Lightroom Tips

Friday Tip – Creating Folders for Presets

It’s time to wrap up another week with a tip and some other stuff.

First off, Jason D.Moore posted a Photoshop tutorial on his website on how to create the cover to my Layers book. I thought it was cool to see. Here’s the link.
(FYI… the Layers book made it in the top 200 of all books on Amazon again. Thanks everyone!)

Also, there’s a fairly in depth review of my Layers book over at It goes into specifics a little more, so if you’re still on the fence it may help out.

Finally, the tip of the week. If you’re a preset freak then your presets panel in Lightroom is probably becoming pretty chaotic. I have two suggestions:
1) Join a program that’s dedicated to treating your illness – the CPFAT (the Center for Preset Freaks Abuse and Treatment). Here’s the link. 🙂

2) Create folders to hold the presets in a more organized way. To do this, just right click in the Presets panel and select New Folder. Give it a descriptive name (“Matt’s Presets”, or “Special Effects”). Then just drag the presets you want into that folder directly in the Presets panel. That’s it. It’s a really quick and easy way to organize all those presets.

Alright, that wraps up the week in Lightroom. Check out the next post for some quick Lightroom and Camera Raw update news and have a great weekend.



  1. swankFoto 12 November, 2008 at 13:41 Reply

    This is fine and dandy but it doesn’t organize the Develop presets fly-out that you see when right-clicking on a photo in the Library module.
    It should mirror the preset organization folders that this Tip descirbes.

    Right now they are show in a flattened list.
    Like a lot of people, I have many presets installed and I have to scroll the list to get at my most used presets.
    I’m surprised that this UAT defect got passed LR1 beta and release, LR2 beta and release QA.
    This needs fixed in LR2.2 IMO.

    Matt can you help us on this one? 😉

  2. Jarret 19 March, 2008 at 16:12 Reply

    You can also move them on a MAC
    user>Library>Application Support>Adobe>Lightroom>Develop Presets

    If you have a large amount of presets it will save you time so you do not have to drag them all.

    Just make sure to relaunch Lightroom for the changes to take place.

  3. BK 18 March, 2008 at 04:43 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    Is there any option (I’m almost sure that there’s not….) to put folder of presets inside the another folder? Just to make a more-than-one-level hierarchy of them?

    Like this:

    –> Matt’s
    |–> Vintage
    |–> preset1
    |–> preset2
    |–> Another fantastic group
    |–> preset3
    |–> preset4
    –> BW
    |–> Group2

    Tried to do that in Windows XP Explorer, but it didn’t worked.

  4. Dennis 15 March, 2008 at 22:43 Reply

    I have to say how disappointed I was to see that the link to CPFAT turned out to be a shameless plug for your book. As a sufferer of preset abuse (hey, you started it) I thought, “Finally a source for a cure” but alas it is not to be. Now I reside in the Home for the Preset Abused and I’m only allowed one access per day to the internet. I still use it to look at lightroomkillertips in hopes of satisfying my addiction … gotta go. They’re coming for me.

    Sorry … I just had to go there. I’m glad the book is doing so well. Keep up the good work

  5. Jay 15 March, 2008 at 13:50 Reply


    I’m looking a moving from a pc over to a Mac. I’ve got about 100G of photo mostly on my pc and some on an external disk. How do I migrate over all my photos and the Lightroom catalog with out breaking the links? Can you show a video of how to do this?

    I assume that the best thing to do is to move my photos and catalog all over to the external disk ( I already to that as a back up, but I’ve never tried to use that backup) and run the Lightroom from a catalog and photo directory on that external disk. Then I should be able to access that same disk from a Mac.

    Also if you could comment on disk management. Most internal disk drives are in the 100-250 G size. Shooting raw can quick eat up that disk.

    Thanks. Your blog is awesome! I look forward to your video on the next step in folder / photo management.

  6. Joe Tringali 15 March, 2008 at 12:49 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks for all the great tips and presets. I have beome a preset junkie. I ahve an idea for you and a future avenue for preset type of uploads you could create using photoshop and light room. I saw a magazine add that had a great landscape and they had created a window frame overlay to make it look like you were looking out your kitchen window, I wondered if I could recreat that in photoshop and I made a overlay mask. It worked OK (my skills are not as refined as the Photoshop guru’s). I then saw your tip on printing on a black background and thoutht that may be I could use this mask in Lightroom as a ID template. I works. I can quickly in the print module try a bunch of photos with my kitchen window as an overlay. You could create different ovelays, frames, borders each week. I put an example on my gallery at NAPP

    Keep up the great work.


  7. Scott Smith 14 March, 2008 at 13:14 Reply

    I was photographing some smoke last week and was planning on processing them in CS3 but thought I would give Lightroom a try.
    I was amazed at how fast and easy it was to use my presets to process the smoke. I was able to use two of your presets on what I consider my faves. Check out your Burnt Tone Preset here
    Check out your cross process preset here

  8. Mark 14 March, 2008 at 12:16 Reply

    Matt – As a fledgling author myself, and without going into too much detail – how does having a top 200 book on Amazon translate financially?

    oh, and CONGRATS!!

    thx [m]

  9. ?ukasz Kruk 14 March, 2008 at 11:14 Reply

    i just came back from a trip and found some of your posts in my rss reader – including the suggest a preset one. i’ve got one (well, few) that i thought of recently when browsing through my travel pictures. here’s how:

    now i shoot everything with my pentax dslr. the results are great and, thanks to your site, i learn gradually to improve it (you’re welcome to have a look here: – i’m quite happy with results). but i’ve just had a look at my old scanned negatives – tmax developed in d76 and, well, no b&w conversion i can do comes close to this. how about some presets recreating the classic silver negatives? one for tmax, one for apx in rodinal… does anyone know where can i find these? if they work, they’ll be worth their weight in gold.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *