Tip – Naming Your Presets

If you haven’t noticed yet, your Presets panel in the Develop module can get outta control pretty easily. I know that I’ve got over 100 presets and the list still grows. Some I use all the time and some I just keep around to use once in a while. Now, whether you create your own presets or you download them from the web, the one thing we have in common with each other is they all have different names. So here’s a couple of suggestions to help keep things tidy:

1) Since your presets are sorted alphabetically, the A’s come first right? Well, if you put numbers in front of your presets then they’ll appear first (at the top) in the list. So if you have presets you really like and want to see them at the top then put numbers in front of them.
presets1

2) If you’re like me you have presets that do the same thing but with different settings. For example, I have white balance presets for each white balance setting in the Develop module. If you name them by their original names (Cloudy, Daylight, Shade), then they’ll show up all over the place in your preset list. Instead, try putting the words “White Balance” in front so your preset name would look like “White Balance – Cloudy” or “White Balance – Daylight”. That way they’ll all stay together in the list under “W”. In this example image I have presets that remove the color saturation in all colors except for one. You can see how naming them appropriately helps out.
presets2

By the way, I never really told you how to rename an existing preset. All you have to do is right-click on the name and choose Rename. That’s it :)

Author: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE Seminar Tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Matt also hosts the world's top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com, where he's built up a massive library of Lightroom videos, presets and tips. In addition to teaching Photoshop, Lightroom and photography seminars around the world, he's an instructor at Photoshop World and one of the full-time staff writers for Photoshop User Magazine.

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16 Comments

  1. I find organising them into sub-folders also helps a lot. For example, you could have created a folder called colorize for all the colorize ones above, and then put all of them into one folder.

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  2. Excellent suggestions for renaming. I use similar methods for file naming too, and email folder lists, and almost any other list that is sorted alphabetically automatically.

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  3. Great tip, Matt. Especially when generous people like you create all those free pre-sets. Need to know how to get them under control.

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  4. I, too, have a lot of presets in my folders. I organize them into subfolders and name them to help sort them.

    One thing that frustrates me is when I want to apply a preset to multiple images. I select the images, then right click, select develop settings, and have a long list of presets (which seems to have some random order). In order to scroll to the bottom of the list, I have to actually click on the bottom scroll arrow and wait while it scrolls down (very slowly). The mouse wheel does not function. Does anybody know of a way to sort this list and/or a quicker way to scroll up or down?

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  5. Yes I agree,

    organizing your presets does help a whole lot.

    I do like Victor, where they are catagorized in sub-folders and then in order from there by their use. I also make a back up copy of all presets just in case I ever need to reinstall LR or I want to share them with others.

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    • I can’t fiqure out how to make sub folders for my presets. Can I do it from within
      LR or do I have to do it Explorer. Thanks!
      Dena Z.

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  6. Agree – subfolders is the way to go for me: Black & White, Sharpening, Grads, Creative etc

    Totally agree with Ron – they should be automatically included in your backup routine. For Windows users the folder C:>docs & settings>your name>application data>Adobe>Lightroom contains all the subfolders with all the templates and presets and galleries. Sorry, don’t know for Macs.

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  7. Great tips Matt. I also use the subfolder method. For example, I have a subfolder very near the top of my list called “Matt’s Presets”. :^)

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  8. I think it is good that you show these types of tips as we all face the same challenges…but…unless I am missing something, the root of the problem is really that ADOBE does not offer adequate flexiblility here. I think it would help if they offered a multi-leveled structure (similar to a folder structure) to allow users to organize presets better.

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  9. As others have noted, I use sub-folders to organize my user presets – GNDs, White Balance, Sharpening, etc. The concept – organizing the presets so you can easily find them -remains the same.

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  10. The worst bit is when applying a preset at download – no folders here – the list is huge! I often apply a camera profile preset at this point – scrolling down to find it can take a long time! Thinking about renaming them starting with 1. or a

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  11. Subfolders FTW, totally.

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  12. Nice fill someone in on and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Thank you on your information.

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  13. It would be even better if we could just drag presets into the order we want them.

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  14. There’s another feature that will help us a lot organizing the presets when right-clicking on them. Just like in Bridge, the SENT TO option so that if I have already created a fodler to send that preset directly to it. Just an idea that maybe will come alive in LR3. Anyways, I hope they will make the organizing of the presets much easy for us.

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  15. Unable to rename presets in the manner you describe. When I right-click on a preset, my options are: New Folder, Update with Current Settings, Show in Explorer, Delete, Export, or Import. No Rename! The workaround I found is to export it with the new name, delete it in LR, and then import it back in. It will have the new name when you import it. Kind of a pain, but at least it works.

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