Our favorite 8.1 improvements …
Not two months after the Lightroom Classic CC update to version 8 was launched (leaving Lightroom 7.5 in the dust), Lightroom Classic CC Version 8.1 has been released. It seems that Adobe is coordinating this update with the entire Adobe photo ecosystem: Adobe Camera Raw 11.1, Lightroom Classic CC, Lightroom CC and Lightroom CC 4.1 for Android, iOS and ChromeOS. For you holdouts, it’s a good reason to love the Creative Cloud. These improvements, updates and bug fixes keep making Lightroom better and better.
Just the Big Stuff
Instead of reviewing all the minutia of this Lightroom Classic update, we’re looking at our favorite improvements in 8.1. This is the desktop application and not to be confused with Lightroom CC, the cloud version (also updated to 2.1!).
Last October, we reviewed the major improvements for Lightroom Classic 8, in addition to our favorite improvements of Lightroom CC 2018, in case you missed them. And at the end of this post you can find a direct link to the “What’s New” page at Adobe for all the small details.
Here are the improvements worth knowing about:
Develop Panels Custom Order
At last week’s Digital Asset Management presentation at APA, we explained that no two photographers use the same workflow. Adobe must have heard us because you can now customize the order of the panels in the Develop Module!
Right click any of the panels on the right side of the Develop module and choose “Customize Develop Panel.” Uncheck to hide any Develop panels you don’t use, and drag and drop from the left side to reorder the ones you use the most.
Book Module Grid Snapping
Version 8 saw a big improvement to the Book Module, thankfully! With 8.1 Adobe has introduced grid snapping which is a much needed feature! This makes it easier to position image cells accurately to other images and text boxes. Yay!
The Book Module still isn’t perfect, but with a visible background grid, image cells you can snap to and custom page designs you can save, we’ve returned to Lightroom Classic for book making. These are all big improvements and time savers. We had been using Blurb’s Bookwright software, but returning to Lightroom simplifies our workflow. We promise, we will be reviewing the Book module at a later date.
Auto Import with Watched Folder
Auto-import images directly into a collection with a “watched” folder. Using File>Auto Import>Auto Import Settings … You can setup a new folder to automatically import and add images to a collection. This can also be a Collection synced with lightroom.adobe.com or Lightroom CC on iOS or Android. During my tests, this feature worked perfectly!
I’ll bet there are a lot of Lightroom users who end up quitting Lightroom when they didn’t plan to! This feature gives you the option of canceling a “Quit.” ‘Nuf said.
For those of you with 4K and 5K monitors, grid scrolling should be up to 5 times faster switching between the Library and Develop modules.
Download for the Lightroom Classic CC Manual
We’ve had a lot of requests for the most recent Lightroom Classic manual, so as a bonus to this blog post, here’s a link to Adobe PDF download of the Lightroom Classic CC manual: Adobe Lightroom Classic Manual.