There have been a few posts recently that cover the benefits of traveling with Lightroom while on assignment, and I recently discussed the benefits of using presets to do some of your editing and cataloging dirty work. This post crosses the gap between the two subjects.
Lightroom has a variety of preset and template types; these types are listed below in no particular order:
- develop presets,
- export presets,
- filename templates,
- keyword & label sets,
- and metadata presets.
(For the sake of convenience, I will use the term “template” to refer to the types of sets, presets and templates listed above.)
This template information is stored in Lightroom’s application support folder, located at
~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/ on a Mac and
~\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\ on a Windows machine. You can open up a Finder or Explorer window to see what Lightroom ships with and what you’ve created for your own use.
The best part? Each type of preset is simply a plain–text file with a fancy extension to tell the operating system’s file browser to use a fancy icon for the file. By simply opening the file in your favourite text editor, you are able to change the information in an environment that is a little more text–friendly than the application’s dialog windows.
Here’ what a metadata preset looks like:
And though you may not be inclined to muck around with your templates and presets in a text editor, this choice of storage results in one other huge benefit. If you happen to have Lightroom installed on multiple machines (such as a desktop at home and a laptop for your travel work), keeping your templates up–to–date on both machines is simply a matter of copying the updated text files from one machine to the other (or even from a Windows machine to a Mac — or vice–versa — if the need arises).
One word of warning: should you use a text editor to edit a template or your OS’s file browser to copy a template from another machine, it’s a good idea to quit Lightroom and re–open it to ensure that the changes are picked up. That warning aside, kudos to Adobe for choosing to use individual plain–text files over opaque, binary file formats for template information.