Monday, March 18, 2013
Eight Ways To Speed Up Lightroom
Simple tips to make photo browsing and editing run faster in Lightroom
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
1. Get a new computer. Okay, I know, this one's unfair. But it's true. Like any piece of software, Lightroom has minimal system requirements. Get your system up to snuff, or preferably well beyond those minimal requirements, and your software will zip along nicely. Upgrades to hard drives, RAM and processor are the most obvious contributors to hardware speed.
2. Let the software help you. Run regular operating system updates and make sure your version of Lightroom is up to date as well. Bug fixes can occasionally help speed the software, as can closing programs you're not using. This lets the computer concentrate its processing power in Lightroom. These first two tips are good advice for any program, though, so let's now get a little more Lightroom-specific.
4. Run in 64-bit mode. Check that Lightroom is running in 64-bit mode—to access the most RAM possible and speed workflow—by checking the title bar in Windows for "x64", or checking File Information on Lightroom in the Applications photo of Mac OSX. If it's not, be sure the "Open in 32-bit mode" box is unchecked.
5. Be deliberate with Lightroom previews. Keep standard size previews as small as possible, and set larger 1:1 previews to render automatically on import. Alternatively, you can choose to manually render these previews after import but before you set about navigating through a take. If Lightroom is tasked with rendering on the fly, you'll find yourself waiting for previews to load. That's why rendering automatically on import or manually prior to browsing will speed up your workflow.
6. Turn off "Auto Write XMP." Adjustments made to metadata, keywords and other image adjustments are stored in an XMP file that by default is automatically and regularly saved regularly while you work. This is convenient for people who switch regularly between Lightroom and other editing programs like Bridge or Camera Raw. But, if you're strictly a Lightroom user, turning off Auto Write XMP—accessed in the Catalog Settings preference pane—will speed up the software. Plus, you'll still get the benefits of XMP updates whenever you output or print photos from Lightroom.
8. Optimize the catalog by backing it up regularly. I set my catalog to back up on closing weekly. Not only is this helpful to keep files safe, but since the catalog is automatically optimized immediately following each backup—as long as you have the appropriate checkbox checked—backing up also serves to speed up the software. If you want to optimize more often, backup the catalog more often. While it takes a bit to backup, it can run in the background while you're doing other things, and it definitely keeps things running smoothly.