Copying Collections to Another Catalog

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CarpeBella Photography
Sep 26, 2008
Tucson, AZ
Lightroom Experience
Lightroom Version
Is it possible to copy Collections from one catalog to another? I use both a laptop in the field and a main system desktop for my work; I do use the import/export Folders as Catalog feature to move recent field work to the main system. I would like to replicate changes in my Collections structure on the main system to the laptop. While I can export a Collection as a catalog, importing this on the laptop does not recreate the Collection. Any thoughts?


Here is what I do (windows system using LR2). Export as a catalog. Still in LR, FILE/OPEN the catalog where you want the photos to end up. Now do a FILE/Import as a catalog. As this point the actual photo files have probably been copied to the same directory location where you had just exported them as a catalog. Completely exit out of lightroom. Delete the copied photos only. Go back into LR and you will see question marks by the photos you had previously imported. Re-establish their link (right click) to the true location you are keeping them. As this point the question marks should have vanished. Completely exit out of LR. Go to where you originally created the exported catalog, delete it along with any subdirectories.

As usual, I would highly recommend you test this carefully with just a few photos you don't care about to ensure everything works for you.

Is it possible to copy Collections from one catalog to another?

Hello, welcome to the forum!
I usually share the same Smart Collections among my Catalogs; it is just a matter of right_clicking the Smart Collection you want to sync and exporting it ( choose "Export Smart Collection Settings...") to a known folder ( I use the Desktop).
After exporting all your SCs, open the receiving Catalog and simply import the SCs to this open Catalog (right-click and choose "Import Smart Collections Settings...).
I hope it helps!
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