Lightroom Tips

Tip – The secret Identity Plate Text Formatting Trick

Hey folks. I had a killer day yesterday teaching the Lightroom 3 Live! seminar in LA. The crowd was awesome and it was great to see so many things “click” with everyone. Thanks to all who came out – you really made me feel right at home. Next, I’m on my way to San Francisco today to teach the same seminar on Friday (as well as my photowalk on Saturday) so I’m still grabbing some tips from Scott to celebrate the release of his brand new Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers. Today’s tip is a very cool Identity Plate trick.

If you haven’t noticed it’s surprisingly hard to format text inside the Identity Plate Editor window, especially if you want multiple lines of text (of course, the fact that you can have multiple lines of text is a tip unto itself). But, there’s a better way: Create your text somewhere else that has nice typographic controls, then select and copy your text into memory. Then come back to the Identity Plate Editor and paste that already formatted text right into it, and it will maintain your font and layout styles.

Thanks again to Scott for letting me steal his tips this week. If you’d like to check out his new book (and a freebie disc of all my LR presets that comes with it) you can find it right here.



  1. Ququrumi San 18 June, 2011 at 11:40 Reply

    Hi Matt! Thanks for all the tips and really appreciate what you have done here! greetings from Malaysia!

  2. Niall 22 November, 2010 at 12:48 Reply

    I’m having the same problem in Windows trying to get more than one line of text. The tip in the Kelby book “lightroom 3 for digital photographers” does indicateto use Alt-Enter twice to move down two lines but it does not work for me. Any alternatives out there to solve the problem? Otherwise us non-mac users are left with just 1 line of text!

  3. Alison 20 November, 2010 at 01:05 Reply

    Came across this forum as I was having problems with adding extra lines to the Identity Plate after following Scott’s book (found this book most helpful). I am brand new to digital photography, LR3 (which I adore for catalogue and develop) and PSCS5, I have Windows 7 and after reading various tips above I made a 3 line text plate in CS5, saved with png extension and then uploaded as graphic to LR3 identity plate. The only downside with this, is everytime I wish to change the title of a photo will have to make a new plate.
    With Jochen tip I had the same problem of only one line appearing.
    Thanks to everyone.

  4. Jochen 4 August, 2010 at 03:13 Reply

    Hi Guys,
    I’m working with LR3 on Win (XP & 7) the trick ist to paste the two or more lines of text to the plare using Ctrl. + V and replace the square with an UP+Return to get the next line!

    Greetings from Germany

    • Parkylondon 5 September, 2010 at 10:23 Reply

      Hi Jochen

      Your tip seems to be the closest I’ve seen to actually sound plausible but I still cannot make it work. Can you detail the steps you go through for the less technically adept please?

    • Brendan 9 September, 2010 at 08:21 Reply

      Nope, in Windows this tip doesn’t work properly. The Ctrl-V only gives you the first line of text. Matt, have you tried this in Windows ? It seems a bunch of us are having this problem. Any ideas ? I wish I could understand Jochen’s post. He seems like he may have found a way, but the meaning of his steps are a little unclear.

  5. Zulma Cardona 4 August, 2010 at 00:05 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I think you are great and thank you for all your help. I hope this can make up for the complainer.

  6. Lyle 30 July, 2010 at 21:00 Reply

    I found a reference for doing multi-line text on the Adobe site – the trick to getting line breaks/newlines is reported to be COMMAND-RETURN where you want the new line to appear, but that is Mac specific I guess.

    My original attempt worked as I reported (for some reason) but I sure can’t repeat it on Windows 7 using copy from Word 2007…and I can’t figure out how to escape a newline (pardon my unixesze ala n reference from print and echo statements …)…

    • E.B. West 31 July, 2010 at 13:05 Reply

      It may be what I was told was right, it’s a Mac only feature. Sure would be nice to hear from someone who was sure. I posted on the Adobe forum and didn’t get anything there either.

  7. William 29 July, 2010 at 12:12 Reply

    I have tried everything I know to accomplish the Identity Plate Tip…….July 22….Could you be just a little more specific…I have Lr3 and my Identity Plate area does not allow the “paste” thing….

    Hope for help…Thanks. William

    • E.B. West 30 July, 2010 at 10:55 Reply

      If you’re working in Widows after you copy the text go to the Edit Identity Plate area and hit Ctrl-V, that will paste it. The problem I’m having is that it only pastes one line even when I have copied 3.

      One person told me that the copy and past will not work in Windows for more than one line but I haven’t seen that anywhere else.

  8. Malcolm Surgenor 27 July, 2010 at 14:56 Reply

    Picked up my copy of Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers today – great read and very helpful but no CD of Killer Presets here in the UK? 🙁 No Reference to it in the text so I guess it didn’t make the UK edition?


  9. Peter Raymond 27 July, 2010 at 08:55 Reply


    Not connected to this topic, just sent on the off-chance of help.

    I am a UK wedding photographer, newly converted to Lightroom.

