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Where are my catalog files?

From: Lightroom 4 Catalogs in Depth

Video: Where are my catalog files?

Catalogs are so integral or important to Lightroom that literally you can't operate or run Lightroom without a catalog. Every time you open up Lightroom, it ask you to either choose or create a catalog, and here you can see you I've created a catalog, yet it is doesn't have any images or media files in it. Well, how is that? Well, in the same way that you can have a binder with blank pages or a book with empty pages, you can have a catalog without pictures. And I think these illustrate an important point and that is that the catalog and your photographs and media files, they are two different separate entities.

Where are my catalog files?

Catalogs are so integral or important to Lightroom that literally you can't operate or run Lightroom without a catalog. Every time you open up Lightroom, it ask you to either choose or create a catalog, and here you can see you I've created a catalog, yet it is doesn't have any images or media files in it. Well, how is that? Well, in the same way that you can have a binder with blank pages or a book with empty pages, you can have a catalog without pictures. And I think these illustrate an important point and that is that the catalog and your photographs and media files, they are two different separate entities.

And here what I want to do is take a look how we can find our catalog file, this empty catalog. Where is it, where is this file or these files saved? Well, there are two different ways that you can access or find your catalog files. The first technique that you can use is to go the Lightroom pulldown menu, and here you can choose Catalog Settings. This will open your Catalog Settings dialog. Near the top, it shows you the Location of your catalog. To open up that folder, go ahead and click Show. This will open up your Finder or Explorer Window.

Here you can see I have my catalog and my Previews files. I also have these two other extra files inside of this folder. Well, why is that? Well, those two files are there because I'm currently using this catalog and those files are locking down the catalog so that it can't be changed behind Lightroom's back so to speak. Well, how else can we find our catalog? Another way that you can do this is that if we close these windows, you can go ahead and go up to your title bar. Right-click on the title bar if you're on Windows or simply click on it if you're on a Mac.

And here, you can see it shows us where this catalog is saved. We can click on one of these folders in order to navigate to that location. Now why is this important? Well, it's important to know where your catalog is because it obviously contains some really valuable information, and by knowing where your catalog is, it can help you have a more intelligent or more well-rounded workflow, which includes managing and working with your catalogs.

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This video is part of

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

37 video lessons · 8598 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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