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LR CC in Windows, sharing with Mac

Suzanne015

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Mar 21, 2016
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Hertfordshire, UK
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Lightroom Version
Classic v7.5
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Windows 10, macOS 10.10 Yosemite
I'm just on the edge of purchasing a powerful Windows 10 computer. BUT....I currently do most of my work on an iMac...the LR is downloaded onto this, but all the photos it accesses are saved on an external hard drive. Occasionally, when I travel, I take my laptop with and use the same EHD. My alarm bell is that I would like to use the laptop whilst away, and then use the same EHD to reload this catalogue back to the iMac..I have a copy there that I work on...Pictures all saved on the EHD.. Will it be impossible for me to switch between an iMac and Windows PC to use LR. I currently have an Apple Macbook Air, but it is 10 years old now, and I need to change. Looking at Windows higher spec laptop as the Macs are so expensive. I have to determine if the swap between the mac and PC is tricky, or if I can do it easily on a more daily basis. Comments appreciated. THanks
 
Joined
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Netherlands
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As long as the EHD is formatted in a way that both MacOS and Windows can read and write (you'll need ExFAT and that is probably not the formatting right now), you can place the catalog on the EHD too and then use Lightroom Classic on both computers with that same catalog. Use the option to store the presets with the catalog, so they too will be shared.

The only practical problem is that MacOS and Windows use different ways to identify a disk. MacOS uses the disk name, Windows uses its archaic drive letter system. The result is that each time you switch from one computer to the other, you'll end up with 'missing images' because the path to the images is not correct. You can solve this fairly easily (Lightroom thinks my photos are missing—how do I fix it? | The Lightroom Queen), but it is a bit of a nuisance.

In theory you can solve this problem by placing all the images in a folder hierarchy inside the catalog folder. In that case Lightroom uses 'relative links' to the images, that do not include the disk name. That works fine on my Mac, I have heard mixed reports when used on mixed Windows/MacOS systems.
 
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The theory that Johan refers to is not really a theory but just how LR works to resolve the path. In the LR catalog there are two path fields stored. the first is the "absolutePath" and in Windows this will contain the drive letter. The other field (and the one that will work in both MacOS and WindowsOS is the "relativePath" This is the path that is relative to the location of the catalog file. If the image file is in a subfolder of the folder containing the catalog, the "relativePath" is resolvable on either machine whereas the "absolutePath" may contain a confusing Drive letter.
If you create a "Export as a Catalog"that includes the Digital negatives , LR will build a package with the image files in a subfolder of the folder containing the catalog. This package is transportable to any computer with a compatible version of LR installed. You don't need to use the "Export as a Catalog" function to create a portable catalog, you only need to replicate the folder structure on your EHD.
One other thing that is important is to tick the box "Store Settings with Catalog" and move all of your LR settings to the sub folder called Lightroom Settings . This will insure that the LR settings that are portable can be accessed by either machine.
 
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The theory that Johan refers to is not really a theory but just how LR works to resolve the path. In the LR catalog there are two path fields stored. the first is the "absolutePath" and in Windows this will contain the drive letter. The other field (and the one that will work in both MacOS and WindowsOS is the "relativePath" This is the path that is relative to the location of the catalog file. If the image file is in a subfolder of the folder containing the catalog, the "relativePath" is resolvable on either machine whereas the "absolutePath" may contain a confusing Drive letter.
Correct. I said 'in theory' because I have advised people to use this in such a Windows / Macintosh combination, only the be told that it didn't work. Of course it could be that the person I explained it to didn't understand it and didn't place the images in the correct folder.
 
Joined
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I use this method myself (albeit between two Windows computers) and it works great. It should be noted though that there are some other things that don't come along with the catalog when you swap the External Drive between computers, even when presets are stored with the catalog.

1) Preferences must be entered into LR Classic in both systems (or copy the preferences files from one to the other).

2) Plug-ins must be installed in both systems as they too sit outside of the catalog. The catalog references them but you must install them on each system (best to assure the same versions are used on both computers)

3) Sometimes syncing to the cloud gets confused when you switch computers. Part of this confusion is the Folder LR Classic uses for images originating in the Cloud. So, you may need to change that manually as well if you sync with the Cloud

Dan
 

Suzanne015

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Mar 21, 2016
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Thank you for your comments....a bit to digest. Because of this I may be swaying back to an Apple Pro, just so easy to "work between the two".
 
Joined
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Thank you for your comments....a bit to digest. Because of this I may be swaying back to an Apple Pro, just so easy to "work between the two".
About 10 years ago I moved away from a lifetime Windows user/developer to the Apple world. First iPhone, then iPad and a Mac desktop. The last switch was a small MBP to replace a aging HP laptop. The reason is integration. Apple does it better than any Windows attempt at integration. I could if I wanted leave off composing this reply on my laptop and go upstairs to my iMac and resume. Start an email on my iPhone and finish on my Mac. With iCloud my data files are available everywhere. I know that since I left Windows, Microsoft has copied the data in iCloud concept, but I don't think it is as well integrated and the way Apple does it.
 
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Jun 24, 2010
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Another aspect to consider is that Apple collects and stores significantly less personal information than other service providers. This is because Apple's business model does not rely on advertising but rather hardware sales. This is why their hardware is more espensive, you are paying up front for the included services. Therefore Apple doesn't have to go sell your personal data to make a profit. This was demonstrated a while ago by a privacy researcher (I do not recall the source) that requested all their data from Google and Apple. The resulting file from Google was huge while the file from Apple was quite limited.

A good thing to keep in mind in this age of surveillance capitalism is that if you are not paying for the service you are the product.

-louie
 
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