I have the exact same question except for PSE8. The option in "Library" mode to import an Elements database in the "File" menu, (as suggested in Lightroom Help), does not exist. Will this option suddenly appear when the trial version is licenced? Thanks.
I don't think it has anything to do with the license.
I think you might want to uninstall and reinstall PSE8 (but only Adobe knows for sure).
Lightroom will not do anything to your PSE catalog. It will create a new catalog in its own format. After reading tags from the catalog, it will also gather keywords directly from files, if any.
That being said, I am not sure it supports PSE6. Download a trial a check it yourself.
LR3 should be able to upgrade PSE6 catalogs.
In the "Readme" file which came withLightroom 3, it says specifically that it will upgrade PSE6, 7 & 8, (Windows version only I think).
In the Lightroom Help file under importing Elements, it says this:
Lightroom detects if your computer has a Photoshop Elements catalog, and can import photos and data from the PSE catalog into a new Lightroom catalog. Lightroom can import photos and data from Photoshop Elements 6 and later. This feature is not available on Mac OS.
- In the Library module, choose File > Upgrade Photoshop Elements Catalog.
The Upgrade Photoshop Elements Catalog dialog box displays the most recently opened Photoshop Elements 6 (PSE6), Photoshop Elements 7 (PSE7), or Photoshop Elements 8 (PSE8) catalog.
- Click Change and specify where you want to save the new Lightroom catalog.
- Click Upgrade.
Now, my trial version does not show the option "File>Upgrade Photoshop Elements Catalog". The only thing, perhaps in my case, is because I have my Elements catalogs, (catalogues) on a different drive? Any ideas? Thanks.
- In the Library module, choose File > Upgrade Photoshop Elements Catalog.
As I said, sometimes reinstalling PSE helps. Maybe reinstalling LR3 will help as well.
I certainly can't claim to know how Adobe coded these things, but when I ran into a similar problem with LR2 and PSE5, they informed me that it wasn't really that Lightroom searched for PSE catalogs, it was that it looked for a certain registry key to determine if PSE was installed. Of course, in my case, it was also true that PSE5 wasn't supported in Vista 64 and the registry key was not in the location desired by LR2. Perhaps this is the problem for you ... what version of Windows are you running?
The only thing, perhaps in my case, is because I have my Elements catalogs, (catalogues) on a different drive?
If you mean the catalog proper (the folder containing the catalog.psedb file, thumbnail cache, etc.) is on a different drive, try moving it to the C drive using File > Catalog > Move in PSE.
I have noticed that LR3 will show the "Upgrade Photoshop Elements ...." Menu for some of my PSE8 catalogs, and for others it will not. In any case, LR3 will only upgrade (= convert a PSE8 catalog to a LR3 catalog) the last PSE catalog opened in PSE Organizer. I think the name and location of the last used PSE Catalog is retrieved from the Registry.
You might try opening another PSE Catalog (and if you don't have one, create one) with PSE Organizer and then check if LR shows you the Upgrade Menu Item (restart LR after closing down PSE). I haven't been able to determine the difference between the PSE Catalogs that work on my system and the ones that don't.
the import of my PSE6 catalogue aborted halfway through. It looks like the same problem reported on another thread.
You can try the workaround posted in that other thread. Alternatively, you can download the utility psedbtool, run it on your PSE catalog with the -writeMetadata option, and then try converting again:
Did you run psedbtool with the -writeMetadata option, e.g.
That gets the metadata correctly written from the PSE catalog into the files, likely avoiding the problem that trips up LR when it tries to convert the catalog and encounters improperly formed metadata in one or more of the files.
I ran this yesterday then had another attempt to import the catalogue into LR3. The import aborted again.
Sigh, that's too bad. psedbtool uses Exiftool to write the metadata, and Exiftool has an excellent reputation as the most reliable tool for manipulating metadata. So your experience suggests the catalog conversion problem is likely unrelated to PSE but rather an instance of a generic problem in LR's handling of metadata. Hopefully the workaround discussed in the other thread will work for you (move your pictures folders out of the way, convert the catalog, move your pictures folders back, re-read the metadata).
