How to Create & Save a Preset in Lightroom

If you’re an Adobe Lightroom user, learning how to save a preset can make your workflow much smoother. Today we’re going to teach you how to create your own Lightroom presets in a few quick steps.

A Lightroom preset is a “package” of settings that can speed up the photo-editing process. Presets can be reused to create the same effects over and over again. Using them can take a lot of time out of the editing process for repetitive actions.

We have a full guide to Lightroom Presets if you want to learn more, or find presets that you can download and use right away.

Figure Out What Kind of Preset to Create

how to save a create in lightroom

What sliders do you use frequently in Lightroom? That’s the starting point for creating a preset. The best presets are for steps you commonly take to save time during the image editing process.

Presets can be created for different types of sliders, which adjust elements in a photo using a scale. There are sliders for color, ton, contrast, vibrancy, exposure, and elements such as white, black, and shadows.

You can edit all of these controls in detail view using the Profile, Light, Color, Effects, Detail, optics, and Geometry panels.

How to Create a Preset in Lightroom

how to save a create in lightroom

Once you know what editing controls would serve you best, you can create the Lightroom preset.

Open presets from the Edit icon, then Presets. (You might already use this to work with presets that you already have downloaded.)

Then, use then choose Create Preset to add a new preset. That option is located by clicking the three dots at the top right of the Presets Panel. A menu will open where you can choose what settings you want to save. The nice thing about presets is that if you don’t get it right the first time you can continue to tweak the preset and make adjustments later.

Pick a name for the custom preset. It will save in Lightroom in the User Presets area.

Organize Presets for Easy Access

The most important step in creating a Lightroom preset might be how you organize them. This step can determine if you actually use the tools you’ve created or not.

Use a preset name that tells you what it does. Names like Preset1, Preset2, etc. are not helpful later. A name like Grainy or Sunshine Blowout can tell you exactly what the tool does for later use.

Consider adding your initials to the beginning or end of every name if you use a lot of presets. This makes it easy to see presets you have created versus ones you may have downloaded from …

How to Embed a YouTube Video in Google Slides

You know that video can add extra spark to a website design, but it can also spice up a presentation. The challenge is that embedded videos can sometimes result in presentation mishaps if they don’t play properly.

It can be pretty embarrassing to run into one of these mishaps, but they are totally preventable.

Today, we’re going to walk through how to embed a YouTube video in Google Slides so you can nail your presentation, embedded video and all!

Know Your Presentation Location

Knowing where you will be giving your presentation is especially important when it comes to embedding video

It might seem like an odd first step but knowing where you will be giving your presentation is especially important when it comes to embedding video.

To play a video from an online source, such as YouTube, you’ll need to have an internet connection and enough bandwidth to handle the video during your presentation. Running Google Slides also requires a connect to the internet.

Knowing whether this capability is available can dictate if a using a video in your presentation is a good idea or not.

Note that if you plan to create a presentation in Google Slides and export it to your local computer in another file format, such as PowerPoint, the video is no longer playable and will appear as a still image in the downloaded presentation.

1. Open Your Presentation

how to embed a youtube video in google slides

Open your Google Slides presentation or create a new document to get started.

Prepare slides as you would for any other presentation. Insert a slide where you plan to play the video using the template or style that you’ve chosen for the rest of the presentation.

2. Insert the Video

To insert the video, navigate to the Insert menu, the select Video. A box for YouTube will automatically pop up.

Did you know YouTube is a Google company? That’s one reason the link is easy and the popular video channel is searchable right from Google Slides.

From the menu, you have three options for inserting a video:

  • Search YouTube
  • Enter YouTube URL
  • From your Google Drive

Search YouTube

how to embed a youtube video in google slides

If you know what kind of video you want but not the exact URL, you can search YouTube here.

Results will be most specific if you know the title of the video you are looking for.

Enter the title or keywords, click the magnifying glass to search, and you’ll get a list of results. Click the one you want and then the blue select button to add it to the slide.

By URL

how to embed a youtube video in google slides

The easiest and quickest way to get just the video you want for your …

How to Create Actions in Photoshop in 5 Minutes

A Photoshop action can save time and effort when you perform some of the same edits and tasks repeatedly. You can record almost any command into an action that you can replay for later use on different files.

Here, we have step=by-step instructions so you can learn how to create actions in Photoshop. (It really only takes five minutes.)

In no time at all, you’ll have a helpful Photoshop action that can save you time every day!

How to Create Actions in Photoshop: Step by Step

You can create and be ready to use a Photoshop action in just a few minutes. All it takes is a basic working knowledge of Adobe Photoshop – you don’t have to be an advanced user – and an understanding of the steps needed to perform the task you want to accomplish.

