Figured today was a good day to catch up on some Q&A’s from recent posts. Enjoy!

Q. How can I save my print templates to a JPEG like you did in your multi-photo print preset?
A. In the Print module, scroll down on the right hand side panels to the last one (the Print Job panel). The first setting is called “Print To”. Just turn it to the JPEG option and you’ll save your layout as a JPEG instead of sending it to the printer.

Q. I really like the look of that multi-photo grid preset you released the other week. But how do I get my photos in to it?
A. Just drag photos from the filmstrip into a grid square. Once they’re there, you can reposition how the photo looks in that square by holding down the Command (PC: Ctrl) key and clicking on the photo to drag it around.

Q. A while ago you talked about Adobe’s Lightroom certification? Is there an exam for Lightroom 3?
A. Nope. No updated exam for LR3 yet. I haven’t heard of if or when this will happen but typically it seems to come out within 6 months of the release of a new version.

Q. I want to create a web gallery from which my client can select and order, but I need the files to be numbered from 1 to whatever. At the moment I’m exporting the collection as DNG file, renumbering in the process. I then import these into my catalog and create the web gallery. Is there any way to avoid the export/import aspect of this workflow?
A. You can rename your photos without exporting. Just go to the Library module. Then under the Library menu choose Rename Photos.

Q. If I store my photos on an external drive, does the speed of my external drive affect Lightroom’s performance?
A. Most definitely! There’s still lots of information being read back and forth between those photos and the speed will affect how fast Lightroom feels. According to some folks at Adobe that I’ve talked to about this, a 5400 RPM drive would fairly slow. A 7200 is better. USB is going to be mostly bad and Firewire will of course be better.

Q. So Matt, knowing what you just said about storing your photos on an external drive, what do you do?
A. If you hadn’t guess, I asked myself this question figuring some one would ask it soon enough 🙂 Anyway, I store all of my photos on an external 5400 RPM Firewire drive. It does feel sluggish sometimes and I’m looking at moving up to something faster.

Q. I use the Painter tool (the spray can looking thing) to paint on keywords in the Library module. It seems Adobe removed the “erase” option for this tool. I used to click to paint and then click again to erase. Is there a fix?
A. Sure is. They didn’t remove the Erase option, I think they just found that people were accidentally erasing a lot because it was too similar to adding keywords. So the change in Lightroom 3 is that you hold down the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click the photo to erase any keywords.

Thanks for all the questions. I hope this helped a little. Have a great weekend!



  1. Gary Brackin 13 April, 2011 at 10:55 Reply

    I have lightroom 2.5. I’m on a Mac and I would like to know: How can I import my own Overlay Panel in lightroom 2.

    I have a fobonacci spiral that is better than the overlay already inside lightroom and have other overlay panels I would like to create.

  2. Sam Casale 25 February, 2011 at 09:16 Reply

    Just bought LR3 and like the feature to publish right to my Flickr page, but cant figure out how to do it with the watermark I’ve created. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  3. Maria 19 February, 2011 at 16:53 Reply

    How come when I import pics to Lightroom and I do nothing or even sometimes if I do something , it sends them out flat. I would say grayish.

  4. gary walters 25 January, 2011 at 12:29 Reply

    May be the wrong place to ask a question.

    I would like to leave a few images in collections or quick collections to work on later as favorites but when I empty the main folder (as a wedding I’m done with) the ones in collections go as well.

    is there a way around this?……Thanks

  5. Hanson 15 January, 2011 at 15:27 Reply

    On Mac I can not see any of my photos in the root folder after import. It only appears in the subfolders, while all photo will show in root folder in PC.
    What is the setting I’m missing?
    It may seem to be a stupid question, but I can’t find the answer by myself, even on your Lightroom 3 In Depth Video Tutorials.

  6. Adam McLean 11 December, 2010 at 06:20 Reply

    On this issue of transferring photos from iphoto to lightroom. I watched the video. However, why can’t I simply select the photos in iphoto and then export from iphoto (as original) to say a folder on the desktop and then import into lightroom into the folders that i choose. This way I can preserve all the work I have done in organising the photos in iphoto subfolders etc. Rather than finding iphoto and show package contents etc etc? Thanks for your help.

  7. Chris Hill 1 December, 2010 at 08:09 Reply

    Just purchased Lightroom 3.2 and never worked with Photoshop previously so learning as I go and have two questions …
    1. How do I save files in lower res so people can only print a 4×6 and not a 5×7 or larger? When I export files there are options for file settings, output sharpening & image sizing, but I am not familiar with how these work or what to change the settings to.
    2. How can I insert a logo or type on top of a photo?

    Thank you in adavnce for your assistance.

  8. John 18 October, 2010 at 09:47 Reply


    How do I apply your multi photo preset to a 12×12 canvas. When I select the template, it automatically snaps back to a 8.5×11. Even if I change to a 12×12 afterward, your grid is still shrunk to the 8.5 x 11 size.

