Today’s Question: I was cleaning up my presets in the Develop module, and when I right-clicked to delete a preset I no longer needed, I noticed there was an “Apply on Import” option on the popup menu. Should I use this option rather than selecting a preset from the popup in the Import dialog?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The “Apply on Import” option on the context menu for presets in the Develop module will cause the preset to be set automatically to be applied when you import photos. However, if you make a change to the popup in the Import dialog, the preset you chose the “Apply on Import” option for will no longer be applied on import.
More Detail: The “Apply on Import” option for presets is, to me, a little bit odd. Basically, it is only really useful if you make sure not to ever change the Develop Settings popup in the Import dialog. That’s because as soon as you choose a different preset in the Import dialog, that preset because the default for future imports regardless of which preset is selected for “Apply on Import”.
If you right-click on a preset in the Presets list on the left panel in the Develop module, you can choose “Apply on Import” for the preset you want to apply to all photos upon import. A plus symbol (+) will appear to the right of the preset you enabled for “Apply on Import”, so you can clearly see the status.
When you go to the Import dialog, the preset you selected for “Apply on Import” will be set on the Develop Settings popup. As long as you don’t change the option using the Develop Settings popup in the Import dialog, the preset you selected in the Develop module will remain as the default to be applied during import.
In addition, you can change to a different preset at any time by right-clicking on that preset on the Presets list in the Develop module, and choosing “Apply on Import” for that preset. The key is that if you’re going to use this approach to define a preset to be applied at import, you should use this approach consistently, and not alter the setting within the Import dialog.