Today’s Question: I have a NEF file in Lightroom Classic that I would like to save as a JPEG. Everything I read says to go to “File” on the menu and choose “Save As”. Save As doesn’t come up. If I go to Photoshop “Save As” comes up. Am I supposed to move file from Lightroom Classic to Photoshop and then Save As?
Tim’s Quick Answer: The equivalent to the “Save As” command in Lightroom Classic for this type of situation would be to use the Export command. You can even enable the option to add the derivative JPEG image back to the catalog if you need to manage it alongside the original capture for any reason.
More Detail: The “Save As” command is really about making a new copy of a file while retaining the original. That is exactly what happens when you use the Export command in Lightroom Classic.
So, to get started you would select the photo (or multiple photos) you want to create JPEG copies of. You can then click the Export button at the bottom of the left panel in the Library module, which will bring up the Export dialog.
In this case you would want to make sure the Export To popup at the top of the dialog is set to “Hard Drive”. You can then designate the location where you want to save the JPEG copy of the selected images in the Export Location section. Note that one option is “Same folder as original photo” if you want the new copy to be stored alongside the original.
If you want to manage the JPEG copy alongside the original within your Lightroom Classic catalog, you can turn on the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox in the Export Location section. Note that I normally recommend keeping this checkbox turned off, because there isn’t generally a reason to manage derivative copies of source photos within the Lightroom Classic catalog in my opinion.
Since you want a JPEG copy you can select “JPEG” from the Image Format popup in the File Settings section. You can also take advantage of any of the other settings, such as to create a smaller version of the original by adjusting the settings in the “Image Sizing” section.
Once you’ve configured the desired settings you can click the Export button at the bottom-right of the dialog to create the JPEG copies from the selected originals. Those files will then be created based on your specifications, and if you chose to enable the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox the files will also be added to the current Lightroom Classic catalog.
Note that I covered the process of exporting copies of photos extensively in the lesson “Exporting Photos for Sharing from Lightroom Classic”, which is Chapter 4, Lesson 1 of my Lightroom Lectures video course. This course is included with the GreyLearning Ultimate Bundle (http://timgrey.me/atg99bundle), but is also available with the “Mastering Lightroom Classic” bundle here: