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Exporting a catalog just to back up Smart Collection Rules

PhilBurton

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I have this workflow based on keywords and smart collections (thanks to John B), and I want to do a backup. Once, back in 2020, I was able to do a backup and the resulting lrcat file was pretty small. However, I didn't keep notes on what I did, :cry: and now I can't seem to do an Export As Catalog without also exporting gigabytes of actual file photos (which completely filled my D: drive and then locked up Lightroom).

What should I be doing?

Phil Burton
 
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In Export as Catalog's dialog, you shouldn't be exporting the negatives.
 
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In my testing I have found that you only need to select one small Folder of images (even with 1 photo would do) and do the [Export as a Catalog] without (unchecked) the option to 'Include Negatives' (thus no image files are copied).
You also can [Export as a Catalog] a selected Folder by a [Right-Click] > [Export this Folder as a Catalog]
This will create a new Catalog with all the Smart Collections included (obviously without images!).

But the other requirement (if you want it) would be to go MENU: Metadata > Export Keywords to create a Keyword file that you can then Import to any new Catalog you create (by any method).
 
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The Catalog file contains all of the Smart Collections. information. Simply making a copy of that file will preserve all of the Smart Collections, Publish Services and Keyword List. The catalog file copy will also contain references to the existing imported inventory of image files. If you do not want references to the existing imported inventory of image files, you can open the newly created copy of the master catalog using Lightroom Classic, Select all of the Images and REMOVE the images from THAT catalog. You want to make sure that you do not delete the image files because these are still being referenced by your master catalog.
 
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If your objective is purely to have the smart collection structure backed up, then do an Export as Catalog for a single image. This means that you can reimport the smart collection structure into any catalogue without changing the metadata in the catalogue. That's how I package my workflow smart collection.

Your regular catalogue backup would cover you. If you subsequently need to recover the smart collection structure, you can return to this backup catalogue and export the structure.
 

PhilBurton

Lightroom enthusiast (but still learning)
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If your objective is purely to have the smart collection structure backed up, then do an Export as Catalog for a single image. This means that you can reimport the smart collection structure into any catalogue without changing the metadata in the catalogue. That's how I package my workflow smart collection.

Your regular catalogue backup would cover you. If you subsequently need to recover the smart collection structure, you can return to this backup catalogue and export the structure.
Sorry for the belated reply. This method worked, and it was FAST!
 
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