Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

Started Jun 2, 2016 | Discussions
sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,123
Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

Is it possible to move a collection from one collection to another in LR CC without losing your edits?  Maybe an export/import function in LR I'm not aware of...?

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Johanfoto Veteran Member • Posts: 3,887
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

Is it possible to move a collection from one collection to another in LR CC without losing your edits? Maybe an export/import function in LR I'm not aware of...?

Save the collection as a new (temporary) catalog, then import this new catalog into the other Lightroom catalog. By the way, there is usually no reason to have more than one Lightroom catalog.

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dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 2,519
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

In one catalog, right-click on the collection and select Export as Catalog. Then in the other catalog, select File->Import from Another Catalog. Please note: this is a COPY, not a MOVE. To turn it into a MOVE, you would have to go back to the first catalog and delete the collection and if desired, also delete the associated photos from the catalog but not from the hard disk.

In general, unless you have a very good reason, one catalog is a better solution, as then such moving from catalog to catalog is unnecessary. One such reason is you are traveling with Lightroom on your laptop computer, and then want to transfer your Lightroom work to your main computer. Reading your original post carefully, this does not sound like the situation you are in (please correct me if I am wrong), so this reason for having multiple catalogs would not apply to you.

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Paige Miller

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OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,123
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

dj_paige wrote:

In one catalog, right-click on the collection and select Export as Catalog. Then in the other catalog, select File->Import from Another Catalog. Please note: this is a COPY, not a MOVE. To turn it into a MOVE, you would have to go back to the first catalog and delete the collection and if desired, also delete the associated photos from the catalog but not from the hard disk.

In general, unless you have a very good reason, one catalog is a better solution, as then such moving from catalog to catalog is unnecessary. One such reason is you are traveling with Lightroom on your laptop computer, and then want to transfer your Lightroom work to your main computer. Reading your original post carefully, this does not sound like the situation you are in (please correct me if I am wrong), so this reason for having multiple catalogs would not apply to you.

Paige, that's actually what I'm trying to do, but I have my files on an external hard drive (including the LR catalog and catalog backups) so I can move it back and forth between my desktop and laptop (when traveling, of which both computers run Windows).

So basically multiple catalogs is not recommended... I'm mainly concerned about corruption as the catalog gets larger (were talking catalog sizes beyond 1GB).

I figured with smaller catalogs (for example, create a new catalog for each new calendar year), if one got corrupted, at least the others were separate.

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dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 2,519
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)
1

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

dj_paige wrote:

In one catalog, right-click on the collection and select Export as Catalog. Then in the other catalog, select File->Import from Another Catalog. Please note: this is a COPY, not a MOVE. To turn it into a MOVE, you would have to go back to the first catalog and delete the collection and if desired, also delete the associated photos from the catalog but not from the hard disk.

In general, unless you have a very good reason, one catalog is a better solution, as then such moving from catalog to catalog is unnecessary. One such reason is you are traveling with Lightroom on your laptop computer, and then want to transfer your Lightroom work to your main computer. Reading your original post carefully, this does not sound like the situation you are in (please correct me if I am wrong), so this reason for having multiple catalogs would not apply to you.

Paige, that's actually what I'm trying to do, but I have my files on an external hard drive (including the LR catalog and catalog backups) so I can move it back and forth between my desktop and laptop (when traveling, of which both computers run Windows).

You could put the catalog on the external drive, move that back and forth, and then you have one catalog. And this eliminates all the extra work of moving collections back and forth between catalogs.

So basically multiple catalogs is not recommended... I'm mainly concerned about corruption as the catalog gets larger (were talking catalog sizes beyond 1GB).

I figured with smaller catalogs (for example, create a new catalog for each new calendar year), if one got corrupted, at least the others were separate.

