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PresetPanda lets you convert your Lightroom Presets over to Adobe Camera RAW (and back!)

For more than a couple of years now, I’ve been thinking “Wouldn’t it be great if there were a website or an app that’d let me convert between Lightroom and ACR profiles?”. I even considered having a go at writing one at one point. After all, they both use the same raw engine, and they both contain pretty much the same data. It should be easy to translate between the two, right?

It turns out that procrastination pays off – for me, at least. There is now a way to do it and it’s called PresetPanda. It’s actually been around for a little while, but it was Mac-only. Now, though, it’s available to Windows users, too. It’s been changed from a standalone application into a web-based app, so it’s platform-independent!

The new online tool allows you to convert both from Lightroom Preset to ACR XMP file and back from ACR XMP file to Lightroom Preset. So, if you’re regularly working between the two, or you’re part of a team that uses both, now you can have each of your looks readily available to both systems. It also allows you to extract embedded profile data from within DNG files into a separate ACR XMP file which you can then convert into a Lightroom Preset if you wish.

The interface is all drag and drop, and it’s really really simple. Once you’ve signed up, you log in, click the “Convert” link at the top of the page. You’re presented with only one option and that’s to convert a file. Either drag a file into the box on the page or click browse to look for a file on your system.

It will automatically convert over the file for you once it’s finished uploading. If you drag in a DNG or lrtemplate file, it will give you an XMP for use in Adobe Camera Raw. If you drag in an XMP file, it will give you an lrtemplate file for use in Lightroom. Once it’s done the conversion, it downloads automatically, too.

Then you just copy the XMP or lrtemplate file to wherever you want it to live on your system and install it into Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom. If you want to do another, just choose the option to “Convert another preset” and upload it. You can also upload multiple files simultaneously, and it’ll send them all down at once in a single zip file.

That’s it. I told you it was simple.

PresetPanda isn’t a free app – after all, many will find it to be a valuable tool and developers deserve to be paid for making those! But it’s not expensive and it’s a one-time purchase. Normally, it’s $29 but right now it’s $19 and you can get a further 40% off that price if you enter the DIYPHOTOGRAPHY40 discount code on checkout.

But that’s all you’ll ever pay. There are no subscription charges, there’s nothing to download, and whenever the site gets any updates or new features, you have access to them all automatically. Compared to the price of most Lightroom preset packs out there, it’s an absolute steal.

So, if you’re one of those users who (like me) doesn’t really use Lightroom, but you use Adobe Camera Raw a lot and want to check out some of those cool Lightroom preset packs you see advertised all over the web, well now you have an easy way to use them in Adobe Camera Raw.