How to Use Lightroom Presets

How to Use Lightroom Presets

If you are looking for an easy and clear tutorial about how to use Lightroom presets, what are Lightroom presets, how to export, import, delete, synchronize these plug-ins with Lightroom mobile, this article will answer all your questions.

What Are Lightroom Presets?

Lightroom presets can be an alternative to manual photo editing and color correction to reduce the time you spend on it or to create a consistent visual style of images. A Lightroom preset is the predetermined position of all or some sliders in the Lightroom photo editing panel.

In other words, you can adjust the photo editing as you like, and then save this combination of sliders for future use on another image. It is worth mentioning that you can create presets for the actions that are not related to image retouching, for example, to place a watermark, crop, etc. Presets can be created on your own or downloaded from various websites.


How to Use Lightroom Presets

Adding Presets - 1st WAY

If you still didn’t download Adobe Lightroom Classic or Lightroom CC, view several legal ways of how to get Lightroom for free.

1. Drag the preset file into the program window

The simplest and easiest way is to drag and drop one or more cool Lightroom presets into the program window. After this, Lightroom will automatically add presets and distribute them into folders, and you can use them right away.

how to use Lightroom presets

2. Import

Right-click in the Presets window of the Develop module and select “Import.” Choose or specify the location of the Lightroom preset file from your computer and add it.

3. Managing folders

As for me, this is the most convenient, but rather a long way to organize your Lightroom presets.

how to use Lightroom presets import

In the Edit (Windows) or Lightroom (Mac) menu, choose Preferences. You can also use hotkeys (Ctrl +,).

show Lightroom develop presets

Next, go to the Presets tab and click Show Lightroom Develop Presets button.

show Lightroom presets develop

A folder with Lightroom presets will open. Select Develop Presets. Inside you will discover the User Presets folder, which contains the presets you added. You can add new presets and sort them in this folder. For Lightroom to identify the new presets and folders, you must restart the program. View other ways of how to add presets to Lightroom.

Adding Presets - 2nd WAY

1. Drag the preset file into the program

The simplest way is to drag and drop one or several Lightroom presets files into Lightroom window. After this, they can be immediately used.

how to add presets in Lightroom CC

2. Import

Left-click on any of the modules; in my case it was “edit.” At the bottom of the new pop-up window, select Presets, then go to the additional Presets settings and select Import. Choose the Lightroom preset file from your computer and it will be imported.

How to Synchronize Presets with Mobile Lightroom CC

Lightroom CC import presets

  1. Start desktop Lightroom CC version
  2. Go to the File menu
  3. Select “Import Profiles & Presets”

You can import either a folder or several Lightroom mobile presets files, including combinations of presets and profiles, and Lightroom CC will import the files and place them in the appropriate area on the interface.

Lightroom CC import presets setting

After all Lightroom presets and profiles are imported and settled for synchronization, they will be available on every device connected to this account, as well as with your Lightroom account (iPhone, iPad, Android, and ChromeOS).

How to Remove Preset from Lightroom

Removing unnecessary presets is also quite simple, and there are two ways:

how to delete presets in Lightroom

Right-click on the preset that is no longer needed and select Delete. If you accidentally delete the wrong preset, press Ctrl + Z (Win) or Cmd + Z (Mac) and the action will be canceled.

how to delete presets in Lightroom setting

Go to the folder with Adobe Lightroom presets and remove everything manually. A folder with presets can be found in Adobe - CameraRaw - Setting - User Presets.

How to Apply Lightroom Preset to Several Photos Simultaneously

In Develop mode, choose the preset you need to use.

how to apply Lightroom presets

Then select all the images from the library which you want to apply the preset to.

how to apply Lightroom presets setting

Next, click Sync, configure the necessary parameters, and click Synchronization.

how to apply Lightroom presets save setting

Done. However, you must remember that this method is suitable only if the photos were taken in the approximately same range, with the same light and exposure. The method does not guarantee you to cope perfectly with every picture but it significantly saves time.

What are Lightroom Brushes?

Now that you know how to use presets in Lightroom let’s proceed to Lightroom brushes, as they are one of the most interesting tools in Adobe Lightroom. However, photographers often devote little attention to it. Thanks to this tool, it is possible to apply selective color correction very precisely and accurately. For example, slightly highlight the model’s face and mute color saturation on it a little bit, eliminate unnecessary shadow, etc.

It is not necessary to run Photoshop for this. You just can select the Adjustment brush tool and slightly raise exposure correction and decrease saturation – then apply the brush to the face in the picture.

brushes in Lightroom

Thanks to the brush feathering zone, the changes will be very carefully applied to the original image, without a sharp difference between the changed area and the original picture.

Brush opportunities in Lightroom are quite rich, so I'll give some tips on how you can speed up the work with a brush using the keyboard shortcuts:

  • "K" - a quick transition to the corrective brush and its parameters
  • Square brackets "[" or "]" - reduce or increase the brush size
  • Shift + “[” or “]” - reduce or increase the feathering area size
  • “O” - turns on the mask mode, then the area on which you are working with a brush is highlighted in a different color. Read more about mask mode in the article “How to Track the Adjustment Brush Mask in Lightroom”
  • Shift + “O” - change the color of the mask
  • Alt - Switches the brush to the eraser mode to undo the previously made changes

How to Install Brushes in Lightroom

Brushes, as well as Lightroom presets, can be downloaded and installed into the application. Download Lightroom brushes for portraits and then follow these steps:

brushes in Lightroom install

Find the main menu, go to Edit, then Preferences.

brushes in Lightroom install setting

The Settings window will appear. There are several tabs at the top, go to the Presets tab - click on the Show all other Lightroom presets button.

brushes in Lightroom

When the following window opens, double-click on Lightroom. Then open the Local adjustment presets folder. Next, open the previously downloaded files with customized brushes and add .lrtemplate files to the Local adjustment presets folder. Everything is ready! If Lightroom was opened while you copied the files, you will have to close it and restart.

Lightroom Tutorials

How to Install Presets for Lightroom on Windows

How to Install Presets for Lightroom on MAC

How to Apply Presets in Lightroom Mobile

Summing up

Now that you have found out how to apply Lightroom presets you have a clear understanding of why Adobe Lightroom presets make picture editing a less complicated task for designers and photo retouchers. This is a great tool for newbie photo editors, because when you use presets you get a clear idea of how each parameter affects the image.

Bonus Freebies for Beginners

Download these freebies to enhance your photos in several clicks. Now you don't have to waste much time and use Lightroom presets faster.

lightroom presets for using


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