FeaturedPrint Module

What I’d Love To See Next in Lightroom…Part 7

I was going to do 10 of these, but I realized I could do a whole bunch more, so I’m just going to cut my series off here at Part 7. Then on Friday, I’ll compile and list my favorites from your suggestions (and it’s going to be hard to narrow those down, because you guys have come up with some great ideas!). OK, on to the last in my series:

#7: We need a better way to import graphics

If you can think of a program that makes it clunkier to work with an imported graphic, I’d like to know what it is, because importing a graphic using The Identity Plate Editor, where you can’t actually see your graphic unless it just happens to be a graphic that is long, wide and less than 1-inch tall, is about as clumsy a method I’ve ever seen. Heck, MacPaint did a better job of working with imported graphics.


Above: This is what the Identity Plate Editor looks like with my logo just imported into it. What? You don’t see my logo? Exactly my point!

There’s got to be a better way to a get a graphic onto our prints, into our slideshows, and in our photo books. The Identity Plate method is definitely a workaround — so I would dearly love to see a way to bring in graphics that makes sense, and doesn’t cause us to lose the text that we would have been able to add using the Identity Plate Editor, but again — if the Identity Plate editor was just used for what it was designed for (replacing the Lightroom logo with your studio’s logo), then Lightroom would have:

(a) A real type engine in the Print and Slideshow modules

(b) A method for bringing in and working with graphics like most every other program on the planet

(c ) An Identity Plate Editor that just did what it was designed to do, so we wouldn’t need it for workarounds for other stuff Lightroom should be able to do.

Lightroom is now around eight years old. It’s time to fix some of these foundational things, like importing graphics and having the people who actually invented the Postscript type engine give Lightroom decent type control outside of just the Book Module (but it’s limited there, too, to just two blocks of text you can only move in certain ways and only so far). It’s time.

OK, folks. There ya have it. Seven of the things I’d love to see added to Lightroom.

Tomorrow Mr. Pete will be here sharing his Lightroom Love, and then on Friday (since the Lightroom Show is on our season hiatus), I’ll be back with our look at my favorites of your submissions.





  1. Arthur 26 December, 2015 at 02:15 Reply

    Yes. This would be wonderful. And if you could ever fiugre out a way to re-import the data that was exported to a spreadsheet, it would be a way around much of the very clunky keyword interface in Lightroom, too.Regardless, I’m buying this as soon as it’s available.

  2. Rob 9 June, 2015 at 06:56 Reply

    Ability to set “toning amount/level” when bringing down highlights (as in PS). I don’t see any way to do this, unless I missed it.

  3. Rob 9 June, 2015 at 06:51 Reply

    Please, just right click a photo -> popup of collection to add it to. a “single” target collection is ridiculously limiting…and slow, and annoying.

  4. admin@equus-imaging.com 30 May, 2015 at 08:04 Reply

    I have been playing with Collections, I have noticed that you cannot directly match a folder with it’s sub folders in a collection, without manually creating a Collection Set, then Collections inside it, and then having to populate them all individually, even on import.

  5. Andrew Macpherson 30 May, 2015 at 05:47 Reply

    i would like to be able to apply a metadata preset after import, rather than having to find a photo which has the preset, then copy and paste. Particularly useful when collating input from a number of photographers so one can add an event preset over the per photographer set

  6. Ron 28 May, 2015 at 20:21 Reply

    I would like to see some capability to do proper and decent editing of keywords. I was hoping this might show up in Version 6, but it didn’t. With keywording being one of the strongest points of the Library module, indeed, one of the stronger points of Lightroom itself, I would hope that Adobe would recognize this and provide some decent functionality to “process” keywords within the Library module – update, delete, correct misspellings, add new ones, sort ascending, descending, group, categorize, etc.

    Here’s hoping!

