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Consolidating catalogs

From: Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth

Video: Consolidating catalogs

Now that you spent some time learning about how to work with Lightroom and about how to work with Lightroom catalogs, you may go back and look at your workflow and look at your folders and discover that you have made perhaps one of the most common mistakes when working with Lightroom, and this is the mistake of creating too many catalogs. Initially, we all do this because we don't really understand what a catalog actually is. So what happens is when we navigate to our Pictures folder, we'll find and we have our main catalog; we also have these other catalogs.

Consolidating catalogs

Now that you spent some time learning about how to work with Lightroom and about how to work with Lightroom catalogs, you may go back and look at your workflow and look at your folders and discover that you have made perhaps one of the most common mistakes when working with Lightroom, and this is the mistake of creating too many catalogs. Initially, we all do this because we don't really understand what a catalog actually is. So what happens is when we navigate to our Pictures folder, we'll find and we have our main catalog; we also have these other catalogs.

In this case, I have this Family Pictures (Pics) catalog. I have another one, which is called New, and maybe you have three, four, or five catalogs, and I can't tell you how many times I've worked with people who just have all of these catalogs and it's completely confusing and to access certain images, well, they have to go to those certain catalogs and, well, it's just a mess. Well, how can we solve this mess? Well, one of the things that you can do is you can create a new catalog. Define that as your main catalog and start working with that.

Next what you want to do is you want to import those other catalogs into what you've defined as your main catalog and then get rid of delete the other catalogs. You need to keep things as clear as possible so that you can effectively optimize and back up that catalog and so that you can access all of your images at once. Now in previous versions of Lightroom, there was an argument for working with multiple catalogs because the catalog lagged a little bit. But now in the most recent version, this isn't the case. It's best to have just one main catalog.

Well, let's take a look at how we can solve this issue where we have these multiple catalogs so that we can combine these all into one. I'm going to go ahead and navigate to Lightroom. And here in Lightroom, I'm inside of my main catalog, and what I need to do is I need to import those other catalogs into this main catalog. To do that, it's really simple. Here we'll navigate to our File pull- down menu, we want to choose Import from Another Catalog. Next, we need to navigate to this folder, in this case, our Pictures folder. Now we want to be really meticulous about this.

You may want to take notes to make sure that you've imported every catalog that you need to import. In my case, I'm going to start off with my Family Pics catalog. Here I'll select that and simply click Choose. This will open up the Import dialog. This gives me the ability to move these photos to a new location or just to add these photographs to the catalog without moving them. That's what I want to do here. These pictures already are in the right spot. They're just not in the right catalog. So for the file handling option, I'll leave them where they are.

Next step is to click Import to bring these photographs into Lightroom. Here I can see I have these pictures, I'll go ahead and double-click them, scroll through them to make sure they all made it. They did. Great! Next step I need to import that other catalog. Once again, File > Import from Another Catalog. Here I'll choose this one. Select the catalog name and click Choose. Again, we'll see that Import dialog. We know how this works and here we'll click Import in order to bring these pictures into our main catalog.

We can access these files by targeting our main catalog and we'll see these pictures inside of this catalog and here they are. Okay, well now that we've done this, what we need to do is to clean house. Otherwise, we may get a little bit confused. So here's what I recommend. Go ahead and hide Lightroom by pressing Command+H. Next navigate back to that folder where you have those extraneous catalogs. You don't need those anymore. So here we'll click on this catalog, and also this catalog, and then we'll delete those and now we can breathe a breath of fresh air.

All right. Everything is in one spot. We've grouped all of these catalogs together and from here now we can continue to work with just our main catalog.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth
Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth

37 video lessons · 8655 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 11m 25s
    1. Understanding why digital asset management matters to Lightroom
      2m 35s
    2. Exploring hard drive options: RAID versus JBOD
      3m 59s
    3. Hard drive recommendations
      4m 51s
  3. 30m 46s
    1. What are catalogs and why do they matter?
      5m 33s
    2. Where are my catalog files?
      2m 6s
    3. Importing images into a catalog
      3m 22s
    4. Where are my images?
      1m 59s
    5. Making folder and image changes
      5m 3s
    6. Keeping your catalog current by synchronizing folders
      4m 36s
    7. Comparing catalogs, collections, and folders
      4m 43s
    8. Upgrading legacy catalogs
      3m 24s
  4. 13m 36s
    1. Exploring catalog backup defaults
      5m 2s
    2. Performing a better catalog backup
      4m 6s
    3. Optimizing catalogs
      1m 51s
    4. Deleting old catalogs
      2m 37s
  5. 17m 13s
    1. Exporting catalogs
      6m 38s
    2. Understanding how to work with multiple catalogs
      3m 26s
    3. Merging multiple catalogs
      7m 9s
  6. 13m 29s
    1. Consolidating catalogs
      3m 54s
    2. Relinking multiple images
      3m 7s
    3. Solving catalog conflicts with new hard drives
      3m 30s
    4. Dealing with computer crashes and locked catalogs
      1m 15s
    5. Restoring from a backup catalog
      1m 43s
  7. 42m 36s
    1. Introducing raw and DNG processing
      5m 21s
    2. Understanding how Lightroom saves raw adjustments
      4m 33s
    3. Saving adjustments to raw files
      4m 55s
    4. Saving adjustments to DNG, TIFF, PSD, and JPEG files
      3m 17s
    5. Working with catalogs and virtual copies
      4m 18s
    6. Converting to DNG: the Embed Fast Load Data option and lossless compression
      5m 12s
    7. Archiving a photo as a DNG with lossy compression
      5m 31s
    8. Working with CMYK files in Lightroom
      3m 8s
    9. Making changes to CMYK files
      6m 21s
  8. 1m 32s
    1. Using dpbestflow.org as a resource
      52s
    2. Looking at helpful demo files
      40s
  9. 27s
    1. Adios
      27s

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