Like many of the features in LR3-beta, Publish Services seems a small step forward. Its obvious use is for those who use services like Flickr, Smugmug etc, and before long I hope SlideShowPro’s Director can also be included. But it isn’t just about the web – there’s also the Hard Drive option.

This lets you maintain folders of images on your own computer, and opens up a number of interesting workflows.

I found it came in very handily for a Blurb book I was preparing in InDesign. The images were all raw files, which InDesign itself cannot use, so ordinarily I would have needed to output a large number of TIFs of certain dimensions. If I then saw that an image on the page needed further adjustment, I’d need to go back to the raw file in Lightroom and generate the TIF again. Equally, if the caption needed changing, it would be inefficient to edit it in InDesign and copy the text to the original in Lightroom.

The solution was to publish folders of TIFs – one folder for each of the sizes needed for the book layout. Now, whenever I wanted it was little effort to adjust images that were already in the layout and change their captions “upstream”. Periodically I’d tell Lightroom to publish the updated TIFs of the correct sizes and to the folders InDesign was expecting. Slick.