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Save Time by Sharing Templates

Generally speaking, templates saved to Lightroom's Template Browser are bound to a specific web engine, and cannot be applied to any web engine other then the one used to create the template. With some simple template hacking, though, we can easily copy saved settings from one template to another, allowing us to use a single template as a base for all CE4 plugins.

Engine Compatibility

For settings to be shared between two or more web engines, those engines must have compatible options. Core Elements 4 (CE4) engines are built on a common framework, meaning that many of the base options for page setup – including many under-the-hood settings, the masthead and navigation, footer, social networking options, typography settings, etc. – are the same in all CE4 engines. By copying these shared settings, you can save time by not having to duplicate your page setup for each plugin. This also helps to ensure cohesion between the various CE4 components which comprise your website, and helps to eliminate inconsistencies and mistakes in your setup.


To hack templates, it will be necessary to use a plain text-editor.

The Turning Gate favors Coda, by Panic, Inc. Coda is a Mac OS X application and costs $99. It's pricey, but extremely worthwhile for anyone using a text-editor in daily work, and builds in an FTP client. Super useful! Nearly all TTG plugins are developed in Coda.

Free text-editors are also available for Mac and Windows systems:

Hacking Templates

As a first step, select a web engine and create a design as usual. Save your design as a template using the Template Browser; this will be your source template. I like to include the engine title when naming my template, for example: Orange - CE4 Pages.

When finished, select your second web engine. Make no changes; using the default settings, save a new template to the Template Browser; this will be your target template. Name your target template appropriately for the anticipate end result, for example: Orange - CE4 Gallery.

That done, quit Lightroom. Open your Web Templates folder, the location of which varies by operating system:

on Mac OS X Snow Leopard / Leopard
Users/username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Web Templates/

on Mac OS X Lion / Mountain Lion / Mavericks
Users/username/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Web Templates/

On Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Web Templates\

On Windows Vista, Windows 7 & Windows 8
C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Web Templates\

Locate your source and target templates in whichever sub-folder to which you saved them. Using the example file names above, they would appear as:

  • Orange - CE4 Gallery.lrtemplate
  • Orange - CE4 Pages.lrtemplate

Using your text-editor, open the source template. Search for the line which begins:

		styleData = {

Highlight and copy this line and all lines that follow it, all the way to the bottom of the file. The more changes made to the default settings in your source template, the longer the copied code will be.

Using your text-editor, now open the target template. Again, search for the line which begins:

		styleData = {

Because no changes were made to the web engine configuration when saving the target template, the styleData section of the template will be short:

		styleData = {
	version = 0,

Highlight this entire section – from the styleData line, to the end of the file – and Paste in the code from the source template. SAVE your changes.

You may now restart Lightroom. Load the target template, and you should see that any settings shared in common between the source and target web engines will now resemble the source template.

As a final step, right-click the target template name and select “Update with Current Settings” from the menu. This will update your target template with information from the current engine, clearing out any irrelevant settings carried over from the source template.

Now congratulations are in order. You've just hacked your first Lightroom template and saved yourself a whole lot of time. Time you now may use to sip mojitos. Enjoy your mojitos. ;-)

sharing_templates.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/04 07:00 by matthew

The Turning Gate
Creating webbly, wobbly, Lightroomy things since 2007.