- Lightroom Classic User Guide
- Introduction to Lightroom Classic
- Lightroom and Adobe services
- Lightroom for mobile, TV, and the web
- Import photos
- Viewing photos
- Manage catalogs and files
- Organize photos in Lightroom Classic
- Process and develop photos
- Develop module basics
- Create panoramas and HDR panoramas
- Flat-Field Correction
- Correct distorted perspective in photos using Upright
- Improve image quality using Enhance
- Work with image tone and color
- Apply local adjustments
- HDR photo merge
- Develop module options
- Retouch photos
- Cure red eye and pet eye effects
- Use the Radial Filter tool
- Use the enhanced Spot Removal tool
- Export photos
- Work with external editors
- Print photos
- Photo books
- Web galleries
- Keyboard shortcuts
Importing photographs into your catalog establishes a link between the catalog and the physical file. The photograph can exist on an internal or external drive. In previous versions of Lightroom Classic, you could edit images that were contained on drives connected to Lightroom Classic.
Smart Previews in Lightroom Classic allow you to edit images that are not physically connected to your computer. Smart Preview files are a lightweight, smaller, file format, based on the lossy DNG file format.
Video tutorial: Smart Previews
Advantages of Smart Previews
- Smart Previews are much smaller than the original photos. You can free up disk space on devices with smaller storage capacities (for example, SSD drives) by choosing to keep original files on a high-capacity external device (for example, NAS devices or external discs). For example, 500 raw images from a high-end DSLR camera may occupy 14 GB of disk space. The Smart Preview files for the same images amounted to 400 MB of disk space.
- Continue to work with your Smart Preview files even when the device containing your original photographs is disconnected. You can perform all edits that you would perform on the original file.
- Automatically sync any edits made on Smart Preview files with your original files, as soon as the device is reconnected to your computer.
- Once created, your Smart Preview files are always up to date. When your storage device is connected, any edits you make to the original file are applied instantly to the Smart Previews as well.
Create Smart Previews
There are several ways to generate Smart Preview files:
When you import new images into your catalog, select Build Smart Previews (Import dialog > File Handling section). Smart Previews are created for all the images imported into the catalog.
When you export a set of photographs as a catalog, you can choose to build and include Smart Previews in the exported catalog. Click File > Export as Catalog, and then select the Build/Include Smart Previews checkbox.
On the fly
You can create Smart Preview files on demand. Select the files for which you want Smart Previews, and then click Library > Previews > Build Smart Previews.
Smart Previews are stored in the [Catalog Name] Smart Previews.lrdata file, located in the same folder as the catalog.
Work with Smart Previews
You can identify the Smart Preview status of a photograph based on the information displayed below the Histogram:
Delete Smart Previews
Do one of the following:
- In the Library or Develop module, for a photo that has a Smart Preview, click the status Original + Smart Preview below the Histogram, and then click Discard Smart Preview.
- In Library or Develop module, click Library > Previews > Discard Smart Previews.