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Smart Previews

If all of your files are located on your computers internal hard drive, you don't need smart previews.

Smart Previews are handy if your files are located on an external hard drive.

When you create a smart preview of a file, you don't need to have the external hard drive connected.

Lightroom makes a DNG of the file of sufficient size for editing.

DNG files are higher quality than JPEG files of the same size.

When you reconnect your external hard drive, Lightroom updates the editing instructions for the original file.

Create Smart Previews

1 - Files Already in Lightroom

Do the following.

1) Go to the Library module and select one or more thumbnails.

If you want to create smart previews for all of your photographs, open the Catalog panel, select All Photographs, and then press Ctrl + a.

2) Go to Library > Preview > Build Smart Previews.

2 - When Importing

Select Build Smart Previews in the File handling panel.


Smart Previews

Import Preferences

Your photograph files have JPEG previews.

They're embedded in the files, or are in sidecar files.

You can specify how Lightroom creates previews when importing.

There are four choices.

As you go from Choice #1 to Choice #4:

• Importing takes longer.

• The space occupied on your hard drive by the previews increases.

The import-speed and hard-drive space differences are small between the first three choices.

Choice #4, 1:1, slows importing substantially, and takes up a lot of hard drive space.

Many photographers use the default choice, Minimal.

That's because Lightroom can create a larger preview whenever it's required.

Choice #1 - Minimal

Lightroom creates a small preview from the existing embedded/sidecar preview.

Choice #2 - Embedded & Sidecar

Lightroom makes the best possible preview from the existing embedded/sidecar preview on the memory card.

Color Management

The above two choices are not color managed.

The two choices below are color managed using the ProPhoto RGB color space.

Choice #3 - Standard

The Standard preview is what you see when you click Fit on the zoom bar in the Loupe view.

Choice #4 - 1:1

1:1 previews are what you see in the Develop module when you click 1:1 (100%).

1:1 previews display sharpening and noise reduction.

Choose One of the Four Choices

When you're importing some files, do the following.

1) You've done one of the following.

• You've connected your camera to your computer, and have turned it on.

• You've connected a card reader with a card.

• You've selected a folder to import.

2) Press g to make sure you're in the Library module.

3) Click Import in the lower-left corner.

4) Open the File Handling panel on the right side.

5) Choose one of the following on the Renders Previews menu.

• Minimal

• Embedded & Sidecar

• Standard

• 1:1

6) Finish the import process.

Display Preferences

You can set the size and quality of the previews that Lightroom displays.

Use the size and quality that corresponds to your monitor's specification and to your needs.

Do the following.

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

Or, press Ctrl + Alt + ,.

2) Click the File Handling tab.

3) Choose the preview size and the review quality.

• For Standard Preview Size, the default setting, 1440, is fine for most monitors.

If you have a very large monitor, try 2048.

• For Preview Quality, the default setting, Medium, is fine for most monitors.

If you have a very large monitor, try High.

All three quality levels are in the upper range of JPEG quality.

Render Previews after Importing

If you don't want to wait for Lightroom to render previews, do the following.

1) Press Ctrl + a to select all of the previews in a folder or collection.

2) Go to Library > Previews > Render 1:1 Previews.

3) Do something else for a while while Lightroom works.

Automatically Discard

1:1 Previews after 30 Days

As mentioned, 1:1 previews take up a lot of space on your hard drive.

By default, Lightroom deletes 1:1 previews after thirty days.

Automatically Discard 1:1 Previews after 30 Days

To change the setting, go to Edit > Catalog Settings (Windows) or Lightroom > Catalog Settings (Mac).

Or, press Ctrl + Alt + ,.

Then, click the File Handling tab.