The most likely cause (in fact, it's the only cause I know of) of catalog corruption is a failing hard disk, if that is the cause then multiple catalogs may or may not save you. But the worry that you have about catalog corruption has an easy solution. Make regular and automated backups of your catalog file to a different disk. It works fine with one catalog. Many people, including myself, do it this way, and sleep peacefully at night unworried about catalog corruption. If you use the Lightroom catalog backup feature, then you also have the option to Verify the Integrity of your catalog, a useful diagnostic to help prevent corruption or notify you when there is some corruption. If you use the Lightroom catalog backup feature, then you also have the option to optimize your catalog, which has the benefit of speeding up catalog operations, shrinking the size of your catalog, and also possibly preventing future problems.

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Paige Miller

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OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,123
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

dj_paige wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

dj_paige wrote:

In one catalog, right-click on the collection and select Export as Catalog. Then in the other catalog, select File->Import from Another Catalog. Please note: this is a COPY, not a MOVE. To turn it into a MOVE, you would have to go back to the first catalog and delete the collection and if desired, also delete the associated photos from the catalog but not from the hard disk.

In general, unless you have a very good reason, one catalog is a better solution, as then such moving from catalog to catalog is unnecessary. One such reason is you are traveling with Lightroom on your laptop computer, and then want to transfer your Lightroom work to your main computer. Reading your original post carefully, this does not sound like the situation you are in (please correct me if I am wrong), so this reason for having multiple catalogs would not apply to you.

Paige, that's actually what I'm trying to do, but I have my files on an external hard drive (including the LR catalog and catalog backups) so I can move it back and forth between my desktop and laptop (when traveling, of which both computers run Windows).

You could put the catalog on the external drive, move that back and forth, and then you have one catalog. And this eliminates all the extra work of moving collections back and forth between catalogs.

So basically multiple catalogs is not recommended... I'm mainly concerned about corruption as the catalog gets larger (were talking catalog sizes beyond 1GB).

I figured with smaller catalogs (for example, create a new catalog for each new calendar year), if one got corrupted, at least the others were separate.

The most likely cause (in fact, it's the only cause I know of) of catalog corruption is a failing hard disk, if that is the cause then multiple catalogs may or may not save you. But the worry that you have about catalog corruption has an easy solution. Make regular and automated backups of your catalog file to a different disk. It works fine with one catalog. Many people, including myself, do it this way, and sleep peacefully at night unworried about catalog corruption. If you use the Lightroom catalog backup feature, then you also have the option to Verify the Integrity of your catalog, a useful diagnostic to help prevent corruption or notify you when there is some corruption. If you use the Lightroom catalog backup feature, then you also have the option to optimize your catalog, which has the benefit of speeding up catalog operations, shrinking the size of your catalog, and also possibly preventing future problems.

Thanks.  I already have the (one) catalog on the external drive along with the pictures, so it can be used on different Windows machines (and I have the drive assigned to the same drive letter on all machines, so that the file paths stay the same).

Good to know that corruptions doesn't seem to be an issue, other than drive failure, which would obviously lead to bigger issues beyond LR (losing not only the catalog by the photos).  But i keep two backups of all my pictures.  I'm just concerned because I import and add about 1000 pictures per month to the catalog (which may seem like nothing to those who shoot every day for a living).

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dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 2,519
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

Good to know that corruptions doesn't seem to be an issue, other than drive failure, which would obviously lead to bigger issues beyond LR (losing not only the catalog by the photos). But i keep two backups of all my pictures. I'm just concerned because I import and add about 1000 pictures per month to the catalog (which may seem like nothing to those who shoot every day for a living).

But why is this a concern? What is the concern? Is it a concern because of the number 1000? Is it a concern because of ... well, I just don't know what you are trying to say.

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Paige Miller

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OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,123
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

dj_paige wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

Good to know that corruptions doesn't seem to be an issue, other than drive failure, which would obviously lead to bigger issues beyond LR (losing not only the catalog by the photos). But i keep two backups of all my pictures. I'm just concerned because I import and add about 1000 pictures per month to the catalog (which may seem like nothing to those who shoot every day for a living).

