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The Ultimate List of Adobe Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts

Have a massive collection of photos? Adobe Lightroom provides you with the tools to organize, edit, store, and share those photos. So when you're ready to clean out your camera next time, Adobe Lightroom can streamline the process.

To help you sort your photo collection faster, we've collected the best Lightroom shortcuts. As another in-depth program, these ten categories will help you work across the entirety of Lightroom. These shortcuts range from module-specific to generalized use.

So whether you're needing to target one area in particular or just want to learn the program, these shortcuts will help you.

FREE DOWNLOAD: This cheat sheet is available as a downloadable PDF from our distribution partner, TradePub. You will have to complete a short form to access it for the first time only. Download the Ultimate List of Adobe Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet.

Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts

ShortcutAction
Photos and Catalog Shortcuts
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + IImport photos (from disk)
Right/Left ArrowNext/Previous Photo in Filmstrip
Ctrl/Cmd + RLibrary/Develop Modules - Show File in Explorer/Finder
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + EExport selected photo(s)
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E / Cmd + Option + Shift + EExport selected photo(s) with previous settings
F2Rename Photo (Library Module)
Backspace/DeleteRemove selected photo(s)
Ctrl + Backspace / Cmd + DeleteDelete rejected photo(s)
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Backspace / Cmd + Option + Shift + DeleteDelete selected photo(s) and send to Recycling Bin or Trash
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + POpen Page Setup
Ctrl/Cmd + PPrint selected photo
Ctrl/Cmd + , (comma)Open Preferences
Ctrl + O / Cmd + Shift + OOpen Catalog
Ctrl + Alt + , (comma) / Cmd + Option + , commaOpen Catalog Settings
Alt + Backspace / Option + DeleteCatalog - Remove selected photo(s)
Ctrl/Cmd + EEdit in Photoshop
Ctrl + Alt + E / Cmd + Option + EEdit in Other Program
Module Shortcuts
Ctrl + Alt + 1 / Cmd + Option + 1Library Module
Ctrl + Alt + 2 / Cmd + Option + 2Develop Module
Ctrl + Alt + 3 / Cmd + Option + 3Map Module
Ctrl + Alt + 4 / Cmd + Option + 4Book Module
Ctrl + Alt + 5 / Cmd + Option + 5Slideshow Module
Ctrl + Alt + 6 / Cmd + Option + 6Print Module
Ctrl + Alt + 7 / Cmd + Option + 7Web Module
Ctrl + Alt + Left Arrow / Cmd + Option + Left ArrowBack a Module
Ctrl + Alt + Right Arrow / Cmd + Option + Right ArrowForward a Module
Ctrl + Alt + Up Arrow / Cmd + Option + Up ArrowGo to Previous Module
Panel Shortcuts
TabSide Panels - Show/Hide
Shift + TabAll Panels - Show/Hide
TabToolbar - Show/Hide
F5Module Picker - Show/Hide
F6Filmstrip - Show/Hide
F7Left Panels - Show/Hide
F8Right Panels - Show/Hide
Changing Screen Modes and Views
Ctrl + Alt + F / Cmd + Option + FNormal Screen Mode
Ctrl + Shift + F / Cmd + Shift+ FFull Screen and Hide Panels
FCycle Screen Modes
Shift + FNext Screen Mode
Ctrl/Cmd + IInfo Overlay - Show/Hide
ICycle Info Overlay
ELibrary Loupe View
GLibrary Grid View
CLibrary Compare View
NLibrary Survey View
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + LLights Dim Mode - Toggle
ZZoom View - Toggle
Metadata and Keywords Shortcuts
Ctrl/Cmd + KAdd Keywords
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + KEdit Keywords
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + K / Cmd + Option + Shift + KSet a Keyword Shortcut
Alt/Option + 1-9Add a Keyword from Keyword Set to Selected Photo
Shift + KAdd/Remove Keyword Shortcut from Selected Photo
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + C / Cmd + Option + Shift + CCopy Metadata
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + V / Cmd + Option + Shift + VPaste Metadata
Ctrl/Cmd + SSave Metadata to File
Flagging and Filtering Photos
PFlag Photo - Pick
Shift + PFlag Photo - Pick and Go to Next Photo
XFlag Photo - Reject
Shift + XFlag Photo - Reject and Go to Next Photo
UUnflag Photo
Shift + UUnflag Photo and Go to Next Photo
' (back quote)Cycle Flag Settings
Ctrl/Cmd + LFilters - Toggle
Ctrl + Alt + R /Cmd + Option + RRefine Photos
Develop Module Shortcuts
VConvert to Grayscale
WSelect White Balance Tool
RSelect Crop Tool
AWhen Crop Tool is Selected (Constrain Aspect Ratio)
QSelect Spot Removal Tool
KSelect Adjustment Brush Tool
MSelect Graduated Filter Tool
Ctrl/Cmd + UAuto Tone
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + UAuto White Balance
JShow Clipping
Ctrl/Cmd + ]Rotate Photo Right (Clockwise)
Ctrl/Cmd + [Rotate Photo Left (Counterclockwise)
Slideshow Module Shortcuts
Enter/ReturnPlay Slide Show
Ctrl + Enter / Cmd + ReturnPlay Impromptu Slide Show
SpacebarPause Slide Show
Alt + Enter / Option + ReturnPreview Slide Show
EscEnd Slide Show
Right ArrowGo to Next Slide
Left ArrowGo to Previous Slide
Ctrl/Cmd + JExport PDF Slide Show
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + JExport JPEG Slide Show
Ctrl + Alt + J / Cmd + Option + JExport Video Slide Show
Print Module Shortcuts
Ctrl/Cmd + PPrint
Ctrl + Alt + P / Cmd + Option + PPrint One Copy
Ctrl + Alt + Shift + P / Cmd + Option + Shift + PPrint Settings
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Left ArrowGo to First Page
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Right ArrowGo to Last Page
Ctrl/Cmd + Left ArrowGo to Previous Page
Ctrl/Cmd + Right ArrowGo to Next Page
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + HGuides (Show/Hide)
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + MMargins and Gutters (Show/Hide)
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + JPage Bleed (Show/Hide)
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + KImage Cells (Show/Hide)
Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + UDimensions (Show/Hide)
Ctrl/Cmd + RRulers (Show/Hide)
Web Module Shortcuts
Ctrl/Cmd + JExport Web Gallery
Ctrl/Cmd + RReload Web Gallery
Ctrl/Cmd + SSave Web Gallery Settings
Ctrl + Alt + P / Cmd + Option + PPreview in Browser

Lightroom Magic: Taking Control of Your Photos

When you first start bringing your photos into Lightroom, it can seem like a lot. However, as you learn Lightroom's shortcuts, you'll see how everything integrates together.

