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Batch Editing in Lightroom – Video Tutorial


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mcpblog1-600x362 Batch Editing in Lightroom - Video Tutorial Blueprints Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials

Batch editing is one of the best benefits of using Lightroom as a starting point for your photo edits. It’s quick and easy! And once you’ve done all that you can with your photos in Lightroom, you can even open them into Photoshop in a batch for any final edits you’re looking to make.


You have two options for batch editing in Lightroom.

  1. You can edit a group of photos at the same time
  2. You can edit one photo and retroactively apply the same changes to a group of images.

Note that any of the techniques I describe below work in both the Develop and the Library modules. We think of editing in terms of the features available in Develop, but in the Library module, you could apply keywords in batches, update metadata, or even make simple exposure and white balance adjustments.


How to Edit A Group of Photos All At Once


Start by selecting the photos that you’d like to edit. You can select contiguous photos by clicking on the first, holding down the shift key on your keyboard, and clicking on the last. To select photos that aren’t next to each other, hold down command or control while clicking on each photo you’d like to edit.

Once the photos are selected, look for the Sync or Auto-Sync button at the bottom right corner of either your Library or your Develop module. We want this button to say Auto-Sync. If it doesn’t, click on the light switch to toggle from Sync to Auto-Sync.


When this button says “Auto-Sync,” any change you make to one image will be applied to all selected images. The Auto-Sync method is for great changing exposure and white balance on images taken in the same lighting conditions.

Retroactively Applying Changes from A Previously Edited Photo


Personally, I generally use the Sync method, when I’m applying creative looks to a photo. That’s not to say that you can’t Auto-Sync instead, this is just what works best for my personal workflow. To use this method, I’ll play around with one image until I’m happy with the look. And then, with this photo still selected and active for editing, I’ll add to my selection using command/control or the shift key. By adding other images to the selection, the photo you have already edited is primarily selected, as seen below.  You can see from this image that the photo on the right is “more selected” or has a brighter highlight than the others.  This means that I will sync edits from that photo onto the others.

filmstrip Batch Editing in Lightroom - Video Tutorial Blueprints Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials


I’ll make sure that Sync is displayed on the button, and then click it. Clicking it opens this window:


sync-settings600 Batch Editing in Lightroom - Video Tutorial Blueprints Lightroom Presets Lightroom Tutorials

Using this window, you tell Lightroom which adjustments from your first photo should be applied to the photos you selected after editing. This method is particularly effective for photos that weren’t all taken in the same white balance or exposure conditions. I can tell Lightroom not to sync WB or exposure settings, but only to sync the tint I added through Split Toning along with Vibrance, Clarity and Sharpening.

Batch Edit with Presets


Everything previously mentioned above applies to presets as well. As an example, I’ll edit these 6 photos in one batch. Also, as mentioned above, I typed command/control A to select them.


And then I applied these presets:

Taking Photos into Photoshop in Batches


If you have photos that need extra work in Photoshop, select them together, as I described above. Right click on one of them and select Edit In, and then select your version of Photoshop. All of the selected photos will open for you to edit. Please note, however, that I don’t recommend doing this with more than 5 or 6 images at a time – it might take a long time with more images and tends to slow down the process.

Video Tutorial – Want To See This in Action?  Click the Video Below To See the Ins and Outs of Editing Photos in Batches Using Lightroom


No Comments

  1. shelia on May 7, 2008 at 4:58 am

    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!! I can not say that enough…I have been placing my logo into each file..not fun!! then i started to just writing as the watermark and batching that way…but ALWAYS had to move the watermark because it was never in the right spot…this is such a time saver…thanks for sharing!

  2. Julie Cook on May 7, 2008 at 10:57 am

    very simple. Thank you. Is there a way to make it ON your picture instead of under it?

  3. admin on May 7, 2008 at 11:28 am

    Yes – it has to do with where you align the brush to and if you added extra white space, etc.

  4. ~Jen~ on May 7, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Awesome! Thanks so much!

  5. Bettie on May 7, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I just did this on a batch of web images for a client last week. The only difference I do is File>Place command and then align the layers so it is placed on the bottom right of the image. This is a great alternative. Thanks.

  6. admin on May 7, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Bettie – that is a great way to do it as well – that is actually how I do it. But this tutorial was really good. Plus – older versions of PS seem to do better with this way. But yes – you can align it wherever you want. Jodi

  7. Missy on May 7, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    This is so great!! I’m excited to try it right away! It’ll save me so much time! Do you have any more time-saving tips?

  8. admin on May 7, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Of course I do – stay tuned and keep watching for more.

  9. Catherine on May 8, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Just did this tutorial and I want to cry with relief! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Tracy YH on May 8, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Thanks so much, I had no idea how to do that. Your blog is awesome!

  11. Michelle Garthe on May 8, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Is this not available anymore? I cannot get it to load.

  12. admin on May 9, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Try again Michelle – it is working well for me.

  13. Matt Antonino on May 11, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Glad to see everyone loves the tutorial so far. I enjoyed making them. One thing about the tutorial – in mine, I put 2″ on the bottom for the second canvas enlargement. If you want to be uber specific and make sure it works 100% of the time exactly perfectly, don’t do that. lol Instead, put it 100px more than your logo height. If your logo height is 500pixels high, make the second enlargement 600pixels on the bottom only. That will ensure your logo works 100% perfectly every single time!Thanks,Matt

  14. Robyn on May 22, 2008 at 11:49 am

    The video will not work for me but I badly want to see it as I have been struggling with this for some time!

  15. Video Watermark on July 25, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I’m really please i found this site today. I learned a lot reading topic in here. Thank you to making available to world this great site. I will make sure yi visit it everyday.

  16. sumatiptan on August 15, 2008 at 12:39 pm
  17. Debbie McNeill on November 5, 2008 at 7:48 am

    OMG! I have searched and searched for this type of information. Thank you so much for providing this, I can’t tell you what a relief it to finally know step-by-step how to batch process logos. Now as a special request I would love to see more options. Pretty Please!

  18. Tanya on April 23, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Amazing!! You are the PS QUEEN! Thanks for helping me learn more!!

  19. sean potter on May 9, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  20. Julie on November 12, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    This is a life saver..after several attempts, I have created my action! Everything runs fine..only when I try to run it a second time on a newly opened photo, the action turns the new photo into the same image as the last photo. First photo is fantastic…subsequent photos all come out the same as the first. Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

  21. Julie on November 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Nevermind..I had a copy merged command in my action that was making a mess of things. I took it out and now I am in business. Thank you so much for posting this tutorial!

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