Here’s how you do it.

1. Open the File and Actions Panel

how to create actions in photoshop

Open the file you will use to create an action, and then open the Actions panel from Window Actions.

Click New Action in the menu or using the button at the bottom of the panel. Enter a name for your action, supply a set (where it will be located if you want to specify a location), create a function key (or shortcut), and add color (optional) to make it easy to find in the panel.

how to create actions in photoshop

After you finish choosing settings, click Record.

2. Record the Action

Now it is time to perform the steps you want to include in the action.

After you finish choosing settings, click Start Recording from the Actions Panel menu, or the dot at the bottom of the panel. The dot icon will turn red when you are recording.

Perform all the actions you want to record. Click Stop Recording from the Actions Panel menu, or the small square at the bottom of the panel. (You can also hit the Esc key.)

You can stop and resume in the same action to add steps to the recording.

3. Test the Action

how to create actions in photoshop

Open a new file and test the recording. Here, I adjusted a photo from color to black and white.

Open the file, navigate to your action in the Actions Panel, and click Play or use the triangle button at the bottom of the panel.

Save your new file with the settings from the action you created. Note that Photoshop actions will retain settings native to the open file, not the file from when the action was created. This includes file size, aspect ratio, and resolution unless making those changes are part of your saved Photoshop action.

Keep this in mind if you notice pixelation, or …

How Many Slides to Use in a Presentation? 5 Tips

There’s nothing worse than a presentation that goes over time or poorly-designed slides that cram too much information onto the screen at once.

While there are a lot of things that can dictate how many slides to use in a presentation, key factors include how long you have to speak, what content you are presenting, and the visual nature of the content. (Some speakers don’t need slides at all to keep audiences engaged!)

Here, we’re breaking down common presentation times with a guide for how not to overload slides, and use them well—no matter what type of talk you are giving.

How Many Slides for a 5 Minute Presentation?

When it comes to short presentations, you probably want to keep the number of slides to a minimum. Think about the venue here in particular. How many people are you presenting for?

Often short presentations might be for a small group or on a small screen. That’s a major consideration when it comes to how many slides you need for a 5-minute presentation.

For most speakers that comes down to 5 to 10 slides, up to 2 per minute of speaking time.

  1. Design for screen size. If you’ll be presenting on a desktop or laptop screen, ensure that text is large enough to read for people standing or sitting a few feet away.
  2. Practice your timing. Five minutes might seem like a long time until you start talking.
  3. Put one point on each slide. (That’s probably all you’ll have time for.)
  4. Include a call to action at the end for the audience. This might include anything from an email address to answer a question or provide feedback to taking a survey or visiting a website.
  5. Don’t include a questions slide unless you will actually have time to take questions at the end of a short presentation.

How Many Slides for a 10 Minute Presentation?

With a 10-minute you have a little more flexibility in terms of slide count.

With more time, you can vary pacing and might have time to take questions at the end of the talk. (Your slide count will be less if you cut time from your presentation to answer questions.)

For a 10-minute presentation, you’ll probably end up creating 10 to 20 slides, but don’t feel like you have to move through two slides per minute. It really depends on the complexity of the information you are talking about.

Record your presentation as you run through it. Did you finish on time? And were you able to see each slide long enough to understand it during the natural flow of the presentation before moving on to …

How to Design a Perfect Website Onboarding Process (With Examples)

Think about the last time you downloaded a new app or landed on a new website. Did you know exactly what to do? Did the design help you engage with the site in a meaningful way? A simple onboarding process can make all the difference.

It’s important to think about website and app design in terms of onboarding visitors to create the best experience possible. This can include anything from helping someone find an item in your online shop and understanding how to make a purchase, to playing a game, or signing up for an email.

Onboarding is the process of integrating any new user into the design flow so that they can have the best interaction possible with your website, app or digital product or service. Here’s how you design it (with examples for inspiration).

Design for Visual Flow

website onboarding

A good onboarding experience has a beginning, middle and end that’s easy to identify visually.

The user knows where to start if they need help or want to get information. This is often a large image are with an introductory line of text. (Think hero image.)

Then there’s an action to take such as filling out a form or working through a step-by-step guide or tutorial. Finish off with a notification that the action is complete and the user is on their way to success. (This sense of understanding and accomplishment can help keep users engaging online.)

The final notification should include an action that users can complete, such as “now you are ready to play the game” or “tap here to get started.”

Show Users What You Want Them To Do

website onboarding

The onboarding experience should be easy and clearly understandable. This is especially important if your website or app uses uncommon user patterns or unfamiliar functionality.

This is a place where you need to show the user what to do. Use tooltips or a short video that explains how engagement works. Explain the goal or expected outcome and how users can get there.

