Posts tagged with Q&A

Why isn’t history in the xmp metadata?

Lightroom’s Develop History panel is a log of all the work done on an image but it’s never written to xmp because:

To hide it from prying eyes. If you send files to a client, the edit history can disclose your clever methods or your time-wasting incompetence to the client
LR’s history data is of no use in any other existing application and xmp is as much about data interchange as it is about backup or moving work from A to B
There’s also a desire not to bloat the sidecars with what is merely a log.

Had Adobe included history, there would have been loud demands to make it optional, perhaps on an individual image basis, and probably lots of other inconsistencies too. It’s really not worth the development effort.

Why should I use keywords and not folders for organization?

QWhy should I use keywords and not folders for organization?
AOne problem here is what you mean by “organize” – use the word “categorize” or “group” instead.

Of course folders should be organized, in the sense of not being a mess, but it’s best think of folders purely in terms of ensuring the physical safekeeping of your pictures – best use of drive space, certainty of reliable backup, ease and certainty of restoring after a catastrophe.

Keywords and not folders should be used to categorize and group your pictures.

Avoiding Lightroom’s backup?

Q: Can I avoid using Lightroom’s backup routine and have my backup software do it?

A The answer is yes, you can, but….

If you rely on backup software and target your actual Lightroom catalogue you are taking some risk that the catalogue may be open when the scheduled backup kicks in. There’s a faint chance and a long but obscure history of such backups being unusable.
You also have to fiddle around with your backup software so it doesn’t include the potentially-huge but non-critical previews lrdata folders.
Lightroom’s backup routine also includes a catalogue integrity check.

So it’s generally best to let Lightroom make its backups to another drive, and then point your backup software at this location.

How do you copy adjustments from one image to others?

How do you copy adjustments from one image to others?

There are three main methods:

Select the image you’ve just corrected.

PC: Ctrl Shift C / Mac: Cmd Shift C copies the settings
Tick Check None
Tick only the adjustments you want.
Select other picture(s) and PC: Ctrl Shift V / Mac: Cmd Shift V.

In Library, grid (G). select the image you’ve just corrected and want to use to copy to the others. Add others to the selection (Shift click and/or Ctrl click) and notice how the first image’s frame is a lighter grey – it is the “most selected”. Now click the Sync Settings button (bottom right), select only those adjustments you want to copy, click Sync.
Auto Sync in Develop. Select 2 or more pictures. In Develop, click the Sync button’s switch so it shows Auto Sync. In this mode all adjustments you make will apply to all the images that are currently selected. Read more…

What are the delimiters for typing in hierarchical keywords?

How do you manually type in multiple keywords so they are added to an existing keyword hierarchy rather than being concatenated into a new and unwanted keyword?   Is it some sort of delimiter character?

Use either the pipe “|” or the greater than “>” symbol, depending on which way round you want to type:

 “|” would be in you want to enter GrandParent | Parent | Child
 “>” would be in you want to enter Child > Parent > GrandParent

What’s the best way to convert to B&W?

What is the best way to make pictures black and white?

Go to the B&W panel in Develop’s right hand side and activate the targeted adjustment tool. That’s the little button at the top left of the B&W panel. It makes the cursor look like a pair of arrows which you can drag on the image itself. As you drag, LR moves the sliders for you.

Drag up and you lighten how that area appears in greyscale, downward darkens it. The important thing about this method is that it means you keep your eye on the picture’s changing appearance all the time you are adjusting it. That makes it much better than guessing which slider you should drag, and continually moving your eyes between the picture and the sliders. You inevitably produce a better black and white version, and faster too.

How do I move my images to a new hard drive?

How do I move my images to a new hard drive?

In most cases, it’s actually quite simple:

Once you’ve added a new folder, the new drive shows up in Lightroom’s Folders panel

In your Lightroom catalogue, in the Folders panel’s header, click the + and choose Add Folder. You should see a dialog box headed “Choose or Create New Folder”.
Navigate to the new drive and click the New Folder button to add a new, empty folder. Select it and close the dialog box. The new folder and the new drive should now be shown in Lightroom’s Folders panel.
You can now simply drag folders from your existing hard drive and drop them onto the new drive.

