Need an Adobe Lightroom tutorial on how to use presets?
You’re in luck! You’ve found part 5 in our series of free lessons in Lightroom.
Here you’ll learn:
- What is a Preset
- How to Use Presets
- How to Find and Install New Presets
- How to Create Your Own Preset
At the end of this article, you’ll find links to the other Adobe Lightroom tutorials in this series, so you can further your knowledge.
Enjoy! All are compliments of Udemy‘s expert Lightroom instructor Phil Ebiner, and just updated by my Lightroom expert Angela in April 2021.
How to Use Adobe Lightroom Presets
Lightroom has a number of preset adjustments and filters that can be applied to photos. We’ll explain all below!
What is a Preset?
A preset is basically a set of adjustments that are saved to use for later.
You can even create your own preset to use later!
Maybe you edited a beautiful sunset shot with the perfect saturation and other effects. Instead of having to re-do the same edit for a future sunset photo, you can use a preset.
How to Use a Preset
Find the pre-installed presets that Lightroom has on the left side of the Develop module.
Underneath the Navigator panel is the Presets panel. Go through these and click on a preset to see what it does to your photo.
You’ll notice that when you apply a preset, settings on the right side (in the Basic, Tone Curve, HSL/Color/B&W, etc.) will change. You can then adjust the preset by editing these settings.
How to Find and Install New Presets
Another amazing thing about the Lightroom community is that you can find free and paid presets online.
Search for “Lightroom Presets” online to find presets. Download any preset and save it to your computer.
To install the preset into Lightroom, right-click anywhere within the Presets panel. Click Import.
Then find the preset file that you downloaded. Lightroom will then install that preset, and you will be able to use it whenever you open Lightroom.
You can even create folders in the Preset panel to organize the presets you download.
How to Create your own Preset
You can also save any setting as your own preset. So if you edit a photo a certain way and want to keep those settings, you can!
When creating a preset, there is a whole range of options to choose from. These include:
- White balance
- Basic tone
- Tone curve
- Treatment (color)
- Split toning
- Graduated filters
- Noise reduction
- Lens correction
You can also save any process version. This is useful for the future if the version is no longer supported as you’ll know the preset might not work correctly.
Name the preset and it will appear in your list of presets within Lightroom. If it saves incorrectly, just right-click on the preset and delete it.
Shortcuts for creating presets
|Create a new preset||Ctrl + Shift + N||Command + Shift + N|
|Create a new preset folder||Ctrl + Alt + N||Command + Option + N|
Can you Adjust a Preset?
You can adjust an imported preset but remember, if you want to keep those adjusted settings, you’ll need to save it as another preset. Don’t override the original one.
Import the preset and apply it to the photo. Make the changes you want. Then save as a new preset and give it an easy-to-remember name.
A Helping Hand
There are plenty of presets out there, both free and paid.
While they don’t replace good basic editing, they can be a great way to easily get a certain look.
Learn how to use them, but also learn how to make things just as you want them. That way presets can be a great helping hand to getting the most out of Lightroom and each of your photos.
Beginning Lightroom users will want to read What is Adobe Lightroom? for the basics of program layout as well as rating, filtering, and exporting photos from Lightroom.
Then move on to learn Lightroom’s Basic Photo Editing Tools.
If you’ve got the basic tools nailed, you’re ready for Intermediate Photo Editing.
And yes, we even cover Advanced Photo Editing Techniques in this series!
Enjoy them all!
This lesson, Adobe Lightroom Tutorial: How to Use Presets, originally appeared on Udemy and is used by permission.