October 23, 2015 at 3:01 pm #14109
Does anyone know if it is possible to merge two catalogues in Lightroom? I had to make a separate catalogue on a different computer for an event, but when I came to add those pictures to my catalogue at home, I could not get them to merge. Here is what I did in this order: First, I copied all the RAW photos over from one computer to another and put them in the correct folders. Then I opened Lightroom and told it to sync. I had made a backup of the LR catalogue on a USB stick so I then told LR to import from another catalogue, namely the one I had on my USB. It allowed me to import some of the editted photos, but not all of them and then edits were only on the “previous import,” not on the photos in my folders. What did I do wrong?
I finally gave up, imported all the photos into LR the normal way and redid all my edits… 🙁October 24, 2015 at 7:24 am #14159
Aye, you should have asked before you re-did all your edits! 🙂
Here’s a link to a tutorial: http://www.lightroompresets.com/blogs/pretty-presets-blog/12083285-merging-lightroom-catalogs
I have not had any experience personally with merging catalogs, but I have my own ideas about how I would do it… The link above should be the “recommended” way to do it however, so you’d better do it according to the rules.October 24, 2015 at 7:44 am #14160
For future reference though…
You should always tell Lightroom to save your edits with each picture you edit. In your case, if your catalog had somehow gotten corrupted or lost, all your edits would have been completely lost! 🙁
To remedy this situation, you need to tell Lightroom to “Automatically write changes into XMP”, which will save all your edits into a little .xmp file alongside every picture that you edit. That way, whenever you back up your pictures, you’ll back up your edits too, and if you lose your catalog, you won’t lose all your edits.
Edit > Catalog Settings… (or you can do the key combination: Ctrl + Alt + ,)
October 26, 2015 at 7:11 pm #14206
Yup, I should have asked before trying! 🙂 It would have saved me some time and frustration. I’ll know for next time. Thanks a lot!
So that’s what .xmp files are! 🙂 Corel AfterShot Pro creates them automatically, and I got a little annoyed with all these extra files showing up… 🙂 Won’t that take a lot more room to back up, though? What if I backup my catalogue in two different places? It would be more efficient on harddrive space.October 26, 2015 at 7:36 pm #14210
No, don’t worry, .xmp files are extremely tiny, only 1-2 KB apiece, compared to 15-20 MB (15,000-20,000 KB) for a RAW file, the .xmp files don’t take enough space to even worry about. Your catalog is a much larger file, although if you compress it with 7zip, it brings it down to just a few MB. It’s still a good idea to back up your catalog, but in my opinion, it’s a good idea to do the .xmp thing too.
.xmp files are basically just metadata files, and as such, they are used (and read) by all sorts of software. It’s basically a non-destructive way to add info about the file. If the software overwrote the original file to write it’s info in the EXIF every time, there would be a much larger chance of your file getting corrupted during all the read/write cycles.October 27, 2015 at 11:35 am #14213James StaddonKeymaster
Brilliant @buddingphotographer! Thanks for answering this question. I’m glad LR has that option.October 27, 2015 at 8:46 pm #14244
You’re welcome, glad I could be of assistance! 🙂November 4, 2015 at 6:58 am #14454Matthew StevensParticipant
Just FYI the metadata that gets written to the XMP files do not include the full history of edits that were made on the photo.I was always under the impression that XMP was sort of a backup of all my edits, flags, etc. that would stay with the image no matter where it went, but it turns out this is not the case. It is true that your edits get stored – whatever the most recent state of the image is in Lightroom, including snapshots. – but the edit history does not get recorded. Neither do your flags, ratings, or collections info.
I still write changes to XMP, but now I know I can’t rely on that as an alternative to a full backup (or multiple copies of a full backup!) of my actual catalog.November 4, 2015 at 8:01 am #14455
the metadata that gets written to the XMP files do not include the full history of edits that were made on the photo
Very true, I didn’t think to mention that aspect of it… Thanks for bringing that to my attention!
However, I’d still far rather have all my edits without history, than to lose my edits all together! 🙂 I don’t do much with flags/ratings etc, so I didn’t know about that issue. It’s good to know though, so that you’re prepared!
BTW I do highly recommend that you zip/compress your Lightroom Catalog after backup. The catalog backup by itself can be quite large, but it is highly compressible. For example, my current catalog backup is 127 MB, but by compressing into .zip format, I brought down to a mere 9 MB, which is only 7.087% of the original! If you back up frequently, that can add up to some huge savings in the long run!November 4, 2015 at 8:40 am #14457Matthew StevensParticipant
LR 6/CC zips them up by default now, which definitely helps with storage space! I also have it set up so the backups save to my backup drive(s), rather than to the default location (never understood why you would ever want your backups to end up in the same place as your original catalog)November 4, 2015 at 9:23 am #14458
Very handy! I guess I did hear about that feature, but since I have Lightroom 5, it doesn’t help me any. 🙁November 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm #14479
Another quick question… Are the .xmp files made retroactively, too? Or will they only be created on all photos editted after altering that setting?November 4, 2015 at 5:54 pm #14485
If you check the box to write changes to XMP, it will eventually do it for all files you have edited, not just ones edited since you checked the box.
If you want it to do the writing right now, make sure you’re in the Library, then click on the “Metadata” menu at the top of the screen. Almost all the way down at the bottom, there is an option that says, “Save Metadata to File”. I presume that will do so for all photos that are selected at the time that you run that option.November 4, 2015 at 8:06 pm #14490
Thanks a lot buddingphotographer! This will save me a lot of trouble in the future, I’m sure.November 5, 2015 at 8:31 am #14491
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