Today’s Question: To see the contents of a Lightroom Classic User Preset you find it by using the “Show Lightroom Develop Presets” command in Preferences, and then open the applicable preset file in any text editor. You can even modify the commands and save the modified preset using the same name or a different name.
Tim’s Quick Answer: It is true that you can review the changes applied by a Develop module preset in Lightroom Classic by reviewing the XMP file that represents the saved preset. However, it can be a little tricky to interpret the information in the XMP file.
More Detail: This is a follow-up to the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter from April 15, 2020, where I answered a question about reviewing the contents of a Develop module preset. I suggested switching between a “before” and “after” view of an image while watching the adjustment controls on the right panel. However, as noted above, it is actually possible to review the contents of the preset with a text editor outside of Lightroom.
As noted in today’s “question”, you first need to navigate to the location where your presets are stored. You can select “Preferences” from the Edit menu on Windows or the Lightroom Classic menu on Macintosh to bring up the Preferences dialog. Then go to the Presets tab and click the “Show Lightroom Develop Presets” button. This will bring up a window in your operating system showing you the parent folder where the presets are stored. Double-click on the highlighted folder and locate the specific preset you want to review.
When you find the applicable preset, you can open it in any text editor, or a word processor that supports plain text files. There will be a fair amount of information that won’t be especially readable or useful, but you can also find details about the various adjustments included in the preset. For example, in the text from a sample XMP file below you can discover that the Clarity adjustment has been increased to a value of +17 with this preset.
This certainly provides an option for reviewing the information included in a Develop preset, though it can be a little difficult to interpret some of the details. You can get a sense of what is involved with this sample from an XMP file for one of my Develop presets:
<x:xmpmeta xmlns:x=”adobe:ns:meta/” x:xmptk=”Adobe XMP Core 5.6-c140 79.160451, 2017/05/06-01:08:21 “>
<rdf:li xml:lang=”x-default”>Import Develop Preset</rdf:li>
<rdf:li xml:lang=”x-default”>Tim’s Import Presets</rdf:li>