From that point on, you can explore more of Lightroom's many benefits. For instance, try these free Lightroom presets for any occasion.

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Zhiyun Crane 2S: Powerful Stabilization With a Stylish and Lighter Build

A powerful, three-axis gimbal that allows for both horizontal and vertical shooting.

Key Features
  • FlexMount System
  • Axis Lock 2.0
  • Vertical Shooting
  • Digital Focus Control
  • 0.96" OLED Screen
  • Carbon Fiber Grip
Specifications
  • Brand: Zhiyun
  • Selfie Stick: N/A
  • Class: DSLR
  • Maximum Payload: Unstated
  • Smooth Motion: 3-axis (pan, roll, and tilt)
  • Bluetooth: Yes - ZY Play app
Pros
  • High Load Capacity
  • Double Safety Mechanism
  • No-Swing Locks
  • Easy to Transfer (FlexMount)
  • Visual Improvements
Cons
  • Auto-Tune (Hit or Miss)
  • Small Glitches

While striving for the best video, videographers have an ever-growing list of technology to aid them. This can blur the line on essential equipment and makes finding a good fit increasingly important.

So when comparing gimbals suitable for DSLRs, you want a device that'll both last a long time and support the cameras and lenses already in your collection. Zhiyun's Crane 2S will address both concerns.

Specifically, the Zhiyun Crane 2S seeks to replicate the success of the Crane 2 while also bettering the experience. The Crane 2S succeeds in both areas, making it a great piece of gear for your collection.

For a better idea of how the Crane performs and what's changed, watch our review video:

Unboxing The Zhiyun Crane 2S

 

Zhiyun offers two options for the Crane 2S: standard package or combo.  The standard version of the Zhiyun Crane 2S comes with the following:

  • Crane 2S
  • Quick Release Plate
  • Quick Release Plate Base
  • Battery Charger
  • USB Type-C Charging Cable
  • 3 18650 Li-Ion Batteries
  • Backing Base
  • Tripod
  • Lens Support
  • 4 Camera Cables
  • Mounting Screws
  • Hexagonal Wrench (M1.5, M2, and M4)
  • Storage Box

If you purchase the combo package, you'll also receive the TransMount Mini Dual Grip Lite, and three additional batteries.

When you first unlatch the locks and open the storage case, you'll notice everything has its own dedicated space. The largest area is naturally dedicated to the Crane 2S body, so once it's out it's easy to pop out the rest. Most of the smaller items also reside in one small black box, so the actual unpacking occurs mostly from it.

If you're the forgetful type, everything distinctly fits by form. So you won't have to worry about snapping a photo of the original placement.

While filming on the go, I'd prefer a gimbal bag (or suitable backpack), but the storage box is durable enough for transport.

Zhiyun Crane 2S Features

Like the Crane 2, the 2S is a 3-axis gimbal with access to the same modes: Pan Following, Locking, Following, Full-Range POV, Vortex, and Go mode.

When looking at the Crane 2S, there's a lot of attention geared towards ease of use and security. These come across in the design choices behind the FlexMount system, axis-locking system, larger screen, digital focus, and carbon fiber grip.

The FlexMount system allows you to easily transfer between horizontal mount, vertical mount, and any external tripod. Secondly, it makes sure you don't accidentally drop your camera during these exchanges. Nothing will release unless the levers are fully switched over, and you'll have to push in the safety buttons to also unlock.

The upgraded axis-locking system works similarly. If you don't move the button from unlocked to locked, the action won't register. This comes with a fairly noticeable click sound, so you'll know your gimbal won't move during travel or storage.

The remaining features aim to boost your comfort and workflow. The 0.96" OLED screen provides an easy read for any menus, settings, or mode selection. The focus wheel allows for digital focus control (needs a compatible camera and lens) without having to touch your camera.

The carbon fiber handle reduces weight while still supporting larger cameras. You need to still make sure your camera and lens work with the Crane 2s by checking the compatibility list, but many more cameras are supported versus the Crane 2 alone.

Balancing Your Camera: The Most Integral Step

Before properly talking about how it feels to use the Crane 2S, it's important to note how important it is to balance each axis. If you don't, you'll cause stress to the motors and possibly damage.

The auto-tune feature also doesn't always work, so going by a passed result does not mean the Crane 2S is properly balanced. If the motor doesn't seem strong enough, you'll find better results adjusting the preset or individual numbers.

It's best to unlock each axis one at a time and balance the tilt, roll, and pan axis in that order. Every bit of weight also impacts the device's balance, so remember to attach any accessories and the cable between your camera and the Crane 2S first.

How Does It Feel to Use?

Once everything is balanced, the Crane 2S feels great to use. It does possess a small learning curve if you aren't familiar with gimbals of its size. However, many of the usage tweaks for the Crane 2S soften the effect of unfamiliarity.

Swapping between modes is as easy as learning the button press shortcut. You can tap once to alternate between the Pan Following and Locking Modes. Holding the front button will activate the Following Mode.

Pressing twice in succession alters between Full-Range POV or Vortex. Finally, pressing three times will bring up Go Mode.

The larger screen made it easy to eyeball relevant information, and the scroll wheel was easy to use even one-handed. Recording with a single press also made it easy to set-up a shot then immediately begin recording.

Like with the Crane 2, you'll feel some burn in your arms after using the device for an hour or so. The swap from aluminum alloy did help the weight some, but you'll still feel the weight once everything is loaded up.

However, this feeling mostly resulted from active use. In transport, I would lock each axis and fold up the tripod base to sling the gimbal over my shoulder. Nothing moved, everything remained stable, and it wasn't too much weight to deal with when slung over the shoulder.

The promised twelve-hour battery life also held up. The only hiccup was that the battery life would display incorrectly prior to turning my camera on, but it would automatically correct afterward.

Utilizing the FlexMount System

When it came time to take advantage of the FlexMount system, it delivered on its promises. If you're moving to a tripod, it's as easy as releasing a lever and pushing in the safety buttons to loosen the quick release plate base. Then simply mount it on your tripod like normal.

Similarly, mounting vertically doesn't take long. Instead of removing the full base, you can just grab the quick release plate and mount securely in the provided track with a few simple adjustments.

After a bit of use, the Crane 2S felt like a perfectly natural tool that I could use as needed.

ZY Play App

The ZY Play app is required for activation, and I utilized it for a firmware update. However, I didn't find it particularly integral to the device afterward.

You can utilize some limited templates, watch videos, and get some access to the Crane 2S directly once connected. However, the in-built device menu makes most of these a non-factor.

Don't Forget: You Can Accessorize

With the Crane 2S, there exist several accessories under the TransMount system. Using the two 1/4" screw holes with crown gear and one 3/8" screw hole, you can tailor your set-up to your liking. It's a small touch, but if the Crane 2S becomes integral to your filming, you can enrich the experience.

