How to Download and Install Lightroom Presets - Digital Photography School
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How to Download and Install Lightroom Presets

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In an earlier post, I explained how to create a custom Lightroom preset that you could use to edit your photos in Lightroom. In addition to creating your own Lightroom presets you can download and install presets from the web into Lightroom so you can use them anytime you like.

step1.jpg

To begin, you’ll need to locate some presets to use. A good place to start is at Adobe Exchange and search for Lightroom presets. Download a set of presets to your computer. In most cases this requires you to download and save the file to your computer and then you need to unzip its contents. Place the unzipped files in a folder that you can find easily.

step2.jpg

Once you have done this, launch Lightroom and click to open the Develop module. Choose User Presets and, if desired, create a new folder for the presets by selecting New Folder and type the folder name. I like to do this so I can keep my presets separate to other people’s.

step3.jpg

Once you have created the new folder, right-click it and click Import. Navigate to where you saved the preset files you downloaded, select them and click Import. The presets will be added to your Lightroom Preset collection. Chances are that one will be applied to your image too! Press Control + Z (Command + Z on the Mac) to undo it.

step4.jpg

You can rename a folder by right clicking it and choose Rename and you can also delete a folder if you decide you don’t like the presets or simply remove individual presets by right clicking the preset and click Delete.

step5.jpg

You can also share your presets with others. To do this, right-click a preset that you have created and choose Export. It is exported by default with its current name with the extension LRtemplate which is the extension that identifies it as a preset. To share your presets with others you can either send them the LRtemplate file so that they can import it into Lightroom themselves or zip a number of presets into a single file of presets and distribute that.

Even if you do not want to create your own presets, you’ll find that there are plenty of cool presets available on the web that you can download and use.

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Helen Bradley is a Lifestyle journalist who divides her time between the real and digital worlds, picking the best from both. She writes and produces video instruction for Photoshop and digital photography for magazines and online providers world wide. She has also written four books on photo crafts and blogs at Projectwoman.com.

  • http://www.sarahhallphotography.com/ Sarah

    Great timing with this post! I was just thinking about this today and am going to go download some free presets!!

  • Mandi

    the timing on this post couldn’t be better! I was just experimenting with downloading and installing LR presets yesterday. I found a great site for free presets:

    http://www.presetsheaven.com

    (I am not associated with them in anyway; just though the link might be helpful to others!)

  • Dr PJ Venter

    Great tutorial, thx Mandi, I agree. Some other if you don’t mind.

    http://inside-lightroom.com/lightroom-links/

    http://www.lightroomkillertips.com/archives/presets

    http://www.lightroompresets.com/

    Also not associated, just sharing.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/axisofjustice Imran

    Thanks for a great tutorial.

    I’d also like to share … where you could get excellent presets:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/presets/

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/denisr Denis

    [Off topic]
    Brighton all the way in DPS shoots!
    [/Off topic]

    Interesting topic… I am very tempted of going to adobe lightroom, but I am still very happy with Capture Nx

  • allan

    LIGHTROOM 3 BETA is out…

  • Kevin
  • Chasity

    Can this not be done in Lightroom 1.0? I am running 1.0 and can’t get the “user presets” to come up

  • http://the-x-photography.blogspot.com/ Photographer_X

    Thanks everyone, those links have been very helpful for me :)

  • Claudia Holt

    Can you do this in 2.5? I can’t see the preset button on the left hand side while being in develop mode and a photo on the screen. Thanks so much.

    As you can tell, I am a newbie to Lightroom & am so excited to try your presets.
    Claudia

  • Barbara

    I really want to learn how to use presets, but I don’t have lightroom, I have photoshop elements 7, and I have no idea how to do this!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you!

  • http://www.projectwoman.com/phototips.html Helen Bradley

    @barbara Unfortunately if you are not using Lightroom you cannot download presets. You can, however, download other things to use with Photoshop Elements such as Layer styles, patterns and brush sets. Look for these using a search engine like Google.

  • http://leodjphoto.com Leo Dj Photography

    Hi Helen, I like your preset that you use for the example image (the first image on the top). Is it using the same setting as your previous article “How to create LR presets”?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.softwares4download.com Software Download

    This is best article so far. Thanks.

