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How To Fix Adobe Lightroom CC Preset Sort Order and B&W Bug With 7.3 Update

By Matthew Saville on April 11th 2018

Good news, everyone! The SLR Lounge Preset System has been updated and verified fully compatible with Adobe Lightroom CC 7.3. They are now availalable for download to current owners, and for purchase if you are a new customer.

If you are already an SLR Lounge Preset System user, please save/backup all of your existing presets, remove them, and then download & install the updated presets, making sure to follow the install instructions for LR CC 7.3 first.

MORE good news! With the Lightroom CC and Classic CC update, as well as a coinciding Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop update, Lightroom (Develop) presets have all been converted to .XMP files which has the effect of making them now visible from within Adobe Camera Raw, via Bridge or Photoshop. This means that whether you wish to use presets in Lightroom, Bridge, or any ACR-capable application, Creative Cloud subscribers now only need to purchase one set of presets.

Adobe Lightroom CC 7.3 Update

Adobe released a major update to Lightroom CC, available for both the “Classic” version and the new all-cloud “CC” version. This update focuses mainly on an all-new set of raw Profiles, which are far more robust than the previous profiles that were offered.

This update is very exciting because it definitely appears to offer a noticeable and welcome improvement in the overall color and tone response of raw files. For many generations of raw processing applications, users have complained that images appeared dull compared to what they had seen on the back of their camera, and Adobe has delivered a potentially great solution.

(From The Adobe Press Release)

Unfortunately, the update was not without bugs, as is apparently par for the course with software updates of all kinds these days.

Here at SLR Lounge, we quickly dove in to uncover the root of the issue and see if we could fix the problem immediately. What we discovered was very interesting, and the fix, although tedious and time-consuming, is simple enough that we thought we would share it with you, the Lightroom user.

Many photographers have innumerable Lightroom presets of their own, and have expressed no small amount of frustration over this bug. It is indeed a shame that many folks quickly rolled back to Lightroom 7.2, since the Lightroom 7.3 update brings with it such a hopeful new tool to play with.

Adobe Lightroom 7.3 Preset Sort Order Bug Fix

So, how do you fix this bug? It’s a little complicated, or at least it can be if you choose to do it in the most reliable, future-proof way. However, it may still beat waiting for Adobe to release a fix or new update.


Option 1.)

Dig into the code of the Preset file

Unfortunately, the best solution to the preset sort order problem is to actually dig into the code of each preset file, using a text or code editing application, (anything from TextEdit to Komodo Edit will do) and change the embedded names of the presets so that they match the actual, desired name.

Editing an Adobe Lightroom (7.2) Preset .LRTEMPLATE File Code

If you have not yet updated to Lightroom 7.3, you can actually preemptively fix this error by editing the code of the “old” Lightroom preset file format that LR 7.2 used, the .lrtemplate files. Even if you do eventually update to Lightroom 7.3, your preset files should remain in the correct order.

Close Lightroom, and right-click on a Lightroom preset file that has the .lrtemplate extension, then open the file in a text editor of choice. (To do this in large batches, you may be able to drag-and-drop a whole selection of presets into the text editor to open them all at once.)

(Can YOU spot the problem? Adobe couldn’t, or chose to ignore it…)

At the very top of the code, you will see two lines that contain the text “internalName” and “title“. The second one, “title”, is the one that usually is the correct one, however, double-check first to make sure that this title field, which appears in quotations, is exactly the same as the actual file name itself. If it is, then simply copy this title field (again, within the quotation marks) to the internalName field, thus overwriting the old internalName.

Repeat this procedure for all of your presets. Then, save the file, close it, and re-open Lightroom 7.2.  Your entire set of presets should now be in the correct order!

NOTE: Unfortunately, if you do update to 7.3, Lightroom will place a tilde character at the beginning of all old .lrtemplate files, to indicate that they have been converted to .xmp files. In this case, you will need to edit the file code of the newly created .xmp files if you wish to have your presets in the correct order in 7.3.

