Best Lightroom Export Settings for Instagram, Print, And Many More

Let’s know the best export settings of Adobe Lightroom for social media, Instagram, print, web, and many more. Keeping the high resolution intact and without any quality loss, let’s find File naming, File settings including Image format, quality, and color space best settings. Image sizing, Metadata settings watermark, etc. will also be discussed.

Lightroom Export Settings for Instagram

  • Location: Choose your preferred destination.
  • File Naming: Use “Filename_Instagram” for clarity.
  • File Settings: Select JPEG format, sRGB color space, and set quality to 85%.
  • Image Sizing: Width at 2160px and resolution at 72 PPI.
  • Sharpening: Opt for screen sharpening with standard settings.
  • Metadata: Keep the default setting.
  • Watermarking: Customize according to your preference.

Tip:  Instagram shows width dimensions of 1080p but I’ve different experience that brings some good results. I keep the width 2160p and leave the height box empty. Instagram compresses the width to 1080p by itself with better quality than if we select 1080p width by ourselves. So, keep the width 1080p and leave the height blank.

best lightroom export settings

Lightroom Export Settings for High-Resolution Print

  • Location: Designate your chosen output location.
  • File Naming: Opt for “Filename_Print” for clarity.
  • File Settings: Select TIFF format, sRGB color space, and set quality to 100%.
  • Image Sizing: Disable the resize option, and maintain resolution at 300 PPI.
  • Sharpening: Choose a matte or glossy sharpening with standard settings.
  • Metadata: Keep the default setting.
  • Watermarking: Ensure the watermarking option is unchecked.

Lightroom Export Settings for a Website

  • Location: Specify your desired destination.
  • File Naming: Utilize “Filename_Website” for better organization.
  • File Settings: Choose JPEG format, sRGB color space, and set quality to 85%.
  • Image Sizing: Width at 2048px and resolution at 72 PPI.
  • Sharpening: Apply screen sharpening with standard settings.
  • Metadata: Include all metadata, then ensure to remove personal and location info.
  • Watermarking: Personalize as per your preference.

These Lightroom export settings cater to various purposes, allowing you to efficiently prepare your images for Instagram, websites, or high-resolution prints with ease.

Accessing the Export Dialog in Adobe Lightroom:

  • Select the image  you want to export 
  • Hover your cursor over ‘File,’ and a dropdown menu will appear. Within this menu, you’ll find the ‘Export’ option. Click on it to proceed.
  • Shortcut: If you prefer keyboard shortcuts for Lightroom, you can also access the Export dialog by using the following keyboard shortcut:
    • For Windows: Press Ctrl + Shift + E
    • For Mac: Press Cmd + Shift + E

File Settings

Choosing the Right File Format:

Selecting the appropriate file format is essential when exporting photos in Lightroom. Here are the key formats to consider, along with their common uses and platform compatibility:

  • JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group):
    • Use: Ideal for online sharing, social media, and general digital use.
    • Characteristics: Compressed, smaller file size, suitable for viewing on screens.
    • Compatibility: Compatible with virtually all devices and platforms, including web browsers, social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), and email clients.
  • TIFF (Tagged Image File Format):
    • Use: Best for high-quality printing and professional applications.
    • Characteristics: Lossless, retains maximum image quality, larger file size.
    • Compatibility: Widely supported by professional image editing software (Adobe Photoshop, CorelDRAW), high-end printers, and publishing platforms.
  • DNG (Digital Negative):
    • Use: Suitable for archiving and future editing, especially within the Adobe ecosystem.
    • Characteristics: Raw format, retains editing flexibility and metadata.
    • Compatibility: Widely supported by Adobe software (Lightroom, Photoshop), some other image editing software, and archival systems for long-term preservation.

When deciding on a format, consider your intended use, desired image quality, and the platforms where you plan to share or work with your images. Choose JPEG for web sharing on various platforms, TIFF for professional printing and software, and DNG for Adobe-centric workflows and long-term archiving.

file format in export

Image Quality settings: 

This option allows you to control the compression level when exporting images as JPEG files. Higher values (e.g., 95-100) result in better image quality but larger file sizes. Lower values (e.g., 80-90) provide smaller file sizes with some loss of image detail.

  • For Instagram: Use a quality setting of 80-85 for JPEGs. This balance between file size and quality works well for online sharing and social media platforms.
  • For Print: When printing your photos, opt for higher quality settings, such as 100%. This ensures top-notch image quality and detail in physical prints.

Tip: It’s my findings that if you are worried about disk space then keep the numbers 92 and 84 in mind because file size remains the same between 93 to 100. And then the size drops when you jump from 93 to 92. Similar case with the 84. When you jump from 85 to 84, the file size reduces but the file size remains the same for 85-92.

