Today’s Question: I recently noticed the “Import Preset” popup at the bottom of the import dialog in Lightroom Classic, though I’m sure it isn’t a new feature. Does it make sense to use an import preset, and if so why or for what purpose?
Tim’s Quick Answer: Creating a preset for the Import dialog in Lightroom Classic is a good way to preserve the settings you use most frequently when importing photos. As with any import, if you make use of a preset you just need to be sure to review all settings so they are correct for the specific photos you’re currently importing.
More Detail: The Import Preset popup is relatively small and perhaps somewhat hidden at the bottom of the Import dialog, and so I wouldn’t be surprised if most photographers don’t even notice it is there. This popup can be helpful in terms of providing a set of baseline settings for an import. Just be sure to review the final settings before actually importing your photos.
To create a preset for Import, start by configuring the settings you want to use within the Import dialog. For example, you can make sure that the primary storage location you use for your photos is set as the destination at the top-right of the Import dialog. For some settings, such as if you want to create a subfolder in the Destination section, you may want to put placeholder text, such as “FOLDER NAME” in all caps so you’ll know to change that to the actual intended folder name before importing.
Once you’ve established the settings you want to preserve with a preset, click the Import Preset at the bottom-center of the Import dialog and choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset” from the popup. In the New Preset dialog, type a meaningful name for the preset, and click Create.
In the future, you can simply select this preset from the popup at the bottom of the Import dialog to quickly establish the settings saved with the preset. Then review and update the specific settings as needed for the current import job and click the Import button.
Note, by the way, that you can create multiple presets for the Import dialog if you have more than one configuration you tend to use during import for different types of photos, for example.