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A fix to Adobe Lightroom presets visibility

Lightroom presets

This is a bit of old news but I still hear this question about Lightroom presets quite often.
Over a year ago, Adobe decided to refine (= overhaul) how presets work in Lightroom. All of a sudden some of my own presets were not showing in the Develop panel anymore. And the same happened to others.
In other cases, all the presets were showing but some had their names in italics or greyed out.

If this is happening to you as well, it’s because Adobe considers them only partially compatible with the active image. Which can happen because some tweaks might be camera-specific. The most common culprit is the profile active when creating the preset.

Adobe Lightroom comes with its own internal profiles and with some ad-hoc ones to match cameras.
For example I use Fujifilm cameras and these come with film simulations. In Lightroom I would then choose the relative profile to give the RAW file the same tone I intended when shooting. And the profile is named after the film simulation, for example Classic Chrome.

If I were to export a preset with this profile applied and give it to somebody who has Canon files, the names would not match. The Lightroom presets are still perfectly compatible, but because of the mismatch Adobe decides they are not.

In the past, Lightroom simply ignored any non-compatible setting. So I could have kept my camera profile in the presets with (almost) no issues. Lightroom reverted to Adobe Standard and applied the compatible tweaks only.
Today this gets flagged. And while this could be useful to immediately see a camera mismatch, it has indeed caused a bit of confusion…

The fix

The reason why people still ask questions about Lightroom presets visibility is because the default option is to hide the “partially compatible” ones. So you might buy presets and still not see them in Lightroom after you load them.

Lightroom presets visibility

At least the fix is quick and easy. In order to see every preset, you need to go to File > Preferences and tick the box next to “Show Partially Compatible Develop Presets” (why this setting is in title case, I don’t know).

From a Lightroom presets creator point of view, all it takes is making sure the profile and lens correction are left out of the preset. And that anything in the Transform panel is left out as well: other people won’t have the same cropping needs!
It’s not enough to revert a setting to Adobe Standard because this will override somebody’s camera profile if it was already set.

Unless you create brand-specific tweaks, leave these out.

My Lightroom presets

Of course, I do have my own presets that I use regularly to speed up my workflow. Often, I thought about sharing them (well, selling them really).
I mentioned this in my recent post about what to expect this year from me (there’s an example there), so it’s going to happen some time soon.

I don’t want to create pointless bundles, so I’ll group them in themes with a coherent workflow. Hopefully you’ll find them more useful this way.
And of course I will take into account what I described above. So you can be sure my Lightroom presets will not be flagged as incompatible.

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