  • Emmanuel

    Once I extract the preset file from zip and import it into Lightroom, am I free to delete the preset file from my computer? or will that delete the preset from Lightroom as well?

  • http://www.terriparthumphotography.com Terri

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve been creating my own and thought it would be nice to find a few more, but didn’t know how to load them.

  • jogandleap

    Wow, I’d always wondered how to do this and within 1 minute of finding your blog I have installed a set of presets from the web. Thank YOU!!!

  • Eva

    I’m a total newbie at Lightroom, and I’ve been trying to follow this tip, but for some reason … my presets area seems to be “locked” … I can’t click on any of the presets, nor can I right click and add a folder. Any suggestions? I appreciate your help in advance! :)

  • Eva

    Never mind … :P … I figured it out :) (blush) … It was really, really basic …

    Thanks anyway :D

  • Beata

    Hi,
    do I need special program do unzipped presets? I can not open them. I downloaded 7zipset up and still can’t do it? Any sugestion? thanx:)

  • http://oconnell.ednet.ns.ca/moodle/user/view.php?id=98241&course=1 Isiah

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  • AML

    Best tutorial out there for importing presets. Thanks!

  • NTB

    Help! I have googled and googled, with no answer to my problem. I just uploaded my Lightroom 3 to my new computer, and no presets are in my drop down Preset panel. I see “Presets” there, but it has nothing in it. I tried copying all the presets (these are the presets that are suppose to come with Lightroom) from my old computer, right click on the word “Presets” to try and paste them in there, but it is not an option. : ( Any suggestions?

  • Helen Bradley

    You can try and locate the Presets folder on your old and on your new machine and copy and paste the presets from your old to your new machine into that folder, that might work? That would be my next step.
    Keep us informed about how this goes? Helen

  • NTB

    That’s the thing…since there are no presets at all under the preset drop down, there is no option to paste them in. I don’t want to call adobe because they are going to charge me for them to help me. : (. Which I think is messed up!

  • Helen Bradley

    What I meant was to do this using the file system and Windows Explorer on a PC or Finder on a Mac. Find the old presets and copy and paste them into the same folder on the new computer. Don’t do it via Lightroom – instead do it via the file system and see if that works.

  • Gapsky

    thanks that’s very helpful :D

  • Tara

    I cannot for the life of me locate my ‘local’ presets… I purchased some and downloaded them but cannot find where to import them to– the regular preset area will not import them!

  • Helen Bradley

    Did you follow the instructions in the article above? If so, post another comment to tell us what didn’t work. If not, then you should follow the instructions as they will show you how to do this – no where above does it suggest to put them in the folder yourself – let LR do it.

    Also make sure that the presets you are trying to import are Develop presets and that they are compatible with your version of LR. There are different types of presets and you can only add develop presets to the develop module and they should be compatible with your LR version.

  • Oaenac

    Thank you, this was very helpful!!!

  • http://www.lifebyrenee.com.au/ Renee Shea

    Hi! I operate on LR5 and have just purchased LR4 newborn editing brushes to import. Do I import these in the same way? I was under the impression that they were compatible, but when I try to import them (the way you mentioned above) I get an error message stating that they are incorrect file types… Do you have any advice

  • Helen Bradley

    Hello Renee

    First of all, I always recommend going back to the vendor on this type of question and ask them for install instructions.

    However, if you are trying to install presets for the Adjustment Brush then they are not installed this way – this method only covers installing Develop presets.

    To install Adjustment brush presets, choose Lightroom > Preferences (Edit > Preferences on the PC) and click the Preset tab. Click the Show Lightroom Preset Folder button and then click to open that folder and locate the Local Adjustment Presets folder. Place your presets into this folder and restart Lightroom. They will then be available when you select the Adjustment Brush.

Some older comments

  • Isiah

    August 18, 2013 02:38 pm

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    I have to bing designed for several a long time to locate that get.

