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Before importing your files in the Lightroom it's a good idea to go ahead and double-check your preferences. Now these preferences for the most part are identical the Lightroom 2, although they've reorganized things a little bit. You can open up your Preference dialog by navigating to the Lightroom pulldown menu and then by choosing Preferences, while if you are using a PC you can navigate to the Edit pulldown menu and find your Preferences there. In the Preferences dialog, we want to first start off on General. Now for the most part the default settings are going to be fine.
I'm just going to highlight a few things that you definitely want to turn on. For starters, I recommend you check the box for Show Import dialog when a memory card is detected. That way when you connect a memory card and insert the memory card it will automatically open up the Import dialog. The next thing that I want to highlight is File Handling. Here if you are going to convert your files to DNG, in this particular case you can choose your extension, capital or lowercase, you can choose a compatibility with Camera Raw, and typically what you want to do is the most recent version of Camera Raw, and then your JPEG preview, and that medium-size preview will be fine.
If you decide that you're really concerned about losing some information, you can of course include the original RAW file, although this will exorbitantly increase your file size. So I don't really recommend this, although some people find this kind of helpful because it's a bit of a safety net, so that they're not losing any of the original information. All right, in regards to the metadata for the files, you can treat different things as keyword separators. That's going to really be contingent upon your own workflow, and then you have file naming generation.
Typically when you are generating files, because you'll do that on import quite often, what you want to do is treat any of the characters as illegal and make the list a little bit more exhaustive, this one here. Essentially what this will do is if you take all those characters it will replace them with something else. You can choose underscore or dash. Now I prefer underscore. It is a little bit easier on the eyes, although either one will do. And then finally when a file name has a space, you want to replace that space with something else.
Now one of the reasons why you want to do you this is it'll make your files more stable across platforms, especially if they're going to be viewed online eventually, and it's just a better workflow to have that particular preference dialed in so that your file has that much more stability. All right. Well that wraps up our conversation about Preferences.
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