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How To Create Adjustment Presets In Photoshop

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Photoshop adjustment presets are a quick and easy way to add a set of adjustments to your images with one click. While Photoshop offers a range of these presets to choose from, you can also learn how to create adjustment presets in Photoshop in a few steps.

Whether you want to create presets for consistency across your projects, make and export presets to share with team members, or import presets that you have received or downloaded, this tutorial has everything you need to know about custom Photoshop presets.


Lesson Summary
Step 1: Add Multiple Adjustment Layers To The Image
Step 2: Edit The Adjustment Layers’ Blend Modes And Opacity (Optional)
Step 3: Hold Shift And Select The First And Last Adjustments Layer In The Layers Panel
Step 4: Click The Plus Sign Next To Your Presets In The Adjustments Panel
Step 5: Edit An Adjustment Within The Preset (Optional)
Step 1: Add Multiple Adjustment Layers To The Image
Step 2: Edit The Adjustment Layers’ Blend Modes And Opacity (Optional)
Step 3: Hold Shift And Select The First And Last Adjustments Layer In The Layers Panel
Step 4: Click The Plus Sign Next To Your Presets In The Adjustments Panel
Step 5: Edit An Adjustment Within The Preset (Optional)

How To Create A Custom Adjustment Layer Preset In Photoshop

Step 1: Add Multiple Adjustment Layers To The Image

The Adjustments Presets are located at the top of the Adjustments Panel, and you can preview them by hovering over one. When you hover over a preset, it will show you a preview on your image. You can create your own if none of these presets work for you.

Note: Photoshop has about 30 presets to choose from, including Portraits, Black and White, Landscapes, Cinematic, Photo Repair, and Creative. Click on More to view the default presets.

You can start with one of the presets and add on, or start from scratch and add individual adjustment layers. First, select the first adjustment layer you want to add to the image, which will also become the preset. For instance, I will add the Curves Adjustment Layer.

Use the settings in the Properties Panel to set the adjustment however you’d like. These settings will be saved in the preset.

Next, select a different Adjustment layer from the Adjustments Panel. Once again, adjust the settings in the Properties Panel as needed. Here, I will add a Color Balance Adjustment Layer.

Note: You need a minimum of two adjustment layers to create a new adjustment preset, and only adjustment layers are added to the preset, no fill or image layers.

Step 2: Edit The Adjustment Layers’ Blend Modes And Opacity (Optional)

You want to ensure the adjustment layer is edited correctly before saving it in the preset. At this stage, edit the Adjustment Layer’s Blend Mode by selecting the adjustment layer and changing the mode in the Layers Panel.

Lower the Adjustment layer’s Opacity using the Opacity slider in the Layers Panel if needed. Repeat this process on both adjustment layers before moving on to the next step. These edits will be saved within the preset.

Step 3: Hold Shift And Select The First And Last Adjustment Layer

Select all the adjustments you want to add to the preset by holding in Shift and selecting the first and last adjustment layer. To select adjustment layers between other layers, hold in Control (Win) or Command (Mac) and select each layer you want to add.

Step 4: Click The Plus Sign Next To “Your Presets” In The Adjustments Panel

Once the adjustment layers are selected, click on the plus sign next to Your Presets in the Adjustments Panel. Next, add a name for your new presets and click Save.

Your new preset will appear under the Your Presets tab, where you can preview it on an image and quickly add it to projects by simply clicking on it.

Step 5: Edit An Adjustment Within The Preset (Optional)

To edit a new preset you have created, add it to the image by clicking on it. Then, select the adjustment layer you want to edit in the Layers Panel. Open the Properties Panel by going to Window > Properties and edit the adjustment as needed.

You will need to create a new preset to save the changes for the next time you want to add it otherwise these edits will only be shown on the current project you are working on.

Note: The adjustment layers found within an adjustment preset can be used in the same way as the standard adjustment layers by re-editing, adding layer masks, adding clipping masks, and more.



How To Export Your Custom Adjustment Preset In Photoshop

To export a new preset you’ve created in Photoshop, hover over it under Your Presets, click on the three dots that appear to open the preset menu, and click on Export Preset.

Name the preset, select an export location on your device, and then click Export. You now have a saved version of your custom preset that you can save on a hard drive or share with collaborators. This file is saved in .psap format, which automatically tells Photoshop it’s an adjustment preset when loaded into the program.

How To Import Adjustment Presets In Photoshop

Step 1: Open The Menu In The Adjustments Panel And Click Import Presets

If you have downloaded adjustment presets or received some from collaborators, you can quickly import them into Photoshop to use on your images. To do this, open the Adjustments Panel, click on the hamburger menu icon in the top right-hand corner, and select Import Presets.

Step 2: Locate The Preset On Your Device, Select It, And Click Open

Locate the adjustment preset on your device and select it. The preset will be in .psap format. It won’t load as an adjustment preset if it isn’t in this format. Click Open to add the preset to Photoshop.

Step 3: Click On The Custom Preset Under The Your Presets Tab To Add It To Your Image

You will now find the preset under the Your Presets tab. You can hover over it to preview the adjustment preset or click on it to add it to your image. You can now edit it and use it as needed in your projects.

Adjustment Layer presets offer an efficient way to non-destructively add certain adjustments to your images, which can help streamline your workflow and create consistent edits across multiple photos. To get the most out of Custom Adjustment Presets, you can learn how to use adjustment layers in Photoshop.



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I'm a Canadian photographer and photo retoucher turned founder of bwillcreative.com. Around here I help you to decode the mystery of photo editing with no-fluff videos and written guides to help you achieve your creative goals. Outside of shooting photos and my passion for educating, you'll find me mountain biking or on the trails with my dog, Sunny!

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