I got a question from someone, the answer to which I think will interest other readers as well: while in Develop Module, this reader wanted to apply a Lightroom preset to a number of photos that she had selected in the Filmstrip. With this Filmstrip selection active, she pressed the preset in the Presets Panel but only one picture got updated.
This is not a bug: if you are in the Develop Module, and you have more than one picture selected in the Filmstrip, your presets (or other Develop changes, for that matter) will only apply to the most selected picture. That’s the picture you selected first when you started making that selection of pictures. Yes, you read that right: a picture in Lightrooms Filmstrip can have what I would call ‘three states of being selected’:
- not selected
- selected, but not the first
- the first or ‘most’ selected image (this can only be one image)
There’s a subtle difference in the grey area surrounding the pictures. The most selected picture is the lightest shade of grey. The other selected picture(s) are a little darker shade of grey, and the unselected ones are the darkest shade of grey.
From left to right: a non-selected photo (man on the bench), two selected photos (two portraits), the most selected photo (street scene) and again a non-selected photo (fisherman). Notice the subtle but important difference in the grey tones surrounding the images.
The difference between ‘Most selected’ and ‘Selected’ is important in many ways. First off, if you synchronize metadata or develop settings from one picture to other pictures, it’s always from the Most Selected picture to the others. Note that, as you can see in the screenshot, the Most/First Selected picture needn’t necessarily be the first one from left to right in a series of selected pictures.
The difference is also important to understand todays question. When you are in Develop Module, any develop settings or presets will only be applied to the First/Most selected picture (note: there is one exception with Auto-Sync, as I will explain later).
The same is true in the Loupe View of the Library Module: changing star ratings and other stuff only gets applied to the First Selected Picture. The logic behind this, is to help to prevent you from unwillingly changing lots of pictures. However, what do you do when you willingly want to change lots of pictures or apply the same preset to them?
Well, as far as the presets are concerned, there’s three ways:
1) In the Library Module, you switch to Grid View (shortcut: G): when you’re in Grid View, changes you make are applied to all selected pictures. In the Quick Develop Panel, you can then choose a preset next to‘Saved Preset’
2) in the Develop Module, hover over one of the selected pictures in the Filmstrip and right-click, which will open the contextual menu. Go to Develop Settings and choose the desired Preset as shown in the screenshot
3) Cmd/Ctrl Click on the Sync… button in the bottom right of the Develop Module. This button doubles as theAuto-Sync button: when in Auto-Sync mode, if you apply a preset (or any other Develop Setting) to one picture, all other selected pictures will change as well. In Lightroom 2, you have to use the Cmd/Ctrl-trick. In Lightroom 3, there’s an actual switch on the Sync… button to change it to Auto-Sync. Just don’t forget to turn it back to normal Sync once you’re done :-).