Editing an Adobe Lightroom (7.3) preset .XMP File Code

If you update Lightroom from 7.2 to 7.3 already, then Adobe has automatically converted your old .lrtemplate preset files to new .xmp preset files, and stops using .lrtemplate files. The code-digging is just slightly more time-consuming because the things you’re looking for are a bit deeper.

Right-click on a Lightroom preset file that has the .xmp extension, and open the file in a text editor of choice. To do this in large batches, dragging and dropping multiple preset files at once into the text editing application may also work depending on your operating system.

Once an .xmp file has been opened, use your operating system’s search function (CMD+F, CTRL+F, for example) to find the word “SortName“. This name will be the name retained at the time you first created the preset, so it will sometimes be different from a new name you give it.

Simply look a few lines higher in the code, for the other name, (crs:Name) and copy that other name into the “SortName” field. Double-check to make sure this name actually matches the main file name, and then save and close the .xmp file.

When you close and re-open Lightroom, your presets will appear in the correct order.

Option 2.) Rename all presets within Lightroom

This next option should also work. However, because it does not appear to solve the problem in the actual code of the preset file itself, it may only work on your computer. So we only recommend this solution if you are fixing just a few of your own personal presets, and are averse to using a text editor to dig through lines of code.

With that said, renaming all of your presets within Lightroom appears to bump them to the bottom of the list in whichever preset folder they are, and it also re-alphabetizes them.

Simply right-click each preset, select “Rename” and then change the name in an innocuous way. Add “-7.3” to the end of the preset name, for example. Once you have performed this renaming to all of your presets in a folder, the presets within that folder will appear in alphabetical and/or numerical order again.

NOTE: Again, beware: We investigated this solution, and found that it may not actually change the two names in the code of the preset file itself; the “Name” and “SortName” may remain different. Because of this, it is uncertain how permanent and universal this solution will be. However, it should be enough for small, private collections of presets that are not being circulated to other users.

Adobe Lightroom 7.3 Black & White Preset Bug Fix

If you have any black & white presets that were created in Lightroom 7.2 or older, when you click on these presets in Lightroom 7.3, any other preset you use after it will revert the image back to color, even if that preset is only intended to affect unrelated things such as highlights or shadows, etc.

The fix is simple: Update your presets to take advantage of the amazing new B&W Profiles Lightroom 7.3 offers!

Step 1.

Click on one of your old B&W presets, and then look in the upper right Develop Module:

Step 2.

Select whichever new B&W Profile matches and/or enhances the existing look of your preset. There are numbered Profiles from “BW 01” thru “BW 12”, plus a few color filter presets.

NOTE: Using these latter Color Filter B&W Profiles may reset (zero) any custom Black & White Mix (HSL) sliders you were previously using in your B&W preset!

Step 3.

Just beneath the Profile selection box in the Basic Tab of the Develop Module, adjust the Amount slider either to 0%, if you want your preset to stay exactly the same, or to your taste, if you like the way the new B&W Profile looks.

Step 4.

Update the preset by right-clicking on it, and selecting “Update With Current Settings“, making sure that the very first box is checked, “Treatment & Profile” plus any other boxes you had previously checked to customize that preset.

*We often leave settings like Exposure and White Balance un-checked when saving presets, for example.

There you have it, your black & white preset will now work correctly in Adobe Lightroom 7.3!

Please comment below if you have any other questions regarding the latest Adobe Lightroom CC update, and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out the SLR Lounge Lightroom Preset System which is now fully compatible with the Lightroom 7.3 update!


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Matthew Saville is a full-time wedding photographer at Lin & Jirsa Photography, and a senior editor & writer at SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Alex Harris

    Nice that you guys have spent the time going through their code, but we pay Adobe for a product that should work -> they should come up with the fix. Buggered if I’m going to rename, or search through code for each preset one by one.

    The easiest thing here is just to roll back to 7.2. Mine works fine. 

