Got It
This website uses cookies. More details


Learn Photography

Lightroom > More >

Presets & Plug-ins

Presets versus Plug-ins

Presets do the work you don't want to do in Lightroom.

Plug-ins do the work that you can't do with Lightroom.

Let's mix editing with cooking.


• You're editing—you're chopping with a knife.

That's a lot of work.

• When you use a preset to do some editing—you're using a food processor.

That's easier.

• When you use a plug-in to send your files to Flickr—you're calling up the sushi-take-out place.

Lightroom can't make sushi.

It needs a plug-in.


A preset is a saved set of Lightroom instructions.

If you use the same editing steps repeatedly (chopping), you can make a preset (food processor).

The preset will do the many steps with one click.

In the Library module, you can create metadata presets.

In the Develop module, there are develop presets.

The Export window has presets, too.

To use a preset, just click on it.


Plug-ins are programs that operate outside of the Lightroom program (at the sushi-take-out place).

When you start a plug-in, it does the following.

1) Gets a file from Lightroom.

2) Performs an action on the file, such as adding a watermark.

3) Sends the file back to Lightroom, or to another location, such as Flickr.

Go to File > Plug-in Manager to see what plug-ins are already installed for use with Lightroom.

Change a Preset Preference

If you're taking your Lightroom catalog from computer to computer using an external hard drive, read on.

If not, jump ahead.

Your presets—the ones you created or downloaded—won't travel with you.

That's because they're stored, by default, in a location distant from your Lightroom catalog.

Go to More > Set Up Lightroom > Presets Tab.

Download Presets & Plug-ins

You can search online for presets and plug-ins.

Create a Develop Preset

Do the following.

1) Press d to go to the Develop module.

2) Do some editing.

3) Open the Presets panel on the left side.

4) Click the + icon to open the New Develop Preset window.

5) Enter a name for the preset.

6) Select the folder, such as the default, User Presets.

7) Click Select None at the bottom of the window.

8) Select only the settings specific to the editing you did.

9) Click OK.

Change a Preset

Do the following.

1) Open the Presets panel and click the preset.

2) Change the settings.

3) Right-click on the preset in the Presets panel and select Update with Current Settings.

Read a Preset

You can open a preset file to see the settings.

When you click a preset, the settings in the Develop module are changed to the settings in the preset file.


Ansel Adams 2.lrtemplate from Bryan Wheeler's

Click Photograph to Enlarge

To read a preset, do the following.

1) Go to Edit > Preferences (Windows) or Lightroom > Preferences (Mac).

2) Click the Presets tab.

3) Click Show Lightroom Presets Folder.

The presets are probably in the Develop Presets folder or in the Local Adjustments Presets folder.

4) Double click the preset file.


Preset Installation

If you've downloaded a preset, or a folder of presets, follow the instructions provided by the preset source.

Or, if the preset uses the features of the Basic panel, do the following.

Note, Adjustment Brush presets are placed in the Local Adjustments Presets folder.

1) Press d to go to the Develop module and open the Presets panel on the left side.

2) Right click on the panel, and select New Folder.

3) Enter a name for the folder, such as the name of the downloaded preset, and click Create.

4) Right click on the new folder, and select Import.

5) Navigate to the downloaded preset, select it, and click Import.

Or, navigate to the downloaded folder full of presets, press Ctrl + a, and click Import.

Plug-in Installation

Plug-ins come with installation instructions.

Generally, do the following.

Let's say you want to install a plug-in called easy-autochrome.

1) Follow the instructions as to where the plug-in should be installed.

You may create a folder, called Plug-ins, in which to store the plug-ins you download.

This folder could be in the Lightroom folder in My Pictures or Pictures.

2) Download the easy-autochrome plug-in, which is probably a zip file.

3) Unzip the zip file.

There's a folder (Windows) or a module package (Mac) inside the zip file with the file name extension .lrplugin.

The folder/module package contains a file called Info.lua.

That's the actual lug-in.

However, you handle the entire folder, not the Info.lua file.

4) Copy the easy-autochrome.lrplugin folder/module package (Ctrl or Cmd + c).

5) Open the folder specified in the plug-in instructions.

6) Paste (Ctrl or Cmd + v).

The easy-autochrome.lrplugin folder/module package is now in the folder.

Now, you have to "tell" Lightroom about the new plug-in.

7) Go to File > Plug-in Manager, and click Add.

8) Navigate to your Plug-ins folder, select easy-autochrome.lrplugin, and click OK.

9) You may be prompted to update the catalog.

10) The plug-in may be located:

• At File > Plug-in Extras.

• In the Export window.