Editing Lightroom Presets

For those of you that use Lightroom and also make use of Lightroom presets you may find this tip useful. When saving a preset or loading in a preset from somebody, it is possible to have settings in that preset that interfere with the basic corrections that have been applied to the image already. Here is a quick technique for editing the preset without having to load it onto an image and save it back out again. I would consider this to be a fairly advanced technique but not that difficult to do. The example is based on Windows although I’m sure it’s similar for Mac.

Typically, I don’t like presets to change the colour correction or exposure sliders because I will often use these to perform corrections to the image before applying the preset. I prefer presets to work with the other sliders to achieve their effects. I have discovered a quick and easy way of editing the preset directly by editing the preset’s file. To do this you must first find the preset on the hard drive. Lightroom makes this easy for you by providing you with the option to go to the preset’s file on Explorer from within the context menu. You can find this option by “right clicking” on the preset in the presets list.

Right click on the preset to edit and select "Show in Explorer" to reveal the text file containing that preset's settings.

When you show the preset in Explorer there will be a number of files with the extension “.lrtemplate” which are the presets that Lightroom uses and these are simply text files. Your computer is unlikely to know what to do with these so it may be necessary to open them using “Open With” again by “right clicking” on the file in Explorer. I would suggest using WordPad or a plain text editor to do this because these programs are less likely to insert any unusual codes into the file.

After choosing to show the preset in Explorer an Explorer window will launch showing all the presets in that folder as "lrtemplate" files.

When the file is open, it will be possible to see all of the Lightroom preset settings listed out which their values. Simply delete the settings from the file that you don’t want applied to the image when the preset is applied. Then save the file. For the changes to take place, the presets need to be reloaded into Lightroom by restarting the program.

I doubt that this is sanctioned practice from Adobe but I have yet to encounter any problems when doing this and I suspect the worst possible damage that could be done is to corrupt the preset file so if you’re particularly nervious about doing this then backup the lrtemplate file first.

If you have any more interesting tips about the lrtemplate file then why not add them to the comments here?

When an "lrtemplate" file is opened it will be possible to see all of the settings that make up that preset. Simply remove that are note required by deleting the line.