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  2. Marina Melnikova

    After updating Lr classic, I’ve encountered the problem that Lr has become way too slow with every operation as well as with presets using, can I try to upgrade it again in hope to fix the problem? What can I do in this situation? Working with Lr has become sort of  irritation

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  3. Lewis Marroquin

    My Lightroom CC is up to date and downloaded the SLR update.  It seems its working, the one big issue that I’m finding is scrolling up and down the presets. The program lags / hesitates when scrolling up or down the presets by swiping up or down on the latest Macbook Pro 13″ touch pad. If I click and drag the preset bar to the left of the presets up or down, it scrolls normal. It only hesitates as I describe by scrolling up or down the presets using the finger swipe.  In comparison, swiping up or down on the color adjustment section, it scrolls nice and quick, no problems whatsoever. Before the SLR update, the presets scrolled freely.  I tried looking for a step by step video on this install / update, but found none.  It would be real helpful if you had a video to visually see how to do this update. The way it is right now is very frustrating. Need you help. Please advise on what may be causing the scroll delay issue and what I can do.  Thank you.

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  4. Tim Evans

    After installing the new version of the presets, when I open Lightroom, I receive a message, “The following preset files could not be renamed.” (and then listing the SLRLounge presets).

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Tim,

      Which presets are you installing, the .xmp files or the .lrtemplate files? Which version of Lightroom are you running at the time of install? Did you remember to first remove all existing presets, just to be sure?

      We tried to do as extensive testing as possible, to ensure both 7.2 and 7.3 compatibility, (since they both use totally different preset files now!) …however if there are any complications, we definitely want to know asap.

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  5. Paul Cotter

    [Paul Cotter has deleted this comment]

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  6. Darren Lee

    [Darren Lee has deleted this comment]

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Darren,

      The simple answer is, if the version you bought was still the current version just before this update, then you should be able to download it from the “My Purchases” page on your account here. If the version of Lightroom presets that you own was already “outdated” before this 7.3 update occurred, then you would want to upgrade / purchase the new version just as if it were like any other upgrade.

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  7. Motti Bembaron

    And what department at Adobe headquarters receives my bill for time wasted fixing their mistakes?

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  8. Christoph Herrmann

    I installed the updated presets, and while the sorting is fixed now – YAY – the presets actually appear at the bottom of the list, below all of LR’s stock presets. So apparently LR now ignores number prefixes. Any way to get them back to top? LR doesn’t allow me to rename preset folders, instead offers “Import” on right click…

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    • Matthew Saville

      YES, I was kinda annoyed about that, however there is a workaround for at least some of them! Go into Adobe Bridge, open a raw file in ACR there, and then in the presets tab, right click the unwanted presets, and click “Hide Preset Set”. Then, when you re-open Lightroom, those preset folders (not all of them are visible in ACR, unfortunately) will also be invisible.

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    • Darren Lee

      Ok thanks Matthew. If I have a much older version of the presets, would I be better off just waiting for you guys to update your presets to be compatible with the current version of LR before I upgrade?

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    • Matthew Saville

      Hi Darren,

      This update is indeed fully compatible with Lightroom 7.3, even though it is visually the same as it was before Adobe updated from LR CC 7.2 to 7.3.

      We are looking into the new possibilities that LR CC 7.3 offers, with Profiles, and we’ll keep the community updated if we release a “totally new” Preset System!

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  9. Michael Kokott

    Was scrolling and scrolling – no fix. Please do not tell me i need to edit all those files.

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    • Matthew Saville

      Unfortunately, we cannot fix the problem for already-installed presets remotely; that would be an Adobe solution. However, if you download and install the new preset files, which are now available in .lrtemplate format and .xmp format, for 7.2 and 7.3 users respectively, you should be good to go.

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    • Michael Kokott

      okay – i missed that link than, i try to find it.

      great – i found them – i thought 1.1 would be the old version – but they are new… 


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  10. Paul Cotter

    Thank you for taking care of this, SLR Lounge. Where can existing users download the updated version of the presets?

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    • Matthew Saville

      They should already appear in the “My Purchases” section, and an email is going out either a few minutes ago, or momentarily. :-D

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