How to organize presets in Lightroom

Presets and templates are everywhere in Lightroom. They make you work much more efficiently, allowing you to add metadata or apply develop settings and design templates in a single click.

However, when you have a lot of them, you might find yourself spending too much time going through long lists even if you use just a few presets or templates 90{90eec13771a41cc26d170da0c9942bbbe2cbb7ce762cd02cf36c243c9400ada6} of the time.

On way is to group them if possible, which is the case for develop presets as well as print and slideshow templates, among others.

Having small(er) groups for different styles or designs is makes it easy to quickly find the preset that you are looking for.

You could also have a group just for your favorites, those presets and templates that you use over and over again.

A second method is to use the default text order to sort them. As expected, they are ordered alphabetically, but if you rename a template and add specific characters, they will appear before the ones starting with letters and numbers. As you can see in the following example, the space precedes the asterisk, which itself is followed by the underscore, and then the templates starting with letters.

I personally tend to avoid the space because it’s not really obvious it’s there.

Alternatively, numbers could be used, as they will also appear before letters. It’s just a question of preference.

And you can of course use multiple symbols: **portrait, for instance, would appear above *portrait.

I find it really useful to rename templates in this way not only when you don’t want to further divide groups into smaller parts, but also for imported templates. That way, all the templates from a specific pack stay together, but changing their names will allow you to have your favorites at the top of the list.

Last but not least, try to stick to specific naming conventions, instead of naming, let’s, one templates “landscape 3 x 2”, another “3×2 landscape” and yet another “horizontal 3×2”. Such different names might not matter when you have just a few presets, but as the list grows longer, it will be increasingly difficult to find the one you are looking for.

Finally, don’t hesitate to rename your presets when you feel like they need to be sorted differently. I know it’s annoying to rename 10 or 20 templates, I’ve done it quite a few times, but in the long run you’ll work more efficiently, so it’s time well spent.

What do you think?

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