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- View Offline
- Preferences for image management
- Catalog settings
- Backing up with Export
- Importing, reviewing, and organizing images
- Image filtering
- Locking the Library Filter
- Dealing with offline images
Skill Level Beginner
As you probably appreciate there's no one right answer when it comes to managing your images that works for every single photographer. Each photographer is going to have a different set of requirements for their workflow. And a different set of preferences in how they want to deal with their images and deal with Lightroom. Fortunately Lightroom provides a variety of different settings that we can adapt to our own preferences. And they're called of course, Preferences. Let's take a look at those Preferences as they relate specifically to Image Management within Lightroom. To get started we'll go to the Edit menu on the Windows version of Lightroom. On the Macintosh version this would be under the Lightroom menu. And then will choose Preferences.
That brings up the Preferences dialog, well we have a series of tabs that provide various different settings that we can adjust to our own preference. On the General tab we have the language option which obviously is pretty self explanatory. And also we can choose whether not we want to see the splash scrren during start up. One setting that I do recommend leaving turned on is to automatically check for updates. So that you'll be notified if there is a new version of Lightroom available that you can download and install. In the Default Catalog section, we can specify which catalog we want Lightroom to open by default.
For most photographers, I recommend working with a single catalog. So leaving this set to Load Most Recent Catalog Will probably make the most sense for you. If however you prefer to work with multiple catalogs. You might for example separate your commercial images from your personal images into separate catalogs. Or you might want to have a test catalog, so that you can play around with different features in Lightroom without worrying about changing settings for your real photos. If you do work with multiple catalogs then you might want to specify a particular catalog from the list.
Or have Lightroom prompt you at start-up, so that you can decide at that time which catalog you'd like to open. I'll leave this set to Load Most Recent Catalog. We also have some options related to importing our photos. The first checkbox allows us to specify that we want Lightroom to automatically bring up the Import dialog whenever a memory card that contains photos is detected. I usually prefer to leave this option turned off, simply because sometimes I insert a jump drive, for example, a USB device.
That has images on it, and Lightroom assumes that I want to import them even though I don't. And so, I find that a little bit distracting and annoying. I prefer to simply click the Import button whenever I actually want to import images. But you might prefer to have that import dialog show up automatically when a memory card is detected, in which case you can simply turn on this check box. The next check box allows you to ignore the camera generated folder names when you're naming folders during import. This usually isn't an option if you organize your images into a single folder upon import.
But if you don't, if you do create automatic subfolders then you might want to turn this option on. We also have an option to treat JPEG files next to RAW files and separate photos. This only applies to photographers who use the RAW plus JPEG capture option, so that each photograph comes in as a RAW capture and as a JPEG file. And in that case, you can choose whether or not you want to actually see both of those images in Lightroom. I recommend leaving this check-box turned off so you avoid the confusion of having two copies of every image; one a RAW file and one a JPEG. You can also specify that you would like to play a sound when the import process is complete.
This can be handy if you tend to turn away from your computer during the import operation. When you're importing a large number of images that obviously can take some time. An so you can choose a sound to be played, when that import process is complete. We have a similar option for exporting photos. We can also choose to Reset all warning dialogs. From time to time, Lightroom may alert you with a particular message. An in many cases there will be a check-box so that you can turn on, so that Lightroom will not show you that specific warning in the future.
If you decide later that you would like those warnings to appear again you can simply click this button. Just keep in mind, that this will reset all warning dialogs, pick and choose which ones we would like to see in the future. The catalog settings are certainly important, but we won't worry about that at the moment since we're focused on preferences. But here on the general tab we do have a button that allows us to go directly to go to the catalog settings dialog. The Presets tab relates to the develop module. And right now we're just focused on the library module, so we'll skip past that.
External editing is also related specifically to the develop module. The file hadling tab does have some settings we might be interested in from an image management perspective. The first section allows us to specify setting for a DNG file, a Digital Negative If we choose to import images and convert them to DNG. If you do take advantage of that option, you'll obviously want to take a look at these various settings and decide what works best for you for those DNG files. The next section relates to meta data and specifically key words in our images. As you import existing images you can decide if you want a period or slash to be designated as a key word separator.
In other words, much like a comma. In some software applications the period or slash, are used to indicate a hierarchical structure for keywords. And so generally speaking I would not turn these check boxes on, especially if you've used one of those software tools, in order to create hierarchical keywords. The file name generation option relates to renaming our images. And we can specify which characters we want to be considered illegal, in other words, not allowed for file names. And we can also determine which character should be used to replace any illegal characters.
An underscore, a dash or a similar character, the closest matching character. I typically use dashes for that, and we can also specify whether we want to leave spaces as they are in file names, or replace spaces with an underscore or dash. Since today's operating systems are more than capable of dealing with file names with spaces, I just leave that at the leave as is option. For advanced users, you may want to take a look at the RAW cache settings. Generally speaking, I leave these set to their defaults, but you can specify a particular location for the cache, for RAW conversions, and also, the size of that cache. And if you run into problems with your cache, for any reason, you can also purge the cache by clicking that button.
Similarly, we have settings for the cache for video files. This obviously only relates if you are managing video captures inside of Lightroom, in addition to still photos. And if so, you can turn on a check box to limit the video cache size and then specify the maximum size for that cache. And once again for the video cache, we have the option to purge the cache. The interface tab contains settings that are mostly just a matter of preference in terms of the way things are presented within Lightroom. We can specify what we would like to have as an end mark at the bottom of the left and right panels, and what font size should be used within light room.
We can also specify the color for the lights out display, what we were able to see only our photographic images and none of the lightroom interface elements. I prefer to keep that set to the defaulty value of black. And we can also specify for the dim level, when we go to lights out view at a dim setting instead of lights completely out. What percentage of opacity we want for that dim display. The default is 80% which works perfectly fine for me. We can also specify the background color for both the main window and the secondary window if you're working with multiple displays.
And whether or not we want a texture. I prefer to use the medium grade default. I prefer not to use the Pinstripes option. For keyword entry, we can specify what the separator should be for keywords. The options here are commas or spaces. If you choose spaces, that means that you can't have a keyword that contains spaces. For example, Pacific Ocean would be considered two keywords rather than one. I prefer to use commas so that I can include keywords with more than one word separated by a space. You can also specify whether or not you want to auto-complete text in the Keyword Tags field.
In other words, as you're typing a keyword, do you want Lightroom to automatically complete that word for you based on the letters you've started typing. In the next section we can specify which items we want displayed in the film strip display on the bottom panel in Lightroom. That includes options for star ratings and pick flags. Badges that indicate changes that have been applied to images. Stack counts so that we can know which images are included in a stack with one another. We can also specify whether or not we want to show a photo in the navigator if we mouse over it on the film strip. And whether we want to show photo info tool tips. This is a pop up that shows you exposure information, for example, when you mouse over an image on the film strip.
And finally we can specify a few tweaks, you can decide whether you want the point you clicked on when zooming, to become the center of the display. Or if you want the existing center to stay as the center with the image just zoomed around that center point. You can also specify whether you want to open GL for video playback. I would generally leave this turned on for better performance, unless you're seeing some problems or error messages. For example if Light Room were to crash While playing back a video. Finally we have an option to use the system preferences for fonts moving rather than letting Lightroom take care of that.
I generally just leave this option turned off so that Lightroom can deal with font smoothing. And that takes care of the settings that we want to consider when it comes to managing our images in Lightroom. Once you've adjusted the settings to your liking, you can simply click the OK button and all of those changes will take effect.