Should You Buy The Crane 2S?

If you're looking for a gimbal for your DSLR camera with the power to match, you can't go wrong with the Crane 2S. With its improvements over the original Crane 2, it also makes it as user-friendly as possible.

Is this enough to upgrade if you already have the Crane 2? If you need support for a new camera, the Crane 2S expands compatibility. If not, you have to judge if the performance and safety tweaks are enough.

For those new and ready to take a more serious look at videography, it's a great tool to have in your reach.

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Zhiyun Smooth XS: Is This 2-Axis Gimbal Worth Upgrading To?

With more footage than ever shot on smartphone cameras, competition for the best video continues to increase. Thankfully, gimbals help expand our shot opportunities and boost quality. So if you're serious about shooting video, you need a gimbal that both fits your needs and feels good to use.

The Zhiyun Smooth XS aims to improve on the original Smooth X model. It's still an incredibly affordable entry-level gimbal; its upgrade focuses on design improvements. So if you're a fan of the predecessor, Zhiyun kept all you loved intact while making it better.

For some shot examples and a quick breakdown of the unit, check the video review.

Thanks to Zhiyun, we have one Smooth XS to give away as well. You'll find the entry widget at the end of the review.

The Zhiyun Smooth XS comes with the following:

  • Smooth XS
  • Hand Strap
  • Tripod
  • USB Type-C Charging Cable
  • Storage Bag

During the unboxing, the first notable detail was how light and small the Smooth XS felt in my hand. While Zhiyun kept this element of the Smooth X, you'll notice there's more color to this device. The white edition doesn't stray too far from the typical neutral colors associated with gimbals, but the splash of color makes the controls stand out more.

As someone who appreciates extra comfort accessories, the strap and travel bag both hit that criteria. The material of both felt a notch about what I expected. Once the gimbal is folded up, you can slip the entirety of the box's contents in the storage bag easily.

Overall, the core experience from Smooth X to the Smooth XS hasn't drastically changed.

It's a pan and roll 2-axis gimbal stabilizer with a 10-inch built-in selfie stick extension. You'll pair the device by Bluetooth to your phone and control the device using the four-way control stick, mode, zoom, and record buttons. The tripod attachment fits into the 1/4-inch attachment point at the base.

The battery life of the device also still lasts around four hours. If you're using the ZY Cami App, certain features such as gesture control will drastically drain the battery of your gimbal faster. The app does offer you a warning if you accidentally leave it on, so you'll learn about any drain quickly.

Overall, the battery life was never a problem while shooting. If you stress the gimbal out by not balancing your phone properly or using more draining features, however, you'll need to recharge sooner.

Since the Smooth XS charges to full in under an hour, it's not too big a deal. It also supports power banks, so you can charge both phone and gimbal (if necessary) on the go.

Despite all this similarity, the Smooth XS does offer two important design changes. Firstly, opening and closing the Smooth XS is drastically different than the Smooth X. Opening the Zhiyun's Smooth X involved a more complicated process that felt a bit like learning a secret handshake.

With the Smooth XS, it's as easy as a slide-based design.

To open the gimbal, hold the motor and slide out to open. Then unlock the top and turn the handle around; you can add your phone to the spring grip and power-up.

As a note, the grip can handle thin smartphone cases okay. However, if you're working with a thicker case, you're not going to get that tight connection you need. For best results, it's easiest to forgo your case and make sure your phone is properly balanced inside.

To close it, it's as easy as sliding up and locking the rest. Repeating the process comes incredibly naturally, so the Smooth XS easily lives up to its expected use as a pocket-ready gimbal.

The second design change is the ergonomic nature of the grip on the front and back. For a gimbal that doubles as a selfie-stick and can last four hours, you want it to feel comfortable in your hands. While subtle, the curvature and light padding felt nice during any extended recording.

When you first open the device, you'll see a sticker on the camera mount suggesting you pair the device with the ZY Cami app. As one might expect, many features are tied to this app. If you want to take advantage of gesture control, modify gimbal settings, or set-up tracking then you'll need the app.

However, I experienced a number of bugs during every encounter with the app. Auto-tracking would frequently be lost, or it'd randomly crash the app. Gesture control would also not frequently detect me unless I used either of the two accepted gestures (peace sign or a wave) near my face.

These problems didn't occur with less intense features of the app, however. If I used the glamour effects, it was seamless. SMART Mode offered a number of templates, and I didn't run into any problems with the preset motions, music, or effects.

Overall, I found it easiest to leave the ZY Cami app in the background while swapping to my main camera and utilizing the gimbal and its buttons. Anytime I needed to change a setting, I'd just swap to the Cami app.

For cases where I did want the Cami app features, I would knowingly adapt to the problem. Trying for a gimbal walk would result in fewer cases of tracking being lost. Remaining stationary while filming also proved better for all issues.

The Smooth XS works as a great gimbal for anyone interested in doing TikTok, Byte, or Instagram Reels. If you want a quick-button or hands-free recording device, it has you covered. Thanks to SMART Mode, you can also learn some gimbal pans while practicing some short-form video.

If you're just interested in the Smooth XS as a stabilizer, you can also shoot some amazing shots. While it won't reduce all the jitter as a 2-axis gimbal, you can definitely improve your footage.

Whether you should buy the Smooth XS boils down to what you're after. If you're looking for a first-time gimbal to practice on or want to casually vlog, the Zhiyun Smooth XS works great. It's affordable, lightweight, and it fits easily in your pocket.

More than anything, the Smooth XS is meant to get you to embrace the notion that you can film anytime and anywhere. But if you're not needing to be sold on the ease of use or an affordable smartphone gimbal, you aren't the target audience here.

 

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How to Check If a Video Is Copyrighted | MakeUseOf

For those working with video, copyright concerns almost inevitably creep up. With so many ways to share content, identity and ownership protections are necessary.

In these situations, you need to know how to check if a video is copyrighted. Otherwise, you can end up unprepared to use and protect your content. But with the right knowledge and resources, you'll know how to avoid copyright issues.

Before discussing any specifics, it's important to know when copyright begins.

When anyone creates original video, copyright protection covers it. It doesn't matter who uploads the video first as it belongs to the creator.

However, cases still exist where you need to check the video for copyright. For instance, if you paid for a video, you should doublecheck. You might also include footage thinking it falls under fair use. But this could be a gray area that should be scrutinized further and avoid misinformation.

To combat this, YouTube continues to educate and help protect copyright holders. Otherwise, it's hard to stay informed on these creator issues like whether is it legal to download YouTube videos.

It's easiest to both learn and experience YouTube's copyright process firsthand. Best of all, you can gain some familiarity with YouTube Studio at the same time.

