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Copying collection membership (only) between computers


Active Member
Jan 30, 2008
As many who lurk here, we use a laptop and a PC, both with LR installed.

Generally, I use the PC (Windows XP) and Sue uses the laptop (Mac Book Pro).

I've worked out a fairly foolproof system of downloading images from the card to the Mac, doing some basic fixing and keywording there, (especially if we are travelling for a few weeks or more), and using 'export as catalog' on the latest folders (by date) to transfer the image records to the PC on our return.

Once this is done, the rule is that any additional keywording or adjustments get done on the PC. This works fine; despite our normal lack of discipline we have managed mostly to avoid needlessly duplicating work.

But inevitably Sue wants to create Collections for various reasons, and it is always at a time when a) she or we are away from base, or b) I am occupying the PC.

We find that occasionally we need the collection transferred from one computer to the other. Using 'export as collection' is useless, because it overwrites anything I have done to the images on the PC, including membership of any collections I create there.

I could tick 'keep existing as virtual copy', but it would end up a complete mess with different virtual copies being members of collections - oh boy, exactly the confusion I've been trying to avoid by using LightRoom!

We end up resorting to a laborious list using a pencil (no, not some new-fangled piece of sotware, it's an old-fashined thing of wood and graphite!).

Either I am missing something really obvious, or there must be some devious way to achieve what I want (I hope!). Otherwise I feel a feature request is needed.

Patrick Cunningham
Sep 29, 2007
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Collections would currently fall into the same category as keywording or other adjustments, so you'll need to follow the same rules, at least for now, otherwise you will, as you noted, end up overwriting stuff you've done on the other machine.