Auto Adjustments on Import

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Today’s Question: How can I set the “Auto Adjustment” feature as a preset for Import [in Lightroom Classic]?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The key to applying the automatic adjustments during import is to create a preset with the “Auto Settings” checkbox turned on in the “New Develop Preset” dialog.

More Detail: When you create a new preset, you are really saving existing settings that you’ve applied to an image so that the same settings can be applied to other images. When saving that preset, you have the option of selecting which specific adjustments should be included as part of the preset. In other words, a preset can include just a small number of adjustments, rather than all of the adjustments available in the Develop module.

Furthermore, you can apply a preset to images as they are being imported into your Lightroom catalog. If the preset you apply included the “Auto Settings” option when the preset was created, each image will have the automatic adjustments applied based on an analysis of each individual image.

For example, let’s assume you only wanted to apply the automatic adjustments to images being imported, with all other adjustments left at their default settings. You could go to the Develop module, and click the “plus” (+) button to the right of the Presets heading on the left panel to initiate the process of creating a new preset.

Then, in the New Develop Preset dialog, you could click the “Check None” button to turn off the checkboxes for all adjustment categories. Next, in the Auto Settings section near the top of the New Develop Preset dialog, you could turn on the “Auto Settings” checkbox. Note that the “Process Version” checkbox would also remain turned on, and should be left on in this context.

If needed you could also enable other adjustments in the New Develop Preset dialog. To save the final preset, enter a meaningful name in the Preset Name field, and click Create to save the preset.

The next time you are importing photos into your Lightroom catalog, you can choose the preset you saved as part of the above process from the Develop Settings popup in the Apply During Import section of the right panel in the Import dialog. The automatic adjustments will then be applied to all images when they are imported, based on the preset you applied.