FAQ: Lightroom Presets

What is a preset?

A preset is a series of settings that correct a photo or apply a certain style or look to it. There are multiple types of presets.  The Quick Clicks Collection and Mini Quick Clicks are Develop Module Presets made to enhance your images and speed up your workflow.

What is the difference between a preset optimized for RAW vs JPG?  Can I use the RAW presets on a JPG and the JPG on a RAW image?

Due to the way in which Lightroom 2 and 3 handle RAW images, certain settings such as extra brightening and contrast are applied at import. These settings are a starting point for presets and are hard coded.  If you apply a preset optimized for RAW to a JPG image, it will be too bright, have too much contrast, sharpening and noise reduction.  Likewise, if you apply a preset optimized for JPG to a RAW image, the photo will lack contrast, sharpness, and be overly dark in most cases. Our Develop Module presets, Quick Clicks Collection and Mini Quick Clicks are available in versions optimized for both RAW and JPG.  Use the presets for your specific file type for the best results.

Upgrades in Lightroom 4 eliminated the need for different presets for RAW and JPG photos.

What is the difference between an action and a preset?

Actions work in Photoshop and Elements. Presets work in Lightroom. Actions cannot be installed in Lightroom. Presets cannot be used in Elements or Photoshop.  Read this article for more information.

Can I use your products independently? Does my purchase include the software needed to run presets?

On every product page we have the following: “To use this MCP product, you must have one of the following software.” This will tell you exactly what you need in order to use our products.  Our products do not include the Adobe software needed to run them.

Unlike Actions, presets don’t work directly in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. They work in Adobe Lightroom. To use MCP Quick Clicks Collection Presets, you’ll need:

  • For Lightroom (LR) version: Lightroom 2 or later

Always check individual product pages for version compatibility.  If you are unsure, please ask us, as we are unable to issue refunds for presets purchased and downloaded for incompatible software.

Our presets do not work in non-Adobe products such as Aperture, Paint Shop Pro, Corel, Gimp, Picasa, or any other raw editors.  They will not work with any web versions of Photoshop, iPad, iPhone or the free photoshop.com.

My Lightroom presets do not work in LR4.  How do I get the updated presets?

If you previously purchased presets for Lightroom 2 and 3, and subsequently upgraded to LR 4, we have provided a complimentary preset upgrade.  You can download them from My Downloadable Products on the My Account area of this website. Just click on the download, then save and unzip. See Troubleshooting FAQ for a screen shot of how to download your actions if you are having trouble.

Will actions work in Lightroom written in a language other than English?

Lightroom presets will work in non-English versions of Lightroom.

Do Lightroom presets work on PCs and Macs?

Yes, presets are cross-platform.  You need to make sure you have the appropriate version of Lightroom for your operating system.  Installation paths will vary based on your operating system.

Will the presets I buy for LR work in future versions of the same program?

While we cannot guarantee future compatibility of our presets, usually presets are forward compatible.

How well do I need to know Lightroom to use presets?

Prior experience with the basic tools of Lightroom is helpful. On each product page you will see links to video tutorials explaining how to install and use the presets. We recommend watching these before purchasing if you have concerns, so you can see exactly what is involved with each set.  You may also watch the video instructions and follow along while you edit.

Unlike actions, develop presets do not use layers, brushes, or masks.  This makes them slightly easier than actions.  It also means they are less flexible.  You may need to try multiple presets on a photo to find the one that works best.

How do I know if these presets will fit my style of editing or photography? Will your presets make my photos look like your examples?

Results vary when using presets.  We cannot guarantee your photos will look exactly like the sample photos on our website.  Everything from the lighting, focus, exposure, composition, colors in the photo and the way the photo was taken will influence the end result.  The better your starting image, the more presets will enhance your work.  To achieve certain styles, in camera scenarios often influence the final image more than post processing.

Do you sell individual presets?

All our presets are sold in sets as shown on our website.

What is your upgrade policy if I want a different version of presets?

For Quick Clicks Collection, if you want the JPG + RAW versions, your best pricing is at the time of purchase.  Our e-commerce cart processes these transactions through our site. Since we manually process any discounts for later upgrades, you will not get the best pricing at a later date. We will give you 50% off the second “file type” with proof of purchase. For example, if you bought the JPG set for Lightroom and now want the RAW, you would get 50% off the full price of $169.99 by contacting us. You will also need to back up these files as they will not be accessible through our e-commerce cart.

Can you tell me more about discounts, promo codes, and coupons you currently have available?

It has been our company policy not to offer sales throughout the year. We offer premium products with high value to photographers. We have one sale per year at Thanksgiving time – 10% off.  Please subscribe to our newsletter for details.

How do I install and use presets in Lightroom?

We offer video tutorials on installing and using presets.  You can find a link to these on every product page on our site.

Can I adjust the opacity once I apply a preset so it is stronger or weaker?

Lightroom does not support layers or opacity adjustments.  You can adjust presets by working with individual sliders.  You can also bring an original and an edited file into photoshop, layer the two, and adjust opacity.

What is your return policy?

Due to the digital nature of Lightroom presets, we cannot offer refunds because there is no way to take back the product.  Once downloaded, digital products are not returnable under any circumstances. Before selecting your presets, please check that your version of Lightroom will support all the features of the presets. All presets require basic knowledge of Lightroom. Video tutorials are available for presets on my site. Please watch these prior to purchase if you want to know how they work, ease of use, and if they fit into your particular workflow.

What is your presets replacement policy if my hard drive should crash and I lose my presets?

MCP Actions expects users to backup their presets onto an external hard drive or CD/DVD, for replacement purposes. It is your responsibility to back up your purchases. If you cannot locate your products after a computer failure or when moving computers, we will try and assist you, but are in no way obligated to store or re-issue your purchases.

For products purchased on this website, as long as you can locate them in your downloadable product section, you may download products as many times as you need for your own use (see licensing under Terms at the bottom of my site). You will need to remember your log on information to access these. We are not responsible for keeping this information or your downloads.

Can I back up presets onto my external hard drive?

Yes, backing up your purchase should be your first step of any digital product purchase. Computers crash. Make sure you protect the actions you have purchased.

How can I move my presets to a new computer?

You are welcome to re-download the presets to your new computer.

When will I receive my presets?

Our presets are instant downloads. Upon completing payment, you will be redirected to our site. You should get an email with a link to these downloads too, but it occasionally ends up in spam. For presets purchased on this site, go to the My Account area. Then go to My Downloadable Products on the top, left hand side of the page. Your downloads are there. Just click on the download, then save and unzip. See Troubleshooting FAQ for a screen shot of how to download your actions if you are having trouble.

How do I unzip my presets so that I can use them?

Most computers come with unzipping software.  You can also download unzipping programs online specific for your operating system.  This process varies from PC to Mac.  We are not responsible for unzipping your files.  Please make sure you know how to unzip software prior to purchase.

What are your Terms of Use?

Before purchasing, every customer must acknowledge our terms of use.  Please read it thoroughly before completing your purchase.