    My current work flow is this:

    Import images as DNG. Select images and create a collection of the selected images. Sort into required order and then adjust the images.

    It’s here it get tricky for me in Lightroom.

    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 catalogue and create the web gallery.

    Is there any way to avoid the export/import aspect of this workflow?

    Many thanks

    Peter Raymond

    • Lyle 27 July, 2010 at 21:49 Reply

      You might look at this link:
      It will allow you to create a tracking file at time of export without renaming the originals, and perhaps it would meet some of your requirements without doing additional importing again ? You can tailor the format of the output file to your liking and it seems like you could save this file to correlate your ordering to the original filename… just a thought, perhaps not elegant enough. I have used the tool for another purpose and it came to mind when I read your post. L

      • Peter Raymond 29 July, 2010 at 09:30 Reply

        Thank for the reply, but I have worked out the ideal solution myself:

        Once I have sorted and adjusted the collection I highlight all then in Library mode I rename the files in the metadata panel and bingo, bob’s your uncle.

        Thanks for the use of your blog Matt to help me think this through.

        Best wishes to you all


  10. tony 24 July, 2010 at 15:13 Reply

    HI Matt,

    I am an Fan of your work & i thank you so much for all your effort’s in this “Photo communauty” !

    But please ! stop the Kelby’s Advertising ! ok we all know you work with Scott Kelby, but sincerly is begin to be ” to much” !

    In any events, posts, info’s, news…video’s = is an bumping brain !




    • Matt Kloskowski 25 July, 2010 at 21:40 Reply

      Sorry Tony,
      I guess I can’t use my blog to a) post free tips and, b) help a buddy out by promoting his book. Not sure I see the issue here. Do you feel that much better after posting this. Did the free tip really annoy you that much and is it so bad that I wanted to help a friend out by promoting their new book as well as help myself out by not having to come up with content for the week while I was traveling?

      Thanks for the criticism. Every week I’m reminded that there’s always some one to complain about something (even if its free). I thought I’d made it through this week without the whiner/goober comment of the week but you manage to sneak it in just at the end.
      – Matt

      • E.B. West 26 July, 2010 at 11:43 Reply

        I’m not whining, really. It’s just that me and one or 2 others can’t seem to get the second (or third) line 2 copy over to the Identity Plate. Is there a common mistake that people do or something we can look for that causes the additional lines not to appear?

  11. JayM 22 July, 2010 at 14:32 Reply

    Well that’s a helluva tip, Mr. K. Seems like a reasonable workaround to an otherwise glaring omission in the Print module. With any luck we’ll see the ability to add unlimited freeform text boxes in a future version. While not ideal, this should help in the meantime.

    • JayM 22 July, 2010 at 14:43 Reply

      Seems I spoke to soon. Tried doing it from Microsoft Word. When pasting into the identity plate it only reproduced the first line. Second line MIA.

      On a similar note, is there a tip to perfectly center the plate?

      • Lyle 22 July, 2010 at 20:10 Reply

        Under edit watermarks there are 2 places : under Text options – you can align the text left/right/center – but then the entire watermark can be anchored by one of 9 locational points – you have to scroll down to see that matrix of buttons.

        I have no trouble getting multiple lines, but when I pasted 3 lines from word the middle line as italic, the bottom line in red and top line in black bold – those attributes didn’t show up – it all showed up like the 1st line did. Is that how it’s supposed to work – eg, save me from doing graphically stupid things that look horrible ??? lol

      • E.B. West 23 July, 2010 at 14:16 Reply

        Did you do anything in particular to get more than one line to show up? I can also only get one line to show up.

  12. Alis in Wnderlnd 22 July, 2010 at 14:29 Reply

    I’ve had trouble with sizing. I seem to be able to create a text image (and a png) but then it’s really fuzzy in LR. I’d like to use a custom logo.

  13. John Bamber 22 July, 2010 at 13:19 Reply

    Sorry, but I can’t get this to work. How do you paste into the Identity Plate Setup? I’m using Windows, but right clicking doesn’t bring up a menu to allow pasting.

    • nessunglao 26 July, 2010 at 05:51 Reply

      go to ‘edit’ then ‘identity plate set up’ the editor will show up. tick the ‘Use a graphical identity plate’ instead of ‘Use a styled text identity plate. hit ‘locate file…’ just go where you save your plate. your plate should be in jpg, png, gif, bmp or tif, tiff. Mine I made it in CorelDraw 15 and in png so the background is transparent. I export it and the file size should NOT be bigger than 10KB otherwise it won’t fit the space provided. then hit ‘okay’. hope this will help you. I’m new to lightroom too but this one I figured out by my self and I’m sharing it to you.

    • nessunglao 26 July, 2010 at 06:07 Reply

      Use CorelDraw or Photoshop or anything with vector base make sure you save in png file format so you won’t get white background. I tried in jpg and I end up having white background. I use Corel so I can design my own logo. you can put as many line ( 2 or 3 lines). Make sure don’t go over 10 kilobytes size. If you make bigger only half will show.

Leave a reply

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