Video – Organizing Your Presets

Happy video day everyone! This week’s video is something I’ve been asked about a lot lately – organizing your presets. The funny (or not-so-funny depending on how you look at it) part about it is that there’s not any secret tips for organizing your presets in Lightroom. Basically, they let you create folders and you can put presets in those folders. But there are a few little things you can do to help organize your favorites and help get them to where you can find the best ones faster.

Click here to download the video


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  1. FYI: You don’t need to buy a mouse to right click if you have a mouse pad on a Mac. Just tap two of your fingers instead of one onto the mouse pad. That substitutes as a right click. You may need to set your preferences if it does not work on your mac.

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  2. Hi everybody,
    what I find really really bad in accessing my presets fast is that when I want to apply a saved preset in the library module, I get this really BIG list with all my presets that is very slow to browse through. This is very bad because the user presets are at the end of the list and therefore they are worst accessible.

    A solution would be to also to group the presets in folders in the dropdown menu and not to make it the way it is handled.

    Adobe please listen and re-code…

    Greets from germany

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  3. Nope Mike, that one’s up to you (right click -> Rename). I kinda like my name in the preset (I think it’s an ego thing) so I’m leaving it there 🙂


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  4. Great tip, Matt!
    But now you need to shorten your preset names!

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  5. On a PC if you hold down the control key while dragging the preset you can create a copy in another Preset Folder.

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  6. Matt,

    what two button mouse do you use with your Mac?

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  7. Hi Jim W. and Matt,

    Yes, I’m having the same problem. It must be a Mozilla thing. I use SeaMonkey for my browser, which is made by Mozilla. I get the sample problem when trying to download. I’ve not had any problems with other video for the past two years.


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  8. Matt,
    I tried downloading this video using Firefox and it scrambled the screen and locked up the computer, so I tried it in IE 7 and it worked fine, I then went to some of your other videos to see if they would download in Firefox, and they worked fine, it looks like it’s only this video that won’t download in Firefox… Is anyone having this problem??

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  9. My list of presets is getting a bit untamable. Sadly, I know how to do this – but haven’t. Is there still hope for a guy like me? 😉

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  10. Hi Matt, I’m planning on building a PC, primarily for Lightroom and some Photoshop.
    What’s a good way to go? Just a good quad core with plenty of Ram? Also, I’m planning on using fast Sata hard drives.
    I”m also planning on using a 64 bit OS.

    Joe Fisher
    Kalispell, MT

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  11. Matt
    In case you want to know Dec 29 Preset in the Archives doesn’t have the correct links. I really like this preset and tried to send a friend there.

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  12. All the naming techniques are great but I was thinking, if you have to copy and paste files to get duplicates, why can’t you just add new folders the same way and thereby get subfolders. Well I tried this and it works… with a twist. You can create a subfolder under the users presets say “Matt” to store all of Matt’s great presets in. And then when done, open Lightroom. What you get is not a subfolder but a main line folder entry named “Matt” that contains all the presets! Some how Lightroom is making the translation but doesn’t do anything the the folder structure or the presets. If you created a folder called “Matt” in Lightroom and moved some of the presets into it, exited Lightroom and then created the subfolder under User Presets and put the rest of the presets in it–What does Lightroom do? It combines the two leaving all files where they are!

    Interesting experiment.

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  13. hi everyone,

    I’ve been doing exactly that for some time now. however I have made folders starting with 01 (for the same reason givin by Henk) but i organized my folders in the same flow as the develop module adjustments. i started with white balance,exposure,vibrance and saturation ect.. all my special effect type presets are givin a letter first A,B,C ect now for me i used B for b&w and C for color effects ect.. I have found that if they are organized in the order of the develop module workflow you can move pretty fast and get some good starting points for final tweeks.
    as a reminder for everyone, you might want to think of backing up your presets for all modules from time to time, it would really suck to have a computer crash and lose all that hard work ( like downloading matts presets 🙂 ) or think about it, you could actually take your presets to a friends who has lightroom and have them with you on cd.


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  14. Thanks for the video!

    I have a question about being able to see what a preset does exactly. Sorry if you have already answered this question before, but is there a way in text form to see what a preset is doing.

    So say you just downloaded a preset and you want to see what it is doing, is there a way to look at a text representation of what it is applying, such as +1 exposure, 30% vignette etc…..


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  15. I’ve got a folder namen 1 most used for example. this one is on top
    and i’ve got some more with specific targets.. white balance, profile, color management… and so….

    Love the video’s matt!!

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  16. wow, wery nice, have been thinking of it, i have a LOT of presets (preset addicted)

    but another thing: how about you make a big file with all of your presets? that would be awesome so that people can download all of it at once

    (sorry for any bad english)

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  17. Thanks Mat for the video,

    I was lokking in to this few days ago.

    A friend referred me to this website. I am becoming a fan of it.


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  18. Hi Matt,

    Numbering presets in order to get the most favorite ones on top of the list is a good idea. However don’t give them numer 1, 2, 3, etc., because number 10 will follow number 1. Give them number 01, 02, 03, etc.

    Best regards,


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