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Catalogs Promoting folders on a Mac

Richard Towell

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Oct 4, 2017
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Operating System: OS El Capitan

Lightroom Version: CC
(Please go to Help menu > System Info to double check the exact version number)

Question or Description of Problem: I have accidentally created a system of folders on import which has up to 11 levels. So the latest file will have My Name>Date 1>Date 2> through 11 levels >to today's date (which is intended). This means that it is impossible to read even the date of the file once it is imported because it is too far to the right. I need to remove all the intervening files and get back to a simple date structure. This would involve promoting all the newer folders up one level but I can't find a way to do it. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks RT
 
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So where to do you want to move those files? To the 'Date 1' folder? If so, search for the files by date. You can do that by first selecting the 'All Photographs' collection, and then filter on the date. If you have all the images of Date 1 in the grid, select them all by typing Cmd-A. Then drag them onto the Date 1 folder in the folder panel. Do this for each date if you have images than span more dates. After you've done this, you can delete the (now empty) folders lower in the hierarchy from the catalog (right-click on the top one).
 

Richard Towell

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Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure I have understood what you mean by filter by date. If I select 'all photographs' I get a list of 18 934 images uploaded over a two year period (although some are copies of images taken earlier which have earlier dates attached to them). I can't see how I could drag them into the earliest date and I don't really want them all under one date, if that is what you meant. I think I may need to explain better. An example: I uploaded a file on 2017-09-10. I wanted that file to be listed by date within a year/month/day folder so each day in each month in 2017 when I have uploaded a file would be listed in a single list: 2017-01-01 through to 2017-12-31. Instead, if I click 'get info' on that file it tells me it has the following label: HD>Users>RichardTowell>2016-08-23>2017-03-23>2017-04-13>2017-06-12>2017-06-20 before arriving at 2017-09-10. My aim would be to have a file structure which works simply by year i.e. Hard Disk>Users>Richard Towell>2016> 2016-01-01 through to 2016-12-31 and then a new 2017 year file. I use 'collections' to store the images I work with (which are usually edited) and each has its date so it is easy to find the original if I need it as long as I can see the date - which I currently can't because that list of intervening folders has thrown the list so far to the right. I need to get rid of the intervening folders to get back to the file structure I want but I can't. (I should say that each of the above mentioned files e.g. 2017-04-13 will have some images uploaded on that date and then the other images in folders listed by the other dates: this makes it difficult simply to delete that folder). I will then need to change the way I upload files so that it doesn't start again. It wasn't obvious to me on the import side that LR was using all these subfolders when uploading my files: I don't know why it did so. I wasn't aware of having creating any instructions to that effect. I hope this makes it clearer and thanks again for looking into the issue. Richard Towell
 
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Okay, two things. To find all images that were shot on a certain date, go to 'All Photograps'. Then at the top of the grid, you can set a filter for that particular date. Click on 'Metadata' and select the date in the date column. If you do not see a date column, you can change one of the columns by clicking on its name.

To move all your 2017-09-10 images to a folder hierarchy 2017/2017-09/2017-09-10, you would first have to create that hierarchy in the folder panel by using the plus button at the top. Then you can select all the filtered images and drag and drop them into that folder. As you would have to do this for each date, this could be a daunting task depending on how many imports went wrong...
 

Richard Towell

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Thank you Johan. I will try to do this. I have no doubt that this is a daunting task. I put up with this going wrong for far too long because I could live with it until the dates became more or less invisible. Wish me luck. Cheers Richard
 
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If it's really too many, you could consider a different approach, although that also has some disadvantages. What you could do is the following. Select all the images in a certain collection, and then use 'Export with preset - Original'. Create a temporary folder and export the images to that folder.

Keep the images selected, and switch to 'All Photograps'. Press the Delete key. Lightroom will ask you whether you want to remove the images from the catalog only, or also from disk. Choose from disk. That will completely remove these images, but of course you have the exported originals.

Choose 'Import Images', select that temporary folder with the originals and choose 'Move' as import method. Now you can create a new folder hierarchy for these images during import, so they will automatically be placed into the 2017 / 2017-09 / 2017-09-07 hierarchy. Because 'Export as original' saves the edits and keywords to XMP, the imported images will retain their metadata. And during import you can also add them to the original collection.

This method may be a lot faster, because you could move images of several dates at the same time (you move all the images in a collection, regardless of how many capture dates it concerns). The disadvantage is that you will lose the edit history, all virtual copies you may have made, and all stacks, because these things are not saved in XMP.
 

Richard Towell

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Joined
Oct 4, 2017
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That strikes me as a bit risky, Johan. I think I need to have a go with the filter idea first although I don't quite seem to have got the idea of how to select images by filter. I will experiment and hopefully get there in the end. Cheers Richard
 
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