It's always been an irritant that while Lightroom makes it easy to print contact sheets, it can only print the rating as a numeral, not as stars.

My own use of the DNG format means I go over to iView and can print adjusted thumbnails with starred ratings, but that's no use if you keep your pictures in raw format or don't have iView, and last week a pro friend asked me once too often to explain the workaround I'd devised for him a while back. It wasn't exactly complicated - generate jpeg files from Lightroom, get them in iView, and print the contact sheet from there. But when you're shooting 6-900 a day, 4-5 days a week, and processing them all yourself, you can only remember so many tricks and other things inevitably slip. There had to be an easier way.

During our conversation I came up with a Bridge-Lightroom solution which allows Lightroom (1 or 2) to print ratings as stars. I call it “pseudo ratings” because it converts the rating to asterisks and puts them into another field which you don't use (I chose the IPTC subject code) but which Lightroom can print. The main work is done by a Bridge script, but the zip file also contains my Lightroom print template (it inserts a line return under the filename).

It is still a workaround but is a lot more efficient - and even if I can't get Adobe to update LR2's Print so the workaround's unnecessary, I have something even better bubbling for LR2…. The solution is in a “zip file here” and includes a readme file which I'll copy below:


1. Put file “Contact sheet with pseudo ratings.lrtemplate” into:
XP C:Documents and SettingsUSERNAMEApplication DataAdobeLightroomPrint TemplatesUser Templates
Mac: USERNAMElibraryapplication support….

2. Put file “Pseudo ratings.lrtemplate” into:
XP: C:Documents and SettingsUSERNAMEApplication DataAdobeLightroomText Templates
Mac: USERNAMElibraryapplication support….

3. Put file “Pseudo ratings.jsx” into:

C:Documents and SettingsUSERNAMEApplication DataAdobeBridge CS3Startup Scripts
Mac: USERNAMElibraryapplication support….

Create folder if it doesn't exist.


1. Start Lightroom, select the folder of images you want to print

2. Select them all, hit Ctrl S, and wait till complete

3. Open Bridge CS3 - you may have to accept a dialog about “Pseudo ratings.jsx”

4. Go to the folder and select all the files - you'll see their ratings appear

5. Wait till the cache has built - the bottom left line of the Bridge window

6. Use the Bridge menu: Tools > Pseudo Ratings > Copy ratings as asterisks into IPTC subject code

7. Wait for “Done” message

8. Wait till the cache has rebuilt - the bottom left line of the Bridge window

9. Back to Lightroom. Make sure they're still selected and choose Metadata > Read Metadata from Files

10. Wait till all done

11. Over to Print. From Template Browser, choose “Contact sheet with pseudo ratings”

12. In Overlays, Photo Info should be ticked