Lightroom Tutorial: Installing Presets

Happy Friday everyone!  Adobe released their latest version of Lightroom this week – Lightroom 4 is now available!  There’s been a lot of talk in the industry regarding the new version of Lightroom substantially changing how your current presets function.  CM preset lovers will be happy to know we’ve released our popular Paparazzi, Film Art and Essentials presets in a Lightroom 4 version.

We often get emails and posts on the forum asking how to install presets.  Our own Lightroom guru and Processing 101: Lightroom Start-to-Finish workshop instructor, Lynne Rigby, has whipped up this tutorial to show you how to install those presets.

Lightroom Tutorial:  Installing Presets

by Lynne Rigby

Yay! You’re so excited you just bought your first set of Lightroom Presets! You can’t wait to see the awesomeness of Film Art on your own images! But wait, how do you get them from your download folder into LR?

First, go to your preferences:

Make sure “Store presets with catalog” is NOT checked. If you check that, you’ll have to reload your presets in every new catalog you create and that’s a huge pain.

Now click the “show Lightroom Presets Folder…”

That will bring up your Lightroom folder on your system. On a Mac, it’s in the Library. Navigate to your “Develop Presets” folder:

Slide your preset folder from your downloads (unzip prior if needed) right into that Develop Presets folder. And voilá, there you go! You might need to shut down and restart Lightroom for them to appear in your preset panel.

Where it gets messy, is when you have been storing your presets with your catalog and then you create a new catalog, you can’t find your presets. You can find them by one of several ways:

  • Click the “Show Lightroom presets folder” with the “Store presets with catalog” checked
  • Search for .lrtemplate on your computer
  • From your original catalog (the one that has the presets stored with it) and right click on a preset and “show in finder/explorer”

More than likely, you’ll find them by your catalog in your picture folder which is where Lightroom installs the catalog by default.

Copy those presets.

Now go back to your Lightroom Preferences & Presets window again and uncheck the “Store presets with catalog” box.

Click the “Show Lightroom presets folder” button again, but this time the main Lightroom folder will open, the one I referenced earlier in the Library Folder. Find the “Develop Presets” folder and paste those files in there. Restart Lightroom and you should have presets with all your catalogs now.

You can go back and delete the presets from the “Lightroom Settings” folder when you have confirmed that the presets are safe and sound in Lightroom.

Now go play with your new toys!

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