Today’s Question: I appreciated your presentation comparing Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Bridge. One question I have is whether the cloud version of Lightroom supports the plug-ins I currently use in Lightroom Classic.
Tim’s Quick Answer: No, the cloud-focused version of the Lightroom desktop application does not support plug-ins, while Lightroom Classic and Photoshop do support plug-ins.
More Detail: Software plug-ins provide a way to extend the features and workflow of host applications. There are a wide variety of plug-ins that support Photoshop and Lightroom Classic, for example, providing various benefits in terms of improving image quality, applying creative effects, streamlining your workflow, and more.
However, the cloud-focused version of Lightroom does not currently support plug-ins. Therefore, if you want to use plug-ins in your workflow with Adobe software, you will need to consider using Lightroom Classic or Photoshop rather than the cloud-focused version of Lightroom.
It is worth noting, however, that you can send photos from Lightroom to Photoshop. In other words, while you can’t use plug-ins directly in Lightroom, you could edit a photo in Photoshop by sending it from Lightroom, and then make use of the plug-ins within Photoshop. This is actually an approach I tend to prefer, so that I can make use of multiple plug-ins on various layers within a single layered image, rather than creating multiple versions of a source image using several different plug-ins.
While the lack of plug-in support is an issue that has been raised frequently over the years among photographers who use software from Adobe, there is no indication of whether or when Adobe might update Lightroom to support plug-ins.