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Merging multiple catalogs

From: Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth

Video: Merging multiple catalogs

Well, now that we know a little bit about exporting as a catalog and working with multiple catalogs, here what I want to do is put together some of these pieces in a simulated workflow. Let's say that we're travelling, and right now we're working on our laptop and on our laptop, we work on all of these images and we get home and what we need to do is we need to export these images and all the work that we've done as a catalog, so that we can then merge that catalog with our main desktop computer catalog.

Merging multiple catalogs

Well, now that we know a little bit about exporting as a catalog and working with multiple catalogs, here what I want to do is put together some of these pieces in a simulated workflow. Let's say that we're travelling, and right now we're working on our laptop and on our laptop, we work on all of these images and we get home and what we need to do is we need to export these images and all the work that we've done as a catalog, so that we can then merge that catalog with our main desktop computer catalog.

Well, first, of course, we need to export. So here, we'll go ahead and select the folder; in this case it's titled Mexico. The next step will be to navigate either to the File pulldown menu and choose Export as Catalog or you can use a really handy shortcut. If you press Option or Alt, it will change this Export button to Export Catalog. Let's go ahead and do that. This will open up our dialog. Well, I have an external hard drive connected; it's called my Travel Drive. Now I'm going to go ahead and name this catalog, Mexico, and export it to my external hard drive.

Here I'm going to include all of these photographs, export the negative files and those previews, and simply click Export. All right! This will then export this and create a nice little self-contained catalog. It will contain the images and all the work that I've done on these photographs inside of Lightroom while I was working on my laptop. All right! Well, to simulate closing my laptop, what I want to do here is quit Lightroom. To do that, we'll navigate to our Lightroom pulldown menu and choose Quit Lightroom.

All right. I'll skip my backup this time and this takes me to my desktop. Well, here on my desktop, you can see I have this Travel hard drive. If we open this up, you'll notice that I have my Mexico catalog and also the pictures that I captured, say, while I was on that trip. The great thing about this is that it's self-contained. Well, next what I need to do is I need to go to my main desktop computer. In my main desktop computer, I have my main or my big Lightroom catalog. Here it is.

If we double-click this, we can open it up and see there, my Main Catalog for my desktop computer, or we can open this up a few different ways. You could go to Lightroom and choose File > Open, and choose a catalog, or you could simply double-click this catalog file. Again, remember here that what we're doing is we're simulating that we're now on our desktop computer and this is our main, our big catalog. What we want to do is merge or import that other catalog so that we can then access and work on those travel images.

Well, in order to do that we can either go to the File pulldown menu and choose Import from Another Catalog or you can use that shortcut that we learned previously. Press Option or Alt that will change your Import button to Import Catalog. If you click on that, it then opens up this dialog so that you can then search for that catalog. Well, ours is on an external drive. It's on this Travel Drive on a folder called Mexico. There is the catalog file. I'll select that and simply click Choose.

This will then open up an Import dialog. In this Import dialog, I can choose how I want to handle all of these files. What I might want to do is simply add these new photos to the catalog without moving them if I want these pictures to stay on that external drive. Well, in most scenarios, especially when traveling, that's just not going to work because we travel with small hard drives. So rather than adding these photos without moving them, I want to move these to my main hard drive. In order to do that I'll select the Option.

Copy the photos to a new location and import. Here I could select that new location. Again, you would want to select the location which fit your workflow where you saved your other photographs for your main photo library. What I'm going to do here for the sake of a demo is I'm going to copy these photographs to the default location, which is the Pictures folder. That's actually incorrect; that isn't where I've saved all of my other photographs. But I'm going to leave this here so we can take a look at how we can fix this later in case we make the same mistake.

Of course, in your own workflow you want to choose the correct folder, but here again for demo purposes, I'm going to leave these on the default settings. So once you've chosen that, what you want to do next is simply click on the Import button. What will happen here is that Lightroom will pick up all of the information, the collections, the Develop settings, the Book module work that you've done, anything that you've done with these images, well, it's now included; it's now merged into this main catalog. Here we can see we have these photographs.

Let's open up this folder. You can see that we have these pictures here. We also have our other photographs that you can notice down here. We have our main pictures, which are located inside of our main photo Library. Well, let's say that accidentally what we did is we imported or copied these into the wrong location. Well, you and I already know how to move folders around. If we want to move this folder, well, all we need to do is just simply drag and drop in order to relocate it. Here we click Move; that will then physically change the location of those files.

If we don't need this other location, click on it and hit the Minus (-) icon to remove it. Now we have this photo library and we have all of our photos inside of this library; those travel pictures as well as the other photographs that are part of our entire desktop library. Now the last thing that you want to do here is just a little bit of housekeeping. In order to do that, I'm going to hide Lightroom. You can do that by pressing Command+H. Well, here back to my desktop, we can see that we have our main Lightroom Catalog.

We've merged the Travel catalog with this new catalog. Well, what then do we need to do with what's left on our Travel Drive? In other words, when you merge catalogs together, it doesn't automatically delete the old catalog; rather, it just ingests it, brings it in, and merges it with the other catalog; all of the images, all of the settings, etcetera, etcetera. What then do we need to do with this? Well, in my situation I want to get rid of this. Otherwise, I'm going to have this catalog or these other catalogs that we create while traveling, and this is just going to take up extra file size.

It's also going to be just a little bit messy and cluttered. In other words, what I want to do is some housekeeping here. Because I really don't need this catalog anymore, I'm going to get rid of it. To do that, we simply click on the catalog and we can go ahead and delete that. By doing that it just cleans up our overall workflow. It also helps us really commit to where our images are. In other words, our images are in this new catalog. Now we don't have to worry about that other catalog. We can focus on our one main catalog.

When it comes to working with catalogs in Lightroom, ideally what you want to do is manage this process so that you can keep track of your catalogs and eventually just really focus in on just one main catalog.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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

37 video lessons · 8454 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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