It’s frustrating getting simple questions I can’t answer. The other night, at the Apple store in San Francisco, I talked about the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Adventure, and then demonstrated Lightroom. When I was finished with my song and dance a hand immediately shot up and asked: “Why doesn’t Lightroom generate thumbnails on export that can be seen on my Mac desktop?” I was stumped. In fact, I never noticed that Lightroom didn’t generate a thumbnail and I also work on a Mac.
I did what I usually do when I don’t have an answer. I told the questioner he must be wrong. No, not really. But I did turn to Lightroom and tried to get on solid ground by explaining things I know. I opened the export dialog box and showed how you can make web-friendly JPEGs by checking the Minimize Embedded Metadata box. This creates an image with as small file size as possible, much like Photoshop’s Save for Web plugin. And of course, in order to keep the file size down, a preview thumbnail would not be generated.
“Ah… maybe you accidentally checked this,” I said. “That might explain your, er, problem.”
“No,” replied the questioner, quite sure of himself.
Anyway, to cut to the point, the questioner was right. As you can see, Lightroom, unlike Photoshop, doesn’t create a thumbnail preview for the Mac. (I’m not sure what is gong on with Windows, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem on that platform.)
Ok, Googling the words” thumbnails Lightroom” turned up some chatter on the subject, but no answers.
So I turned to God, no I mean Adobe’s Mark Hamburg, the man who dreamed up Lightroom. This is what he wrote back:
“Our export logic is platform agnostic and hence doesn’t generate Mac
“And by the way,” he added, “Camera Raw doesn’t generate thumbnails either.”
Ah…got it. Case solved? Back to answering the really hard questions.
PS. A big thanks to everyone who wrote in with errata from my Lightroom book. Almost all the corrections were made and the 2nd printing is now at the printer. You’ll get your free copies as promised in a few weeks.