  7. ML 28 May, 2015 at 16:54 Reply

    I would like the ability to give the same photo different names for different uses while retaining the original file name. EX:”Original filename:Other name.” This could be an option in preferences.
    This would be useful for exporting for a specific purpose particularlly if you only want to rename a photo for an exhibit or contest or to send to someone or post and the file name is irrelevant to the recipiant.
    Sometimes I “play” with a photo and make small prints of different versions for comparison. This may involve different processing, paper or even minor corrections or I will put the print ln different lighting situations.I am certain others like me rework old photos as new software changes come out or new processing skills develope and would like a way to keep “new version info” incorporated into the naming.

  8. Dominic Brenton 28 May, 2015 at 15:53 Reply

    I’ve just been creating a photobook and one thing I’ve found is that the options for creating custom page layouts feel rather limiting. You can adjust the padding within the cell you’ve chosen to fill, so that a pano, for example, is displayed smaller to fit the space available. Having inserted and shrunk that pano in the cell at the top of a page, leaving extra white space top and/or bottom, you can’t then reduce the size of that top cell and increase the size of the one beneath, or add an extra one. I hoped to be able to display a pano with two portrait aspect images beneath, but no such layout exists. I know Lightroom isn’t InDesign but it would be great to be able either to design custom page layouts from scratch, or to download them from Adobe Exchange.

  9. Joe S 28 May, 2015 at 06:56 Reply

    Scott-What I would like to see is for Adobe to actually test the print module before releasing updates by actually making different sized prints. (Especially large ones). Every time they upgrade Lightroom, there seems to be a printing issue. Last week, after spending an hour with Adobe, the tech (in India, no doubt-due to name and grammar or lack thereof) took control of my computer and was able to get me printing fine on 13 x 19. Yesterday I needed to print some 17 x 22 prints and lo and behold-same problem. I made the adjustments he made but to no avail. Doing an internet search turned up many other folks, all with lots of experience printing in LR, having the same issues. I had to revert to photoshop to get the prints done but it sure would be nice to do it in LR. I had the exact same experience when going from LR4 to LR5.

  10. Oliver M. Zielinski 28 May, 2015 at 03:27 Reply

    Two wishes on tethered capture function:

    – Keyboard shortcut for starting the tethered capture dialog. On set this would be much more comfortable than fiddeling with a mouse or touch pad through the menu.

    – More Consistency for file naming. *-Sequence.* should always be three digits (or four) and not just one as for custom name and file name. This also applies to the normal import options.

  11. Wolfgang 27 May, 2015 at 11:29 Reply

    I’d really love to see a better integration of the feedback from Lightroom Mobile (or lightroom.adobe.com. I wanna use it to communicate with clients. I really like the feature – I put the collections online and my clients look through it, like it, comment it BUT:
    – I can’t filter or search for the photos in Lightroom (there’s even a better view on the iphone/ipad app for liked/commented photos) – at the moment the best way is to sort “last comment time”.
    – The likes/comments are just viewable in my collection: I’d like to give the collections, let my clients like/comment them and then put the choosen photos in a new collection to show them the choosen photos but as soon as I do that, i can’t see the origin comments.

    • Dennis 27 May, 2015 at 12:11 Reply

      What I like to see.

      I work on differant projects at times, so I create a smart collection to look at the label for something specific. so far, it hasn’t been a limitation the way I’m using it. But, I can see there can be. However, for example, I have been playing around with artistic digital painting. Some images work, some don’t. I created a smart collection that looks for artsy in the label. When I find a few images that will work, I add the word artsy. The issue is, you can’t select several images and have the label updated in each, you have to do it one at a time. Real time consuming when I find that I can use 10 or more images.

      Thanks for a great series.

      • Wolfgang 28 May, 2015 at 04:19 Reply

        As far as I see (and just tried) you can do this – just do it in the Grid-View. In the library module you just can add more than one photo at a time if you are in grid view – but then it works. Another way is to label one image, then select the other images you want to label and then use the ‘sync-metadata’ button (on the bottom right side) and select just the label field.
        Hope that helps.

