A friend asked me this question the other day. His website host doesn’t allow him to show a picture’s filename on the website which makes it hard to communicate with his clients about which photos they like best. He just wanted to be able to post the pictures with the filename showing, and he wanted to do this with several pictures all at once. Lightroom is not a terrific tool for adding text to photos, but there is a way this can be accomplished and it may be the fastest way to get it done even if you have another tool that could do it.
Use the Print Module
In the Print Module, you can layout a picture as if it were on a piece of paper and then save it using Print To File. Here’s how to do that.
First, choose your Page Setup from the bottom left corner of the window. Choose a Paper Size and press ok.
In the Layout Style tab at the top right panel, choose Single Image/Contact Sheet. You can mess around with the layout settings and work your way down through the panel, but the essential setting to get text showing with your photo is under Page–check the box that says Photo Info. You can choose what the text is by twirling down the drop-down menu. My friend chose to use Filename, but you can use whatever you like. If you choose one like Caption, then the text will be drawn from the Caption field in the Metadata tab in the Library Module.
Under Print Job, switch Print to: so it reads JPEG File. You can choose the resolution and then click Print to File… at the bottom. The only thing about this method is that printing to file doesn’t include the new photos in the Lightroom catalog, so you’ll have to re-import them manually.
You can select as many pictures from the filmstrip as you like and when you click Print to File… they will all be exported with the text showing.
If you need to show text on a bunch of images, then creating a print layout in Lightroom maybe the fastest way to get it done. Some website hosts don’t include the option to show filenames on images, so this may be a great way to communicate with your clients.