To navigate to YouTube Studio follow the steps below:

  1. Go to your YouTube home page.
  2. In the upper right corner, click on your YouTube icon.
  3. Select YouTube Studio (gear icon with a play button inside) from the menu.

Navigate YouTube Studio and learn more about the process with these four points.

Once you've logged into YouTube Studio, there are three main avenues to access any known copyright issues:

  • View the Dashboard's Copyright Strikes Card
  • By filtering your video library for Copyright claims
  • Look at the Restrictions column

The first thing you'll notice is these methods aren't active screeners. Instead, they just take you to identified copyright issues to explain and start you towards a resolution.

For someone with no issues, you can hover the Restrictions column. From here, you'll be click Learn More and get access to more copyright information.

2. How to Know If a YouTube Video Is Copyrighted: YouTube Help

youtube help for copyright

While it would be ideal to have an automated copyright checker for all videos, this isn't feasible. Entities such as YouTube aren't able to oversee all content creation. In the end, YouTube just enforces the law.

As such, content ID claims and copyright strikes have to occur via proper screening and legal channels.

So the truest way to screen a video for copyright before uploading is to do your research. It's not the most exciting method but having a basic understanding of the legal portion of copyright is important. Once you do, you can tell if there'll be any issues with copyrighted videos.

In addition to addressing common copyright questions, YouTube's copyright and rights management helps you learn more about:

  • Creative Commons
  • Fair use
  • Content ID
  • Copyright strikes
  • How to submit copyright claims

While you can research alone, there's always the option to take a more direct approach to determine copyright.

For those wanting to test YouTube's restrictions, avoid using your main YouTube account. A temporary or alternate YouTube account works much better for this purpose. That way you can safely test the features in a controlled setting where it doesn't do any direct damage to others.

This method focuses on checking against Content ID matching. With Content ID matching, YouTube can automatically create a claim against anyone using another's content as long as it matches the reference on file.

For instance, if you were to upload a video using copyrighted music, YouTube would flag your video with a Content ID claim. To resolve this, you could remove the music, swap it out, or possibly share revenue. Similarly, if this occurred with a video segment, you could cut out the claimed contents.

Automated content ID claims don't mean you're in trouble; it's a safety net for copyright holders. Once you know, it's all about using content where copyright isn't a concern. As music is a common issue, try HookSounds for royalty-free music.

For those in the YouTube Partner Program, YouTube Studio features an exclusive Copyright section. After you upload a video, the Copyright Match Tool allows creators to check for videos that either fully or closely match their content. After looking at the results and supplied information, they can then contact the other uploader or ask YouTube to remove the video.

While this is the truest online copyright checker for YouTube, it's not an automated process. It requires informed knowledge of fair use, fair dealing, and other details from the copyright and rights management area.

It's also not completely flawless since it functions around finding matches that either uses the full video or nearly full video. So a lower usage rate can leave certain videos undetected.

To determine what copyright tools might suit you best, you can also fill out a form for other copyright management options.

As you may have figured by now, a large portion of copyright checking rests on you. While there are resources online discussing the basics, exceptions exist and copyright law can change between different countries as well. So whenever working with video, you can't beat using your own content.

If you choose to go ahead and ask for permission, it's important that you understand the legal needs and consequences. Depending on your video's purpose, you can try alternative routes. You can explore what is creative commons and non-commercial use, for instance.

Learning copyright keeps your intellectual property protected. It requires more upfront effort, but it's increasingly important to be vigilant in the digital age. Otherwise, you may never know who is using your content.

However, copyright terminology isn't all content creators should know. With the evolution of content distribution, you should also know key concepts like copyleft vs. copyright.

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How to Find Any Instruction Manual for Free Online | MakeUseOf

Have you ever gone searching for a manual only to find it gone? With the amount of technology in our lives, it's hard to keep track of every instruction manual.

Don't worry. Most recent manuals exist online. All it takes to find any manual online is a little preparation beforehand and then use the best available resources to find them.

While most people's first instinct is to go straight to a search engine, it isn't the best choice. Instead, it's best to begin your manual search with some groundwork. Try to get this information before you start your search:

  • Name
  • Model Number

Now imagine if you had to contact customer support with only the device on hand. You need to be able to quickly identify the device to get the information you need. Thankfully, you can find these same identifiers and make it much easier to find your manual for free online.

Most electronic products keep this information hidden from plain view. However, it is available in case you need to easily access it. To avoid any potential mistakes, try taking a photo of any product information you find.

This crucial information is in inconspicuous places such as the backside, underside, or inside of an item. For smaller items, turning the product to its backside usually reveals what you need. If you're working with larger items, consider which place to check is the fastest.

Most manufacturers don't expect you to pull out a washer, dryer, or refrigerator on the fly to find its identifying information. So check the inside door as your first stop. For some items, checking individual components can help too by allowing you to trace parts.

If you've ever tried to identity an item by brand name and images alone, you know what a pain it can be. So gather the information in advance and save yourself a headache.

Once you've found out the name and model number, there are several places to look for free manuals online.

In all cases, make sure to carefully enter any information you have. All of these are great resources, but a small character or number typo can ruin your results.

While Google may have been your first instinct, you'll find much more success with both a name and model number.

If you enter both correctly, you'll usually get official results. However, you can sometimes run into third-party sites that don't let you access or download the manual easily.

To solve this, try filtering your search results by using site:[manufacturer's website] [device name] instructional manual. As a note, make sure you avoid adding a space between the site, colon, and the website address. This advanced Google search operator will only search the specific website for the keywords you're using.

To illustrate this, take a commonly searched for item. If you were to lookup an older but still popular item like a Samsung Galaxy phone, you could enter site:samsung.com Samsung Galaxy SM-G930A instruction manual. All my results were from the manufacturer, and I didn't have to go through any unofficial channels.

For more ways to customize your results, use the best Google search cheat sheet to get more tips, commands, and operators.

With Archive.org, you sacrifice some of the precision of Google.com for a vast array of old online manuals. If you have time to spare, it's a great way to rediscover lost manuals. It also features many filters to trim down the over 500,000 results.

If you couldn't find a model number, filtering by year lets you trim to the most precise margin. Whenever you arrive at the desired manual, you can flip through the full text, see the contents across different views, and (sometimes) have it read aloud to you. For all manuals, you can download it in a variety of formats for free.

Like with the Internet Archive Manual Library, Manuals Online's biggest pull is its categories. The site divides it's over 700,00 manuals into twenty main categories that are then broken down into their device types. If you know what brand you're looking for, you can also tailor your manual search.

If you prefer to use your model number, just type into the search bar. If there's a manual that matches, you'll see it suggested before you even finish typing. It's seamless to just click on the suggested result.

