Print (Output) Sharpening in Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom ClassicAdobe Photoshop

Lightroom automatically adjusts the amount of sharpening in the Print Module based on the size of the original and the size of the printed piece. The different “Print Sharpening Amount” – Low, Standard and High, should be selected based on the content of the image  as well as personal preferences.  I would suggest that you print a small number of “typical” images on the paper stocks that you use most frequently to see what amount your prefer. Of course if you want more control, you can always open your image into Photoshop to apply sharpening using any of the many different Filters.

Adobe Lightroom Classic, Adobe Photoshop

Posted on 12-03-2013


  • By Twan - 6:16 AM on December 3, 2013  

    Well, what I’m interested in, what is the best way to do output sharpening via LR when you want to export pictures ready for print? I don’t print directly via Lightroom. I export my pictures and use additional photobook software to create my books.

    The amount of sharpening is always my concern

  • By Phil Burt - 6:48 AM on December 3, 2013  

    Question about printing. When in class we use an Epson R3880 and then adjust in Photoshop our printing preferences. We of course resize, then using curves adjust input to 112 and output to 142. I do also adjust sharpening in LR. None of this needs to be done in LR5 that I use at home with an Epson R3000 and I seem to get just as good of a print.
    Am I missing something? Printing seems so much easier using LR5.

  • By Jason - 5:33 PM on December 3, 2013  

    Have you given any blog entry or video on sharpening done in the develop module and the export sharpening (which seems similar to the print)? I’ve always been confused why there are two different method and whether they both need to be utilized.

    I’ve been following your blog and videos for a few months now and love it!


    • By Julieanne Kost - 8:26 AM on December 5, 2013  

      Jason, I will add it to my list! But no promises for anything soon. I would definitely check out Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom. Tons of info!

      • By Jason - 8:42 PM on December 5, 2013  

        Thanks! Will definitely check out the books by Fraser & Schewe.

  • By Paul Collingridge - 3:02 AM on December 4, 2013  

    Dear Julieanne

    Maybe you could take us through a Sharpening Workflow in one of your excellent videos. There seem to be so many places where sharpening can be applied. Moose Peterson created an excellent document on sharpening for wildlife photography, but maybe the Adobe Workflow can give us something to help us understand the value of each of the stages, particularly where we can use lightroom, PSCC and 3rd party plugins. Personally I find LR does a pretty solid job by itself so I’m intrigued by the value in other pathways.

    Thanks for your great blog – always inspiring.

    • By Bret Linford - 3:00 PM on December 4, 2013  

      Great idea, Paul.

      The sharpening workflow in LR distills the great work done by Bruce Fraser & Jeff Schewe and blesses us with the results. There is a marked difference in the 3 types of sharping that we use in digital imaging. If you want to dig into the nuts and bolts, check out Real World Image Sharpening by the pair and Schewe’s books, The Digital Negative and The Digital Print.