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Another way that we can bring files into Lightroom is by way of autoimport. And autoimport is actually kind of interesting. Here you can see I'm working from this folder 01_Getting_Started. Inside of that folder there are a couple of different subfolders that we will be working with, in particular watched_folder and auto_import. And what you can do in Lightroom is you can define a folder as a watched folder. In other words you can say, hey, Lightroom keep your eye on this folder. If I copy any images in this folder I want you to do something with those files.
I want you to process them, apply some metadata, and then copy them to a new location and integrate them or import them into my Lightroom Library. Well, let's take a look at how this actually works. You can see here that I have two Finder windows open and currently on my desktop I have this file titled surfer.jpg. Well, I want to autoimport this image into my overall Lightroom catalog. How am I going to do that? Here is how it works. If we go back to Lightroom, we can navigate to the File pulldown menu.
Here we are going to choose Auto Import and then go to Auto Import Settings. In this dialog we are going to work on it from top to bottom. Now we don't want to enable the Auto Import yet, so we'll skip that step. Next we want to define a watched folder. I'll go ahead and click on Choose. Here what I am going to do is in my exercise_files I'll go to 01_Getting_Started, and then I'll select this folder named watched_folder. Now you can name this folder whatever you want, but I just want to keep things simple here for demo purposes. That's the folder.
We are going to be able to drag something into and Lightroom will then process it and integrate it into our library. Great! Let's click Choose. Next step, Destination or where do we want to move this file. Well, we will define that as well simply by clicking on Choose and again in this 01_Getting_Started folder here I am going to choose my auto_import_folder. One of the things that I do want to point out is when you are defining your watched_folder, you do have to start out with an empty folder. Otherwise it will tangle things up a bit.
So it's required that this folder is empty and currently there are no files in it. Now in regards to our Destination folder you can choose Subfolders. In this case I have dialed in a subfolder named surfer. Okay, well, perfect. File Naming, you can choose any of your different custom naming options. You can also apply Develop Settings as needed, and then you can apply metadata presets, if you have any. We've already created a copyright one. So let's go ahead and choose that. We've also discovered that in most scenarios Initial Preview of Standard tends to work best.
So I'll select that as well. Now here what I can do is either click on Enable Auto Import, or click OK and then navigate back to the File pulldown menu and then choose Auto Import and Enable Auto Import. Now once we do this, nothing will really happen, because it now requires that we take some kind of an action. So what I am going to do is pull up my Finder windows once again. Well, here I have both these Finder windows. One is point to my Desktop; the other one is pointing to this watched_folder here.
So I am going to grab this surfer.jpg, and I'll go ahead and click and drag and drop that into this watched_folder. Now that that's part of this folder what we are going to see is that Lightroom is going to wakeup and say, "hey, there is a file inside of that folder." It then took it out of this folder. It's gone. It applied those settings that we defined, and it also moved it to a new location. Here you can see it's inside of auto_import_folder, subfolder surfer. And there is the little JPEG file. So when we go back to Lightroom what we will discover is that this file is now integrated into your overall catalog, and it also brought with it that particular folder structure where it saved this file inside of the subfolder titled surfer.
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