Then once you've found a manual, you can preview it on the site, open it as a PDF, or print it by the push of a button. If you don't find your manual there, you can also put in a request via the site's support system.

ManualsLib boasts an impressive collection of over four million free manuals converted into pdfs. While other sites focus on their categories, ManualsLib tries to guide you towards your manual of choice based on brand or search results.

Once you find your manual, ManualsLib tries to one-up most other manual sites. While it offers the standard options (read online, download, or print), ManualsLib also allows you to keep a manual library and bookmark specific pages after you've made an account. If you also want to keep your library of manuals close by, you can download the ManualsLib app.

For those that want to avoid making any accounts, you can always take your PDF manuals and learn how to resume reading from where you left off in PDF files.

Download: ManualsLib for Android (Free, in-app purchase)

If you haven't found your manual yet, SafeManuals offers you more than 800,000 manuals to look through. You can browse manufacturers, search, or check out the most popular brands. Afterward, you can quickly flip through the pages and download the manual as a PDF.

The site itself is more basic, but it does provide some unique incentives like trying to explain why you should read a particular manual.

When looking for instruction manuals online, these free resources can save you from a lot of bother. Having an instruction manual as PDF not only gives you a way to store it, but you can take advantage of increased searchability.

Just don't overdo it on instruction manuals or you'll need to find better ways to store your files than on a desktop.

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Final Cut Pro X Keyboard Shortcuts to Edit Video Efficiently

If you're looking to video edit on macOS, Final Cut Pro X should be your go-to. With it, you can not only edit video, but also experience powerful control over audio, motion graphics, and delivery. For when you're looking to seriously step into production from start to finish, Final Cut Pro X will help you transition.

Since Final Cut Pro X features a robust array of options, shortcuts become almost necessary. After all, you don't want to juggle menus while you're trying to playback your content. Instead, you can focus on what's important.

That's why we've prepared this handy list of Final Cut Pro X shortcuts. Due to the reach of the program, the shortcuts have been broken down into ten categories. Overall, they're tailored to different stages of editing, review, and general program usage.

FREE DOWNLOAD: This cheat sheet is available as a downloadable PDF from our distribution partner, TradePub. You will have to complete a short form to access it for the first time only. Download Final Cut Pro X Keyboard Shortcuts Cheat Sheet.

These Final Cut Pro X shortcuts will help you speed up your journey into post-production. You'll need some content though, so why not try recording your screen on Mac or capturing your Android's screen using a Mac?

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3 Ways to Have a Hulu Watch Party | MakeUseOf

Do you want to watch Hulu online with friends? Then you need to host your own Hulu watch party.

If you're unfamiliar, a Hulu watch party is a way to watch Hulu live with others over the internet. There are a few ways to achieve this, so we've broken down the best ways to start watching Hulu together.

The official way to host a Hulu watch party saves you from installing extra extensions. However, it does come with some stipulations.

First off, watch parties are any online-only experience for your browser (no Hulu app support). Secondly, your Hulu subscription needs to be at the tier of Hulu (No Ads) or Hulu (No Ads) + Live TV.

Lastly, you must be 18 years or older to use Hulu's Watch Party feature. Otherwise, the account won't be able to watch or participate.

For an account with multiple users, each user can still participate. They'll just need to join the watch party from their individual account. At max, eight users can join a single watch party.

If you meet the criteria, launching a Hulu Watch Party is a simple task. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to Hulu.com from your browser.
  2. Select a TV show or movie's details via the top-right corner button (the three vertical dots icon)
  3. Click on the Watch Party button
  4. Press Start the Party
  5. As the host, you can either select the copy party link by tapping the Share button (chain icon) next to the URL bar or at the top of the party chat.
  6. Press Start Party once everyone has joined. This will be indicated by a number at the top of the party chat.
  7. You'll see a countdown before playback occurs.

Once the video starts playing, you can start chatting or sharing emojis with other users. If you have to pause for any reason, Hulu will offer you an option to skip ahead to where the video is live.

Prior to the episode or movie ending, Hulu will also alert you that the watch party is ending soon. Sadly, you can't string together multiple episodes or movies, and you'll have to repeat the Watch Party for each instance.

Overall, if you've used the Netflix Party extension, functionality is very similar. And if you haven't, here's how to use Netflix party to watch movies together online.

2. Metastream

metastream hulu example

For those willing to put in a little extra effort, Metastream also lets you watch Hulu together. To start using Metastream, visit the website. Before starting your session, Metastream requires an extension that you can install by following the on-screen prompts.

Once that's done, press the Add Media button or click the Plus sign in the Next Up box. From here, Metastream launches its own mini-browser window and offers some tips. It supports several streaming websites, so you'll need to press the Hulu button to host a Hulu watch party.

Just remember, everyone in the session will need to have a Hulu account or it won't work.

After clicking on the Hulu button, it loads Hulu.com as normal (if you're logged in). After finding a TV show or movie, select play like normal. Once it's playing, you'll have to click the Add to Session prompt to sync it with Metastream.

If you want to save time or build a playlist, it's easiest to load-up Hulu beforehand and copy any direct video links. Once that's done, simply tap Add Media (the plus sign) and enter the desired links for the session. For each video you add, you'll see the title listed under Next Up.

How to Watch Hulu Together on Metastream

With everything set up, you can invite users by clicking Invite in the top-right corner. You can also access the same screen via Settings (the Gear icon) and clicking on the Session tab. Either option will grant you access to copying the URL, specifying the session type (public, private, offline), or setting a user cap (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, or unlimited users).

Once you play the video, you may notice small syncing issues. However, you can remedy this by manually adjusting the play bar or reloading the session. To reload the session, click on the three vertical dots at the far right of the play bar then select Reload.

Metastream provides a solid alternative for those not willing to pay for the higher-cost Hulu plans.

Download: Metastream Remote for Firefox | Chrome

3. Scener

scener hulu layout

While Metastream provides cross-service streaming and customization at the cost of more legwork, Scener keeps things simple. After making an account, you can launch your Hulu watch party incredibly fast.

  1. Tap the Scener icon in your browser.
  2. Click Create A Theater.
  3. Choose either a private or public live theater.
  4. Read the prompt then click Next.
  5. Choose Hulu from the service list. You'll need a No Ads account.
  6. Log-in if you aren't already.
  7. Click the Share link (chain).
  8. Once you've shared the link, you'll see who joined.
  9. Choose something to watch together.

While Scener does have the Hulu (no ads) subscription requirement, it offers several conveniences that Hulu's official Watch Party feature doesn't.

First off, there's the built-in functionality to tie a video call into a streaming service. Simply follow the on-screen prompts to activate the camera and microphone. Scener even offers you a preview window to check your set-up.

Most importantly, it's actually easy to keep the watch party going. If you want to watch multiple episodes in a row, you can do that. Or, if you decide you want to watch something else, you can go back to Hulu's hub and choose an alternative.

