Seeing what Settings a Preset Uses

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#1
Hello
I don't know how to easily see which particular settings a specific preset is applying.
For example, I have some of my own, e.g. B&W presets, that adjust curves, WB, and some basic panel adjustments. If I want to tweak the preset, I need to know which settings are in that preset.
I would also find it useful to see which settings a third-party preset is using, so that I can copy it and make my own version.
One would think that when replacing a preset that the list of settings to apply would default to the ones that are actually set in the preset, but it does not.
The only way I have been able to do this is to edit the preset file with a text editor to see what is being applied.
Am I missing something obvious?

Mike
 

clee01l

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#2
Hello
I don't know how to easily see which particular settings a specific preset is applying.
For example, I have some of my own, e.g. B&W presets, that adjust curves, WB, and some basic panel adjustments. If I want to tweak the preset, I need to know which settings are in that preset.
I would also find it useful to see which settings a third-party preset is using, so that I can copy it and make my own version.
One would think that when replacing a preset that the list of settings to apply would default to the ones that are actually set in the preset, but it does not.
The only way I have been able to do this is to edit the preset file with a text editor to see what is being applied.
Am I missing something obvious?

Mike
Presets are XML files in plain text and can be read and deciphered by any text editor.
 
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Presets are XML files in plain text and can be read and deciphered by any text editor.
Cletus
Thanks, I understand that, and as I said I do that, but why can't I see this within Lightroom? It would make editing presets far simpler.
Mike
 

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Cletus
Thanks, I understand that, and as I said I do that, but why can't I see this within Lightroom? It would make editing presets far simpler.
Mike
You do see this in LR. It is the adjustment positions of each slider in the Development panel. If a preset has an entry "Clarity = -17", then the Develop panel slider for clarity will be setting on "-17". If the preset does not have an entry for "Clarity", then develop panel adjustment sliders for clarity will be in the position before the preset was applied.
 
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You do see this in LR. It is the adjustment positions of each slider in the Development panel. If a preset has an entry "Clarity = -17", then the Develop panel slider for clarity will be setting on "-17". If the preset does not have an entry for "Clarity", then develop panel adjustment sliders for clarity will be in the position before the preset was applied.
Hi Cletus

Thanks for responding again. I'm obviously not explaining this correctly.

Here's an example:

I have a B&W preset that I use for landscapes. It adjusts the B&W color mix, blacks, whites, contrast, WB, clarity, and the tone curve.

I created the preset some months ago, and I was wanting to adjust the black slider, I had it at -74 and it was generally too much. I wanted to leave everything else in the preset unchanged.

The trouble was that I could not remember which sliders I had saved in the preset. Now, I could do it the way you are suggesting, which is to return to default settings, apply the preset, and then look at each tool and see which settings had moved from default. Or, I could edit the preset with a text editor, and just change the black value, or see via the text editor which tools the preset uses.

But why do I have to do that? Lightroom knows which tools a preset uses. If I right-click on the preset, and choose "Update with current settings", why doesn't the list of sliders and tools to update default to the ones that are currently in the preset?

Again, when looking at a third-party preset, I could use the same right-click to see very simply which sliders and tools the preset is using.

Mike
 

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#6
If I right-click on the preset, and choose "Update with current settings", why doesn't the list of sliders and tools to update default to the ones that are currently in the preset?
Because "Update with current settings" means "Update this preset to include the specific develop settings of the current image".....so if you only want to change a setting in an existing preset, select an image, reset it, apply your preset, change whatever slider(s) you want, then use that "Update with current settings" option. So the updated preset will include all the previous settings along with the changed setting(s). Seems pretty simple to me, or am I also missing the point?
 
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Because "Update with current settings" means "Update this preset to include the specific develop settings of the current image".....so if you only want to change a setting in an existing preset, select an image, reset it, apply your preset, change whatever slider(s) you want, then use that "Update with current settings" option. So the updated preset will include all the previous settings along with the changed setting(s). Seems pretty simple to me, or am I also missing the point?
Hi Jim
What if I don't know which settings are stored in the preset? I only want to update the tools and sliders that are already stored in the preset, how do I find out which ones they are?

