Lightroom Tip – Panel End Mark Star Ratings

Make Use of Your Own Panel End Marks in Lightroom

I can’t remember where I saw this simple, and very effective tip, but it’s one I’ve found particularly useful so I like to present my particular take here.

I’ve must admit I’ve always found the Panel End Mark displayed at the bottom of each panel rather odd. They seem rather superfluous and in total contrast to the sleek streamlined interface displayed elsewhere throughout Lightroom. In LR1 I found them distracting and removed them completely, however by LR2 I just left them at the default flourish graphic and more or less ignored them. You can easily select others by: Edit > Preferences > Interface > Panel End Mark and can even import your own graphic. I’ve seen people use graphics of cameras and even a film canister, but that’s not for me.

I also like the ability to set up custom colour designations (Metadata > Colour Label Set) for each colour which can be displayed in a handy tool tip when you hover your mouse over the each colour in the Toolbar, but found it rather annoying I can’t do this for Star Ratings. After all, Star Ratings are specifically designed to rate your photographs, yet a 3-star rating for one person may mean something completely different to another. I’d certainly like to see the ability to have multiple Star Rating Sets added to version 3 (please take note Adobe).

Star Rating End Panel Mark

Well someone out there had the excellent idea of making Star Ratings into a small graphic and displaying them as an End Panel Mark, thus your ratings are always there to remind you. The example I saw was a simple one line for each rating. My ratings however, are a little more complex than just good, very good, excellent etc., so I used multiple lines to convey the precise criteria for each star rating. I created my Panel End Mark in Xara Xtreme Pro (a highly recommended graphics package) but I guess any graphics or drawing package would do. It may take a little messing around to get the right size, but the end result is something infinitely more useful than a flourish! I hope you’ll agree.

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