        • Dennis 29 May, 2015 at 11:03 Reply

          I was in grid, and it didn’t work, Only the first selected worked. I will try again. I hope this isn’t a windows/mac kind of thing, I’m on windows.

          I will try the sync-metadata, that’s sounds like a good way to do it. Thanks.

    • Wolfgang 27 May, 2015 at 11:34 Reply

      The advantage of Lightroom istn’t the great photo-editor – it’s the workflow. And of course I hope they get better in the photo-editing and the workflow. But if you wanna use just one software (and sometimes photoshop) Lightroom does a better job than most other software.
      But there are quite a bunch of photographers who use Lightroom and C1 together or side by side…

    • Scott Kelby 27 May, 2015 at 17:10 Reply

      Hi Paul. What you read is one person’s opinion. I have DXO and Capture One Pro, and I absolutely disagree with that article, and the conclusions it draws. You’re basically saying “We’re all too stupid to make the right choice.” I disagree with that as well. Plus, the author only mentions three genres of photography: Fashion, Architectural, and Landscapes, and why one or more those applications are popular with that crowd. What about Portrait photography? Sports? Travel? Wildlife? Nature? Weddings? Babies? Lifestyle — I saw the article as looking at things in a very limited, narrow field of view. It’s only a “perfect” comparison to you, because you agree with what the conclusions and opinions of the author were.

      • Paul 17 March, 2019 at 22:37 Reply

        Hi Scott,

        why people use many 3rd party sw together with lightroom like photo mechanic etc.?
        I think because LR is for example slow 🙁 as much as possible, ok?

        Adobe comment about LR speed:

        ” The Spot Removal Tool and Local Corrections Brush are not designed for hundreds to thousands of corrections.

        If your image contains many (hundreds) of localized adjustments, consider using a pixel-based editing application such as Photoshop for that level of correction… “

  12. Thomas Geist 26 May, 2015 at 20:44 Reply

    If you still collect things we’d like to see, here’s another one that would clean up some old heritage:

    It’s time to end the sharpening dualism with sharpening in the Details panel and then sharpening during export – sharpening that you can’t even visually verify before looking at the exported files!

    I think this is an old relict from the PixelGenius times where sharpening was a complicated science only mastered by a select few.

    Just as we hear you putting curves to rest, non visualized output sharpening should also become a thing of the past. Not even Photoshop has such a thing.

  13. Craig 26 May, 2015 at 17:57 Reply

    Seriously??? Every other time that I press F in cc, it will not come out of Full mode without me having to restart the program. This did not happen in earlier versions, but I read online that it happened to other users. What a pain, esp in front of a client!!!

    • Scott Kelby 26 May, 2015 at 18:41 Reply

      Just tested it on my copy and it seems to work fine. Sorry you’re having trouble with it (and you’re right, that stinks that it happened in front of client. Ack!).

  14. KC 26 May, 2015 at 08:35 Reply

    The ‘Identity Plate’ should not be high on anyone’s list of feature corrections for Adobe to make in Lightroom. Annoying that it cannot do what it is advertised to do? Yes. Mandatory to run a business, or use the software for its true intention? No.

    What if this feature never existed for you to complain about? Does CaptureOne or PhotoMechanic have this feature? (It’s an honest question—I don’t have those pieces of software to compare.) What if, from day one, it only said ‘Adobe Lightroom’ in that space, and there was never the ability to adjust it?

    I think #7 is make a real reach, scratching for something to post today.

    • Scott Kelby 26 May, 2015 at 10:01 Reply

      Hi KC: I guess you haven’t worked enough in Lightroom’s Print or Slideshow modules to know that the only way to even get a graphic into these two modules is to use the Identity Plate Editor. Worse yet, if you do use it for a graphic, then you can’t use it for text, so it limits you either way. I enjoyed the snarky “scratching for something to post today” line, though.

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