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Copy Settings

Copy Develop settings between photos with different formats, orientations, and crops, avoiding long-standing Lightroom bugs with copying local adjustments, crops, transforms, and red-eye corrections. For example, copy a Spot Removal from a portrait raw rotated in-camera to a TIFF produced from that raw by Photoshop.

Define presets of commonly used groups of settings.

Quickly invert entire masks (the missing feature in Lightroom 11’s new masking tool).

Convert mask components (brushes, gradients, etc.) to Add, Subtract, or Intersect (another missing feature).

Extract masks from photos for use as Photoshop layer masks.

The plugin’s Copy Settings and Synchronize Settings commands are nearly identical to Lightroom’s built-in commands, adding support for Red Eye and defining presets:

Try it for free for 30 days.

Buy a license for $9.95.

Bugs with Lightroom’s Copy Settings

Lightroom has long had bugs copying Develop settings that are tied to specific locations in a photo, including Brush adjustments, Graduated Filters, Radial Filters, Transforms, Spot Removals, and Crops. The copied adjustments end up at the wrong spot or have the wrong size. See these bug reports:

Local adjustments and crops don’t copy or work in presets applied to rotated photos
Synched brush not at the same place on a cropped copy
Synched spot removal to a cropped copy not sampling from the same place as in the original
Transform doesn’t copy/sync correctly

Recently, Adobe has changed its position and says that fixing at least some of them is “planned”, though it has marked at least one instance “as-designed” with no plans to fix it. Fixes may be in the next release, or they may be months or years down the road. Lightroom 10.2 fixed some of the bugs but introduced new ones.

I published a memo on the Lightroom Classic feedback site explaining the correct behavior, how to implement it, providing exhaustive test results, and including a test suite they can run against new releases. Of course, I’ve run this plugin through the same test suite.

Lightroom 11 fails to copy the on/off toggles of Develop panels.

Download and Install

Copy Settings requires Lightroom 6.0 or later, Lightroom CC 2015, or Lightroom Classic. (The newer cloud-focused Lightroom doesn’t support plugins.) 

  1. Lightroom 11 and later: Download copysettings.1.11.zip.
    Lightroom 10 and earlier: Download copysettings.1.3.zip.
  2. If you’re upgrading from a previous version of Copy Settings, exit Lightroom and replace the existing copysettings.lrplugin folder with the new one extracted from the downloaded .zip. Restart Lightroom and you’re done.
  3. If this is a new installation, extract the folder copysettings.lrplugin from the downloaded .zip and move it to a location of your choice.
  4. In Lightroom, do File > Plug-in Manager.
  5. Click Add, browse and select the copysettings.lrplugin folder, and click Select Folder (Windows) or Add Plug-in (Mac OS).

The free trial is for 30 days—after that, you’ll need to buy a license.

Buy a License

  1. Buy a license for $9.95:  

    The license includes unlimited upgrades. Make sure you’re satisfied with the free trial before buying.
  2. Copy the license key from the confirmation page or confirmation email.
  3. Do Library > Plug-in Extras > Copy Settings.
  4. Click Buy.
  5. Paste the key into the License key box and click OK.

Using Copy Settings

The Copying Settings and Synchronize Settings commands work just like the built-in Lightroom commands.

Select a photo and do File > Plug-in Extras > Copy Settings. Then select one or more photos and do File > Plug-in Extras > Paste Settings.

Alternatively, select two or more photos, with the source photo most-selected. Then do File > Plug-in Extras > Synchronize Settings.

The option Original Sky and Subject Masks copies the actual masks to the target photos. This is useful in special situations, such as copying the same exact mask to a large timelapse series.

To define a preset for a group of settings, check the desired settings. Then in the Preset menu, choose New. To use that preset, just select it from the Preset menu.

Invert a Mask

To invert a mask in Lightroom’s new masking tool, select it and do File > Plug-in Extras > Invert Mask. Note that you must select an entire mask, not a mask component (Brush, Linear Gradient, Radial Gradient, etc.).

Inverting a mask is the second most popular feature request for Lightroom 11. Hopefully Adobe will implement it in 11.1.

Convert Mask Components

To change a mask component (brush, linear gradient, etc.) from Add or Subtract to Intersect, select the component and do File > Plug-in Extras > Convert to Intersect. Similarly, Convert to Add and Convert to Subtract change a component to Add or Subtract.

While it’s possible to do these conversions using built-in commands, it can take multiple steps when manipulating intersections and users have asked for the commands to be added to Lightroom.

Extract Masks

Use Extract Masks to extract a photo’s masks as grayscale images suitable for use as layer masks in Photoshop. Select one or more photos and do File > Plug-in Extras > Extract Masks. The extracted masks will be stacked underneath the photos:

Open the photo and a mask image in Photoshop, edit a layer mask for the photo, and copy/paste the mask image to the layer mask.

Due to lack of Adobe documentation for how masks are represented, Extract Masks is unable to extract luminance, color, and depth range masks.

Note that Lightroom’s Sky and Subject masks are lower-resolution than those created by Photoshop’s Select > Sky and Subject commands (and the algorithms appear to produce somewhat different masks).

Keyboard Shortcuts

Mac OS: You can use the standard mechanism for assigning application shortcuts to plugin menu commands. In System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > App Shortcuts, select Adobe Lightroom Classic. Click “+” to add a new shortcut, then in Menu Title type “Copy Settings” (case matters) preceded by three spaces (“<space><space><space>Copy Settings”). In Keyboard Shortcut type the desired key or key combination.

Windows: You can use the standard menu keystrokes to invoke Copy Settings. For example, ALT+L opens the Library menu, U opens the Plug-in Extras submenu, and C invokes Copy Settings.

