Exporting Print Layouts in Lightroom

This weekend I received an email from a blog reader who was having difficulty exporting images in Lightroom. She had created a multi-image template with a watermark and she wanted to export it to use in her blog. The problem is that every time she went to export them, she would end up with separate images instead of the layout that she wanted when she looked at it in the Print module (see photo below).

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.14.53 AM


The answer to this problem is actually pretty easy but it’s one that a lot of people don’t really know about and that is the Print to File option in the Print module. Most people just like to use the print module for actually printing their images but if you look in the Print Job drop-down and click the Print To option, you will see that there are actually two options available, one is Printer and the other is JPEG File. If you select the JPEG File option, you are presented with a whole new list of options for exporting your image.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.20.25 AM


The new drop-down options let you select the quality of the saved JPEG file, add some sharpening, adjust the DPI, and set the color management profile. One thing to remember is that the image size will be dictated by the DPI multiplied by the print dimensions that you have set up in your print template. So if you have the DPI set for 300 and your template is set for an 8×10 print, your resulting image will be 2400×3000.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.25.10 AM


Once you have the options set, click the Print to File button at the bottom of the module. Notice that this has changed from the normal Print button that is there for printing a file. Once you click it, a Save File dialog box will open and let you pick a save location and name for your new file. Just click the save button and that’s all there is to it. Lightroom will process your template into a JPEG file and preserve all of your layout settings and watermarks just like they look on screen.

Manassas Triptych


So there you go, a quick and easy way to make stylized images with multiple photos using the little-known Print to File command in Lightroom. Enjoy.