What Is a Proof Preview in Lightroom?

Sometimes, the images or graphics we can create can look different when published or printed. Lighting, color, and many other factors play a part in this. Thankfully, there is an option in Lightroom that can make this easier.

Proof Preview is a feature in Adobe Lightroom that lets you view your images before you share them online. You can do this by clicking the “Preview” button in the bottom right corner of the image window.

If you want to know what your photo looks like without sharing it, then Proof Preview is perfect for you. There are several reasons why previewing your images using this method is a good idea before uploading them. Read on to find out.

What Does Proof Preview Mean in Lightroom?

When shooting images or designing graphics, we often don’t know what our final output will be until after we’ve taken the shot. We may not even know how the image will look until we publish the image and view it in the intended environment of the final product.

Sometimes, we just need to take a quick peek at the image to see if it’s going to work out well before we waste those resources, after all ink is expensive, and if we are sending our designs out to someone else, we want to make sure they look professional. That’s where proof preview comes in handy.

Soft proofing is a term used in photography to describe the process of using a printout of your image to check if the colors look correct before printing. In Lightroom, soft proofing is known as “Proof Preview” mode and functions with much the same purpose.

Why Is Proof Preview a Good Idea?

It’s never a good idea to publish work without checking to see if everything is correct beforehand.

Here are some reasons why you should use Proof Preview in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to save yourself trouble in the long run:

  • You can make sure that your photo is ready to go online. If you have uploaded your photos to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., then you probably don’t want to upload something that isn’t ready to go. By using Proof Preview, you can check out how your photo will look before you post it.
  • You can edit your photo before posting it. When you click the “Edit” button in the top left corner of the image window, you can change any settings that you want to adjust. You can even add text to your photo. Once you are done editing, you can save your changes and continue with your workflow.
  • You can easily find your photos. You can search through your entire library by typing keywords into the search bar at the top of the screen. You can also sort your photos by date taken, location, camera model, and many other options.

These handy features make it easy to notice and correct any defects in your image that you might not have seen beforehand. It’s important to keep in mind what kind of environment you want photos to be viewed in, because that will factor in how they look.

What Causes Images to Look Different than What We See?

Light is the primary factor that determines how well your image looks.

You can use software to adjust the brightness and contrast of your images, but you cannot change the color temperature of the environment, therefore it’s important to know what your image will look like depending on the lighting it will be displayed in when it is printed.

Color is also a factor. The colors we see on our monitors can be different when we see them in print, or even in other monitors or displays even if it is the exact same image. Previewing images can give us a sense for how this can look.

How to Find Proof Preview in Lightroom

To find Lightroom’s proof preview mode, there are a few steps you need to take.

They include:

  1. Head to the Develop Module and find the setting there. It is an icon resembling an eye. You will see 2 images, your original, and the preview image. Take a moment to spot the differences and see if you can notice any irregularities or if anything seems to be out of place.
  2. When you click on Proof Preview, Lightroom will apply a temporary proofing profile to your photo. This profile is based on the currently selected printer and paper type in the Print module.
  3. You can change these settings by going to the Print Settings panel (in the left sidebar).
  4. If you want to see how your photo looks with a different proofing profile, you can select it from the Profile drop-down menu in the toolbar.
  5. Lightroom comes with a few built-in profiles, or you can create your own custom profiles.
  6. Once you’ve selected a proofing profile, take a look at your photo and see how it looks.

If you’re happy with how it looks, then you know that your photo will look good when printed with that particular profile. If not, then you can try another profile until you find one that you’re happy with.

If you want to avoid the hassle all together, you can go for an online service that can design graphics for you easily like Placeit.

What Else Can I Do With Proof Preview in Lightroom?

The features we listed aren’t just what proof preview can do in Lightroom.

You can also:

  • Create custom collections. By adding tags to your photos, you can organize them into different categories.
  • Create custom collections based on certain criteria. This makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for when you have a lot of photos.
  • Share your photos. You can export them to a variety of file formats including:
    • JPEG
    • TIFF
    • PNG
    • GIF
    • PSD
    • PDF
    • EPS
  • Choose between saving your edited version of the photo or exporting the original unedited version.

Now you know what proof preview is in lightroom and what you can do with this feature.

Concluding Thoughts

Lightroom’s Proof Preview is a great option for making sure your images will look right when you are ready to display, export, and share them. A lot of times, many issues can be commonly avoided by just giving our images a quick check before we finalize them, and with Proof Preview, this can be made easy.