Mike
 

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Well, as has already been established, there's no facility within Lightroom to list the applicable settings for any preset. Personally, I can't relate to the proposition that "I don't know which settings are stored in a preset, yet I want to update them".....I would only know that I needed to change something in a particular preset as a result of using it and finding the results unacceptable. So I would then tweak it accordingly, then update it. I can't see any other way of doing it, sorry.
 
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Well, as has already been established, there's no facility within Lightroom to list the applicable settings for any preset. Personally, I can't relate to the proposition that "I don't know which settings are stored in a preset, yet I want to update them".....I would only know that I needed to change something in a particular preset as a result of using it and finding the results unacceptable. So I would then tweak it accordingly, then update it. I can't see any other way of doing it, sorry.
Hi Jim
How about, "I just installed a third-party preset, and I want to make a slight adjustment and replace it, and I don't know which settings are stored in the preset?"?
 

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#10
Mike,

If you follow Jim's advice, it shouldn't matter what the preset is doing. You'll apply the preset to a fresh image, tweak the image to taste, and then save all the current settings into the preset.

The settings that you didn't change will carry across, the ones you tweaked (even if they weren't included in the original preset) will end up in the new version. Like Jim, I really don't see how that could be a problem.
 

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#11
Same argument....until you apply it how do you know you need/want to adjust it? How can seeing a list of applied settings help you decide what needs to be changed, and by how much?

Possibly because I don't use third-party presets I'm not understanding your issue.....
 
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Mike,

If you follow Jim's advice, it shouldn't matter what the preset is doing. You'll apply the preset to a fresh image, tweak the image to taste, and then save all the current settings into the preset.

The settings that you didn't change will carry across, the ones you tweaked (even if they weren't included in the original preset) will end up in the new version. Like Jim, I really don't see how that could be a problem.
Hi Hal
Rough going here for me :hm:.
I have minimal settings in my presets. For example, I have specific presets for sharpening at different ISOs, toning presets, and so on. If I save all the settings in every preset, I can't apply them incrementally.
Some presets, such as my B&W presets, I apply after doing basic exposure settings. If I saved all the sliders in a preset, I'd lose all of those adjustments. Therefore, I definitely don't want to save all the settings into a preset.
Mike
 
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Same argument....until you apply it how do you know you need/want to adjust it? How can seeing a list of applied settings help you decide what needs to be changed, and by how much?

Possibly because I don't use third-party presets I'm not understanding your issue.....
Hi Jim
You have unlimited patience, thanks.
So, I do apply it as you suggest. I see that the contrast slider is set too high for my taste. I apply it to some more images, and yes, in general, the contrast is too high for me, so I want to just reduce the contrast slider in the preset, so that it defaults to a better value for me.
Whether this is my preset or someone else's, I want to save the preset. But, for example, I don't want the sharpening and noise reduction to be baked into this preset, as I have default settings per ISO for my camera. I just want to update, in this case one slider, in the current preset. I do not want other settings that were not in the preset in the first place to end up in the preset. How do I achieve that?

Am I perhaps using presets differently from most people? Do most of you have presets that adjust ALL the settings?
 

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Mike,

You won't run into that problem if you apply your preset to a fresh image before you tweak and re-save.

To get a fresh image, create a virtual copy, and in the Develop module, hold down the Shift key and hit the Reset(Adobe) button in the lower right. That will revert the image to what it was when it emerged from your camera. After you tweak and save the new preset, just delete the VC.
 
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Mike,

You won't run into that problem if you apply your preset to a fresh image before you tweak and re-save.

To get a fresh image, create a virtual copy, and in the Develop module, hold down the Shift key and hit the Reset(Adobe) button in the lower right. That will revert the image to what it was when it emerged from your camera. After you tweak and save the new preset, just delete the VC.
Hi Hal
Apologies for repeating and or sounding ignorant. Could you please tell me where in the following steps I am missing something.