You never have to restart your watch party, so it's great for binge-watching. The only downside is the video sync can feature a small delay before it catches up.

Download: Scener - Virtual Movie Theater for Chrome

If you're interested in watching Hulu with others, its never been easier to host a Hulu party. Whether you're using an app to watch Hulu together or the official site, you can tailor your experience to who's watching.

Plus, once you've learned how to watch Hulu with friends, you can transfer that experience to other platforms. For example, here's how to host a Facebook watch party to start watching videos together.

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RAVPower PowerStation Review: Convenient, Compact Charging

When you think of an outdoor source of power, what comes to mind? You might consider the classic gas-fueled outdoor generator. However, what do you turn to if you need more of a middle ground of both portable and powerful? The RAVPower Power Station promises to help get you ready for an outdoor adventure. How does it deliver on that promise?

Portable power stations allow you to take your electronic devices anywhere. But with any portable charging device, you need to know if it has the right wattage and capacity for your needs. So what does the RAVPower Power Station have to offer? With a 252.7Wh battery capacity, it can support devices up to 300W, while still staying under six pounds. Plus, it comes with its own stylish carrying case to make transport even easier.

Read on to see why this sub-$300 device is worth investing in.

[amazon id="B085PYYX2B" title="RAVPower Power Station"]

RAVPower PowerStation Specifications

  • Capacity: 252Wh
  • AC Output: 110V (300W Max)
  • DC Output: 12V (120W Max)
  • Size: 5.12 x 5.12 x 7.44 inches (130 x 130 x 189mm)
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds (2500g)
  • Battery technology: Lithium-Ion

Unboxing the RAVPower Power Station

When you first unbox the RAVPower Power Station, you get a small matryoshka doll experience. After opening the box, you'll open the carry bag which then contains your station and the rest of the contents. After attaching the strap to the bag, you're left with a user guide, USB Type-C to Type-C charging cable, and a power adapter.

Using the RAVPower Power Station

The RAVPower Power Station possesses a sturdy, strong-looking case. With rubber feet and a handle with some heft to it, it definitely has the looks of an adventure-ready device. The power station, however, walks a line between an intuitive battery and a more cautionary emergency generator.

Anytime you need to check the battery level, just press the power button once to see the light display. The LED indicator lights only last around eight seconds, so it's enough time to register without being wasteful.

While you can stumble across the battery level check intuitively, activating the AC output doesn't occur quite as easily. At the top of the power station, you'll have to hold the button for five seconds. Afterward, the LED indicator will briefly turn on and a solid white light will activate to showcase its readiness.

 

If you don't plug in a device, it will automatically turn off to conserve power. Once you have a device plugged in, the AC output light stays lit, so it's easy to discern the power station is in use. This was great at night and for situations where both AC outputs were filled.

Decoding the Light Show

This device possesses a heavy focus on its lighting to indicate readiness, current charge, and charging status. Since this mostly centers around its LED light indicator, you'll get the basic picture as you watch the device charge.

A flashing LED indicates charging, and a solid blue light indicates what battery level threshold you're at. The station goes up to five solid blue lights when it's in the max battery level range. So each light indicates roughly 20% battery life.

 

Overall, the lighting decisions always made sense for the suggested scenarios for the device. If you were out camping or utilizing the device during a blackout, the visual beacons were great. Meanwhile, for everyday use, they were inconspicuous and didn't affect my power usage.

Focusing On the Ports

While the use of lighting and overall visual clarity is great with the RAVPower Power Station, I was curious how well each port worked. I investigated the AC ports first, and it's here that I ran into most of my major concerns. First off, the AC ports don't have a ground, so you're unable to utilize any 3 prong plugs.

The plugs themselves were also a little tight. Rather than the usual pull out, you have to take more of a wiggle approach to retrieve anything plugged in. As a possible emergency device, the added security made sense; it was inconvenient for casual use.

The insertion and retrieval weren't as noticeable with larger items such as a laptop charger plug or a Nintendo Switch AC Adapter. However, I found myself having to add considerably more oomph on a smaller plug such as my Samsung travel adapter.

I also experienced a few isolated cases of the AC Adapter cutting off prematurely. To prevent this, make sure no looseness occurs.

The PD input/output, iSmart output, DC input, and DC output slots all worked as expected. It was easy to plug in and utilize each as expected.

Does RAVPower Power Station's Battery Capacity Hold Up?

In terms of battery capacity, the 252Wh never fell into question. For my benchmark, I ran several laptop tests with a 2017 Macbook Air. With Apple's 45w MagSafe power adapter, I was able to run the device just shy of 6 hours consistently.

To confirm the results with expectations, I divided the total Watt-hours (Wh) by the power drain (in watts). So by dividing 252.7Wh by 45W, I got approximately 5.62 hours.

Since the RAVPower Power Station also sells itself as a backup generator for CPAP devices, it was easy to check its viability there. CPAP devices run between 30-60W, so for lower wattage devices, the battery can cover a whole night. For a higher watt machine, it can still provide several crucial hours of support.

For smaller wattage devices such as cell phones, no noticeable drain occurred even with multiple devices plugged in. It was easy to charge the devices multiple times without losing a single blue light.

How Long Does Charging Take?

The RAVPower Power Station arrived between 21-40% charge (two blue lights), so it'll just take just shy of four hours for an initial charge via the included power adapter. A 12-24V car charger or solar panel charger (output above 80W recommended) can also be used, but I went with the recommended power charger for the initial charge.

From a dead state, charging took six hours utilizing the DC Input. If you charge using the PD port, it takes about an hour less.

RAVPower Carry Bag

For anyone who frequently buys portable tech, you know there's often a need to buy a carrying case. Either the device is too fragile, or it's inconvenient to lug around. One thing I love about the RAVPower Power Station is it takes that annoying follow-up out of the equation.

Not only that, but the carry bag's design encompasses the same outdoor spirit of the device. The bag's design includes some thought towards this as evidenced by the padding inside and the spiked feet at the bottom of the bag. The straps are adjustable, so you can keep the bag at a suitable height for any venture.

On the outside of the bag, you'll find two net pockets to stash any miscellaneous items. For the top interior flap of the bag, there's also a zippered pouch for any tiny item or cords you want easy access to.

In the very inside, there's a velcro divider that divides the battery's portion with a side area for the power adapter and anything else you need. While I found the default division snuggly kept the Power Station safe, it was a welcome customization option all the same.

RAVPower's Built-In Emergency Tool

The notion of the RAVPower Power Station as a back-up generator makes perfect sense. However, RAVPower went a step further by including lighting options for emergencies. By tapping the power button twice, you can cycle between a solid light, flashing slowly, and flashing quickly (SOS).

