Today’s Question: How can I apply “Auto” to a selected set of photos after import?
Tim’s Quick Answer: You can absolutely apply the Auto adjustments to multiple images after import through the use of a preset that includes those auto adjustments, in conjunction with the Quick Develop section of the right panel in the Library module.
More Detail: In an earlier Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter I addressed the use of a preset during import to apply adjustments to all photos being imported, including the Auto adjustment available in the Basic section of the right panel in the Develop module.
In addition to being able to apply presets during import, you can also apply them later in your workflow. For example, after selecting a single image while working in the Develop module, you can click on a preset in the Presets section of the left panel.
If you want to apply the preset to multiple images, that can be done quickly in the Library module. Start by actually selecting the images you want to apply the preset to. Then make sure you are in the Grid view (rather than for example the Loupe view) so you can apply changes to multiple images at the same time.
To actually apply the preset to the selected images, click the Saved Preset popup in the Quick Develop section of the right panel in the Library module, and choose the preset you’d like to apply.
Note that in this example you would want to create a preset that includes the “Auto Settings” option. You also want to be sure you are including only the specific adjustments you want to apply to photos later in your workflow, which may very well only be the Auto Settings adjustment.
To create such a preset, you can first apply sample adjustments to an image in the Develop module. Then click the plus symbol (+) to the right of the Presets heading on the left panel, and choose “Create Preset” from the popup menu that appears.
In the New Develop Preset dialog, you can enter a name the preset in the Preset Name field. Make sure this is a meaningful name so you can choose it by name later. Then click the Check None button at the bottom-left of the dialog. You can then turn on the checkbox for only the adjustments you want included in the preset. In this case, for example, you would want to turn on the Auto Settings checkbox.
You can then click the Create button at the bottom-right of the New Develop Preset dialog, and you’ll be ready to apply that preset to multiple images at any time later in your workflow.