    Can I move the images around withing their actual frames without actually moving the image on the grid?

  9. Maryann 13 October, 2010 at 08:25 Reply

    Thanks for solving the Paint can mystery of how to erase!! And the mystery of how to reposition pix in a multiphoto grid!! You killed 2 of my ‘birds’ with this one!!! I am so glad you write this stuff!!!

  10. Kim 13 October, 2010 at 02:33 Reply

    Q: When I select images to “Edit in PS CS5” from LR3, and start to work on them in CS5, and during this time close out LR3, why are my finished files saved as Jpgs not showing up back in my LR3 catalog? I try to import them to the catalog, but the import function won’t even recognize the jpg files that are obviously there (since I checked to make sure I saved them to the right place). Am I missing something? Help!!

    Thank you!

  11. Mark 27 September, 2010 at 21:08 Reply

    CMYK printing. From Photoshop I will sometimes print rough proofs to a CMYK laser printer that I have profiled. When printing from Lightroom only RGB profiles are able to be selected. Is there a way to utilise CMYK printer profiles when printing in Lightroom?

  12. Martin 26 September, 2010 at 14:04 Reply

    I’m using LR with an external NAS (D-Link DNS-323) connected to a Mac via Gigabit Ethernet. Speed seems to be ok since the previews and the catalog are stored locally on the Mac (previews can take up a *lot* of space, btw).

    The reason why I’m using a NAS is that I want to work in LR from multiple computers (Win+Mac). Is this possible if the catalog is stored on the NAS? On the Windows side, the external disk would be mapped to a drive (eg. N:) and on the Mac side I would connect to it as a server. Did anyone try this setup before?


  13. christian 25 September, 2010 at 11:38 Reply

    thanks for that Q&A Matt, maybe you can take a look at this question for the next one:
    Have there been any changes from LR2 to LR3 regarding the auto-updating the DNG file. Meaning that the develop settings are getting saved in the actual file and not only in the LR catalog. I’m working like you – storing files on an external hard drive and I’d like to keep the files in the most recent version, therefore I want to make sure the files get updated every time. I don’t see a progress bar anymore.

    Looking at your sky presets I’m wondering if you can achieve something like the high pass filter in PS just using LR. Your preset already goes into that direction.

    Thanks very much

  14. Michael Seneschal 24 September, 2010 at 19:46 Reply

    Hey Matt,

    Is there a way to *not* import video into Lightroom via the import dialog?

    I currently go into Finder, sort the files on the card via (kind:movie) and drag/drop them off the card. THEN I go into Lightroom and import.

    It’d be so much easier if, while importing, there was a ‘ignore video files’ checkbox or something. Is there a workaround, or something I’m missing?

    I don’t know about you… but I find it more efficient to have my movies in iMovie rather in Lightroom….. #justSayin’


    Hope all is well,

    Boston, MA

  15. Lorri E 24 September, 2010 at 12:07 Reply

    I store my photos on an external hard drive using a USB connection and I haven’t really noticed it being sluggish. Occasionally it will take a few seconds to render a photo but most of the time it seems to be seamless. However, my Lightroom catalog is probably not nearly as large as Matt’s since I have only been using Lightroom for a little over a year. I am using a Nikon D300 for most of my raw files so I would assume someone using a D3 would have larger raw files and might notice more of a difference.

  16. Simon 24 September, 2010 at 11:50 Reply

    This probably blindingly obvious to most, but it’s best to do your main Lightroom work with the files on your computer’s hard drive, then move them afterwards by dragging the folder on to your external hard drive for storage. *Always move folders within LR!* You can still work on them from there if need be, or drag them back on to your computer if extensive reworking is required.

    This way you won’t suffer the slowness of an external drive.

    • Gary Howie 24 September, 2010 at 16:16 Reply

      I store my photos on a Drobo via usb It’s a little slow but keeps my computer’s hard drive open (I would forget to move them after using the images. When I first set the Drobo up, I transferred my photos from a usb external drive to the usb Drobo. 384 gb of slowness, let me tell you. Definitely an overnight (and part of the next day) operation.

    • Carolyn Fahm 24 September, 2010 at 20:40 Reply

      I wish I had someone to help me sort out what is taking up so much room on my laptop’s drive. Because of this I always download immediatley to my LaCie drive . But, thanks to you, Simon, I will try it your way and download to the laptop for eventual transfer. I have a big shoot coming up tomorrow night so your suggestion comes at just the right moment.

  17. William Chinn 24 September, 2010 at 11:42 Reply

    Since the subject is Q&A, is there a really straight forward way to migrate Photoshop and Lightroom from an old computer to the new one? This includes the Adobe license, user presets, templates, 3rd party plugins, preferences, and the photos/catalog. The old computer and its hard drive will be cleaned and donated elsewhere.

    Any how-to’s (new or on the web) would be appreciated.

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