Lightroom .PNG Export (sort of) for Facebook

How to Make .PNG Images for Social Media from Lightroom in Three Clicks

As many photographers users know, FB butchers image files.  By uploading a .PNG smaller than 1MB to a business page (not a personal page, unfortunately) you can keep your image uncompressed.  Since Lightroom doesn’t have a .PNG export yet, here is a workaround that I use with pretty good success.   Once you set it up initially, you will be able to quickly and easily export as .png files.

Summary:  Create an action in photoshop to save a copy of the image as a .png file.  Save that action as a droplet.  Create a Lightroom export preset that creates a jpeg of your image, then runs the droplet after export to make a .PNG version.  Saving the .png file in a dropbox folder on your hard drive will make instantly accessible from your phone, tablet, or any computer to share on instagram or anywhere else.

Note:  All your .PNG files will be in the SAME folder initially.

Another Note:  I use a PC and have no idea how to do this on a Mac.  Hopefully it’s pretty much the same

Last note (for Windows users only):  If you don’t already use droplets you might come across permission issues.  Just Google it 😉  There is also a limit to how many images you can export with a droplet at once, so if you get a communication error, that was too many.

Step 1.  Create a folder to store all your .png files.

The action you create will put a copy of your image in a specific folder.  I have a subfolder in my dropbox folder so that all my images will be available from my phone.

Step 2.  Create the action in Photoshop

Open a copy of an image file.  Start recording a new action.  Select File/Save As and pick .png as the file type.  Pick the folder where you want to save the image.  Don’t change the file name.  Select your compression options  (I do smallest/slow compression.)  Close the image.  Stop Recording.

Step 3.  Find your Export Presets folder in LR

In Lightroom, click on any image, right click, click Export/Export to open the export dialog box.  Scroll to the bottom and click on Post Processing/After Export and click on “Go to export actions folder now.”  Copy the path to this folder, make a shortcut, or remember where this is.

Step 4.  Create a Droplet

In PS, Select your new PNG action.  Go to File/Automate/Create Droplet.  Click “Choose” and navigate to the Export Presets folder from Step 3.  Make sure your action is selected under “Play.”  If not, select your action.  Click OK.

Step 5. Create your LR Export Preset.

Open the export dialog box.

Lightroom png xport


Pick a folder to save your jpegs that you will export from LR.  I like to rename the images with the folder name and the image name because my folder always is the client name.  I also have a separate preset for square images that adds an “S” to the filename.   As a result, all the .png files will have a unique name and will be in alphabetical order.  This is NOT the folder where your .PNG files will go.  That is determined by your photoshop action.

I resize to max size of 780 px on the long side for square images and 900 px for rectangular images.  This usually ensures that the final .png image will be less than 1 MB.  I also add my watermark in this step.

Click on “Post Processing” and select your droplet from the dropdown.  It should be there if you saved it into the right folder.

Click “Add” and save these settings as a new preset and name it whatever you want.  I call mine “PNG Watermark” and “PNG Watermark Square” .  I have a preset folder named with a number so that it shows at the top of the list for quick access because I have LOTS of presets.  If you don’t have a lot of presets this won’t be necessary for you.

Now you are ready to save .png files in three clicks!

1. Right click on the image

2. Click Export

3. Click on your new PNG preset name

If you are saving to your dropbox folder, it should be there all ready for you to Instagram!

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  1. Thanks so much for your help, this is a lifesaver!! 🙂

  2. You save my time! Super! Thank you sharing how to easy crete png file from jpeg. I love LR and PS.

  3. Ali Shadpour

    Thanks, very helpful with couple of hiccups. 1-Can this be done without openning of PS and then left open? 2- I am getting 2 files, a jpeg and a PNG, what do I do wrong?

    • tammyhowell

      PS is what actually converts the jpeg to png. It can be closed once the conversion is finished. Using this method you will get two files. Since lightroom won’t export as a .png you must export as SOMETHING so that PS can open it and make the conversion. You could always deleted the jpegs if you don’t want them. They are small files and don’t take up much space so I don’t delete them very often.

      • Ali Shadpour

        “It can be closed once the conversion is finished”. How? Can the same Action close PS, how? the way the action works for me it does the job beautifully but leave the PS open and I have to close it myself! Thanks

  4. Thanks. This is a clever and elegant solution. This is a lot better than my previous workflow of using Image Magik.


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