. It’s fine to be stubborn, but it’s stupid if it’s costing you money.

  • Lajos Andrejkovics

    Like, Lightroom costs $150 and a keyboard shortcut app $125??? It’s like buying a gardenhose for more than your house… OVERPRICED like hell…

  • Nathan Chilton

    Yes, you can already customize the shortcuts in Lightroom, but you still can’t assign keys to things like exposure and clarity sliders or presets. This makes that possible. I agree about the price, though. I’m glad to see they’ve dropped the price to $79. It’s certainly more tempting at $79, but I’m still weighing the benefits against a tight budget. If it was $30, I’d buy it without blinking — because I’ve been wanting this functionality since I first started using Lightroom in 2009!

  • David

    Hey, please upload a video showing how you do use lr with you invent please