Presets allow you to make instant changes to your image with one click of a button. Each preset is made up of all the saved filters as well as the settings used for each of those filters. Presets can also include Blending Mode and Opacity changes made to a filter or a layer. For each layer, a different preset can be applied, which can make for some creative results!

Applying a Preset.

In order to save time when developing your image, you’ll find an extensive collection of presets. Professional photographers from around the world have helped us create a comprehensive group of presets that give your images amazing enhancements in a single click.

To apply a preset:

  • Make sure an image is open in Luminar.
  • If the Preset Panel isn’t visible, click its icon in the Top Toolbar. 

  • The Preset Panel will open at the bottom edge of the screen. 
  • Сlick the Preset Panel button in the Top Toolbar to toggle displaying and hiding the presets filmstrip bar on the bottom of the window.
  • Examine the presets available by exploring their thumbnails at the bottom of the page. Each offers a live preview as what the image would look like with the Preset applied.

  • Click on a Preset thumbnail to apply it. You can quickly switch presets by clicking on a new thumbnail. You can also use the right and left arrow keys to switch presets.

By moving the Amount slider located within the Preset name you can lower the intensity that the effect has on your image. Click the Star icon on a preset thumbnail to add it to your Favorites list for easy access.

Loading Additional Presets.

There are many presets included with Luminar. To make it easy to manage these presets, you’ll find that they are organized into several groups and categories.

Choosing a Group.

Presets are organized into three major groups. To view these options click the circular icon at the right edge of the Presets Panel. This will open up the Group and Category browser. All Presets shows you both presets created by the Skylum team as well as any that you’ve saved or imported.

User Presets shows you presets that you’ve created on your own. Favorite Presets are the presets that you tagged with a star (just click the hollow star on a preset’s thumbnail). Use these presets to create a consistent edit across a series of images or to keep a shortlist of your favorite adjustments.

Choosing a Category.

Presets are also organized into Categories to help sort them by style. These categories include presets created by Skylum and professional photographers. To view by category, click the circular icon at the right edge of the Presets Panel and choose the All Group. You’ll now see several categories to choose from, including:

  • Basic. These presets create subtle changes in your image for clarity, vivid colors, adding a vignette, and more.
  • Street. These work well for photographs shot under on-the-move conditions. Bring out detail and add contrast to your images quickly.
  • Outdoor. A collection of presets that are well-suited for outdoor lighting. Use these presets to quickly add contrast, make colors vivid, improve skies, or add details with structure.
  • Portrait. Enhance the look of people by smoothing skin tones and bringing back warmth and color to your subject.
  • Travel. Apply subtle adjustments to both color and contrast. These presets are useful for evoking a mood and are a quick way to stylize your photos.
  • Dramatic. Use these presets to create images that offer a dramatic flair. Looks include presets to create desaturated colors, high-contrast tones, rich colors, big glows, or soft focus.

Customizing Presets.

Remember, a preset is merely a starting point. Different photographers will desire different looks. Plus a preset may work great on some photos, but need a little tweaking for others. Once you select a preset, you have the ability in the Side Panel to use Filters controls to modify that preset to fit your specific image needs.

Saving Custom Presets.

As you adjust presets or build your own recipes from scratch, you may find a particular combination that you like. Custom presets can function as the jumping off point for your own look and style. A preset can store a lot of control in an easy, one-click effect.

Adjust an existing preset or add your own effects to an image. Then click the “Create Preset” button at the upper-right of the Filters controls. A dialog will pop-up at the top of the window asking you to name your preset. Give it a descriptive name to help you remember which situations to use the preset.

Click the Create New Preset button to store the preset. Once you've added the preset, it will appear in the User Presets group.

Modifying Custom Presets.

There are additional features for user presets that are not available for the built-in presets. To access this menu for a user preset, click the small triangle next to a presets name while hovering over the preset’s thumbnail image.

  • Show in Finder. Opens a Finder window for the currently selected preset file. This allows you to copy the preset and pass it on to someone else.
  • Delete. Deletes the current user preset.
  • Rename. Renames the current preset. 
  • Export. Saves the current preset file to a location of your choice.
  • Update with Current Settings. To overwrite or re-save the preset with the current state of the sliders in the Filters controls.

Sharing a Custom Preset.

Any presets you make can be shared with other users, manually backed up to a new location, or copied to a new computer. You can freely export your own presets and import another person’s presets into your application.

To view any Custom presets simply chose File > Show Presets Folder…. Luminar presets have the file extension .lmp. Select the presets you want to share, then send them to fellow Luminar users.

To copy presets on another machine, just choose File > Show Presets Folder… on the other computer. Simply drag the new presets into your Presets Folder. All presets in this folder appear in the Custom category and the All Presets category.

For best results, restart Luminar to load all the new presets.

NOTE: You can take precise control over your Custom presets with the Show Presets Folder… command.

  • To export, you can simply copy files from this folder.
  • To import, just copy the files into the new presets folder.
  • To delete a preset, you can simply delete the preset file in the folder.


Occasionally Skylum or other professional photographers will release a collection of presets, called “Packs”. When you import a Custom Preset Pack, it will create a new category in the Presets category window, and display any associated presets therein.

To add a Custom Preset Pack, select the menu item File -> Add Custom Presets Pack. An open dialog will be displayed, allowing you to choose the Pack you wish to add.

Check out the page with the presets for Luminar:

Watch a Luminar video.

Download the full Luminar User Guide in PDF Format

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