Update a Develop Preset

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Today’s Question: Can you edit Develop presets [in Lightroom] after saving them?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can update the settings for a Develop preset in Lightroom by using the “Update with Current Settings” command after right-clicking on a preset.

More Detail: Presets in the Develop module in Lightroom enable you to save settings based on the adjustments you’ve applied to one image, and then apply the same settings to another image. You can even include only certain adjustments as part of a preset, so that other adjustments won’t be affected when you apply the preset.

If you want to change the settings for an existing preset, the process is relatively straightforward.

First, I recommend selecting an image that you have not yet applied adjustments to, so you can simply reset the adjustments after using the image as the basis of altering your preset. Then apply the preset to that image by going to the Develop module and clicking on the applicable preset from the Presets list found on the left panel.

Next, make any changes to the adjustment settings for the image that you want to update for the preset. For example, let’s assume the preset only included the application of a vignette effect, and you wanted to make the effect stronger. You could apply the preset, then go to the Post-Crop Vignetting adjustment controls and make the desired changes.

When you’re finished modifying the settings you want reflected in your updated preset, return your attention to the Presets list on the left panel in the Develop module. Right-click on the preset you’re currently working to modify, and choose “Update with Current Settings” from the popup that appears.

This will bring up the Update Develop Preset dialog, which is the same basic dialog you would have used to save the preset in the first place. If you had only included certain adjustments as part of your preset, only the checkboxes for those adjustments will be turned on at this point. In most cases you would probably want to leave the checkboxes as they are, but you can enable (or disable) specific adjustments if you want to change the behavior of the original preset.

You can then click the Update button at the bottom-right of the Update Develop Preset dialog to apply the changes to the preset.

It is important to note that updating a preset in this way will not change the adjustments for images that you had previously applied the preset to. So if you want to update the adjustments for certain images based on the preset, you’ll need to re-apply the updated preset to those images.

Note that this question was posed as a follow-up during my recent “Top Hidden Features of Lightroom” webinar presentation. You can view the recording of that presentation on the Tim Grey TV channel on YouTube here:

https://youtu.be/yvQwlBnQCe4