    I personally hesitant as soon as at any time I search engines intended for articles and other content that will check out
    I commonly uncover nugatory articles or reviews and
    also substantially junk.
    People admittedly decide proper care connected with most of the spammy and also
    keep hold of your site cleansing together with good quality.
    Do you have a tips to get my own personal internet site?

  • Beata

    May 4, 2012 02:11 pm

    Hi,
    do I need special program do unzipped presets? I can not open them. I downloaded 7zipset up and still can't do it? Any sugestion? thanx:)

  • Eva

    January 24, 2012 07:26 am

    Never mind ... :P ... I figured it out :) (blush) ... It was really, really basic ...

    Thanks anyway :D

  • Eva

    January 23, 2012 08:03 am

    I'm a total newbie at Lightroom, and I've been trying to follow this tip, but for some reason ... my presets area seems to be "locked" ... I can't click on any of the presets, nor can I right click and add a folder. Any suggestions? I appreciate your help in advance! :)

  • jogandleap

    October 1, 2011 11:02 pm

    Wow, I'd always wondered how to do this and within 1 minute of finding your blog I have installed a set of presets from the web. Thank YOU!!!

  • Terri

    August 6, 2011 04:59 am

    Thanks for the tutorial. I've been creating my own and thought it would be nice to find a few more, but didn't know how to load them.

  • Emmanuel

    July 8, 2010 10:35 pm

    Once I extract the preset file from zip and import it into Lightroom, am I free to delete the preset file from my computer? or will that delete the preset from Lightroom as well?

  • Software Download

    February 21, 2010 11:11 pm

    This is best article so far. Thanks.

  • Leo Dj Photography

    January 22, 2010 10:17 pm

    Hi Helen, I like your preset that you use for the example image (the first image on the top). Is it using the same setting as your previous article "How to create LR presets"?

    Thanks!

  • Helen Bradley

    January 6, 2010 12:57 pm

    @barbara Unfortunately if you are not using Lightroom you cannot download presets. You can, however, download other things to use with Photoshop Elements such as Layer styles, patterns and brush sets. Look for these using a search engine like Google.

  • Barbara

    January 6, 2010 11:50 am

    I really want to learn how to use presets, but I don't have lightroom, I have photoshop elements 7, and I have no idea how to do this!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    Thank you!

  • Claudia Holt

    November 25, 2009 02:22 am

    Can you do this in 2.5? I can't see the preset button on the left hand side while being in develop mode and a photo on the screen. Thanks so much.

    As you can tell, I am a newbie to Lightroom & am so excited to try your presets.
    Claudia

  • Photographer_X

    November 5, 2009 11:29 pm

    Thanks everyone, those links have been very helpful for me :)

  • Chasity

    November 4, 2009 02:36 am

    Can this not be done in Lightroom 1.0? I am running 1.0 and can't get the "user presets" to come up

  • Kevin

    November 3, 2009 03:22 pm

    A nice collection here:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/presets/discuss/72157612664073371/

  • allan

    October 25, 2009 02:29 pm

    LIGHTROOM 3 BETA is out...

  • Denis

    October 21, 2009 05:52 pm

    [Off topic]
    Brighton all the way in DPS shoots!
    [/Off topic]

    Interesting topic... I am very tempted of going to adobe lightroom, but I am still very happy with Capture Nx

  • Imran

    October 21, 2009 03:25 pm

    Thanks for a great tutorial.

    I'd also like to share ... where you could get excellent presets:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/presets/

  • Dr PJ Venter

    October 21, 2009 04:11 am

    Great tutorial, thx Mandi, I agree. Some other if you don't mind.

    http://inside-lightroom.com/lightroom-links/

    http://www.lightroomkillertips.com/archives/presets

    http://www.lightroompresets.com/

    Also not associated, just sharing.

  • Mandi

    October 21, 2009 01:46 am

    the timing on this post couldn't be better! I was just experimenting with downloading and installing LR presets yesterday. I found a great site for free presets:

    http://www.presetsheaven.com

    (I am not associated with them in anyway; just though the link might be helpful to others!)

  • Sarah

    October 21, 2009 01:30 am

    Great timing with this post! I was just thinking about this today and am going to go download some free presets!!

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