Now, if I needed to move a large number of images – a complete migration from one drive to another – I might take extra steps. For instance, I would review my backup procedures and make sure that more…

How do I migrate from Extensis Portfolio to Lightroom?

While Extensis is good at exporting all metadata, importing data into Lightroom is liable to be the problem. Lightroom has no built-in tool to import text data, though there is a plug-in called LRTransporter, and I have ListView.

Even with these plug-ins, you require a fair amount of skill and patience, and will have to deal with text file formats (encoding) and glitches caused by non-English characters. Also the metadata itself may have no corresponding place in Lightroom. For example, if you have a multiple value custom field in Extensis, what does that become in Lightroom? Lightroom doesn’t provide custom fields, so you’d be reliant on a plug-in, but even plug-in custom fields can’t have multiple value. So you’d probably want to make your Extensis multiple values into Lightroom keywords.

If you have JPEGs and TIFs, making Portfolio embed the metadata in the files may be the easiest approach for most folk. more…

My Lightroom catalogue is in a mess. Should I start from scratch?

No. Leave existing stuff as it is – sort it out later when you find such things easy – and add keywords to these images.

New stuff, get it in a simple date based folder structure as described. Do include the date at the start of folder and filenames using a convention like YYYYMMDD. You won’t always be using LR and dates/text help, and this helps sort by shooting date and also helps ensure no originals ever have duplicate filenames. Also do include very broad “shoot” description – eg “Charlottetown”, but don’t waste time including in the file name anything that’s more image-specific like “Charlottetown bicycle”, “Charlottetown seals” etc. Instead put that time into keywords.

How to make Flash galleries show more than 500 pictures?

You need to modify the Flash template. This is at

Windows: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.x\Shared\webengines\default_flash.lrwebengine
Mac: Applications\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop Lightroom [version]\Shared\webengines\default_flash.lrwebengine

Copy that lrwebengine to

Windows: C:\Users[user]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\LightroomWeb Galleries
Mac: [user]\Library\Application Support\Adobe\LightroomWeb Galleries

Open the file galleryInfo.lrweb in a text editor. Notepad is fine on Windows, or TextEdit on Mac where you may need to right click the lrwebengine and select “Show Package Contents” to get to the file itself.

Look at line 21 and replace the following lines with this:

title = LOC “$$$/WPG/Templates/Flash/Bluefire1=Lightroom Flash Gallery > 500”,

id = “com.adobe.wpg.flash.bluefire1modified”,

galleryType = “Flash”,

groupPath = “resources/mediaGroupData/group.xml”,

mainSWF = “resources/gallery.swf”,

maximumGallerySize = 50000,

How do you enable Auto Sync in Library?

AutoSync mode in Library means that metadata changes apply to all the selected images, and is normally enabled by clicking a switch in the right panel (F8). But what if that switch isn’t visible?

It took me a while to figure this out, but the switch is only visible when you are in Loupe view (E) and when multiple items are selected. So when you’re in Grid view, you get the “Sync Metadata” button. But when you’re in Loupe view, that button changes to “Sync” and it is inactive if only one image is selected. If multiple images are selected (via the Filmstrip) that Sync button has a little switch that lets you go into AutoSync mode.

Why are colours different in Flash galleries

It’s because the Flash gallery’s SWF (the Flash file) isn’t colour managed.

Flash does now support colour management.  But the SWF would have to be ActionScript3 (the version in Lightroom is AS2)

You also have to consider what the person viewing your site is using. Assuming the visitor isn’t using a Flash-hobbled device like an iPad, that computer would have to be running Flash Player 10 and would only get good colour if the monitor is properly colour-managed.


If you want to use a Flash-based gallery, look at SlideShowPro for Lightroom. It’s not colour-managed though.
If you can code Flash, get SlideShowPro standalone
Commission me to build a colour-managed Flash site