Lightroom Features I Love: Easy Exporting

I am continuing with my posts on Lightroom Features I love. The more I work on these posts, the more I love Lightroom. Seriously…it changed my photo-loving life!

Today I want to share about the ease of exporting with LR. I am working on editing a week’s worth of photos from our big trip and I am so thankful for how easy it get my edited images where they belong!

I shoot and edit in RAW format, but I can’t leave them that way. After going through all of my photos, I need to put them into the folders where I want them. I organize by year/month/day and I save in two sizes (print resolution and for web).

Here are the simple steps I take to export my photos, all at once:

1. When I am done editing the photos, I choose all the photos from a specific day. To highlight them, you can either command/control click on each one, or, if the photos are in an uninterrupted sequence, you can choose the first one and then hit shift and click on the last one in the series.

2. With all the photos selected, I go to file > export. The export dialogue box appears and I enter in all my info (more on that below).

3. With all my choices made, I click export and they all go into their proper folder. Depending on the number of photos, this can take a few seconds or a few minutes. I work on other things while I am waiting.

4. Once that group is done, I do the same group with different export criteria. This will be my FOR WEB group of photos.

5. I move on to the next day (or the next group of images I want into a specific folder.)

The Export Dialogue Box

When you choose to export, this dialogue box comes up:

We’ll just work down this box to see how to enter information.

At the top, you can choose where to download to. I always choose hard drive.

Next, you can choose the folder you want the images exported to. I always choose specific folder, so that my photos go into my EDITED PHOTOS folder and then into YEAR/MONTH/DAY.

Next, you have choices about your file naming. You can either keep the names you have or you can choose a number of other naming choices. I usually choose Custom Name РSequence, which means I name the files what I want (usually ©janetphillips_monthday_year). All of my files will have that same name except that they will be exported with a sequential number added to the end.

The next section of the dialogue box is video, so we’ll skip over that. After video comes files settings. This is where you can choose what image format you want to save in as well as colorspace and quality.

Next is image sizing. I choose the size of photos I want to export. My settings here depend on 1) What I plan to do with the photos, 2) If I am exporting for print or for web. If I am exporting for print, I almost always choose to resize with the dimensions displayed here. I used to save full size, but my very large photos were taking up a lot of hard drive space. Now, unless I think I might enlarge a photo for my walls, I limit the long side to 10 inches.

If I am exporting for web, my settings look like this (these settings were for Facebook’s image sizes, which I think have now changed again. I’ll need to update my settings.)

The next option is for output sharpening. This is especially great for sharpening for web, something I used to have to do for each individual photo.

At the bottom of the dialogue box is a menu for post processing. It allows you to decide what you want to do when LR is done exporting. You have a number of choices:


Going through this dialogue box only takes about 30 seconds, and then it exports all of the photos you choose with the same settings. This is the ultimate in batch processing!

But…it gets even easier! You can create presets for exporting. Basically this means that you can choose your settings and then when you are ready to export a batch of photos, you simply choose that export preset and make any tweaks (for example, I change the folder and file name) and then click export.

To do this, get all your settings the way you want them and then look at the left sidebar of your export dialogue box. On the bottom you will see a button named ADD.

Then this box comes up. Just give your preset a name and then every time you want to export with those settings, you just click and go.

Oh yes…I love Lightroom and exporting huge batches of photos couldn’t be easier!


Check out these other posts in this series:

Before and After

Copy and Paste

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