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How do I use the TAT tool (Targeted Adjustment Tool)?

Need a quick way to target specific colors or tones in your photo? Try using the TAT tool! The Targeted Adjustment tool, or TAT for short, allows you to directly control some panel’s sliders by dragging on the photo itself. It means you can concentrate on the actual photo rather than the sliders, and saves you having to work out which sliders you need to adjust for a specific color or tone. This rather unobtrusive little tool is a real gem!

It’s available in all current Lightroom versions, so let’s try it out on a blue sky. We’ll use the TAT tool to adjust the Luminance of the blue bits of sky to increase the contrast against the clouds.


Lightroom Classic

In Lightroom Classic, the TAT tool is in the top left corner (pictured left) of the Tone Curve, HSL and B&W panels. In this case, we want the HSL panel (pictured right). Select the type of slider you want to adjust. In this case, we’ll select Luminance. Click the TAT tool to select it, then click and drag up <> down on the blue sky in the photo to adjust the selected color range.



Lightroom Desktop (cloud-based)

In Lightroom (cloud-based) desktop, the TAT tool is found in the top right corner of the Point Curve, Color Mixer and B&W Mixer panels. For our example, we’re looking for the Color Mixer panel, which is found at the bottom of Color panel (pictured left). If you can’t see all of the Color Mixer sliders (pictured right), click on Color Mixer to open it.


In the pop-up at the top, select the mode you want (Color, Hue, Saturation or Luminance). We’ll use the Luminance mode. Click and drag left <> right on the blue sky in the photo to adjust the selected color range. A slider displays on the photo as you drag, and you’ll see the panel sliders update too. Click the TAT tool in the panel (or press Escape) to return to the normal slider mode.


Lightroom Mobile

In Lightroom mobile, the TAT is found at the top of the Color Mixer and Gray Mixer panels. In the Edit mode > Color panel, tap the Mix button to show the Color or Gray Mixer, then tap the TAT icon above the colored dots (shown right). Select Luminance at the bottom (pictured right).

Hold your finger on the tone you wish to adjust (e.g. the blue sky) and drag up/down to move in large increments or left/right to move in smaller increments. Tap the TAT tool in the panel to return to the normal slider mode.


In our example, to make this sky appear deeper, we switched to Luminance mode, clicked and dragged on the blue of the sky. You might also want to switch to Saturation mode and drag upwards to increase the depth of the color. The sliders move as you make the adjustment on the photo.

The same principles apply using the TAT tool for Tone Curve adjustment and also B&W. No more trying to figure out where a specific tone lies on the tone curve, or which colors make up a particular color in your photo. How will you use the TAT tool in your workflow?


For extensive information on Lightroom Classic, see Adobe Lightroom Classic – The Missing FAQ.

If you have the Photography Plan, then as well as Classic you have access to the Lightroom cloud ecosystem including the mobile apps and web interface. For more information on these apps, see Adobe Lightroom – Edit Like a Pro.

Note: purchase of these books includes the first year’s Classic or cloud-based Premium Membership (depending on the book purchased), giving access to download the latest eBook (each time Adobe updates the software), email assistance for the applicable Lightroom version if you hit a problem, and other bonuses.

We also have a special bundle offer for the two books. This includes Premium Membership for the first year as described above for the whole Lightroom family!

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