The light is surprisingly bright and travels a fair distance. So whether you're lost in the woods, dealing with a blackout, or needing to make contact, these options are all viable.

Does RAVPower Power Station Deliver on the Adventure?

When considering ordinary device use, the RAVPower Power Station supports most on the go electronics. If you're looking to use any device that's more than 250W, this isn't the item for you. But for everyone else, the ease of portability is a winner.

[amazon id="B085PYYX2B" title="RAVPower Power Station"]

For those just wanting to be safe, the power station also works great as a back-up generator for essentials. With its built-in lighting, it's easy to navigate even the darkest environment.

The RAVPower Power Station does deliver on its promise to keep you powered during an adventurous day out. The included carry-case is convenient, and the price point comes out to be around a dollar per Wh. If you need some extra security without breaking the bank, consider it.

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RAVPower PowerStation Review: Convenient, Compact Charging

Our verdict of the RAVPower Power Station:
The RAVPower Power Station is a great lightweight unit for when you need power on the go. Thanks to its carrying case and portable size, it can follow you to wherever life takes you.
910

When you think of an outdoor source of power, what comes to mind? You might consider the classic gas-fueled outdoor generator. However, what do you turn to if you need more of a middle ground of both portable and powerful? The RAVPower Power Station promises to help get you ready for an outdoor adventure. How does it deliver on that promise?

Portable power stations allow you to take your electronic devices anywhere. But with any portable charging device, you need to know if it has the right wattage and capacity for your needs. So what does the RAVPower Power Station have to offer? With a 252.7Wh battery capacity, it can support devices up to 300W, while still staying under six pounds. Plus, it comes with its own stylish carrying case to make transport even easier.

Read on to see why this sub-$300 device is worth investing in.

RAVPower Power Station RAVPower Power Station Buy Now On Amazon $269.99

RAVPower PowerStation Specifications

ravpower power station AC light

  • Capacity: 252Wh
  • AC Output: 110V (300W Max)
  • DC Output: 12V (120W Max)
  • Size: 5.12 x 5.12 x 7.44 inches (130 x 130 x 189mm)
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds (2500g)
  • Battery technology: Lithium-Ion

Unboxing the RAVPower Power Station

ravpower box contents

When you first unbox the RAVPower Power Station, you get a small matryoshka doll experience. After opening the box, you’ll open the carry bag which then contains your station and the rest of the contents. After attaching the strap to the bag, you’re left with a user guide, USB Type-C to Type-C charging cable, and a power adapter.

ravpower table

Using the RAVPower Power Station

The RAVPower Power Station possesses a sturdy, strong-looking case. With rubber feet and a handle with some heft to it, it definitely has the looks of an adventure-ready device. The power station, however, walks a line between an intuitive battery and a more cautionary emergency generator.

Anytime you need to check the battery level, just press the power button once to see the light display. The LED indicator lights only last around eight seconds, so it’s enough time to register without being wasteful.

ravpower power station multi-charge

While you can stumble across the battery level check intuitively, activating the AC output doesn’t occur quite as easily. At the top of the power station, you’ll have to hold the button for five seconds. Afterward, the LED indicator will briefly turn on and a solid white light will activate to showcase its readiness.

 

If you don’t plug in a device, it will automatically turn off to conserve power. Once you have a device plugged in, the AC output light stays lit, so it’s easy to discern the power station is in use. This was great at night and for situations where both AC outputs were filled.

Decoding the Light Show

ravpower power station full charge

This device possesses a heavy focus on its lighting to indicate readiness, current charge, and charging status. Since this mostly centers around its LED light indicator, you’ll get the basic picture as you watch the device charge.

A flashing LED indicates charging, and a solid blue light indicates what battery level threshold you’re at. The station goes up to five solid blue lights when it’s in the max battery level range. So each light indicates roughly 20% battery life.

 

Overall, the lighting decisions always made sense for the suggested scenarios for the device. If you were out camping or utilizing the device during a blackout, the visual beacons were great. Meanwhile, for everyday use, they were inconspicuous and didn’t affect my power usage.

Focusing On the Ports

rav power ace outputs flap

While the use of lighting and overall visual clarity is great with the RAVPower Power Station, I was curious how well each port worked. I investigated the AC ports first, and it’s here that I ran into most of my major concerns. First off, the AC ports don’t have a ground, so you’re unable to utilize any 3 prong plugs.

The plugs themselves were also a little tight. Rather than the usual pull out, you have to take more of a wiggle approach to retrieve anything plugged in. As a possible emergency device, the added security made sense; it was inconvenient for casual use.

The insertion and retrieval weren’t as noticeable with larger items such as a laptop charger plug or a Nintendo Switch AC Adapter. However, I found myself having to add considerably more oomph on a smaller plug such as my Samsung travel adapter.

I also experienced a few isolated cases of the AC Adapter cutting off prematurely. To prevent this, make sure no looseness occurs.

rav power dc input and outputs

The PD input/output, iSmart output, DC input, and DC output slots all worked as expected. It was easy to plug in and utilize each as expected.

Does RAVPower Power Station’s Battery Capacity Hold Up?

ravpower ac port charge

In terms of battery capacity, the 252Wh never fell into question. For my benchmark, I ran several laptop tests with a 2017 Macbook Air. With Apple’s 45w MagSafe power adapter, I was able to run the device just shy of 6 hours consistently.

To confirm the results with expectations, I divided the total Watt-hours (Wh) by the power drain (in watts). So by dividing 252.7Wh by 45W, I got approximately 5.62 hours.

Since the RAVPower Power Station also sells itself as a backup generator for CPAP devices, it was easy to check its viability there. CPAP devices run between 30-60W, so for lower wattage devices, the battery can cover a whole night. For a higher watt machine, it can still provide several crucial hours of support.

charging two phones ismart ports

For smaller wattage devices such as cell phones, no noticeable drain occurred even with multiple devices plugged in. It was easy to charge the devices multiple times without losing a single blue light.

How Long Does Charging Take?

charging one phone ismart port

The RAVPower Power Station arrived between 21-40% charge (two blue lights), so it’ll just take just shy of four hours for an initial charge via the included power adapter. A 12-24V car charger or solar panel charger (output above 80W recommended) can also be used, but I went with the recommended power charger for the initial charge.

From a dead state, charging took six hours utilizing the DC Input. If you charge using the PD port, it takes about an hour less.

RAVPower Carry Bag

ravpower carry bag

For anyone who frequently buys portable tech, you know there’s often a need to buy a carrying case. Either the device is too fragile, or it’s inconvenient to lug around. One thing I love about the RAVPower Power Station is it takes that annoying follow-up out of the equation.

Not only that, but the carry bag’s design encompasses the same outdoor spirit of the device. The bag’s design includes some thought towards this as evidenced by the padding inside and the spiked feet at the bottom of the bag. The straps are adjustable, so you can keep the bag at a suitable height for any venture.

