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Earlier this year, I had the privilege of heading up the Adobe headquarters and meeting with some of the Lightroom team. One of things that I discovered through that meeting is that a lot of the improvements in Lightroom 3 are things that are happening behind the scenes. It's the overall engine and some of the things that really help Lightroom operate and run quickly. So one of the things that you're going to experience is this overall improvement in regards to speed. One of the reasons why Lightroom runs faster is because the catalogs are better. We also have a few little tips here that can help us work even more efficiently with our catalogs.
One of the things that you need to do quite often is back up your catalog. Your catalog contains all these different types of information about your images. So you want to save that quite often. You can modify how often you save this by going to your Lightroom pulldown menu and choosing Catalog Settings. Then I'll make sure that I have clicked on the General tab. Now what we want to do is go to the default setting, Back up catalog. By default, it's Once a week, when exiting Lightroom. This is such a welcome little improvement. Now previously, what we had to do is back up every time it would reopen Lightroom.
That was kind of a pain, because it just increased our wait time before we could get to the images. Well, now what I do is I leave it on this Once a week option. And then when I close Lightroom, it does its thing. I don't even have to think about it. I walk away, right? Typically, how often you want to backup your catalog is how frequently you really use Lightroom. How prolific of a shooter are you? In my own workflow, I find that Once a week works really well. All right. Well the other thing that you want to do in regards to your catalogs is navigate to your File pulldown menu and choose Optimize Catalog.
What Optimize Catalog will do is it will help your catalog run a little bit more efficiently, especially if you've deleted a lot of images, if you've made changes outside of Lightroom. Again, how often you do this depends on how much you're really pushing Lightroom, and especially how many changes you're making to the core structure of the files, their location, and like I mentioned deleting files outside of Lightroom. But one of the things that you'll notice is that when you do optimize a catalog, it basically is taking everything and just making sure everything lines up. It's just getting everything untangled and orderly.
So Lightroom is going to run much more snappy and much more efficiently. The final thing that I want to say in regards to catalogs, I'll go ahead and cancel that now, is that in the previous version of Lightroom there was a real case for working with multiple catalogs, because one of the things that we saw was that Ligjhtroom's performance bogged down when we got a lot of images at super high volume. Well, what they've discovered with Lightroom 3 is that it can handle just a ton more images. So they're really isn't much of a case for having multiple catalogs. So just keep that in mind as you're working forward.
So if you ever notice that Lightroom's performance is slowing down a little bit, just be sure to head up to that File pulldown menu and then choose Optimize Catalog.
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