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Applying Changes Made to One Photo to Other Photos

This is where your workflow starts to get some legs, because once you’ve edited one photo, you can apply those exact same edits to other photos. For example, at the beginning of this chapter, we fixed the white balance for one photo. But what if you shot 260 photos during one shoot? Well, now you can make your adjustments (edits) to one of those photos, then apply those same adjustments to as many of the other photos as you’d like. Once you’ve selected which photos need those adjustments, the rest is pretty much automated.

Step One:

Let’s start by fixing the exposure and the white balance for this catalog shoot. In the Library module, click on a photo, then press D to jump over to the Develop module. In the Basic panel, go ahead and make your adjustments until the photo looks about right (you can see my adjustments in the overlay. I also pressed Y, so you could see a before/after side-by-side view here). So, those are the first steps—fix the exposure, white balance, and a few other things. Now press D to return to the regular view. (Just a reminder, you can download this photo and follow along at

Step Two:

Now click the Copy button at the bottom of the left side Panels area. This brings up the Copy Settings dialog (shown here), which lets you choose which settings you want to copy from the photo you just edited. By default, it wants to copy a bunch of settings (several checkboxes are turned on), but since we only want to copy a few adjustments, click on the Check None button at the bottom of the dialog, then turn on just the checkboxes for White Balance and Basic Tone (which turns on all the checkboxes in that section), and then click the Copy button. (Note: Be sure to also turn on the Process Version checkbox if you’re copying settings to images that are using an old process version.)

Step Three:

Next press G to return to the Grid view, and select all the photos you want to apply these changes to. If you want to apply the correction to all your photos from the shoot at once, you can just press Command-A (PC: Ctrl-A) to select them all (as shown here). It doesn’t matter if your original gets selected again—it won’t hurt a thing. If you look in the bottom row of the grid here, you can see that the first photo is the one I corrected.

Step Four:

Now go under the Photo menu, under Develop Settings, and choose Paste Settings, or use the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-V (PC: Ctrl-Shift-V), and the settings you copied earlier will be applied to all your selected photos (as seen here, where the white balance, exposure, etc., have been corrected on all those selected photos).

TIP: Fixing Just One or Two Photos

If I’m in the Develop module, fixing just one or two photos, I fix the first photo, then in the Filmstrip, I move to the other photo I want to have the same edits and click the Previous button at the bottom of the right side Panels area, and all the changes I made to the previously selected photo are now applied to that photo.

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