Lightroom best export settings

If there are size limitations on a specific platform, check the “Limit File Size To” option and enter the appropriate maximum file size for the platform you intend to use. Here are the size limitations for some popular platforms:

  • Instagram: Max 30 MB
  • Facebook: Under 15 MB is recommended
  • Twitter: Under 5 MB is recommended
  • Flickr: Up to 200 MB
  • Pinterest: Max 20 MB
  • Website Hosts (e.g., Wix): Varies, but Wix recommends no larger than 25 MB.

Color Space Settings:

The best color space setting for export largely depends on your intended use. For most general purposes, especially when sharing photos digitally on platforms like Instagram or websites, the sRGB color space is an excellent choice. It is the standard color space for the web and ensures consistent and vibrant colors across a wide range of devices and screens.

On the other hand, if you’re preparing images for professional printing or require a wider color gamut for advanced editing, the Adobe RGB color space may be more suitable. Adobe RGB encompasses a broader spectrum of colors, making it preferred for high-quality prints, especially when working with professional printers. Ultimately, the choice of color space should align with your specific project goals, whether for digital sharing or physical prints.

Image sizing

I would recommend you choose Width and Height as a parameter to adjust image sizing.

for Social Media Platforms:

  • Instagram:
    • Image Posts: 1080px (bottom edge).
    • Landscape: 1080 x 608px.
    • Portrait: 1080 x 1350px (4:5 aspect ratio).
  • Facebook:
    • Image Posts: 1200px (bottom edge).
    • Portrait: 1200 x 1500px (4:5 aspect ratio).
  • Twitter:
    • Image Posts: 1200 x 675px (16:9 panoramas).
  • Flickr Pro:
    • Pro Accounts: 6144px (long edge).
    • Other Accounts: 2048px.
  • Pinterest:
    • Image Posts: 1000px (short side).
    • Landscape: 1000 x 1500px.
    • Portrait: 1000 x 2100px.
  • Website Hosts (e.g., Wix):
    • Suggests 2560 x 1440px images.

For Print: When preparing images for print, it’s essential to match the dimensions to your intended print size. If you’re unsure, consult with your chosen print service for their recommended dimensions.

Make sure to check the “don’t enlarge” box. For online viewing, the best resolution appears at 72ppi. However, for print, 300ppi. 

Output Sharpening

  • Sharpen for: In this section, you’ll find the “Sharpen for” dropdown menu. Select your intended output, which could be “Screen” for web sharing or the specific type of print you’re targeting.
  • Amount: Adjust the “Amount” slider to control the intensity of sharpening. A higher value results in more pronounced sharpening.

During Lightroom Export, my suggestion is to select sharpen for screen and select amount standard. As we have done our required sharpening during editing, so we don’t have to worry about sharpening now. 

Other settings

File Naming:

Opt for descriptive file names during export to maintain an organized image library. Include keywords, dates, or project names in the file name to aid in easy retrieval. Consistency in naming conventions streamlines your workflow and improves image searchability.

Watermarking

Use watermarks to protect your work and establish your brand. Position watermarks strategically but not obtrusively on your images. Customize opacity to strike a balance between security and image visibility.

how to export photos in lightroom?

Metadata

Embed essential information like copyright details, keywords, and descriptions into your exported photos. This enhances accessibility, searchability, and respect for your work’s licensing terms. Create and apply metadata presets in Lightroom to streamline this process for efficient image management.

For, Instagram, you don’t need to bother about metadata, etc. Watermark usage is completely your choice. For normal social sharing, you can skip it.

Transferring Photos to Phone

For uploading your photo on social media (Instagram), we generally transfer our photo from Lightroom PC to our Mobile phone after exporting from Adobe Lightroom. However, many apps compress and reduce the image quality. 

Tip: Avoid many steps, avoid transferring your photo from one app to another and then to another.

  • For iPhone and Mac users, use Airdrop.
  • For Windows and Android users, use Google Drive or Dropbox.
airdrop for iphone
google drive for android and pc

Best Lightroom Mobile Export Setiings

Just like Lightroom PC, all of these settings discussed previously are exactly the same in Lightroom Mobile, Image sizing, File settings, resolution, and quality, every option is available on Mobile and you can follow the same guidelines as I discussed previously. Make sure to save your export settings as a preset so you don’t have to waste time every time you want to export photos with the same settings.

Conclusion

These are the best Lightroom Export settings according to my experience in photography. You can save the preset of these settings so you don’t have to apply all these settings again and again. For example, you can save Lightroom preset for Instagram export and similarly for high-resolution export. 

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