What Is a Preset?

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When you are making edits, you have lots of options in Lightroom. One quick way to make edits throughout the image is using a preset. Before you apply them, however, you should know what is a preset?

What Is a Preset?

A preset is a collection of photo editing settings in Lightroom that allow you to adjust an image in one click. A preset has predetermined edits that you can directly apply to your photos without needing to adjust the various sliders and tools in the Develop Module.

An image of what is a preset

You can choose to use the default presets in Adobe Lightroom, buy some online, or create your own custom presets within Lightroom.

Choosing Presets

You have the option to choose from preexisting presets. You can opt to use some that come natively within Lightroom, but these are pretty basic.

If you look online, there is a wide variety available, both paid and unpaid. Go through them, and select the ones that best suits your photos. Once you’ve found ones that you like, you can add them into Lightroom and begin using them.

You can always modify these presets in Lightroom to customize them a bit more to match your personal style.

Creating Presets

If you do not like the presets available on the internet, or you want a custom one for your images, you can simply create one. This might happen when you use the same edits for most images, and creating a preset will speed up your process. Follow these steps to create your own preset:

  1. Open a photo.
  2. Adjust the universal sliders to your liking. This could include saturation, color grading, and brightness.
  3. Now go to the preset panel and click on the + sign in the panel header. Alternatively, you can choose the “New Preset” in the develop panel.
  4. Now, a new tab will allow you to choose what to include in the present. By default, everything is selected; however, you can untick some options too. A good practice is to untick the exposure option so that you can make changes to the exposure settings according to your preference.
  5. You can now apply that preset to any other image.

Advantages of Using Presets

There are several advantages of why you should go for presets, which include:

  • Time: Presets save a lot of your time, since you can edit in batches. You just have to choose the right preset, and it will apply the edits throughout the image or batch of images.
  • Consistency: They make sure that there is consistency in your edits. If you are a professional photographer, this makes a lot of difference as it ensures that all the images have consistent edits throughout them.
  • Options: They allow you to be very flexible as you can choose a wide range of options for your pictures. Also, you have the ability to create your own presets, and thus your own custom edits for a large number of pictures.
  • Simplify: They simplify the editing process for you. Instead of adjusting so many sliders, you can just choose from different presets and apply all the edits.
Photo editing setting

Disadvantages of Using Presets

There are many disadvantages of utilizing presets, which include:

  • Complacency: Applying presets might make you a bit lazy. This might lead to your work getting affected. Also, presets might lead to you not trying other editing options. This might hold you back from editing to your true potential.
  • Unsuitable: There is a notion that one preset might not be the best one for every image. Therefore, it is almost impossible to find a preset that suits every image and makes them turn out to be exactly what you want it to be.

Related Questions

How Do I Sell My Presets?

You can sell your presets online by first making the custom preset by adjusting the settings accordingly. Choose an online store to sell it, a good option is Sellfy, which is normally used to sell digital products. Set a fair price, and market it to attract customers.

Is Buying a Preset Worth It?

Buying a preset is worth it because it can reduce your editing time. A lot of presets available online can solve a lot of your problems such as overexposure. They can add depth to an image without you having to do much. However, carry out some research before making the purchase.

Is Using Presets Considered Cheating?

Using presets is not considered cheating. Sometimes editing too much can be considered manipulating an image, however, adjusting the contrasts, brightness, and highlights is not cheating. They just help improve the image and is a part of the process.


A preset is a filter with predetermined editing settings that allows you to instantly make changes to your image. You can choose a preset from the existing ones or make your own. Utilizing presets saves a lot of your time and you can make money off it by selling customized ones.