To reassign a different final keystroke to the Copy Settings command, edit the file Info.lua in the plugin folder. Move the & in front of the desired letter in the menu command’s name, changing the name itself if necessary.

To assign a single keystroke as the shortcut, download and install the free, widely used AutoHotkey. Then, in Windows File Explorer, navigate to the plugin folder copysettings.lrplugin. Double-click Install-Keyboard-Shortcut.bat and restart your computer. This defines Ctrl+Shift+C, Ctrl+Shift+V, and Ctrl+Shift+S to invoke this plugin’s Copy Settings, Paste Settings, and Synchronize Settings, rather than Lightroom’s built-in commands. To change the shortcuts, edit the file Copy-Settings-Keyboard-Shortcut.ahk in Notepad and follow the instructions in that file.

Support

Please send problems, bugs, suggestions, and feedback to ellis-lightroom@johnrellis.com.

I’ll gladly provide free licenses in exchange for reports of new, reproducible bugs.

Known limitations and issues:

  • Paste Settings pastes to all the currently selected photos in Library Loupe view, rather than just the most-selected photo. This differs from the built-in command, which only pastes to the most selected photo. (Lightroom doesn’t provide plugins with the ability to detect Library Loupe view.) Paste Settings works correctly in Develop.
  • Crop > Straighten Angle and Aspect Ratio aren’t implemented—Copy Settings copies all the crop settings. For more flexibility in copying just some of the crop settings, see the Any Crop plugin.
  • Copying Transform > Upright Mode and Upright Transforms doesn’t work with this plugin or with the built-in Lightroom commands, even when copying to photos with the same internal orientation. I haven’t figured out a workaround.
  • Copying Transform > Manual Transform works with this plugin in many situations but not all—see here for a detailed list of where it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work at all with the built-in Lightroom commands. I haven’t figured out a workaround.
  • Copying Transform > Manual Transform will raise an internal Lightroom error if the source photo has Vertical = 0 and Horizontal non-zero, or vice versa, and Constrain To Crop is unchecked. To work around this Lightroom bug, make sure both settings are non-zero or check Constrain To Crop.
  • A Pet Eye’s catchlight doesn’t copy directly between photos with different orientations due to a Lightroom bug that I can’t work around.
  • The Original Sky and Subject Masks option won’t correctly copy Select Sky and Subject masks to target photos with orientations different from the source photo (because Adobe hasn’t documented the internal representation of the masks).
  • Extract Masks is unable to extract luminance, color, and depth range masks (because Adobe hasn’t documented the internal representation of the masks).

Version History

1.2

  • Initial release.

1.3

  • Fixed errors with Develop adjustments from previous process versions.
  • Fixed bug copying local adjustments to/from videos.
  • Copying a local adjustment from a photo with no adjustment clears it in the target photo.

1.4

  • Handles new Lightroom 11 masking. Version 1.4 only works with Lightroom 11 and later—use version 1.3 for Lightroom 10 and earlier.
  • You’ll have to re-create your Copy Settings presets, since Adobe reorganized and renamed the categories of settings in Lightroom 11.
  • Invert Mask command.
  • Invoking Paste Settings while in Develop will paste settings just to the current photo, not other selected photos. This is closer to how Lightroom’s Paste Settings works, though if you do Paste Settings in Library Loupe view, it will still paste to all the selected photos. (Lightroom doesn’t provide a way for plugins to tell the difference between Library Loupe and Library Grid views.)
  • Original Sky and Subject Masks option copies the actual masks of Select Sky and Select Subject, without updating them. Until Lightroom provides a method for batch-updating copied Sky and Subject masks, this option is useful in limited situations, such as as time-lapse photos with the sky in exactly the same position. Note that if you use this option to copy Sky and Subject masks to photos in different orientations, the masks won’t be rotated properly (because Adobe hasn’t documented the internal representation of the masks).

1.5

  • Extract Masks extracts photos’ masks as grayscale images for use as Photoshop layer masks.
  • Large numbers of masks are displayed in a scrollable list.
  • Sky/Subject masks are marked with .
    Fixed bug copying radial gradients and crops between photos with different resolutions.

1.6

  • Manual Transform now copies correctly in LR 11.

1.7

  • Masks only get copied when Masking is selected.

1.8    2022-01-04

  • Fixed bug with copying camera profiles.

1.9    2022-01-15

  • Fixed bug with Masking checkboxes not properly displaying checked state.
  • Improved the display of the mask list on Windows.

1.10    2022-04-13

  • Added the setting subcategories Parametric and Point Curve to the Tone Curve category.
  • A progress bar is displayed for Paste and Synchronize Settings.
  • Convert to Add, Subtract, and Intersect commands for easier intersections of mask components.
  • Check All and Check None moved to the right side for faster clicking.
  • Check None clears Original Sky and Subject Masks.
  • Masks are now identified by the internal unique identifier, not by their name, as Lightroom does. This allows you to select among masks that all have the same name (e.g. “Mask 1”) and to merge them without overwriting.
  • Mask names can now be the same as settings category names (e.g. “Basic”).
  • Mask names can now contain periods (working around a Lightroom bug).
  • A Sky or Subject mask copied between a master and its virtual copy no longer needs to be updated.
  • Fixed bug copying radial filters that are partially off-image.
  • Fixed bug copying radial filters between images of different orientations.
  • Selecting Crop for a source image that’s uncropped will no longer crop a target image of a different orientation.
  • Fixed glitch with Mac OS security and the Extract Masks command on some installations.

1.11    2022-04-14

  • Worked around Lightroom bug copying White Balance.