Managing Develop Presets

One of Lightroom’s great productivity features is the ability to save your post processing work as a preset, allowing you to use the same settings time and time again on different photos.

However, over time, as you collect more and more presets, your preset panel can grow to unmanageable proportions. Time to get organized by creating preset folders into which you can organize your own presets or import presets downloaded from the Internet.

Develop Presets

First we need to go to the Develop Module as the Develop Presets panel only shows up on the left when that module is.

To create a folder, pull down the “Develop” menu and select “New Preset Folder

Create a new folder

Create a new folder

Type in the name want to use in the dialog box and click “create”. This will create a new folder in the Presets Panel.

Now we are ready to manage our Presets. You can do so, simply by dragging and dropping. You’ll find that you can quickly reduce a long, unorganized list of presets, into neatly presented folders.


Importing Develop Presets is easy. Adobe has done all the work for us.

After creating a folder like we did above, simply put your cursor on the name of that folder and hit the right mouse button. A menu will pop up that includes an “Import” option.

Import Develop Preset

Import Develop Preset

Simpley select the Import option and navigate to the location you downloaded the preset to (make sure you unzip the preset first!). Simple.

What are presets and where are they kept?

A Develop Preset is simply a file with instructions that tell Lightroom what to do. Everything you need is contained in such a file, they come with an extension of .lrtemplate. For example, the Solarize Preset you can download from this site is called ADB_Solarize.lrtemplate.

These files are kept in a special folder on your PC.

For Windows this is

C:Documents and Settings/username/Application Data/Adobe/Lightroom/Develop Presets (and “username” is the name of the user you are logged on as).

For Vista, it is slightly different:

C:Users/username/AppData/Adobe/Lightroom/Develop Presets

Two things to watch out for here:

  1. Develop Presets are stored per User. So if you have multiple people using the same PC using different login names, they will not automatically have the same presets.
  2. Often, especially in Vista, the operating system hides the AppData (or Application Data) folder from users. You simply don’t see them eventhough they are there.

If you have a lot of presets you want to import (or export), it might be easier and quicker to open this folder and copy batches of preset files like you would any other file. Take note: you cannot have nested folders. In other words, you cannot put a folder with presets inside a folder of presets. Lightroom will not recognize them.

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