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Splitting a catalog

someothername

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After working for some time with a single massive catalog, I think I'd be better off with two or maybe even three catalogs by subject matter. What is the best way to go about this? My goal would be to end up with say two catalogs and two independent sets of folders on my hard drive.

I think this might be the right process, but I'd like some confirmation or maybe things to look out for.

1. Collect all the folders and a few isolated images that I want to go in the second catalog into a collection.

2. run export catalog on that collection and identify the new top level location for the folders I want the images moved to.

Thanks,
 
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After working for some time with a single massive catalog, I think I'd be better off with two or maybe even three catalogs by subject matter.
How massive is your catalog? And, what will you do if you have images that fall into multiple subject matters? IMHO, separate catalogs work well if your subjects have no overlap and/or are very discrete.

--Ken
 

jheartland

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I'm interested in splitting out a large catalog as well. I need to segregate my personal images from my professional ones. The documentation I've found isn't as clear as I'd like. Can someone clarify if I can do the following, and how?

From a single catalog, I'd like to select several folders and associated collections (and sets), keywords, virtual copies, etc and export them all to a new catalog.

It doesn't seem clear that I can pick and choose which folders and collections I want. Unless I'm mistaken, I have to basically duplicate the entire catalog, with all images, folders, collections, keywords, etc. I would then go to the copied catalog and start removing what I don't want. This seems like a lot of work and I'd like to avoid it if possible. Can someone explain what I can do and point me to the right documentation?

Thanks,
Chris
 
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I'm interested in splitting out a large catalog as well. I need to segregate my personal images from my professional ones. The documentation I've found isn't as clear as I'd like. Can someone clarify if I can do the following, and how?

From a single catalog, I'd like to select several folders and associated collections (and sets), keywords, virtual copies, etc and export them all to a new catalog.

It doesn't seem clear that I can pick and choose which folders and collections I want. Unless I'm mistaken, I have to basically duplicate the entire catalog, with all images, folders, collections, keywords, etc. I would then go to the copied catalog and start removing what I don't want. This seems like a lot of work and I'd like to avoid it if possible. Can someone explain what I can do and point me to the right documentation?

Thanks,
Chris
Chris, look here to begin:http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Lightroom/2.'/WSBED'E'8'-63AF-4ba4-ACCF-EC48C4F92D6D.html#WS9DF6F3F5-4A14-4351-ADD9-'849ED8B2195
there is more information regarding collections and what will be retained, just type "export as catalog" in the search box on the Help Page.
 
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Chris, are you thinking that the images will stay in their current locations, but just the catalogs will be split, or do you want to move the files around on disc too?
 

jheartland

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Victoria - I will probably pull the images over to a new location as well. I believe I understand how to do that. Do the catalog export, do the image move on disk and then, when opening the new catalog, click the question mark next to an image. This brings up a "find the image" browser - I point to the new location on disk and also check "find nearby images". Am I close?
Any other caveats?

Thanks,
Chris
 
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jheartland

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Victoria - I do have my files on disk as a top down heirarchy (by date). I didn't think of moving them inside LR but that's always preferable.

I'm looking at documentation right now on "exporting as catalog" and it all seems geared towards switching disks, switching computers etc. I'm not seeing anything on "splitting" catalogs, i.e. some but not all images. I just brought up my LR and tried to select some folders and then select some collections. As soon as I add the collections to the selection, I lose the "export as catalog" option. How do I split out the associated collections/sets with the images.

FYI: I tend to flag images, then create VC's of those flagged images, then create a collections containing those VCs. I want to make sure I get the collections and VCs as well as the folders and original images.

Thanks,
Chris
 
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Do you mean catalogs or collections? Just checking?

Test it, but I seem to remember that if you export a folder (or a number of folders) as a catalog, their collection groupings go too. Just double check that though. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose.
 

jheartland

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I just wanted to clarify: I want to export images and COLLECTIONS not catalogs.
 

jheartland

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Good idea, I will do a test export to see. It's just a copy right? I can delete the test catalog with no harm to my main catalog?

Chris
 

jheartland

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Looks like success. I did test export with a single folder and it exported all images, folder structure, previews, keywords, virtual copies, collections and sets. I then tried two folders and it did the same: everything came over including the associated collections/sets.

So, it looks like you can just choose the folders and images you want, make sure the two checkboxes are selected (negatives and previews) and export. I can now export the professional images out of my personal catalog as I had hoped. Thanks again for the help.

Chris
 
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Great Chris, well done. And of course, if you just want to separate them into 2 separate catalogs but leave them in their existing structure, you'd just skip the 'export negatives' part.
 

jheartland

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I chose to move everything over into a new folder, so I checked "move negatives". LR duplicated my file structures in the new location so it all feels right. Now I can do my yearly cleanup on my personal files and be completely separate from my professional files.

Kudos to the LR team for making this feature so useful.

Chris
 

someothername

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I chose to move everything over into a new folder, so I checked "move negatives". LR duplicated my file structures in the new location so it all feels right. Now I can do my yearly cleanup on my personal files and be completely separate from my professional files.

Kudos to the LR team for making this feature so useful.

Chris
I'm a bit confused. I can see how to use the export folder to a new catalog. What I'm unclear on is whether I can export a folder to an existing catalog. In other words, I've got probably 2'' or so folders and I want to move about 4' or 5' of them into a new catalog. It would work best for me if I could move a few at a time, rather than trying to identify all of them at once and fire off a single huge export.

I tried highlighting three folders and clicked on the export to catalog but it only listed one folder for export. I just reviewed this thread and I must have misunderstood something. It sounds like Chris managed to select multiple folders and exported them at one fell swoop. But I must be missing something.
 

jheartland

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Hi Brandon,

I don't know if you can export a folder from one existing catalog into another already existing catalog. I was able to successfully export multiple folders into a brand new catalog. Since I did it all in one action I don't have the need to keep moving folders from one catalog to another.

Some caveats about exporting into catalogs. I noticed that as you highlight/select folders, LR doesn't automatically select all the files in those folders. You need to "select all" for those highlighted folders to make sure you get all the files. If you don't, on "export as catalog" you get an extra checkbox labeled "export selected photos only". If you select all before exporting, that checkbox goes away.
 
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Hi Brandon

jheartland is absolutely right about selecting the images. That's a good solution.

Alternatively, open the target catalog, go to Import from Catalog, point to the source catalog, and choose Import. In that import dialog, you can select which folders you want to pull in.
 

jheartland

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>>
Alternatively, open the target catalog, go to Import from Catalog, point to the source catalog, and choose Import. In that import dialog, you can select which folders you want to pull in.
<<

Very interesting. It sounds like LR will let you migrate folders between catalogs on an ongoing basis. I didn't know you could do such a thing. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a necessary tool. I can see where you might open the wrong catalog by mistake, edit your images and then realize you were in the wrong place. You wouldn't want to have to start over with the unprocessed images in the correct catalog - you can just pull them in on an ad hoc basic.

You learn something new every day around here : )

Chris
 
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Exactly Chris! Ideally you'll just use one catalog, but not everyone does, so the tools are there for moving files between catalogs too.
 
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