Everything You Need to Know About Export in Lightroom


After the processing of photos in Lightroom is finished, most often you need to export them in the traditional format. Lightroom allows exporting images in the following formats: JPEG, TIFF, PSD and DNG. (And also export image as a catalog, to work with them further as with a separate catalog).


Export in Lightroom is available from any module via the menu commands:



Also in the module Library via Export button (combination of keys Ctrl+Shift+E):


You'll see an export window:


In this window provided all export parameters, that I'll describe below in details:


1. File Setting

  • JPG - is the most popular format, used worldwide.
  • PSD - is  Adobe Photoshop format. It can be used as an interim variant during the processing and will allow to preserve the maximum quality.
  • TIFF – a frequently used format, more “qualitative” then JPG
  • DNG - is a universal RAW format created by Adobe
  • Original -  will upload the original RAW file, the processing will be stored in the "xmp" file

Slider Quality influences on the size and quality of the output file. I don't recommend to set it lower than 70%.

Color Space parameter - set sRGB, if you monitor isn't calibrated. If it's calibrated, then set the name of the appropriate profile.

 2. Image Sizing


Resize to Fit - to limit the size of the file by number ... This option is often used when some website requires to upload photos with the size less than X...

Sometimes you need to change the image size in width or length. It is usually required either for some websites, or for optimisation of images for mobile devices, or simply to reduce their size, namely, to save space on a hard drive. Here an option Resize images (Resize to Fit) can be helpful.

Checkmark Don't Enlarge – prohibits to zoom in an image when resized.

Resolution  - if you are going to print an image in the laboratory, it's accepted to set the resolution up to 300 pixels per inch. To view images on the screen, select 72 pixels per inch. For home printing the choice, in my opinion, should depend on the printer, however, it's more logical to choose 300 - 360 dpi resolution for printing ...

3. Output Sharpening


It is commonly used when changing the image size during uploading.

Amount can be minimum, average and maximum.

This option is used for the next aims:

  • Screen - sharpening to view on a screen.
  • Matte Paper - for mate paper.
  • Glossy Paper - for glossy paper. 

4. Metadata


You can include information about photo:

  • Copyright Only. 
  • Copyright & Contact Info Only.
  • All Except Camera & Camera Raw Info.
  • All Metadata.

5. Watermarking


It allows you to add on your photo the information about the author and his contacts. You can do this by applying your logo as an image or a plain text. You can read more about watermarking your photos here.

6.  Post-Processing


Small automation of actions can be also applied after export:

  • Show in Finder.
  • Open in Adobe Photoshop.
  • Open in Other Application.

Hope, you have understood how to save in Lightroom :)

Here are a few more of the commonly used cases:

  1. The most widely used format - JPG. To maximize the quality use "Quality" with a value of 100%, the Sizing while panel remains inactive, the output sharpening is turned off.
  2. If you want to reduce the size of the photos slightly, you can set the "Quality"  on 80%, it's undesirable to reduce below 70%.
  3. If you want to post a picture on social networks or other services, I recommend you to change the size of the photo .... You should use a panel Image Sizing for that. Reduce one side of your photo up to 1024 pixels and put the slider Quality on 80%.
  4. To make your colors on the photos look the same in Lightroom and the Internet, you need to work in one color profile. Color Space - if you have not calibrated the monitor, select the sRGB profile, if calibrated, I think, I don't need to explain this to you.
  5. If you want to upload photos to a different Lightroom catalog preserving all labels, processing, keywords, location information - you need to use the option File -> Export as Catalog. Thus, you export photos you have chosen as a catalog ... To import them to another catalog you need to use the option File -> Import From Another Catalog.