In the Lightroom exporting menu, there are options to sharpen for screen and print.

What are the differences between the two? And how does each setting actually sharpen the image? And finally what is the benefit of this feature over manually sharpening in the "develop" phase of the process?


After several comments I have decided to edit the question to clarify why I have asked it and why previous questions on similar topics have not answered it.

I am after the values it uses and how it defines these values when sharpening, so that if it is too much or too little I can replicate it manually.

  • \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of How should one sharpen differently depending on the target usage for a photo? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 17:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ this is about the sharpening setting in Lightroom and requires more detail from an answer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 18:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why? Answers to the other question give (or should give) the explanation for why there are two different options and what the differences between them might be. For why you might prefer to do it as part of the export instead of in the middle of your workflow, see photo.stackexchange.com/questions/9439/…. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 18:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not saying it's a bad question, or that the answers there are as complete as they might be — just that it really is the same question, and it's better to have answers all in one place rather than spread between duplicates. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 18:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ No I know what sharpening does. I want to know how much it sharpens and what amounts of luminescence, radius and sharpening they use so they can be replicated and altered manually. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 19:12

1 Answer 1


As for the actual settings Lightroom uses I do not know and you may want to ask over on the Adobe Lightroom Forums.

However I did come across this bit of information and thought it might be useful to others if not yourself:

Output Sharpening: this is size and medium dependent, and is accomplished in the Print, Slideshow and Web modules, and in the Export dialog where you create jpeg and other copies. A large print needs significantly more sharpening than a small image to be viewed on the web; an image printed on matte paper needs more sharpening than one on glossy paper because the ink soaks into the former. Output sharpening takes into account size, resolution and medium.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I know your post was partly a quote so you may not know but How can the output sharpening take into account the size, resolution and medium if at export these values have not been defined. Such as paper/enlargement size? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 20:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GraemeHutchison You are right, I do not know. I would check the Adobe Forums for more detailed info. \$\endgroup\$
    – L84
    Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 20:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will have a look their if no answer is here in the next couple of days, I have given you +1 for your answer as it adds interesting details about the need for sharpening for enlargements. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 13, 2011 at 21:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In Lightroom when you export, all those things are known because it asks for ALL that info. Of course, you can lie to Lightroom and print it bigger or smaller ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Zak
    Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 3:17
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ If you do find the answer somewhere else, it'd be useful to provide it back here. I suspect, however, that the exact process and values used are internal-black-box-secret-sauce that the company doesn't share. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 16, 2011 at 19:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.