But why is this a concern? What is the concern? Is it a concern because of the number 1000? Is it a concern because of ... well, I just don't know what you are trying to say.

NO, what I'm saying is that I amass about 1000 new shots per month, so 12,000 per year. With heavy photo edits (I'm aware that LR records changes in a non-destructive way by simply recording the changes you make and storing the changes in the catalog as opposed to actually changing the image itself), I'm concerned that if this continues over the next 3-4+ years, the catalog will become rather large and either will reduce performance (because of all of the data in the catalog) or possibly corruption. I'm fairly new to LR so maybe it can handle a million pictures with edits, and no issues... Plus I have all of my previous photos to import, which aren't many (maybe 3,000 or so). But to date I have about 10,000 photos total that will need to get imported.

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dj_paige
dj_paige Senior Member • Posts: 2,519
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

dj_paige wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

Good to know that corruptions doesn't seem to be an issue, other than drive failure, which would obviously lead to bigger issues beyond LR (losing not only the catalog by the photos). But i keep two backups of all my pictures. I'm just concerned because I import and add about 1000 pictures per month to the catalog (which may seem like nothing to those who shoot every day for a living).

But why is this a concern? What is the concern? Is it a concern because of the number 1000? Is it a concern because of ... well, I just don't know what you are trying to say.

NO, what I'm saying is that I amass about 1000 new shots per month, so 12,000 per year. With heavy photo edits (I'm aware that LR records changes in a non-destructive way by simply recording the changes you make and storing the changes in the catalog as opposed to actually changing the image itself), I'm concerned that if this continues over the next 3-4+ years, the catalog will become rather large and either will reduce performance (because of all of the data in the catalog) or possibly corruption. I'm fairly new to LR so maybe it can handle a million pictures with edits, and no issues... Plus I have all of my previous photos to import, which aren't many (maybe 3,000 or so). But to date I have about 10,000 photos total that will need to get imported.

Performance of Lightroom catalogs does not depend on catalog size (EXCEPTION: backup will take longer with larger catalogs sizes). Corruption of Lightroom catalogs does not depend on catalog size.

I have read one person who is using Lightroom effectively with 800,000 images.

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Paige Miller

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OP sirhawkeye64 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,123
Re: Moving collections between catalogs in LR (CC)

dj_paige wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

dj_paige wrote:

sirhawkeye64 wrote:

Good to know that corruptions doesn't seem to be an issue, other than drive failure, which would obviously lead to bigger issues beyond LR (losing not only the catalog by the photos). But i keep two backups of all my pictures. I'm just concerned because I import and add about 1000 pictures per month to the catalog (which may seem like nothing to those who shoot every day for a living).

But why is this a concern? What is the concern? Is it a concern because of the number 1000? Is it a concern because of ... well, I just don't know what you are trying to say.

NO, what I'm saying is that I amass about 1000 new shots per month, so 12,000 per year. With heavy photo edits (I'm aware that LR records changes in a non-destructive way by simply recording the changes you make and storing the changes in the catalog as opposed to actually changing the image itself), I'm concerned that if this continues over the next 3-4+ years, the catalog will become rather large and either will reduce performance (because of all of the data in the catalog) or possibly corruption. I'm fairly new to LR so maybe it can handle a million pictures with edits, and no issues... Plus I have all of my previous photos to import, which aren't many (maybe 3,000 or so). But to date I have about 10,000 photos total that will need to get imported.

Performance of Lightroom catalogs does not depend on catalog size (EXCEPTION: backup will take longer with larger catalogs sizes). Corruption of Lightroom catalogs does not depend on catalog size.

I have read one person who is using Lightroom effectively with 800,000 images.

OK, I guess that's good to know.  800,000 is far off for me, and represents probably about 30 years of shooting (and about 5 camera bodies) at the rate I'm going.  Thanks for the info.  I guess I"ll keep just the one catalog.

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