Reviewing a Develop Preset


Today’s Question: I have been using a custom User Preset [for the Develop module in Lightroom Classic] that I created one year ago to be applied to every photo upon import. After completing your first class in “Optimizing Photos in Lightroom Classic”, I wanted to see what this preset was actually doing. How do I look at the “content” of an existing User Preset to see if it is still appropriate, or if I need to modify some parts of this preset?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Lightroom Classic doesn’t provide a way to review a list of which adjustments and settings are actually included in a preset. So I recommend using a “before and after” approach to evaluating the differences applied by the preset.

More Detail: First I recommend finding a “test” image that you’re not concerned about the adjustments for. This could be an outtake from a recent photo shoot, for example. Click the Reset button at the bottom of the right panel in the Develop module to set the image to the default adjustment settings.

Next, apply the preset you want to evaluate by selecting that preset from the Presets list on the left panel in the Develop module.

To compare the “before” version of the image without the preset, versus the “after” version with the preset, you can use the History section of the left panel. Simply click back and forth between the Reset Settings step and the Preset step. As you do so, watch the change in adjustment settings on the right panel.

I recommend checking each section individually, so you can be sure to consider all of the various adjustments that are included in the preset, and the actual settings being used for those adjustments.

If you decide you want to make changes to the preset, first make sure you have the preset actually applied to the image, such as by selecting the “Preset” history state in the History section on the left panel. Then change any of the adjustment settings you want to update for the preset on the right panel. Then right-click on the preset in the Presets list on the left panel, and choose “Update with Current Settings” to save the updated adjustments for the existing preset.