Lightroom will export in the exact order you see in the Library module. The problem is how to preserve that order in your desktop folder because the desktop can only sort images by the columns provided by your system, like Name, Kind, Date... None of the sorting options on a Mac or Windows desktop folder can preserve the custom sort order in Lightroom or any other program. Therefore you have to export in a way that the desktop will recognize for a sort order, typically by name. This means you have to add a sequence number to the filename as part of your Export settings.
For example, if your current images are named and arranged like this:
To preserve that order on the desktop you'll have to add a sequence number token in your Export settings so that the image filenames export like this:
Now the desktop folder and zip file can preserve the custom order, when sorted by name.
However still a little confused ?
So I will have to add 01, 02 etc. to each selected file before exporting?
Or is this somewhere in Export settings ?
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It's in the Export settings, and you can automate it. Use the tokens that represent parts of the filename. Make sure the rename settings include a token for the sequence format you want, followed by a token for each image's current filename. Lightroom will then add and increment the sequence numbers automatically for each image, following the custom sort order in the folder or collection you're exporting from.
As shown below, start in the File Naming section by selecting Edit from the Rename To menu. Add a Sequence token and then you'll probably need to drag it to the beginning of the filename. If you want any custom text between the sequence number and the filename, type it in (in my example I added a hyphen). If the Example text looks the way you want, then click Done and continue setting up the Export dialog box.
The difference between the tokens and the custom text you type is that your custom text is the same for all images, while the token values are updated for each individual image.
Thank You Conrad for all your assistance.
I will give it a go.