1) When I save or update a preset, a window pops up and lets me choose which settings to keep in the preset - correct?

2) If I check all the check boxes in that window, every setting, including the default settings that I haven't changed, are saved in the preset. If I uncheck some of the check boxes, then only the settings that are checked are saved in the preset - correct?

3) So, if I have a image in its default state, and I change the contrast, black slider and tone curve only, and I then save a new preset (call it "darken") but check all the check boxes, then all the sliders in the develop module are saved in that preset - correct?

4) Now, I am working on an image, and after doing manual exposure, WB, and other adjustments, I want the "darken" preset. If I have checked all the check boxes when I created that preset, then all my previous manual adjustments to that image will be lost when I apply the preset - correct?

5) Therefore, when I create "darken", the right method is to uncheck all the check boxes, check only contrast, blacks and tone curve, and then save the preset. That way, I can apply it at any time and not affect any other settings - correct?

6) Sometime down the road, I realize that the look I am expecting from the preset can be further enhanced by a slight adjustment to the clarity slider, and I want to add this setting to "darken". As we have seen from above, I ONLY want to save the tools/settings that are in this preset, so I have to select only those ones when I update the preset - correct?

7) Only, I'm an older guy, it was a few months back, and I'm not really sure just which settings I set in "darken". I can keep the basic tab open and apply the slider, and I can see the contrast and blacks slider move, but I can't see the tone curve change. So, how do I safely adjust the "darken" preset unless I can see which controls the preset is holding? I need to know to check contrast, blacks, tone curve, and now clarity, but I have no easy way to find that out.

Mike
 
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Hal P Anderson

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#16
Ah...I see. That is a problem. Ideally, when LR puts up the window that asks for the controls to be modified, the appropriate boxes should be ticked if you're modifying an already existing preset. But it doesn't.

You could go to the Official bug report/feature request page (see top of forum page for link) and put in a request that it does. It would be a good feature. I'd add my vote.
 
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Ah...I see. That is a problem. Ideally, when LR puts up the window that asks for the controls to be modified, the appropriate boxes should be ticked if you're modifying an already existing preset. But it doesn't.

You could go to the Official bug report/feature request page (see top of forum page for link) and put in a request that it does. It would be a good feature. I'd add my vote.
Hi Hal
Done, and thanks VERY much for your patience.
 

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#18
i have had the same issue/question for years. i just discovered this thread. has there been any resolution or progress on this, or other answer i've missed?

i created a preset to employ as a workaround, where every slider gets set to maximum value.

so....in order to check which settings a preset affects, first have to set each slider to max, by way of said preset. (i chose max because i would be very unlikely to set any slider all the way to max.)

then i click on the preset i want to examine. any slider no longer at max is obviously affected by that preset.

note: it is not enough to simply apply a preset and see which values are no longer at default value, because the preset may be specifying default value.

for anyone creating or modifying presets, this is a core issue. you have to think and strategize about which settings to include in a preset. to that extent, specifying a default value is completely different from leaving a value at the default or current setting.

there should be a very easy way to see which settings are affected by a given preset. you should be able to right-click on a preset and have it show you which fields you included when making the preset.

but it does not. it only shows you which fields were affected the last time you used the preset dialog box, whether it was for a different preset, or even just to copy or sync settings between images.

on that note, you should be able to create presets of settings/fields groups. that is, not specific values, but different groups of fields. as it is currently, you can only “check all” or “uncheck all”. this makes for a very tiresome process of constantly checking and unchecking boxes when you want to sync image treatment. you should be able to group together different fields to be affected, and have those different groups available as presets within the syncing dialog box.
 

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#19
Same argument....until you apply it how do you know you need/want to adjust it? How can seeing a list of applied settings help you decide what needs to be changed, and by how much?

