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  • Writer's pictureCarl Mckie

Using Photoshop actions with Lightroom via Droplets

Updated: Sep 3, 2022

A little known feature of Lightroom is the ability to use Photoshop actions, or actions that have been turned into “Droplets”, this little used feature is so useful when exporting large numbers of images that all need a particular set of commands run on them, such as adding a frame or boarder to images destined for web pages or social media. Any Photoshop action can be turned into a droplet, actions that come bundled with Photoshop or actions you create yourself

First of all you will need to create the action or highlight an action (fig 1) ,next in the file drop down menu select automate and then create droplet, this will bring up the create droplet dialogue box(fig 2)-in this example I am using the Vignette action in the default action folder and to save the droplet to the desk top and the pictures folder to save the images to that the action is run on

Now in Lightroom select the images you wish to run the action on, and click export. Next set the parameters for the export, at the bottom of the export dialogue box is an option to “do nothing”-drop the list down and look for “go to export actions folder now and you need to drag the droplet(in this case untitled exe droplet as this is an example I never named it ,so I can delete it after without too much head scratching ) into the export actions folder from the desktop- this is where Lightroom becomes aware of it , and from here will run the action on as many images as you have selected, if Photoshop is not running it will even open it so it can run the process

So back in the do nothing box in Lightroom export menu you will now have in the do nothing dropdown menu untitled (in this case – if you named your droplet the name will appear here-now it is best practise to name your droplet as you can have any number of different ones stored here, mine will be deleted so unknown is easy for me to find later. Click on the droplet name to select it and press export—Job done!

Now a few things to be aware of with this process are the droplet is actually referring back to the action in Photoshop, so do not delete the action itself or this will not work. And you will still have the original files in your Lightroom catalogue, but you would need to re-import the finished files , if you wanted them in your catalogue-although if they where social media images or web images , most people would probably not bother –but something to be aware of non the less. And lastly in the create droplet dialogue box you may wish to select slightly different options-eg I tick suppress colour profile mismatch warnings, as if I go away and leave an action running on several hundred images and there is a miss match warning after the third image the action will stop-and by the time you are at the export stage you should have all the parameters set and checked, but again the options you chose will be dependent on the action you are running and personal preference and workflow.


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