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Editing images on Lightroom

Lightroom is a comprehensive photo editing and image management software. It allows photographers to complete their photography workflow such as importing, processing, and exporting images. But how much is Lightroom? Is it worth the price? Although Lig ...



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How to Export Lightroom Presets

Published: 07/04/2021

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When you install a preset in Lightroom or even create one yourself within the program, you might initially think that it can only be used on that specific computer. If you edit with Lightroom on multiple computers or want to sell presets, this may seem problematic. Luckily, Adobe created a way for you to export presets, and we'll walk through how to export Lightroom Presets.

How to Export Lightroom Presets

We will begin our guide to exporting presets assuming that you already have your presets added and saved in Lightroom.

There are some different steps you need to take depending if you are exporting a single preset or multiple presets, so we'll cover both processes below.

Export a Single Preset in Lightroom Classic CC 

Whether you download and add a free preset, a paid one, or create a preset yourself; they are saved in Lightroom Classic CC in the XMP format. You need to trace where that XMP file is saved before copying it on another folder on your pc or your external hard drive

  1. After opening the Lightroom Classic CC, go to the Develop Module.
  2. Go to the left toolbar and navigate to the Presets tab.
Navigating to Presets tab in Lightroom
  1. Click on the Presets tab to view all your presets.
  2. Select the preset you want to export.
  3. Right-click on the preset and click Export...
Export option in Lightroom dialog box
  1. You will see a dialogue box asking you to select the destination where you want to export your preset. You can also name your preset here if you want to rename it. 
Selecting file destination and name for Lightroom preset
  1. After selecting a folder and naming the preset, click Save.

Your preset is now exported! From here, you can send the preset file to other computers.

Alternatively, you can find your preset by:

  1. Right-clicking on the preset in the Presets tab.
  2. Click on Show in Explorer (it might say “Show in Finder” if you are on a Mac).
Show in Explorer option in Lightroom
  1. When the folder opens, you can select your preset and copy it.
  2. Paste it into any other folder on your computer so you can easily find it. 
  3. Once it’s copied to another location, you can rename it and send it to other devices. 

Export a Presets Folder in Lightroom Classic CC 

Let’s suppose you want to create a whole folder of presets and export it to your computer or external hard drive. There are two ways in which you can do that very easily. But first, let’s give you a quick guide on creating a folder of presets in Lightroom.

Create a Presets Folder

Your presets are listed under the Presets tab where you can organize them into a folder. 

  1. After creating a new preset, you’ll have the option to select a Group.
  2. If you don’t have a group created yet or you don’t have one you want to add your new preset into, select New Group.
  3. Create a Group Name and click Create.
Creating a new group for exporting Lightroom presets
  1. Your new folder will populate in the Presets toolbar.
  2. To add any additional presets to the folder, right click on a preset and click Move.
  3. Pick the preset folder you want to move your preset to.
Choosing a preset folder in Lightroom
  1. Click on Done. The preset will now be shown under the new folder. 

Export the Folder

  1. Right-click on the folder in the Presets tab.
  2. Click on Export Group
Export Group option in Lightroom
  1. From the dialogue box that opens, choose the location where you want to save the presets folder.
  2. Click Save. The presets folder will be saved as a compressed ZIP file. 
Saving a preset folder

The other way to export the presets folder is also easy to follow. 

  1. In Lightroom, go to the Edit tab on the top right. From the drop-down, click on Preferences.
Preferences option under Edit Menu
  1. A window will open - click on the Presets tab.
  2. Scroll down to the Location section.
  3. Click on Show Lightroom Develop presets.
Navigating to Show Lightroom Develop presets option
  1. From the Finder or File Explorer, copy the selected folder and paste it into your external hard drive or another folder on the computer.

Why Do We Need to Export Lightroom Presets?

Even though you have your Lightroom presets stored within your computer and can use them in your Lightroom Catalogs, there are 3 main reasons you’d want to export them:

  • Creating preset backups
  • Sharing presets to other devices
  • Selling presets

Create a Backup of All Your Presets

If your only copy of your Lightroom presets is on your computer, you risk losing them if your computer crashes. Exporting your presets and creating a backup of them on an external drive, another computer, or on the Cloud will ensure you have a second copy of them.

Share the Presets to Other Devices

Don’t spend time trying to re-create a preset you previously made. If you take time developing a preset, you can export it to easily share it across your other devices. This is really useful if you typically work on a desktop at home and then use a laptop when traveling. 

Sell Your Presets

Here comes the fun part. By creating presets and selling them you can actually make money with your photo editing skills. Wouldn't it be nice to earn some passive income with the presets that you created?

However; in order to sell presets, you need to export them outside Lightroom in any of the ways mentioned above.

Just create a pack of some professional-quality presets and name them in a way that describes the basic effect they do. Export them and create a zip file. You can now promote your presets and send the zip file link to anyone who buys your preset pack! 

Bottom Line

Exporting presets is a vital step in preset management in Lightroom Classic CC. Successfully exporting presets will give you peace of mind that your presets are safely backed up. 

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