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Setting New Export Presets in Aperture 2

February 7, 2009 by debbie T | Aperture 2Digital Photography

My friend Allison from the Nosillacast podcast was having problems exporting her jpg files. She was using the "JPEG – Original Size" preset to export, but she said that the exported files were only 200kb, much too small to use for a calendar. I am hoping that I figured out her problem toward the end of this tutorial, but before we get to that, let’s take a closer look at the Aperture 2 Export options and presets.

Aperture 2 Export Version

Select a photo from your library. Choose File>Export>Version. I also use the keyboard shortcut Command + Shift + E


Aperture 2 Export Settings

The Export window will appear.


File Name Format

First let look at the file "Naming Format", click the menu and choose "Edit" at the bottom.


Edit File Naming Presets

This is soo cool. You can custom design your own file naming preset.

1. First click on the + button to add a new preset.
2. Name your preset (You can easily rename by double clicking on the name later)
3. Drag your format choices from the list to the Format block. The neat thing is, you can also add special characters and spaces in between each of the custom items. As you can see, I have added a dash in between each of mine.

Once you are done, select the preset name and click okay


Subfolder Format

Next is "Subfolder Format". Most times I choose "none" because I usually always export to the same folder on my desktop without any subfolders. But if this is something you need, then it’s awesome.


Edit Folder Naming Presets

Exactly like the File Naming presets, you can also customize the Folder Naming Presets in the same way.


Export Presets

This is my favorite part of the Export process, the Export Presets. As you can see, I went a little crazy with adding all sorts of customized presets. I like adding a watermark to my photos before I upload to Flickr, so I have presets for light, dark, left and right watermarks.

To edit the presets, choose "edit" at the bottom of the Export Preset list.


Export Preset Settings

Now, this is where I think Allison was having a problem. Could be that somehow the setting for the "JPG-Original Size" was somehow adjusted. The image quality slider in particular. You can choose a value as high as 12. I believe by default, it is set to "10", not sure, but it’s where I have it set.

If the quality setting was adjusted to a much lower value, then it will for sure affect file size. And that is what I am hoping happened to Allison.

This is also where you can specify a size, DPI, Gamma, etc. But before you make any adjustments to the original presets, STOP! Create a new preset of your own so you don’t mess up the originals.


Adding Your Own Export Preset

Before making any changes to the original presets, click the + button to add a new custom preset of your own.


Adding a Watermark

As I already mentioned, I love the Watermark option.

First, in Photoshop or another graphic editor, create a new canvas with your copyright watermark. Crop it exactly as you want it to look once it’s inserted on top of your photo. In other words, if you want it to be a few pixels from the edge of your photo, then add that space.

Save it to a folder for watermark files on your hard drive. I save my watermarks as .psd files, so they can be easily edited again.

Back in Aperture, click the box for "Show Watermark" (1) and then click the Choose Image button (2). Browse to the location on your hard drive where you saved the watermark file.

You can also adjust the opacity (3) and position (4) of the watermark.

I don’t like using "scale" watermark. In my situation, it made it so small, it disappeared.


Well, I think that is it.

Allison, did this answer your problem with the files size being too small?? Hope so, if not, oh well, at least you inspired a whole tutorial!!!

There are 2 comments

  1. thanks for this, it was really helpful. 🙂 google search is a great thing. just wondering if you could help me out – i was exporting some photos and then went to export another batch … and my export presets were gone! honestly – i have no idea how that happened. any way to get that back? i’d really appreciate it! thanks.

    Comment by eunice on July 15th, 2009
  2. Sorry, Eunice, I have no idea. You might try asking on one of the Aperture 2 forums, like at apple.com – they would probably know more about stuff like that.

    I hope you find an answer!

    Comment by debbie T on July 19th, 2009