Stacks are another useful way to organize your images. Imagine a traditional light table (if you can!) and remember how you could set one slide on top of another, creating a relational stack. Well, that's pretty much what you do with Lightroom stacks.

Start in the Grid view by selecting a group of related images that you want to stack together. The images must be stored in the same folder and you can't stack from within a collection. (To select multiple sequential images, click on a thumbnail, then hold the Shift key and click on the last thumbnail in the sequence. All the thumbnails between will also be selected.)

Figure 3-95

Next, right-click on one of the selected thumbnails. Be sure to click on the image area, not the outer frame. As long as the selected images are stored in the same folder, this should bring up the contextual menu shown here. You can get the same options by selecting Photo→Stacking from the menu bar.

Figure 3-96

Your selected images will be collapsed into one and the visible image will display a number in the upper left corner indicating the number of stacked images (circled). You can change the order of an image in a stack via the Stacking menu or the following keyboard commands:

Figure 3-97

You can also remove images from a Stack via the Photo menu, or by right-clicking on a thumbnail and choosing Remove from Stack from the contextual menu.

Working with Stacks

To expand a stack, right-click to bring up the contextual menu and select Expand Stack, or simply click on the stack icon in the top thumbnail. You also can choose to Expand All Stacks if you have multiple stacks and you want to view all the contents. Numbers in the upper left corner of the thumb will indicate the grouping order (circled).

Figure 3-98

Your collapsed stack will look like this in the filmstrip (circled, top). If you select the stack in the filmstrip and double-click on it, you will see the top image in the Loupe view. Click on the stack thumbnail in the filmstrip and the stack will expand as shown here (circled, bottom), and you can use your arrow keys to select and view the other images in the Loupe view one by one.

Figure 3-99

You can also select the Survey view (circled in Figure 3-100) and, when you expand the stack in the filmstrip, all the images will appear in the main viewing window. (Obviously, the larger the stack, the smaller the images in the main viewing window.)

Figure 3-100
Figure 3-101

To split a stack, first expand it, then click on one of the middle thumbnails and select Split from the contextual menu. This will make two stacks: one including all to the left, and one containing the selected image and all to the right.

Unstacking Stacks

To unstack a stack, go to the contextual menu and select Unstack. The images will now appear as distinct thumbnails, as they were before stacking.

Return to Inside Lightroom