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So far, we've been talking about catalogs by way of analogy or graphical representation. Here I want to dig into catalogs in a little bit more of a practical way. So here we are inside of Lightroom. We have a catalog that we've opened. We have our images we brought into that, and it's recognizing all those. We have metadata and previews and all that content. Well, if you press F a few times, you can go through your different fullscreen view modes until you can see at the top what catalog you're working in. On a Mac, Command+Click that; it will show you where this is saved in the Pictures folder, and then a couple of subfolders there.
Well, I want to go to that location, so I'm going to hide Lightroom. Here you can see in this left Finder window that I have the catalog file there. Typically when people refer to the Lightroom catalog, they're talking about the Previews file and the actual catalog itself. These two really belong together. All right, what are these other files? Well, these two other files are showing me, or telling, me that this catalog is currently open; therefore it's locking that down so it can't be modified. For example, if we go back to Lightroom momentarily here and if we quite Lightroom, what we'll see is it will then just show me those two files there: the lrdata file and the lrcat file.
All right, well here is the catalog over here, saved in My Pictures folder, and you can see that here. On the right-hand side, I have my exercise files. Now the exercise files are where all the images are contained, and what I can do is open that same folder that we looked at previously, and here you can see we have all of those images located inside of this folder. So in this case, in more practical terms, we can see this--that on the left we have the catalog, and this contains information about these images, and then on the right, or in another location, we have the actual images themselves.
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