Full-Resolution Export

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Today’s Question: Can you please list the steps for exporting full-sized images from Lightroom 6 to my desktop?

Tim’s Quick Answer: To create full-resolution copies of photos when using the Export feature in Lightroom, you want to either make sure the “Resize to Fit” checkbox is turned off, or that the Image Format option is set to “Original” (which will disable the “Resize to Fit” option).

More Detail: The Export dialog in Lightroom provides you with a variety of settings that enable you to customize the derivative images you are creating based on the specific purpose for the exported images.

If your aim is to create full-resolution copies that are really just copies of the original images, you can simply choose the “Original” option from the Image Format popup in the File Settings section of the Export dialog. This will cause the images to be copied in the same file format, with the same pixel dimensions as the original image. In the case of RAW captures, this will cause the original RAW capture to be copied to the destination location, including an XMP sidecar file that includes any adjustments you applied in the Develop module. Just keep in mind that those adjustment settings are only understood by Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw (via Adobe Bridge or Photoshop).

If you are creating images for purposes of printing, you actually will generally want to resize the exported images based on the final output size, and then save as a TIFF. If, on the other hand, you are simply creating a full-resolution archival copy of the image (for example) then you could export with the “Resize to Fit” checkbox turned off, and set the Image Format option to TIFF.

You can specify the location where you want the derivative images to be saved in the Export Location section at the top of the Export dialog. For example, you could choose the “Specific folder” option from the Export To popup, and then click the Choose button and set the desktop as the location. You can also turn on the “Put in Subfolder” checkbox and enter a name for the folder you want the images saved in on the desktop.

If you want to be able to easily make use of the same settings in the future, you can create a new export preset by clicking the Add button toward the bottom-right of the Export dialog. Once all settings are established as desired, you can click the Export button at the bottom-right of the Export dialog, and Lightroom will create the derivative images based on your settings.