Creating presets for Lightroom is a great way to  automate your workflow and save you a ton of time. Once you are done with editing your images in Lightroom, you’ll need to export them. In this video we are going to create three presets for our most used export settings.

Note: To get into the Export Dialogue, press: Ctrl+Shift+E or Cmd+Shift+E

1. Make a Print Sized Preset


Begin by opening your export screen where you will see numerous drop down menus. Click on the top one: Export Locations.

  • In Export Locations, change the subfolder to: 01_Print Sized
  • Leave the second tab (File Naming) alone as we rename our files just before export.
  • In File Settings, click on Print Quality, and set the quality to 85%. This is the sweet spot, giving you a nice balance between quality and space-saving. It will save you a lot of file space, and you won’t be able to tell between 85-100% on a print.
  • Under the Image Sizing tab, turn resize off and leave the resolution at 300 pixels per inch
  • Turn Output Sharpening off since we sharpen when we develop, not during export
  • Leave the Metadata tab as is, to include all metadata
  • You don’t need a watermark on a print-sized image, so turn Watermarking off

Click ‘Add’ and create a new folder for the presets. Name your presets folder, and then name the preset (we named our folder Crash Course Presets and the preset, 01_Print Sized). Then press ‘Create’ and we click Export to export our file to the desktop.

2. Make a SlideShow Preset


To create a slideshow preset, open the export dialogue, Ctrl+Shift+E or Cmd+Shift+E.

  • In Export Locations, change the subfolder to: 02_Slideshow
  • File Naming is set to none
  • Leave the File Settings and Print Quality,  the same as before at JPEG 85%
  • Under the Image Sizing tab, click on Long Edge and set it to 2000 pixels, because most of the time when you export in slideshow format, you’ll be exporting at 1080p which is 19-20 pixels wide, so 2000 gives us a bit of safety. If you want to create slideshows for 4k, use 4000 pixels on the Long Edge.

Leave the remaining tabs as they are; they should be the same from the previous preset we created. Click ‘Add’ and rename your new preset to 02_Slideshow and place it under the folder Crash Course, then save and click export.

3. Make a Web Ready Preset


  • In Export Locations, change the subfolder to: 03_Web Ready
  • Leave File Naming and File Settings the same as before
  • Under the Image Sizing tab, set the Long Edge to 1000 pixels
  • Output Sharpening and Metadata will remain the same
  • Under Watermarking, these images will be ready to go for web usage, so we will add a watermark. Choose your logo in the drop down menu.

Click ‘Add’ and rename it to 03_Web Ready, then save and click export.

A Note About Sizes and Quality


If you take a look at the different presets and their sizes, the full print size is 4MB; if you leave it at 100% quality, you can do a little test. Go back to your print ready preset and change the image quality to 100%. Export it and you’ll see that the file is now 7MB. Making the print quality 85% instead of 100% is almost a 40-50% reduction, but you won’t be able to tell a difference in quality in the files (as you can see in the above image).

Note that the sizes for the slideshow is 931k and Web Ready files are 345k.

Anything you prep for the web should be fairly small, because on mobile devices and you want it to load quickly. With these three sizes, you should be good for any exporting you want to do.

Bonus: Make a Fine Art/Commercial Preset at 100% Quality

If you want to create an additional preset, open the export dialogue and rename it to: 04_Fine Art/Commercial

Select the preset closest to it (print sized), and change the quality to 100%. If you want, you can make your fine art stuff set at a higher resolution; that way if you want to export at 100%, you have it. You really won’t be able to tell a difference for most purposes

This has been an excerpt from our Lightroom CC Crash Course, where you’ll learn quick & efficient Lightroom practices to batch produce your photos, and take your images from ordinary to extraordinary. Gain access to this workshop and so much more by purchasing a Premium Subscription to SLR Lounge!







Total Course Run Time: 9H 55M 15S


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