Milanote, above, does a great job with this on the website homepage. There’s a computer screen showing the app in use in the hero image area. Whether you watch it for a few seconds or the entire loop, this quick video shows every person who comes to the site how to interact with the tool and associated app.

Don’t State the Obvious

website onboarding

When you start thinking about instructions and onboarding experiences, it is easy to get carried away. Resist the temptation.

The best instructions are simple and only appear when necessary.

Only provide instructions and information for unfamiliar actions or navigation. (There’s no need to explain …

Self-Care for Designers: Don’t Burn Out

In a world where work never seems to turn off, there’s a growing movement to prioritize self-care. It’s way too easy to neglect yourself when you have work and meetings and then all of the “life” things after work, from networking events to taking kids to soccer games.

The time to start practicing self-care is before you start to burn out. You’ll stay fresher and have greater mental capacity to tackle projects with creative spark.

But how do you do it? How (and where) can designers find time for self-care? We have a few ideas for you.

Understand Your Value (And What You Find Valuable)

self care for designers

I always know the burn out stage is coming when I feel like none of my projects seem to pay what I think they are worth. Every client wants way more than what we agreed on. Every assignment seems to take twice as much time as it used to.

If you are feeling that way, maybe it’s time to give yourself a raise.

Your experience as a designer should make you more valuable as you grow in your career. Know that value.

If you are a freelancer, take a look at your rates and types of jobs. When was the last time you made a change? Are you taking the types of projects you want to do? Do you have work that engages you?

And if not, figure out how to make that change.

Knowing your value has two parts:

  • Financial value: What income you need to draw for work to feel meaningful
  • Happiness value: What makes you feel good about what you do? What projects get you excited about design again? (Take more of them.)

Balance

self care for designers

It may sound cliché, but you have to find that sweet spot between work and play.

This can be most tricky for freelancers or remote workers that don’t actually get up and go to an office every day. The lines between home and work can be easily blurred.

Set some ground rules. Set them with your family, clients and even yourself to ensure that you have a time and place for work and play.

Work Out

I have found the best solution to a creative rut is a good run.

Sweating out whatever design problems are tormenting me almost always leads to a potential solution (or sometimes several).

You don’t have to run. Any type of physical activity will do. Go to the gym. Take a long walk. Punch a bag. Whatever gets you doing something active and not thinking about your design problem.

Find a 5-Minute Diversion

Small five-minute breaks can also help you get out of …

Mid-Century Modern Design: An Emerging Trend

Of all the retro design styles that have been trending, mid-century modern design might be one of my favorites. The phrase “mid-century modern” is more than just a staple on home improvement television shows, it’s also a classic art and design style that speaks to an era.

The best thing about mid-century modern design is that it can simplify the complex. It was a popular style in homes and décor, as well as graphic and product design in for decades spanning the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Now it is making a comeback as a graphic and web design trend.

What is Mid-Century Modern Design?

mid-century modern design

It’s definitely a design style that comes with a distinct manner of taste

“Mid-Century Modern” is a collection of design styles that most us of would consider retro these days. While it’s not always easy to define this aesthetic there are common color, shape, spatial and typography elements that help make it identifiable.

Mid-century modern is often colorful and bold. Shapes and space are often wide, asymmetrical and even aloof in style and structure. Typography is often on the simple side with block sans serifs, simple serifs and plenty of all-caps fonts.

One of the most common features of mid-century modern design is that it looks somewhat abstract and disjointed at a glance, but when you really look at these pieces, they work fantastically. It’s definitely a design style that comes with a distinct manner of taste – people tend to love it or hate it.

The best modern mid-century mod collection of elements might be the visual catalogue by Theo Inglis on Tumblr (also featured above).

Mid-Century Mod Characteristics

mid-century modern design

There are specific design elements that you can expect to find in most mid-century modern graphic designs.

Part of the reason this “retro” style is trending is that it makes use of other design trends from minimalism to use of geometric shapes. A designer doesn’t have to use all – or even many of – these elements for the style to qualify as having a mid-century modern feel.

Mid-century modern design characteristics often include:

  • Use of minimalism or minimal concepts
  • Bold or vibrant color with some neutrals
  • Use of geometric shapes
  • Clean lines and angles
  • Textures that resemble wood, leather or glass
  • Medium to heavy fonts, often in all caps
  • Lack of ornamentation; all elements are usable
  • Contrasting design ideas
  • Asymmetry
  • Rough lines, typography or overall texture

How Designers Are Using It

mid-century modern design

mid-century modern design

While print elements might be the most common use of mid-century modern design, elements are popping up on web projects as well.

With distinct ties to art and architecture, mid-century modern graphic design …