How to Align Lightroom’s Identity Plate (I can’t believe they didn’t make this automatic!)

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Recently, I posted on how to quickly create fine art prints in Lightroom (check out that post here). An important part of doing that is to create a custom Identity plate and center it in the background. If it’s white, you’re set – the color of the canvas is white by default, so slight misaligns go largely unnoticed. If you have a colored background, though, things get ugly. This post details how to fix the problem.

The Problem

When you have an identity plate with an image of any color, you have to PERFECTLY align the identity plate on the stage. Easier said than done. In most other Adobe products, you get an align tool or a feature that snaps things to grid when you get close. Not the case with this feature in Lightroom. I found it literally impossible to perfectly align it, always leaving small slivers of white. Click the image below for an example.

The Solution

The only way I was able to solve this problem was to save my fine art print setup as a Template and then edit the template file.

  1. Create a fine art print setup by following the steps in my previous post.
  2. Save it as a Template by clicking the + sign in the Template browser panel, giving it a name and clicking the Create button.
  3. Now’s the semi-tricky part. You need to locate that template file on your computer. In Windows Vista your templates are located at the following directory by default: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\ Lightroom\Print Templates. If you are on a Mac or Windows XP, you’ll need to consult Lightroom help for the proper location. Also, you may have saved your presets in a different folder (in the Catalog settings)- if so, look there instead.
  4. Open the file of the appropriate preset name with a text editor. On Windows, you may need to right-click and choose Open With… and specify a program like Notepad.
  5. Scroll through or use the search feature to find any line that shows identityPlatePosH or identityPlatePosV. You’ll want to set the number on the right side of the equal sign on that line to .5 for each. They are probably close to .5 already – but it needs to be exact. See the lines I highlighted in the screenshot below for an example. I changed the values here and in one other place in this file. This is actually easier than it sounds. Once the file is opened, the lines are pretty easy to scan through.

  1. Save and close the file.
  2. If Lightroom is still open, close and re-start it. If already closed, go ahead and start it up. When you go back to the Print module and click on your preset, you should see that the Identify Plate is perfectly lined up.
  3. Repeat for any other fine art print templates you want to create. For example, I created one for portrait-oriented pictures and one for landscape-oriented pictures. The identifyPlatePosH and identityPlatePosV should be set to .5 in every case.

3 Responses to “How to Align Lightroom’s Identity Plate (I can’t believe they didn’t make this automatic!)”

  1. Professional Snapshots » Blog Archive » How to Change the Color of Your Fine Art Print in Lightroom Says:

    [...] At this point, your image may be hidden by your new frame. To move it behind the image, click the Render Behind Image option. You can click/drag on the background to position it correctly. [Update - positioning it exactly can be very difficult. Read this recent post on how to get it exact.] [...]

  2. Scott Reyman Says:

    In Windows XP: This is the path:

    C:\Documents and Settings\ReymanS\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Print Templates\User Templates

    Great Post by the way Bro!!

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