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Before importing your photographs into Lightroom, there are a couple of preferences you might want to consider turning on. In order to do this, let's navigate to our Lightroom pulldown menu and then go to Preferences. The first thing I want to highlight here is in the General tab, the one import option I think you want to turn on for sure is this one. This allows you to show the Import dialog whenever a memory card or memory card reader is detected. This automatically opens up that dialogue. So you can get going. The next thing that I want to highlight here has to do with File Handling.
I've mentioned that DNG format a little bit and many people use Lightroom in order to convert their files to the DNG format. Now if you are going to do that, you want to dial in these preferences here. The File Extension, typically you want to go with is lower case that's consistent with other types of extensions. In Compatibility, you want to choose the most recent version of Camera RAW. This will give you the ability to have the most flexibility. Now Camera RAW has constantly been updated and what I recommended is you stay up to speed with that and always use the latest and greatest, right.
There really isn't a reason not to choose that. And then next is JPEG Preview. Medium Size will be fine. And then we have this new option, new to Lightroom 4 Embed Fast Load Data. This allows Lightroom to create a DNG file which actually can be read in the Develop Module eight times faster than previous versions and it only adds a really small amount of file size, just a few hundred K. So that's an option you definitely want to turn on. The next option I recommend you leave off which is Embed Original RAW File.
What this would do is it would create the DNG file. It also would include in that the original RAW file which is just going to increase your file size quite significantly. Next, we need to look at File Name Generation. One of the things you may want to do is Treat the following characters as illegal and choose the option of just all of the kind of strange characters. What can happen is if you name a file accidentally using an odd character, it can become unstable, so ideally, you want make sure you're not using any of those strange characters and just using letters or dashes or underscores.
Next, Replace illegal filename characters with dashes or underscores. This is just a preference and you want to choose whichever one works in your own workflow. Now if you have a space in between the file name, ideally you don't want that. So rather than choosing Leave As-Is, you want to select Replace with an Underscore or a Dash, and again, just be consistent whatever you've chosen here, choose here or vice versa. Again, just make sure those two are consistent. The reason why that's helpful is because files with spaces between them are a little but less stable.
There also can be problems when those files are read on different operating systems. So it's a good idea to make sure your File Naming Generation is good, and by choosing these settings here, it will ensure that those files will be read and you won't have any problems with them. All right! Well, now that we have these few preferences dialed in, we are ready to import our photographs and we'll do that in the next movie.
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