Lightroom Classic 9: Batch export - Custom Text

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  • Updated 8 months ago
  • (Edited)
Just testing out the new Lightroom 9 batch export feature. I have 2 presets I'd like to batch together, both of them use file renaming with custom text as part of the filename. When I enter the custom text and then click to go to the next preset, it wipes the custom text from the previous one when I go back to it. If enter the custom text and then check the box for batch exporting, it also clears the text. The first issue has been a bug for a long time, but it didn't matter too much. Now it really matters because it makes the batch export feature useless if you want custom text.
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Mark Hazeldine

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Posted 8 months ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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Did you update the preset after changing the custom text? When you check the presets for bulk export, it always uses the preset contents, not any unsaved changes.
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Tom Mickow

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Hey Mark, I understand the confusion, but don't think what you described has ever been a bug.  The trick is to understand that you're really working with two different things - your "last used/remembered" collection of settings and presets.

When you were only able to export using a single preset, a common workflow would be to click on a preset to get a starting point and then tweak the settings from there.  In that case, it made perfect sense to leave a field like custom text undefined in your preset and enter what you wanted each time you exported.

What you need to realize though is that once you made a change to anything that was loaded by the preset, you started working with a new unsaved collection of those settings.  Lr remembered that info and kept presenting it to you as what you used last.  You were able to tweak and export using those settings as much as you wanted, but they were still just being remembered by Lr and never saved as a preset, unless you explicitly did so.

Clicking on any of the actual preset names again would have triggered Lr to load the settings stored in that preset and what Lr had been remembering for you would be overwritten at that point.  If custom text was undefined in the preset, it would appear to "wipe the custom text", as you described it.

I'm guessing the confusion over what Lr is remembering vs. what's actually saved in a preset will probably bubble up a bit more now that Lr can export using multiple presets.  For the single settings exports, you don't really need to change anything in your workflow, but if you want to export using multiple presets, you need to make sure you're saving your tweaks to those presets before trying to use them in an export.

A little long winded, but hopefully that makes sense.


(Edited)
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Mark Hazeldine

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Hi Victoria/Tom,

Ok, so it may not have been a "bug" before as such. More of an annoying "feature". The problem is, I don't want to save the custom text as a new preset. I do real estate photography and I want to name my exported files with the 1st line of the address. Thus, this will change for every export, BUT if i'm doing a batch export, I want to define that custom text in each preset first and save it temporarily until the export actually runs. After that, I don't care if it disappears or gets "lost". The problem right now is if I want to run a batch export with custom text and I don't want to save it as a new preset, I can't do that.
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Tom Mickow

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I do like the idea of having a prompt come up for custom text when it's included in a preset, but only when the field is empty/undefined.  If the preset had a value set, it should be honored and the exports should proceed without any prompts.
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Tom Mickow

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And I understand what you're saying, but you're in no man's land.  You sort of want to use static presets, but also want them to sort of be modifiable/variable without saving and that functionality doesn't exist.

I don't know if you have more use cases, but for the example you gave, why not put the 1st line of the address in an unused metadata field - title, caption, creator address, sublocation, whatever - and then use that field in your filename template?

That way, you'd just need to select all the images from a given location and put in the address once and then all subsequent exports would be able to use that field for renaming, instead of you having to type the address in custom text each time.  It would also allow you to export images from multiple addresses in one shot without having to worry about having multiple presets, multiple custom text values, etc.
(Edited)
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Tom Mickow

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Just happened across this - Lightroom: Prompt for custom text when exporting

It's not exactly the same, but similar to Victoria's suggestion.  Only 4 votes in 5 years though, so unless it picks up a lot of traction, I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing anything along these lines any time soon.
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Mark Hazeldine

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Tom, hmm right. Well I like your metadata suggestion. It would mean changing my workflow, but I could actually see it working pretty well once I get used to the change. Thanks for the idea!
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Tom Mickow

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No problem.  Not all the fields are available for use, so just make sure to check out the metadata dropdown lists in the filename template editor before you start making wholesale changes to your workflow.