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Easy way to create hundreds of Smart Folders?

Joined
Mar 12, 2017
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137
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Intermediate
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I'm porting several large and one huge database from Aperture to Lightroom (and I'm happy to make the switch — they each have their strengths, and I'm enjoying almost everything about Lightroom).

One task facing me is creating new Smart Collections. I need to make at least a couple hundred. Several of them are complex. Most of them fit into series with minor variations: three rules with the same keyword, for example.

Is there any _other_ way to create them besides using the Edit Smart Collection window? Can I cobble them together as some kind of text file? Is there any other interface?

Is there any way to copy-and-paste Rules between Smart Collections? Any other way to specify a Rule and its conditions other than drilling down and out through drop-down and fly-out menus?

Any other Smart Collection creating tricks (other than duplicate Smart Collection)?

So far I've been minting them with Keyboard Maestro, which is effective but still quite round-about.

Cheers!
 

Wernfried

Active Member
Joined
Jan 31, 2017
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Usually Smart Collections are used on short-term. You may consider to translate some of your Smart Collections into Keywords and make them permanent.

Anyway, you can go to your Smart Collection and make "Export Smart Collection Settings". LR creates a .lrsmcol file at given location. This file is a simple text file you can modify with a text editor (maybe by using some scripts). I think the syntax is quite obvious when you look inside such files.

After modification you can import it again.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
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London
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No easy way, but two things you may not have noticed:
  • Right click a smart collection and export - this creates a text file which you can edit externally, copy, then re-import. It's more for when you might want to transfer smart collections to another catalogue or to a published service
  • Right click a smart collection and choose Duplicate
In general, you should not need as many Lightroom smart collections as you might have smart folders in Aperture. Especially if they are repetitive. Smart collections tend to be broader, and then you use the Library Filter (the four columns) to slice and dice as needed. Remember too that the Library Filter can have presets.

John
 
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Jul 2, 2015
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As an ex-Aperture user (who still misses its elegance sometimes) I agree with John. The Lightroom search capabilities are split into two. First you can select a number of images by selecting a smart collection. Then you can make a further refinement by applying a filter. That means that having hundreds of smart collections that do not differ very much is probably unnecessary. You can achieve the same by combining one smart collection with different filters, such as a filter on stars, labels or flags.
 

HansT

New Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
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Apologies if this is a bit of a thread hijack, but I have a related problem. I imported from iPhoto which exported its "Events" structure as named folders. So I have ~200 folders with useful names (the date, or a custom name for the event). I'd love to find an automated way to turn the contents of each folder into a (dumb) Collection in Lr that is named from the folder's name.

Kirby, would Keyboard Maestro help me with this process?
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
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Apologies if this is a bit of a thread hijack, but I have a related problem. I imported from iPhoto which exported its "Events" structure as named folders. So I have ~200 folders with useful names (the date, or a custom name for the event). I'd love to find an automated way to turn the contents of each folder into a (dumb) Collection in Lr that is named from the folder's name.
Select all the folders in the folder panel (select the first one, then shift-click on the last one). Drag these into the collections panel.
 

HansT

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Mar 15, 2017
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Simple and brilliant. Thank you Johan -- I'll give that a shot.
 
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