On the outside of the bag, you’ll find two net pockets to stash any miscellaneous items. For the top interior flap of the bag, there’s also a zippered pouch for any tiny item or cords you want easy access to.

In the very inside, there’s a velcro divider that divides the battery’s portion with a side area for the power adapter and anything else you need. While I found the default division snuggly kept the Power Station safe, it was a welcome customization option all the same.

RAVPower’s Built-In Emergency Tool

ravpower power station light

The notion of the RAVPower Power Station as a back-up generator makes perfect sense. However, RAVPower went a step further by including lighting options for emergencies. By tapping the power button twice, you can cycle between a solid light, flashing slowly, and flashing quickly (SOS).

The light is surprisingly bright and travels a fair distance. So whether you’re lost in the woods, dealing with a blackout, or needing to make contact, these options are all viable.

Does RAVPower Power Station Deliver on the Adventure?

When considering ordinary device use, the RAVPower Power Station supports most on the go electronics. If you’re looking to use any device that’s more than 250W, this isn’t the item for you. But for everyone else, the ease of portability is a winner.

RAVPower Power Station RAVPower Power Station Buy Now On Amazon $269.99

For those just wanting to be safe, the power station also works great as a back-up generator for essentials. With its built-in lighting, it’s easy to navigate even the darkest environment.

The RAVPower Power Station does deliver on its promise to keep you powered during an adventurous day out. The included carry-case is convenient, and the price point comes out to be around a dollar per Wh. If you need some extra security without breaking the bank, consider it.

Read the full article: RAVPower PowerStation Review: Convenient, Compact Charging

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What Is Instagram Reels and Can It Compete With TikTok?

Are you already sharing photos and videos on Instagram? If so, you should check out Instagram Reels. And as Reels is integrated into Instagram, you don't even need to download a new app to do so.

In this article, we explain what Instagram Reels is, offer a few tips to help you get started, and explore whether Instagram Reels can compete with TikTok.

Instagram Reels is Instagram's attempt to take on the behemoth that is TikTok. Reels gives you a new option for Instagram's camera. You can now record and edit short videos of up to 15 seconds. On top of that, you can add Instagram's music and effects to your new reel.

For those familiar with TikTok, you can see the obvious similarities. For those unfamiliar, get up to speed by reading our article explaining what TikTok is and how it works.

Since Instagram Reels isn't a separate download like other apps, getting to it is quite easy. After opening the Instagram app, there are two easy ways to access Reels.

  • In the top-left corner, tap on the Camera icon.
  • Press the Your Story icon.
  • Swipe right from anywhere in your feed. Press Camera at the bottom.

Any of these options will bring up Instagram's camera. Now, look at the bottom of your screen for the Reels text. Swipe right to highlight the Reels text and bring up its interface.

Since Reels comes with regular Instagram, anyone who has posted a story or hosted an Instagram live stream should recognize at least part of the interface. The top three buttons (settings, flashlight, exit) and the camera view button in the bottom right function as usual.

Prior to recording anything, there are a few options available via the tool menu on the left. These let you do the following:

  • The musical note lets you search, look at recommended music, and browse categories to include in your video. You can include what part of the song to play (with a lyric overlay to help you choose).
  • A speed button allows you to slow down or speed up your reel. This impacts both the video and audio.
  • The smiley face offers different camera effects. You can scroll through the list to find your most desired.
  • Finally, a stopwatch lets you set the duration of your next clip. When you press the Reel's record button (which resembles a clapperboard), you'll see a countdown indicating it's in effect.

After you record your first Reels clip, you'll also see an align button. This lets you use a transparent photo of your last clip to help you align before the next recording. Once you're familiar with these, you can start recording your video.

Once you're comfortable with the tool selection, it's time to record your first Instagram Reels video. Simply tap the Reels button at the center of your screen to begin recording.

If you tap and hold, the clip will cease recording once you lift your finger. If you just tap, Reels will record until you tap again.

Just remember that you don't have to record all 15 seconds at once. The progress bar at the top of your screen shows how far you ar towards the 15-second duration. You can always shoot short clips and use the align tool to help splice it together.

In addition, you can also pull any pre-recorded video from your phone's gallery in the bottom left and use it. If it's over 15 seconds, you'll have to trim it to fit.

Once you have recorded a clip, it's time to begin editing your footage. The first thing you'll notice is a left and right arrow icon appears around the Reels recording button. Both offer different editing options and function best at different stages of recording.

If you tap the left button, you get access to more in-process edits. Here you can preview, trim, or delete the last clip you recorded. If you clip the scissors icon, you'll bring up to the option to trim.

At the bottom of the next screen, there's a bar that's capable of adjusting the entire clip's duration. As you adjust the bar, the preview video playing on this screen will update. Tap Trim in the upper right to update your clip's duration.

If you really don't like your particular clip, you can click the trash can button. You'll then get a warning prompt about discarding the clip. If you do go ahead with the discard, Reels sends you back to the recording screen.

Once you tap right, a preview video will automatically start playing. Now you can make any final additions to your video before posting. If you tap the sticker button, you can either search through Instagram's stickers or choose from the default options. They can then position them with your finger.

The drawing and font icons act similarly as well, so choose your favorite style preset and add them in. There's also a download button where you can save your video either before and/or after any edits on this screen.

After you've finished any final edits, tap the right arrow again. Before sharing your reel to Instagram, there are a few options to explore. You can adjust your cover image by tapping on the previewed image. Then simply choose a frame from your video to update the preview or add an image from your gallery.

If you want to add a small caption you can, and you can also choose whether or not to share your reel to your Instagram feed. If you choose to save your reel as a draft, you can access it later from the Reels tab on your profile.

Finally, you can click share, watch the upload, and start sharing your reels with everyone.

Instagram Reels already possesses a strong feature list at launch, so there's no reason to deal with the downsides of TikTok. As such, the short answer is yes, but we'll give you two major reasons below to use Instagram Reels over TikTok.

As with all social media apps, there's always a question of privacy and security. However, with TikTok, it's proven to be a big issue. Check out why it's time to uninstall TikTok if you value your privacy.

Another reason why Instagram Reels can compete with TikTok is the music selection on offer. Instagram Reels puts major artists' music at your fingertips. Which gives you another way to grab your audience's attention.

TikTok is coming under fire from a number of angles, including the US Government. And while Reels isn't the only competition (there's also Byte, which is Vine v2), it stands the best chance of replicating the success of TikTok.

Instagram Reels offers a powerful way to connect with others. Whatever way you want to use it, its integration into Instagram makes it easy to get started with Reels.

And if you want to learn about another useful Instagram feature, here's how to schedule posts on Instagram.