Possibly because I don't use third-party presets I'm not understanding your issue.....
sorry to be replying four years later, but i'm pretty surprised you don't see the value in being able to quickly identify which settings have been specified by a preset. this seems absolutely basic to anyone wanting to manage and control presets.

you don't have to be using 3rd party presets to want this. i have probably a few hundred presets to cover different types of adjustments, mostly that i've created myself. sometimes i downloaded a preset or several, and then just used them as a jumping off point to create many more of my own.

sometimes presets need to be updated, and not for aesthetic reasons. choosing which settings to include, or not, in a preset can be a complicated strategic decision, especially when you are considering how they will interact with other presets.

further, there are settings whose effect may not be so obvious to see, especially if you're not viewing at 100%. do you want to have to scroll down the develop sliders to see if the sharpening changed at all in a preset? i'm pretty sure you didn't see the difference just by clicking the preset, unless it's a huge difference.
 

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#20
sorry to be replying four years later, but i'm pretty surprised you don't see the value in being able to quickly identify which settings have been specified by a preset. this seems absolutely basic to anyone wanting to manage and control presets.
No need to be surprised, we all have different views and opinions, and Lightroom certainly isn't immune to that. In this instance I work on the basis that if I can't remember why/how I created a particular preset and have to inspect it to see what it does, then that makes it pretty worthless to me, so my method of managing and controlling presets is to delete those that fall into the "can't remember" category. Having said that I do understand that what works for me won't work for everyone, so why not find the feature request that the OP submitted and vote for it? The more users that vote for a particular feature request, the more chance that Adobe will consider implementing it.
 

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In this instance I work on the basis that if I can't remember why/how I created a particular preset and have to inspect it to see what it does, then that makes it pretty worthless to me, so my method of managing and controlling presets is to delete those that fall into the "can't remember" category.
But that seems to me like you've simply incorporated the lack of such a facility - to the point where it's a non-issue anymore. Although I don't blame you, as that's all that anyone can do if they're not programming the application. And Adobe doesn't seem to listen much, to even such 'high profile' people in the industry - so it end up being a case of 'why bother'. I've done the same here, actually - it could perhaps be one of the reason I don't use presets much any longer.. I've simply 'worked around it' by not using them much to begin with. :)

It seems like Mike-Photos might not be active here anymore -- so to Josh F: If you do find that feature request he created, please do post the link here so I can add my 'me too' to it.
 

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#22
But that seems to me like you've simply incorporated the lack of such a facility -
Not at all, it's just the way I use presets. As I said, I don't buy/download 3rd party presets, all the ones I have I create myself for specific purposes, and I try to name them aptly. So generally I only visit the presets panel to use a specific preset, not to try a bunch of them to "see if I like the effect". Thus in most cases I know exactly what each of my presets do, so I have little need to examine them if I decide to change them in some way.

I do understand that others work differently, so I do see why they would like the feature that the OP requested, it's just not something that I'd vote for.
 

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#23
Not at all, it's just the way I use presets. As I said, I don't buy/download 3rd party presets, all the ones I have I create myself for specific purposes, and I try to name them aptly. So generally I only visit the presets panel to use a specific preset, not to try a bunch of them to "see if I like the effect".
Same here. Truth be told, I have no idea whether the ability would change the way I use presets or not. But I do kinda remember wishing for that ability when I was first learning LR. And even every once in a while, these days.

Thus in most cases I know exactly what each of my presets do, so I have little need to examine them if I decide to change them in some way.
I often forget extremely easily, though. Therefore, I pretty much only use an import preset to get things to a good [jpg-like] start-point. But even those I end up forgetting, and it might be useful to have a feature such as this. And more importantly, such functionality could easily be extended to something I really would like to see: A quick and easy way to know what current settings differ from default and/or camera-default. Sure, one could go in every single tool to see, but that's tedious when it could rather easily be made automatic... For starters, even just a simple text-like table would be nice.
 

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#24
And more importantly, such functionality could easily be extended to something I really would like to see: A quick and easy way to know what current settings differ from default and/or camera-default.
... And also what settings are in snapshots, which I use extensively.
 
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