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Can I copy a collection from one catalog into another

selsong

New Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
12
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Intermediate
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HI

Im still fairly new to Lightroom. Any help would be appreciated

Can I copy a collection from one saved catalog into another easily. Or do I have to just import all the photos into the current catalog and process all over again?

Many thanks for any help
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
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16,496
Location
Houston, TX USA
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Cloud Service
Let's first try to understand catalogs and collections by this analogy.

Say that I live in Houston, TX (catalog) and I am a member of a local Camera Club (collection).

The only way that I can become a resident of Dallas, TX (another catalog) is to move there. Moving to Dallas does not automatically make me a member of a Dallas Camera club (another collection) I have to join and become a member of that local camera club.

Now I can move all of the members of the local Houston Camera Club to Dallas (Export as Catalog/Import as Catalog) but that will not make them members of the Dallas Camera club since both camera clubs are local to their respective cities. The Houston Camera Club stays in Houston even those the members might live elsewhere. The Members of the Houston Camera Club that were imported to Dallas no longer exist as a club (collection) since they can't bring the Houston Camera Club along with them. They can form a new club or they as individuals can become members of the Dallas Camera Club.

Smart Collections are somewhat different. If some of the members of the Houston Camera Club are Nikon shooters them I can create a smart collection of "Nikon Shooters" that automatically includes all people (images) that have own (keyword) a "Nikon" If my Dallas catalog also has a smart collection of "Nikon Shooters", then when I move the members of the Houston Camera Club to Dallas, those members that own a Nikon will automatically become members of the Dallas smart collection of "Nikon Shooters".
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
12,482
Location
West Sussex, UK
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HI
Can I copy a collection from one saved catalog into another easily. Or do I have to just import all the photos into the current catalog and process all over again?
Yes you can, using the Export/Import catalog routine:

1. Right-click on the collection that you want to copy to another catalog, and select "Export this Collection as a Catalog".

2. In the resulting dialog, provide a name and location for this interim exported catalog. Then check the "Include available previews", and check/uncheck the smart previews option as you prefer. Regarding the "Export negative files" option, that depends on where the other catalog (the one you are copying the collection to) resides....if it's on the same system, no need to check that option. But if the other catalog is on a different system with no access to the original files (the "negatives"), then you should check that box. When you've made the selections click on Export catalog.

3. If the other catalog is on the same system, open the other catalog after doing the export, then select File>Import from Another Catalog, select the interim exported catalog and it should then import the collection.

4. If the catalog is on another system, the export as catalog will have created a master folder containing the exported catalog and associated previews, plus a sub-folder containing the copy of all the associated original files. Copy this master folder to the other system, open the other catalog and go through the same "Import from Another Catalog" process. This time you'll have an additional option relating to the original files, i.e. you can move them to another place on the other system or leave them where they are.

Either way, it's a fairly simple process. Let us know if you run into any trouble and need some more help.
 

selsong

New Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2015
Messages
12
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Many thanks Jim
Yes you can, using the Export/Import catalog routine:

1. Right-click on the collection that you want to copy to another catalog, and select "Export this Collection as a Catalog".

2. In the resulting dialog, provide a name and location for this interim exported catalog. Then check the "Include available previews", and check/uncheck the smart previews option as you prefer. Regarding the "Export negative files" option, that depends on where the other catalog (the one you are copying the collection to) resides....if it's on the same system, no need to check that option. But if the other catalog is on a different system with no access to the original files (the "negatives"), then you should check that box. When you've made the selections click on Export catalog.

3. If the other catalog is on the same system, open the other catalog after doing the export, then select File>Import from Another Catalog, select the interim exported catalog and it should then import the collection.

4. If the catalog is on another system, the export as catalog will have created a master folder containing the exported catalog and associated previews, plus a sub-folder containing the copy of all the associated original files. Copy this master folder to the other system, open the other catalog and go through the same "Import from Another Catalog" process. This time you'll have an additional option relating to the original files, i.e. you can move them to another place on the other system or leave them where they are.

Either way, it's a fairly simple process. Let us know if you run into any trouble and need some more help.
 

Ellis Vener

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2008
Messages
41
Thank you Mr. Lee!
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Messages
8
Yes you can, using the Export/Import catalog routine:

1. Right-click on the collection that you want to copy to another catalog, and select "Export this Collection as a Catalog".

2. In the resulting dialog, provide a name and location for this interim exported catalog. Then check the "Include available previews", and check/uncheck the smart previews option as you prefer. Regarding the "Export negative files" option, that depends on where the other catalog (the one you are copying the collection to) resides....if it's on the same system, no need to check that option. But if the other catalog is on a different system with no access to the original files (the "negatives"), then you should check that box. When you've made the selections click on Export catalog.

3. If the other catalog is on the same system, open the other catalog after doing the export, then select File>Import from Another Catalog, select the interim exported catalog and it should then import the collection.

4. If the catalog is on another system, the export as catalog will have created a master folder containing the exported catalog and associated previews, plus a sub-folder containing the copy of all the associated original files. Copy this master folder to the other system, open the other catalog and go through the same "Import from Another Catalog" process. This time you'll have an additional option relating to the original files, i.e. you can move them to another place on the other system or leave them where they are.

Either way, it's a fairly simple process. Let us know if you run into any trouble and need some more help.
 
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