The following is an excerpt from the SLR Lounge Lightroom Workflow System Workshop on DVD, a system designed to increase your post production speed by 5 to 10 times. Click here to view more details.


When we have finished culling and editing our images, we need to prepare them to be exported out of Lightroom 4. Depending on the intended use, there are a variety of ways to export our images. For example, we may want to export our images to be printed or to be used in a slideshow. In this step-by-step tutorial, we will prepare our images to be exported for printing. In addition, we will go over how to create a Print-Sized Image Export Preset in Lightroom 4.

Watch the video, or continue reading the article below.

Watch the Video

Preparing to Export Images

First, we need to get to the export dialogue. From the Grid View (press “G”) select an image or a grouping of images that you would like to export. Right-click on your selected photos and select “Export” from the drop-down menu. Then select “Export” again as shown below.


Once you click on “Export,” the Export Dialogue Box will appear as shown below. You can also press “Ctrl + Shift + E” to bring up the same Export Dialogue Box. At the top of the Export Dialogue Box, select “Hard Drive” from the “Export To:” drop-down menu. We recommend you export to the hard drive as the default for your export presets, but feel free to choose a different location for your images if it better fits your workflow.


1. Export Location

After we have selected the location of where our images will be exported to, we need to dial in the settings for the Print-Sized Image Export Preset. For “Export To,” select “Specific Folder” from the drop-down menu. We are not going to select “Choose folder later (useful for presets)” because this tutorial will go over a quicker and easier way to export your images so that you do not have to actually choose a folder after you click on the Export button. Next, we need to select the specific folder. Click on the “Choose” button to choose your folder. We will actually leave this folder defaulted to “Desktop.” Then, check the box next to “Put in Subfolder” and type in “01_PrintSized” since we are preparing to export our images as print-sized images. Next, select “Ask what to do” for “Existing Files” so that Lightroom notifies us if and when it finds files that have the same name. Your Export Location settings in the Export Dialogue Box should look like the one below.


2. File Naming

Since we already renamed our photos in a How to Rename and Create Filename Presets Article, we do not need to rename them again. For the Print-Sized Image Export Preset we are creating in this tutorial, our File Naming settings will be left with the default settings as shown below.


3. File Settings

The next section after File Naming is Video, which we will skip since we are only exporting images. In File Settings, we are going to select “JPEG” for “Image Format” ands “Quality” should be set to 100. For “Color Space,” choose “sRGB” unless you know that your lab can print “ProPhoto RGB.” ProPhoto RGB is the default Lightroom “Color Space” so this would be a better choice if you are printing from a lab that supports ProPhoto RGB. If your lab doesn’t print ProPhoto RGB, the lab will convert the images back to sRGB anyways. Your File Settings should be as shown below.


4. Image Sizing

We do not want our images to be resized upon export, so make sure the box next to “Resize to Fit” is not checked. Set your Resolution to “300 pixels per inch” because this is a print-sized export. Although different printers print at different resolutions, we want to leave it at the highest setting for the printers that do print at 300 pixels per inch. If you set the resolution to 150 pixels per inch and a higher resolution printer prints the image, the image may turn out pixelated. Keep in mind, that certain printers designed for gallery display printing will print at up to 450px. So, while 300px is a safe bet, it is always best to know the resolution of the printer to be printing your images.


5. Output Sharpening

Check the box next to “Sharpen For.” Then select “Matte Paper” and “Low” from the dropdown menus. We only want to do a little bit of output sharpening because we do not necessarily have control over exactly how much sharpening this affects our images. Most of our sharpening is going to be done within the develop process, so we only want to add a small amount of general sharpening based on the print medium.


6. Metadata

For Metadata, if you are providing images to clients, we highly recommend that you select either “Copyright Only” or “Copyright & Contact Info Only.” You should not choose any of the other options because you may not want clients or their friends to have access to all of the metadata on your images. But, of course this option is up to you. For us, we are going to limit Metadata information to Copyright & Contact Info Only.


7. Watermarking

These images are being printed, so we do not need any watermarks on our images. Make sure the box next to “Watermark” is unchecked as shown below.


8. Post-Processing

You can have Lightroom open up a Exporer/Finder window after Lightroom finishes exporting your photos. However, we usually have it set to “Do nothing” since we usually have our preferences set up to play a sound to notify us when Lightroom finishes exporting our images. Choose the Post-Processing option that works best for you.


9. Saving the Print-Sized Image Export Preset

Now that we have finished dialing in the settings for the Print-Sized Image Export Preset, we need to save our preset. Click on the “Add” button on the bottom left of the Export Dialogue Box.


Once you have clicked on “Add,” the New Preset Dialogue Box will appear, like the one below.


We are going to create a new folder for our standard Export Presets, so select “New Folder” from the dropdown menu.


The New Folder Dialogue Box will appear, where you will name your folder. Name this folder based on the workflow you are designing this preset for. In our example below, we will name it “LJP Workflow” for our studio at Lin & Jirsa Photography. Then press “Create.”


At this point, you will be brought back to the New Preset Dialogue Box, where you will name your Export Preset. We will name this preset “01_PrintSized” and then select “Create.”


Now that we have finished creating the Print-Sized Image Export Preset, it will appear in the list under “LJP Workflow” (the folder just created) on the left of the Export Dialogue Box. Simply press “Export” at the bottom right of the Export Dialogue Box to export your images with the Print-Sized Image Export Preset applied.


Conclusion & Learn More!

We hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial on how to create a Print-Sized Image Export Preset in Lightroom 4. This preset can save you time whenever you are ready to export your images in Lightroom as print-sized images. Just simply select the preset that we created in this tutorial when you need to export your images as print-sized images. Stay tuned for our next article on how to create a Web-Sized Image Export Preset.

To learn more about the SLR Lounge Workflow System Workshop on DVD or to purchase it, click on this link.

To purchase the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which includes A-Z Tutorials, the Preset System, and Workflow DVD, click here.