I have been using Adobe Lightroom in Full Screen mode for a while now in order to maximize the screen resolution and view my edited photos at a larger size than the normal program window would allow. One issue with this setup is that the window is no longer controllable by the typical Windows UI commands so it’s difficult to minimize the Full Screen Lightroom window and get to the desktop if needed.
Adobe does not allow built-in Windows key commands to work properly. They override the alt+spacebar+N command which is normally used to minimize program windows. In the case of Adobe Lightroom, alt+spacebar only toggles the currently selected zoom level. It’s basically the same thing as ctrl+left click. Whether this is bad or good depends on your point of view. Adobe is also translating some behaviors from Mac to Windows here which has led to some iconsistent keyboard commands.
So how in the heck do we minimize Lightroom when in Full Screen mode?
Well, one answer is kind of a hack because technically it minimizes all the windows, but the easiest answer is simply to press WindowsKey + M. If you do this then Lightroom will be minimized as it is the same thing as clicking the minimize all button at the far-right edge of the task bar.
The second answer is to use WindowsKey + DownArrow. And while this technically works, it doesn’t follow the typical Windows Operating System convention. When Windows applications are in Full Screen mode pressing WindowsKey + DownArrow should minimize the app with one keypress. But Adobe has decided that their full screen mode is different. Instead of directly minimizing the application it follows the convention for a maximized window which is that the first keypress un-maximizes the window, and the second minimizes the window. Ok Adobe, whatever you say! If it isn’t “Full Screen” then why are they calling it that in their user interface?
Personally, I like to use the keyboard to switch between applications and get program windows out of the way, but, Adobe apparently just wants to screw with people. Instead of allowing basic commands to work they way they do with all the other Windows apps, they’ve decided their own keyboard commands supersede operating system commands. It is a basic violation of typical computing rules where the operating system controls are supposed to take precedence. It is a virus like behavior to supersede the operating system and ignore operating system conventions.