How to Batch Edit in Lightroom: Guide 2024

By Tata Rossi 7 days ago, Lightroom Tips

To batch edit in Lightroom is an invaluable skill for those who need to enhance many pictures and do not want to perform similar tasks for hours.

Working for FixThePhoto as a wedding photo retoucher, I discovered that batch editing can be extremely useful for situations when you need to enhance many photos taken during various events. Below, I have described how I use this method to ensure that my output pics have a consistent style.

Keep in mind that you will need to install the most recent version of Lightroom to use this method.

Copy and Paste Edits

After enhancing your photo with the help of presets or adjusting its settings manually, you can use the same settings to enhance a batch of images in Lightroom. Make sure to edit photos shot in a similar style and under the same conditions.

  1. Find a picture with edits that you want to replicate and select it. I usually press Command+C or Ctrl+C keys to copy my edits.
  2. If you want to select specific settings to apply them to other images, use the Command+Shift+C (on Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+C key combinations. For instance, it can allow you to adjust Light instead of Color settings. You will see a dialog window where you can select which edits you want to apply to your pics.
  3. Hold Command or Control and click on the pictures that you want to apply your edits to. Using the Command+V or Ctrl+V key combinations, you can apply the same effect to all the selected pictures.
how to batch edit in lightroom copy paste

When I want to select a specific category, I usually go to the Select menu. After clicking it, I can select between such categories as All, Modified, Default, or None.

Apply Presets During Import

I can’t do without batch edit enhancing pics taken during different events, I can select suitable presets and apply them when importing pics. I use this method to ensure that every photo from a batch has the same presets.

Before enhancing your photos using this method, make sure to perform other corrections. For instance, you can tweak colors to give a voluminous feel to your images using one-click presets. You can download free collections of presets to make colors richer without wasting a lot of time.

  1. Open Lightroom and find the Import button in the bottom left corner. Select any folder you need either on your device or on external drives.
  2. Select the specific folder to import. You will see the images stored in it as thumbnails. They will be available from the main panel. While all the images will be selected by default, you can de-select them all at once or one by one.
  3. Apply custom settings or use Lightroom batch edit presets to enhance multiple pictures. On the right, find the “Apply During Import” menu. Open the drop-down list and select a suitable preset from the “Develop settings.”
  4. Click “Import” and check the result. You will see that every picture you have selected is enhanced.
how to batch edit in lightroom presets

Apply Presets in the Library Module

While it’s always useful to be able to apply the same effect or preset settings to selected photos, I do not often use this editing option. It enables me to fix contrast, lighting, exposure, and other issues for similar images, but I often need to enhance pictures taken in different shooting situations.

Due to this, I prefer applying effects when editing photos in Lightroom using the Library module. This editing method is more effective, as it enables me to perform batch editing and enhance multiple images simultaneously.

  1. Click the Import option and select the pictures that you want to enhance.
  2. After adding your photos to your library, you can select smaller batches of images based on their common characteristics.
    When performing this task, I typically click on the first image and then select other photos while holding down the Ctrl button. Once all the images that I need to edit are selected, I apply a preset to them.
  3. You can use the same method multiple times to select different groups of images. It will allow you to speed up your workflow and select the most suitable preset for each bundle.
how to batch edit in lightroom library

The Library module is also suitable for situations when you need to make custom adjustments besides applying presets. You just need to use Quick Develop tools that you can find in the Preset drop-down menu. It will enable you to adjust the contrast, exposure, and other parameters of your pics.

Use ‘Sync’ to Synchronize Edits

After learning how to copy settings in Lightroom, you will see that the “paste” and “copy” options allow you to copy your edits to photos one by one. This technique is useful for quick batch processing, but hardly suitable for the situations when you need to apply specific edits to a batch of images. This is why I like to synchronize my edits.

  1. Select the first image from your import library and enhance it as I did it above. You will find the Develop menu on the right.
  2. When you are satisfied with the result, select your first picture and other pictures that you want to enhance in the same style. The first photo that you select should be the photo that you have enhanced, as the program will use it for synchronizing your edits.
  3. Click on the “Sync” option in the Develop module. You will see a new menu with the options. It will allow you to choose which edits you want to apply to your batch of pics. Then, click “Synchronize.”
how to batch edit in lightroom sync

I select a batch of pictures by holding the Shift key. It allows me to quickly select a range of pics between the first and the last image.

Batch Edit with MetaData

Metadata includes information about your photo and when it was taken. It allows you to learn the date when you took your pics, camera settings, time of day, and other details. Lightroom allows you to edit metadata for bundles of images.

This option is useful for those who need to add copyright details to their files’ metadata. Besides, you can add your contact info, keywords, and other information. Many professional photographers use metadata to ensure that their images will contain detailed information about them.

  1. Select the pics that you want to edit using the grid view option available in the Import module.
  2. After selecting your pics, find the “Apply During Import” box on the right and find the “New” option under the Metadata menu. You will see a new menu with different metadata settings.
  3. Fill in the sections you are interested in (I highly recommend you provide detailed copyright information), and select the Create option.
how to batch edit in lightroom metadata

Batch Editing: Pros & Cons

✔️ Streamline the process: Makes it easier for the user. All these methods I’ve shown above prove for efficiency in batch editing and help the user improve his/her methods since they are free to adjust the contrast, color, and exposure for a set of certain images at once.

✔️ Efficiency: It is helpful when a photographer is perusing a day making a good number of changes to photographs, and by settings it defers. Necessary changes for your batch pictures can be made easily, saving time considerably.

✔️ Consistency: The feature of batch processing permits giving a consistent look to associated photos so that they appear a part of a set having a common visual theme which is so important for weddings.

✔️ Repeated tasks: For example, when you need to paste settings in Lightroom to a multitude of photos. You can fix an issue with exposure, perform WB correction, remove defects caused by a lens, etc., for many pics at once.

✔️ Syncing edits. The batch editing synchronization feature available in Lightroom allows users to quickly enhance pictures taken in a similar lighting situation to give them a consistent feel.

how to batch edit in lightroom cons

Lack of individualization. Batch editing may result in a set of photos that look the same, as you won’t be able to pay attention to every photo and make custom edits.

Limited flexibility. Batch editing is hardly suitable for those who need to enhance a variety of photos with different subjects and lighting conditions manually. This option is hardly suitable for those who want to pay attention to important details and edit portraits in Lightroom.

Quality issues. When you edit a batch of photos at the same time, you might notice some issues with the quality of your pics. It might be impossible to make custom adjustments to ensure that every photo looks professional.

fixthephoto editing service fixthephoto editing service

Want to Edit Multiple Pictures At Once?

If you want to improve your collection of pictures but worry about batch editing and want to ensure that each photo will be edited manually, you can entrust this task to the FixThePhoto team.