Lightroom Export Settings You Should be Using

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I use Lightroom exclusively for editing my pictures, and it took me a little while to figure out good export settings. But in this blog post, I wanted to discuss the importance of setting up your Lightroom export settings and also how to create a preset so that you don’t have to manually enter them in every time.

That’d be nice, right?

So, we’ll be going over the different types of export settings you might need to save and have on hand.

I have a few different settings for the different things I do.

Well, let’s get started, shall we?

Lightroom Export Settings

different types of export settings

So, what are the different reasons you’d want more than one way to export your pictures?

Here are some of the main reasons:

  • export for print
  • export for web
  • export for Facebook/Instagram

We’ll go over each one of these in detail in the video below and the blog post below.

Lightroom is really neat and different from other programs because it actually saves your photo as you are editing. You don’t have to save after each little tweak that you do to your image. You do, however, need to export your final photo in order to get it out there to the world. Whether you’re printing it, or putting it on the web for something.

Lightroom will often ask you if you want to backup your catalog. What this is asking is if you want to backup your most recent edits. Always choose to backup your catalog so that you can keep an up-to-date catalog of all your edits. There’s nothing more frustrating than losing those edits!!!

how to export photos from lightroom

Before you can export your photos from Lightroom and set up your export settings, you need to choose which images you want to export. This is really easy to accomplish!

how to choose your photos for export

While I’m editing, I usually mark my ‘keep’ photos with a color. You can do this by highlighting your image (just selecting it) or while you are editing just click 6, 7, 8, or 9 and it will assign a color to your image. I usually use 9 just because it’s easiest to reach for me while I’m editing or typing!

After you mark all these photos the way you want, you can then do the following:
1. Make sure you’re in the ‘Library’ module
2. Go to ‘Edit’
3. Click ‘Select by Color Label’ and then click the color you’ve been making all your keep photos that you want to export. If you use 9, it’s Blue (that’s my favorite color so I always use Blue!)
4. It will highlight all the images you’ve marked as blue.

If you have a group of images you’d like to export that are all in a row (say, maybe you put them all in the same folder) you can do the following:
1. Click on the first image in your group of images.
2. Hold down shift
3. Select the last image in the group of images.

If your photos are not in a row but randomly in the group of images, you’ll need to do the following:
1. Click on the first image you want to export
2. Hold down ‘Control’ on PC or ‘Command’ on Mac
3. While holding down Control/Command, select all the images you want to export

After you’ve selected the photos you want to export, you find export in two different places.

The first is if you go to ‘File’ then scroll down to ‘Export’.

The second is what I usually do, and right click on one of the images that’s already selected and find Export>Export. The ‘Export with Previous’ tab comes in handy sometimes when you are trying to find certain photos from different months to export for some project (like printing them out or uploading them to a blog post) and you can just click Export with Previous (after the first Export is set up) and it will keep the same settings every time. It comes in handy for me a lot!

It also helps if you have exported a ton of photos and then realized there were a few more you wanted to export.

choosing a location to export your images to

I personally have different folders I export to, just to keep everything organized.

I like to put the images I print in the same folder as my originals, but obviously keeping them separated by another folder.

If it’s for the web, I have just a general ‘web’ folder that all of those go to, organized by month so that it’s easy to find an image if I ever want to post it twice or something. I do clear out the web folder from time to time as it’s not super important to keep them all.

The subfolder would be called something like ‘March19’, so that I can know where to look for the image.

I also like to export my images to Flickr – which is going to have to be another blog post entirely (maybe after baby girl comes!).

It really depends on how you want to organize your Lightroom catalog and keep them organized when exporting.

I have my Lightroom catalog organized by month. I used to have it organized by day (and I had a LOT of folders – I don’t recommend this at all!) but by month, it’s totally doable. Once I upload images into Lightroom, I immediately go through and remove any missed focus or duplicate images. That way my folder isn’t full of unimportant images.

I promise I’ll do another blog post as soon as baby girl gets here that goes over how to organize and remove any unwanted images right away. Keeping organized is so important in your photo catalog!

We’ll talk more on where to send your photos below.

how to export from lightroom for print

Alright, on to the juicy stuff! How to actually export your images!

Like I said above, you want to choose a location that is separate from the originals. I usually put them in the same folder as the originals, but in a subfolder. I title this subfolder 001Print. Why do I use numbers? So that it shows up at the very top of the folder and I don’t have to go searching for it!

  1. Click File>Export or right click on your images and click Export>Export.
  2. Pick a location for your images. I put them in the original image folder in a subfolder called ‘001Print’.
  3. Choose the file type. I choose JPEG and color sRGB. I also use a quality of 94.
  4. Make sure ‘Resize to Fit’ is NOT selected.
  5. Choose ‘glossy’ or ‘matte’ depending on what type of paper you are printing on. And ‘Amount’ is Standard.
  6. Do NOT select watermark, you don’t want your watermark on your printed images!
  7. Now click Export! You’re done.

Here’s the screenshot for you to see step by step how my settings are:

Print Lightroom settings

how to export from lightroom for web

Next let’s talk about the Lightroom export settings for the web. I use these settings for my website, or to upload images to Canva for my Pinterest images.

I use different settings for my Facebook images which we’ll go over.

  1. Click File>Export or right click on selected image and click Export>Export.
  2. Pick a location for your images.
  3. Choose the file type. I choose JPEG and color sRGB. I also use a quality of 94.
  4. Check ‘Resize to Fit’ and select ‘Long Edge’ then type in 1600 pixels.
  5. Change the ‘Resolution’ to 72 pixels per inch (ppi).
  6. Check ‘Sharpen For’ and select ‘Screen’ and ‘Amount’ should be ‘Low’
  7. If you want a watermark, check the ‘Watermark’ button and select which watermark you would like to use
  8. Click Export

Again, here’s the screenshot if you are a more visual learner:

Lightroom export settings for web

lightroom export settings for Facebook

You need to be sure that your Facebook settings are slightly different from your web size settings. Facebook recommends you resize on the long edge to 2048. You also want to make sure you aren’t putting high resolution images on Facebook, since it’s really easy for someone to download images from there.

  1. Click File>Export or right click on selected image and click Export>Export.
  2. Pick a location for your images.
  3. Choose the file type. I choose JPEG and color sRGB. I also use a quality of 94.
  4. Check ‘Resize to Fit’ and select ‘Long Edge’ then type in 2048 pixels.
  5. Change the ‘Resolution’ to 72 pixels per inch (ppi).
  6. Check ‘Sharpen For’ and select ‘Screen’ and ‘Amount’ should be ‘Low’
  7. If you want a watermark, check the ‘Watermark’ button and select which watermark you would like to use (I do recommend watermarking your images if you are posting them to Facebook).
  8. Click Export

how to create an export preset in lightroom

In the video above, I do walk you through how to create an export preset. It makes it really easy to just click one simple button after you set up these settings. You don’t have to set up these settings every time you want to export an image! That’s some good news right there!

  1. First, go to the export box (like in the examples above).
  2. Go through and add all the settings you want (say you’re doing it for print, look above on how to set up your settings for print).
  3. Once all of your settings are to your standard, instead of clicking ‘Export’, click ‘Add’.
  4. Lightroom will have you name your preset and then click ‘Create’
  5. It will add it to your User Presets to the left.
  6. After you have added this new user preset, you can now right click on your images, go to ‘Export’ and under ‘User Presets’ you will see your new export preset. Now just click that and it will export and save your images to where you had it

Happy exporting, friends! If you have any questions, let me know. If this helped you, please share with your photographer friends who might need help with exporting images!

I look forward to hearing from you!

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