Lightroom Q&A's

Lightroom Q&A – Presets

It’s time for another round of Lightroom Q&A’s. Don’t forget that today is the last day to grab your free issue of Photoshop User magazine compliments of Dell. Oh and I’m teaching the Photoshop CS5 for Photographers tour in Covington, KY today so make sure you come up and say hi if you’re attending.

Now on to the Q&A’s:

Q. I use your presets a lot and I was wondering if there was a quick way to see exactly what options the preset is using?

A. Unfortunately no. There’s no way to really see what a preset does other than to look at the sliders. If you’re kinda techie you can open the actual preset file (the .LRTemplate file) in a text editor and see a really computer code-like version of the preset and look to see what it includes but that’s about it.

Q. Do I have to leave the Develop preset file on my desktop after I import it? Or is it saved in another location?

A. I always tell people to download the presets to their desktop and then importing them from there. So do they live on the desktop then? It does, after all, make a little sense that they would need to stay there, but they don’t. When you import them into Lightroom they actually get copied to Lightroom’s preset folder. So its safe to delete them from your desktop.

Q. Is there an easier way to install presets than going into Lightroom and importing them?

A. Absolutely! I recently did a tip on it here.

Q. I have been hesitating upgrading to Lightroom 3 because I don’t know how transfer my presets. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Most of the time, when you upgrade a computer from LR2 to LR3 it’ll automatically transfer the presets. But if you ever need to move or transfer them anywhere try this. Open Lightroom and go to the Lightroom > Preferences menu (Windows: Edit > Prefs). Under the Presets tab click on the “Show Lightroom Presets Folder” button. Make a copy of this folder. Go to the other computer with Lightroom on it and use the Preferences window to find the Presets folder again. Now just replace the folder with the one you just copied. Then Restart Lightroom for the new presets to take effect.

That’s it for this time. Have a great day.



  1. Jessie 13 November, 2021 at 23:37 Reply

    I imported my presets from my apple computer to my new mac book pro m1 and they aren’t showing in my presets tab even though they are on my files on my mac book pro m1. I have tried everything and don’t know what to do! HELP

  2. Jaap Meijer 25 May, 2011 at 02:43 Reply

    May I also ask one new question:
    Using Lightroom for years now, I found a problem with my new Canon EOS 60D using m-RAW. I always convert these photos into DNG while importing in Lightroom3. Now I found that the photos then grow bigger than RAW photos.
    So, now I have to shoot on RAW and get my SD-cards full fast, but in this way preventing my harddisk from overload.
    Representative test picture:
    18 megapixel: RAW 24MB, DNG 19 MB, JPG 8 MB
    10 megapixel: RAW 15MB, DNG 24 MB, JPG 4 MB
    4,5 megapixel: RAW 10 MB, DNG 11 MB, JPG 2 MB

  3. dorfl68 1 February, 2011 at 09:41 Reply

    Seems to me that somebody could write a utility to read the presets and spit them out as clear text to document the settings (maybe in an html file that users can print)…

    It’s now on the to do list for Paddy ( 🙂

  4. Craig Weir 31 January, 2011 at 02:25 Reply

    Re: transferring presets. i recently had my macbook re-imaged. i have reinstalled Lr3. I exported the old lightroom folder onto a hard drive. I’m not sure how to get my presets or the catalogue folder back into Lr3 now from the hard drive?? H E L P

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