So, I know how to add an adjustment to multiple photos using the photos => add adjustment menu, and it works great for things like auto-enhance, but when I try to do the same thing with curves (I like to add a gentle, s-shaped curve to boost contrast), it only seems to apply to the last picture clicked.

Am I missing something?


2 Answers 2


I also find this aspect of Aperture 3 confusing. I expect, if I've got several photos selected that if I apply an adjustment then it gets applied to all the selected photos but instead its only applied to the 'selected' photo w/in the selection... That is except for certain adjustments which makes it all the more confusing.

Anyway, the solution is to make the desired adjustment(s) to one photo then right click it and select 'Lift Adjusments' and select which adjustments you want to copy then select all the photos you want it applied to, right click again and click 'Stamp Adjustments' (or press 'Stamp Selected Images' if you still have the lift/stamp tool up.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not an Aperture user, but this strikes me as interesting terminology. Given that Apple popularized the copy/paste verbs, you'd think they'd use the same terms here. \$\endgroup\$
    – ahockley
    Oct 31, 2010 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, not only is it confusing to begin with but using lift/stamp instead of copy/paste just ads insult to injury. This lame mechanic here was the #1 reason that kept LR3 in the running for me vs Aperture3 (though in the end I went Aperture for other reasons). \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Oct 31, 2010 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, lift/stamp was indeed very confusing when I was learning Aperture. However, once you finally get used to the concept and tools, it's actually surprisingly convenient and certainly one of the most commonly used tools for me in Aperture. You can use the same tool to lift & stamp any combination of adjustments and metadata fields (keywords, captions, GPS coordinates etc.). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 31, 2010 at 17:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ Shizam: Have a look at the Edit->Primary Only menu item or the "1" in a square icon. It controls whether edits are performed on the whole selection or only the most recent selection. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 11, 2010 at 9:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Woh, is that new in 3.1?! \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Nov 13, 2010 at 17:48

I think I've figured it out:

You can add an adjustment preset to multiple photos without lifting and stamping, even if it involves sliders or other analog variables, but not an adjustment that isn't a preset, which will just be applied to a single photo.

So, to add a curves preset to a whole bunch at once, you create the edits you want on a picture, then go to the presets menu, and select "save as preset". Once you do that, you can select multiple photos, then pick "add adjustment preset", and it'll apply curves or whatever to all of them with the settings you'd used when you saved it.

The challenge for me was that it's not terribly intuitive that "Add adjustment" won't apply to more than one photo, but "Add adjustment preset" will.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That is certainly an alternative approach however you'll wind up polluting your presets with items you may only want to have used once. I'd only consider creating presets for things I want to reuse like 'Super Duper Contrast', 'Lots o' black' or 'Fix for x-pan' not something I just want to apply to 5 photos. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Oct 31, 2010 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Shizam, fair point - I upvoted your answer as it's a great solution for one-offs. For the particular case I had here, I tend to want to add it most photos, so it makes sense to go on my presets list, so I can import with it, and then uncheck it when I think it's not needed.... \$\endgroup\$
    – Jaydles
    Nov 1, 2010 at 10:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah hah, then yea presets for sure. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shizam
    Nov 1, 2010 at 14:57

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