Select Quickstart Tutorial

Learn the basics of Select and get up to speed as soon as possible.

Step 1 - Create a project

For each new shoot, create a new project from the Projects screen, click the small + icon at the top of the toolbar or hit [⌘ N] (mac) or [Ctrl N] (windows).

Now click Choose a folder, find your folder of images in Finder and click 'Open'. Alternatively, you can drag and drop a folder onto the Select window.

Optionally give your project a name, then click next.

Your images will now import into Select.

Step 2 - Moving and rating


  • Tap [up] and [down] arrows to move to the next and previous image.
  • Tap [left] or [right] to skip to the next or previous scene.
  • Tap [⌘ up] and [⌘ down] (mac) or [Ctrl up] and [Ctrl down] (windows) to cycle through images in a scene.
  • You can swap these in preferences


  • [1],[2],[3],[4] or [5] to apply a star rating and [0] to clear stars.
  • [6],[7],[8],[9] or [p] to apply a color rating and [⌘ 0] (mac) or [Ctrl 0] (windows) to clear color rating.
  • [T] to tag, [X] to reject and [U] to clear these ratings (mac only).
  • You can also apply a rating by clicking on the rating block on the image thumbnail, via the right-click  menu, or the 'Rate' menu.

Pro tip: All the keyboard shortcuts can be found here.

What are .XMP sidecar files?

When you rate an image we create a .XMP sidecar file in your source folder. It’s important that you keep these files in the same folder as your images, or you will lose your ratings

What do the different ratings mean? 

The short answer is– anything you want them to mean! They don't carry any inherent meaning and are a legacy of the way most programs have allowed users to rate images. Many photographers will simply rate images they want to keep with 1 star – but there are many, many other ways to do this. Fnd a way that works for you!

Step 3 - Workspace

  • By default you are in ‘Loupe view’. If you leave Loupe view, tap [E] or click on the icon in the toolbar to go back.
  • Tap [G] or click the grid icon in the top left of the toolbar to view your images in ‘Grid View’.
  • Tap [S] to view your images grouped into scenes in 'Scenes View'. 
  • Tap [N] to view you selected images in 'Survey View'

Pro tip: you can customise your workspace, such as the location of the filmstrip from preferences or by right-clicking in Loupe View.

Step 4 - Zoom basics

To enter zoom mode tap the [SPACEBAR]. If there are any faces detected in the image you’ll zoom straight to the face closest to the centre. 

You can now tap the [←/→] to scroll through all the faces in the image, or click and drag around.

[Up] and [Down] will move you to the next image but keep you in the same place.

By default you’ll zoom to 100% of the original image size. But you can change this with [+] or [-] or by adjusting the slider in the toolbar.

Press the [SPACEBAR] again to leave zoom mode and return to standard mode where the image fits to your screen size.

Step 5 - Close-ups

Press [/] to open and close the The Close-Ups panel in Face Mode, or click the icon at the top of the vertical toolbar. 

If no faces are detected the Close-ups panel will show in Pan Mode. In Pan Mode you can scroll around a zoomed in portion of the image while keeping the main image in view for context. You can manually enter Pan Mode by clicking the icon or tapping [⌘ /] (mac) or [Ctrl /] (windows).

Step 6 - Face Assessments

The icons below each face are our Face Assessments.

The ellipse gives you information about the subject's eyes and expression, and the curved line gives you information about focus.

By default,

  • Green = no problems detected.
  • Yellow = there might be something sub-optimal, double-check if you're not sure.
  • Orange or Red = there's likely to be a problem.

Hover your mouse over the icon to get a more detailed explanation. The top row describes their expression, and the bottom row scores the focus of their face out of 10. You should consider a focus score of 8 or above great!

You can choose to have the detailed information show up in the Close-ups panel, and change Face Assessment colors via Prefences.

Step 7 - First Pass

First Pass is your AI-powered culling assistant. First Pass gives you Image Assessments (the colored hexagons that show up on your image thumbnails) to get you to your best photos faster. There are 3 different assessments you'll see:

  • Blue hexagons means this image is a potential pick.
  • Grey hexagons means this image is an unlikely pick.
  • Red hexagons means this image is an undesirable pick.

These assessments give you guidance based on relative differences between images in a scene – they are not an objective rating of a single image. For example, some images with warnings may not be objectively bad if viewed on their own – but they may be in the undesirable or unlikely category because we believe that there are better images in that scene of simialr images.

Hover over them for a short explanation and to see which scene they refer to. Click the hexagons for a more detailed explanation.

Image Assessments Filter

There are two main ways to use the filters with First Pass to help you cull even faster.

  1. Click on the blue hexagon in the filter bar to see only images First Pass thinks are potential picks. This is a great way to get a Sneak Peak ready faster.
  2. Or, command + click on the red hexagon in the filter bar to hide undesirable images.

Step 8 - Shipping to Lightroom

Once you’re happy with your selection it’s time to edit your images.

Click the [SHIP] button to get your images into Lightroom Classic (mac and windows) or Lightroom CC, Photoshop (Camera Raw) and Capture One (mac only).

Now you can pick from various options, including which catalog you want to ship to (mac and windows) and which images you want to ship (mac only).

Alternatively, choose which images you want to edit and drag them from the filmstrip over to your editing app icon, or directly into the window.

If you've tried to ship to Lightroom Classic and your images appear greyed out and unselectable this may be because you've previously imported these images into Lightroom. Find out how to resolve this.

Need more help?