What are Lightroom Presets?
Lightroom Presets are a lot like Photoshop Actions. They are basically files containing a set of editing steps that you can easily access when you are wanting to achieve a specific look. So rather than repeatedly applying the same changes to image after image, you can just select a pre-defined preset and apply quickly to your images without going through all of the same changes again.
Lightroom comes with built-in default presets that you can play around with, or you can save your own and even purchase them online.
Where are they stored?
You can find them in the left panel of the Develop Module inside the Presets Panel.
They can also be found in Library via the drop down menu in the Quick Develop Panel.
When you hover your mouse over one of the presets, you will see a preview of the image in the Navigator Panel. This allows you to see how the image will appear using the preset before applying it. So rather than applying and then going back and undoing the preset if you aren’t happy with it, you can simply hover your mouse over all of the options to see the changes before deciding which to apply.
Saving your own Presets
If you have just applied a set of changes and want to save those steps for future use in your Presets Panel, you can select the plus sign (+) icon in the panel header to record the steps.
From the Develop menu, you can select New Preset to open the dialogue box to save the preset.
You will have the option to choose which steps you want to save, you can save all of the steps, or de-select and/or select specific steps to save.
Importing & Exporting Presets
If you want to share your preset with others, you can export them by giving them a file name. Presets are labeled as .lrtemplate files. When you select Export you can name the file then save it to your computer. For easy access, save them in a folder specifically for presets so you can easily locate them in the future.
If you want to move preset files into Lightroom, you can do this by using the Import option. When you purchase presets online, you are given the files to save to your computer. Once you have saved them in a folder to your computer, simply select Import from the Presets Panel and navigate to the folder that contain the file.
Lightroom allows you to organize your Presets as well. Let’s say you have multiple different types of black and white presets that all give a different style or feel, like matte, antique, etc. You can file them all under one name (Black and White) so that they are all in one place and easy to locate. Organizing them keeps them from being all mixed up and jumbled together in the list.
To Sum It All Up
Lightroom Presets are great when you are looking for a way to save time with your own every day editing processes and/or explore different editing styles from others. Being able to see a live preview of changes when going through the list is just an added bonus. They are easy to use, create, import, export, and access.