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How To Export Edited Photos From Lightroom

Published: 04/07/2021

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After editing your images in Lightroom, you will probably want to save them. However, in Lightroom, your work is saved within the application. To share or use your edited images someplace else, you would have to export them. Therefore, you should know how to export edited photos from Lightroom to keep all your edits updated.

How To Export Edited Photos From Lightroom

If you have been working on Lightroom for a while, you must know that Lightroom works rather differently than other image processing applications. This is because Lightroom works on the basis of modules. When editing your image, you have to work on different modules using various types of workflows.

Likewise, exporting images from Lightroom is also a major Lightroom workflow with several smaller workflows within. At first, you may find these steps to be complex and time-consuming, but once you get familiar with them, you will certainly find this procedure to be quick and simple. 

Exporting Edited Photos From Lightroom

Here, we will be looking at each step of exporting images in detail. We will give you a step-by-step tutorial so that you can follow the exporting workflow with ease, even if you are a beginner. 

Step 1: Select The Images That You Want To Export

The first step of exporting images in Lightroom is to select the photos that you want to export. You can use any of the Lightroom modules to select these images. However, we would suggest you use the library module. That is because this module allows you to have maximum access to your entire collection.

To select the images, follow the steps below:

  1. If you want to export a single image, you can simply click on that one picture. 
  2. If you only need to export a few pictures out of your collection, then you will have to make the selection while pressing down the CTRL or Command key. This will select only those pictures that you want to export one by one. 
  3. If you want to export all the pictures within a group, then select the first picture, press the Shift key, and then select the last picture in that list. This will select all your images on a particular list.

Step 2: Start The Export Command

After selecting the images that you want to export, the next thing to do is to initiate the export command in Lightroom. Here are the steps for it:

  1. Hover your cursor over to the menu bar, which is present at the top of your Lightroom interface.
  2. From the menu bar, click on ‘File.’ This will open up a drop-down menu for you.
  3. You will find multiple exporting commands within this menu. 
Multiple Export Commands in Lightroom
  1. Here is a breakdown of these export commands:
  • Export: If you want to initiate a new export command, then you will have to choose this option for exporting your images. Here, you will have to make all the export configurations on the Export dialog.
  • Export with Previous: If you want to export your newly selected images with your last export setting, then you will have to choose this option. Here, the dialog box will be skipped, and Lightroom will use the previous export configurations.
  • Export with Preset: If you have Lightroom export presets that you want to use in order to export these images, then you will select this option. Here, you will only have to select the preset that you want to use. No additional configuration or setting is required on the export dialog.

Here you can use the default Lightroom presets as well as any user presets that you may have defined earlier.

In this tutorial, we will be selecting the ‘Export’ option as we want to apply new export settings.

Step 3: Determine The Location Where You Want To Export Your Images

As we select ‘Export,’ we will see the export dialog where we will have to provide all the export configurations. Here is how the export dialog looks like:

Selecting the location of where you want to export your edited images

When you are exporting images from Lightroom, you will have to determine where you want to export them to. This is because the export configurations vary according to the location. Let’s look at the different export configurations according to different locations. You can use the setting that fits your requirements.

Export Settings For Web

  1. Go to the Export Location section within the export dialog. Select your export location from the drop-down menu in the ‘Export To’ field.
Export Settings in Lightroom
  1. You can then go to the File Naming and Video section if you need. However, we will be skipping these sections.
  2. Go to the File Setting section, and choose the format and color space for your image.
  3. Go to the section for ‘Image Sizing.’ Make sure to select the ‘Resize to Fit’ option. It is best to enter Long Edge with 1600 pixels in this section. Moreover, alter the resolutions and change it to 72 PPI.
  4. The next tab within the export dialog is called output sharpening. In this tab, select Sharpen for, and then pick Screen from the drop-down menu.
  5. If you want to apply any watermark to your selected images, then you can do that from the export dialog. Go to the watermark section, and then choose the watermark that you want to assign to your images.
  6. Click on ‘Export.’

Export Settings For Print

  1. The first tab you will see on the exports dialog is ‘Export Location.’ So, go to this tab, and pick the location where you want to export your images for print.
  2. In the ‘File Settings’ tab, select the format and color space for your image.
Export Settings for Print
  1. In the ‘Image Sizing' tab, make sure that the ‘Resize to Fit’ option remains unchecked. Printing requires high-resolution images, so it’s best to change the resolutions to the value of 300.
  2. Go to the ‘Output Sharpening’ tab, select Sharpen for.’ Now, from this drop-down menu, either pick Matte paper or glossy paper, depending upon the paper you will be using for printing the respective image.
Output Sharpening options for Lightroom
  1. If you want to print a watermark with your document, then go to the watermarking tab, select watermark, and then choose the watermark you want to apply to your printed document.
  2. Click on ‘Export.’

Export Settings For Instagram

  1. Choose the export location for your selected images.
  2. Go to the file settings tab and choose the type of file and color space for your image.
  3. In the image sizing tab, select the ‘Resize to Fit’ option, pick Long Edge 1000 pixels, and 72 ppi for resolution.
Image Sizing tab in Lightroom
  1. Go to the ‘Output Sharpening’ tab and select Sharpen for Screen.
  2. Open the watermarking section if you want to apply watermark to your Instagram images.
  3. Click on Export.

Export Settings For Facebook

  1. Set the location for your image as per your requirement on the Export Location tab.
  2. Go to the File Settings tab, and set your file type and the color space.
  3. In the Image Sizing tab, you have to make sure that the option for ‘Resize to Fit’ is checked. In the value field, choose Long Edge and input 2048 as the pixel size. In addition, change the resolution of your image to 72 ppi.
  4. Facebook means you will be using this file for the web. Hence, choose Sharpen for Screen in the Output Sharpening section.
  5. If you want to put in any watermark in your image, then you can do so by selecting the Watermark option present in the Watermarking tab.
Applying Watermarks in Lightroom
  1. Click on Export.


The export feature in Lightroom enables you to share your images with precision and accuracy. The export dialog allows you to configure images the way you want, depending upon how you want to use them. You can even save your settings as export presets to be used later for quick and effortless exporting.