Just a stab in the dark here, but the latest Exiftool release (version 8.26) adds a patch to handle an LR3 bug which could result in improperly formed metadata when subsequently edited by ExifTool.
This bug has also been reported to Adobe, and will be fixed in the next dot release of LR3.
- Phil Harvey
 If this is the problem, you can remove the improperly formed metadata by running the following command twice on the affected file(s), with exiftool 8.26 or later:
exiftool -xmp-dc:creator= FILE
the latest Exiftool release (version 8.26) adds a patch to handle an LR3 bug which could result in improperly formed metadata when subsequently edited by ExifTool.
To test my understanding: LR 3 has a bug that writes improperly formed XMP metadata to photos. If Exiftool versions prior to 8.26 were used to edit the metadata, it could end up improperly formed.
If my understanding is correct, I don't think this applies to people attempting to convert their PSE catalogs to LR. In those cases, the sequence of events are:
1. Optionally run psedbtool (which uses an earlier version of Exiftool) on their PSE catalog to get the metadata correctly written into the files.
2. In LR, try to convert the PSE catalog to LR. According to an Adobe engineer, if LR encounters metadata in a photo that it can't handle, the conversion will fail (instead of just skipping that photo).
In this sequence, Exiftool is not invoked on photos after LR manipulates their metadata.
I have the same problem in my LR3, that the Upgrade Photoshop Elements Catalog doesn't show up in the menu. I have a licensed version of both PSE8 and LR3, running on Windows 7 Home Premium, I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling both programs, I have also tried installing the latest LR3.2 RC, tried reconnecting all files, repaired and optimized the catalog plus tried making a new catalog on C: (since my real catalog in PSE is on my D: drive, plus all pictures are on a Homeserver), but regardless of what I do, the Upgrade option does not show up in LR3...
It's really frustrating since I have made the move to LR3 and really want to get my whole catalog over.
If anybody has any pointers on how I can fix this, if there are manual registry fixes I can make to make LR3 aware of my PSE catalog, or other suggestions, I would be very thankful.
As a sidenote, I think it would have been better if Adobe didn't have to make this so fancy in LR3 and rather let me point to whatever PSE catalog myself that I wanted to import rather than base the menu option on whether or not a registry entry is found... It's an approach bound to go wrong, like it is for me now...
Anyway, hope someone can help.
After my original post running the trial version, I purchased LR3 and I installed it with a new licence number. I have 4 different catalogues stored on a different drive, (not the 'C' drive). I noticed that at some random times the command to import a PSE catalogue appeared under the 'File' menu. At other times it doesn't appear. What I have done is just to 'import' my photos into LR3 using the general import command. I find that most of the tags come along with the photos. I have given up on trying to use the PSE import function. I now have to go through all my imported files to check that the tags are all in place. What does help is that I can place all my (original) files in any number of sub-directories, which helps with identifying them, (something PSE doesn't like). Why the "File-import PSE catalaogue" command appears and dissappears from the file menu is something I haven't been able to solve, but I have an idea it has something to do where LR is looking for photos. If it sees a PSE catalogue in the right form, it probably makes the command appear to import it. Bye.
Same problem here. PSE 6, tried LR 3.2 RC. I read about the option to upgrade the PSE catalog. But I could not find it.
To be certain, I installed a trial of PSE 8 (by then I had not read yet that it should find PSE 6 as well.) No result.
Would the problem be in the RC-version? Uninstall 3.2, install trial of version 3. No result.
Moved the catalog in PSE 8. No result.
Another evening (or 2) wasted on the impossible usability of the more technical features of Adobe products. I agree very much on the previous comment on why I cannot just point LR to the catalog that I want to convert. What if you already uninstalled PSE, in happy excitement with your all-new LR? Adobe, if you read this: I think some 'alternative scenarios' are missing in your test protocols. People do not always put their pictures in 'My pictures' (which is where Bridge always wants to import them), or keep their catalogs in 'Application Data' or wherever you expect it to be.