The "Put back selected" button works when you select the Image in the Browser, not on the Light Table. (It sometimes works the other way as well, but it (should) always work when you select an Image in the Browser. This is, imho, a bug.)
You should be able to right-click an Image on the Light Table and select "Remove from Light Table". If this isn't working, I suggest voodoo first: close Aperture, reboot, and see if it works right.
Hey, thanks -- everything worked as you described. It never would have occurred to me that the "put back" button refers to the browser selection not the layout selection, for reasons I give below.
I think Aperture exhibits some conceptual confusion here. First of all, a "light table" is created by the New > Light Table command, and you add images to the newly created light table just as you would add them to an album. But those images don't go on the light table layout until you drag them from the browser to the layout table. The "put back" button and "remove from light table" contextual menu command both mean remove from the layout. The phrasing of the contextual menu command make it sounds as if it will remove the clicked image from the light table's collection of images, like removing an image from an album -- it would have made more sense to name this command "put back". Furthermore, the "put back" button is above the layout display, not above the browser, which to me implies that it applies to selections in the layout display. To select an image in the browser, and click "put back selected" seems backwards -- if you just selected the image in the browser, your attention is focused on the browser, not the layout; from the browser's point of view, the button should read "bring back" not "put back".
The documentation didn't really help when I was trying to figure this out. Sometimes the Aperture documentation refers to just a "light table", as on the overview on page 732. On pages 733 and 734, though, it refers to a "light table album". On page 735 of the Aperture manual there is a very brief explanation of how "to add images to the light table" and "to remove an image from the light table". Here, "light table" refers to the layout not the album. The explanation of the "Put Back Selected" button says to select an image then click the button, and the picture shown is of an image selected in the layout, not in the browser.
Completely right. Send your comments to Apple via "Aperture➞Provide Aperture Feedback".
Light Tables are Albums, but they have a special Viewer with a rather different relationship to the Browser in Split view. I agree that this Light Table command is mis-named. I had to figure out what I posted above on my own. It is neither well implemented nor properly explained.