Back in ancient times, you know, a few years ago, if I wanted to view an edited photo at the same time as the photo's original version, it was not an easy task. I would keep my original image on a separate layer in Photoshop and click in between that layer and my edited layer(s). Except, that still wasn't allowing me to view both images at once. I suppose I could have saved the images separately and opened two separate windows and arranged them in my work space. That was way too much work, in my opinion.
One of the things that caused me to do cartwheels and flips when I opened up Lightroom for the first time was the Before/After view that allowed me to view original and edited photos simultaneously. With one click, I was able to see my orignal and edited photos directly next to one another!
There are four different options for this, depending on whether the photo is portrait or landscape and also whether or not you want to view the full images or split the images down the center.
In Lightroom, make sure the Develop tab is active on the top right portion of your screen. You will then see two icons appear to the bottom left of your image. The one on the left indicates Loupe View. This allows you to view one image at a time in your main window. The icon to the right of that allows you to choose one of the four Before/After views.
The first option in the menu is Before/After Left/Right. This option works well when viewing portrait images side by side.
The second option in the menu is Before/After Left/Right Split. This option works well when viewing a portrait image that you want to split in half vertically.
The third option in the menu is Before/After Top/Bottom. This option works well when viewing landscape images on top of one another.
The last option in the menu is Before/After Top/Bottom Split. This option works well when viewing a landscape image that you want to split in half horizontally.
If you prefer to flip between your original and edited photos in Lightroom (without seeing them next to one another), simply press and release the backslash key (\) on your keyboard. This will allow you to toggle back and forth between your original and edited images.
Here is an edited view of my artichoke photo:
When I press the backslash button I get an immediate view of my original image.
When I release the backslash key, the edited image returns to my window.
Does anyone else keep reading "backslash" and thinking it says "backlash?" Ugh, I'm tired.
Anyhow, yet another handful of reasons why I adore Lightroom! 'Tis a wonderful, wonderful program that makes me smile big smiles.