17 Replies Latest reply on Oct 9, 2012 12:42 PM by Pete.Green

    URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.

    Joe_Caldwell Level 1



      I have been working on a book in Lightroom continuously for the past 7 days. When I say continuosly I really mean 24 / 7. I took my vacation time in order to work on this project.


      As I was working on Lightroom today on this book it simply disappeared all of sudden. I can't see it. I do have a back up of my catalog from several days ago but reverting to this back-up means that I would have do redo approximately 80% of the book and will not have the time to do that.


      What could have possibly happened ? How can a book I have been working on in the book module for the past 7+ days and that contains approximately 200 pages simply disappear ?


      I want to believe that the book is still there and that there is a way to retrieve it while returning Lightroom to the same state it was in before the book disappeared.


      How can I restore my book ? Do any of you have any idea as to what happened and how to fix it ? This is urgent and very important.


      Thank you in advance.

        • 1. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
          john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Sadly I suspect you have hit a bug which I have been tracking and trying to get fixed.


          In the filmstrip, do the photos show the number of times each photo has been used? Do you see just 3 or 4 blank pages? If so, I'm not sure much can be done.


          Are you sure you don't have a more recent backup? TimeMachine?




          PS see http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/dzzps02bdogcs

          • 2. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
            Joe_Caldwell Level 1

            Hi, John.


            Thank you for your reply.


            I can't believe this is happening and how unresponsive this company has become to the needs of its own customer base. Can you imagine if NASA approached their space program with the same careless approach Adobe uses to develop its products ? I don't think the space shuttle program would have ever flown a single space mission.


            The company has to find a solution to this problem. The files must still be there as I can't believe the application would simply erase everything.


            In regards to your question the answer is yes. The filmstrip has the little label near its top margin displaying the number of times it has been used in the book. It seems from what I have read that most other users who have experienced the same problem have also noticed this same thing. The book layout shows front and back cover as well as two blank pages. But the filmstrip shows photos with numbers indicating the number of times they have been used in the book layout.


            I have a back-up but it was saved several days ago and reverting to this back up means loosing approximately 80% of the book that was nearing completion. The book had 200+ and used numerous photos in addition to text articles I had written. It would be a big loss and one I find unacceptable.


            Adobe has to come up with a solution to this problem and do it fast.


            Any ideas as to what else can be done to recover the book ?


            Thank you again for your help and reply.

            • 3. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
              john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Sounds like the same one, Joe. I'm a bit short of time so if the following sounds a bit abrupt, I do sympathize.


              I don't think there's anything you can do if you haven't a backup. I know LR pretty well and I've tried lots of things like exporting catalogues, duplicating the book, hitting Auto Layout again (do try this - after backing up your catalogue). Once a book has gone, I've not been able to repair it. The only good thing for me was that it only happened after I'd spent enough time working on the book to regard the lost one as a dry run for the real thing. Not much consolation!


              I've been in direct contact with Adobe's LR team and the problem seems to be in the UI (hence the numbers in filmstrip), but it's not yet been possible to identify a clear pattern from the  examples. As this is a user-to-user forum, can you post some comments at the thread I mentioned earlier?




              update - I just saw you beat me to it!

              • 4. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                Joe_Caldwell Level 1

                Hi, John.


                I've given up on Lightroom and decided to go back to Aperture. My assessment that Lightroom might be a better book design application was definitely premature and I am paying the price for that poor decision. Adobe has a history of poorly developed and prematurely released software that is sold before it is ready and finished. I have suffered with their products numerous times and should have known better than to trust the company and one of their products that was just released.


                > I've been in direct contact with Adobe's LR team and the problem seems

                > to be in the UI (hence the numbers in filmstrip), but it's not yet been possible

                > to identify a clear pattern from the  examples.


                The problem is that companies aren't taking the time necessary to develop products and ensure that they are only released once they are ready. Executives set release dates based on their desire to reach certain marketing and financial goals while customers like us have to pay for products that wouldn't even pass the beta test phase and quality control check of a decent company that placed a little more focus on quality.


                > As this is a user-to-user forum, can you post some comments at the thread I mentioned earlier?


                Thank you for your recommendation. I did place a post on the other forum describing my experience as you suggested.


                For now I am setting Lightroom aside until Adobe decides to treat it with the level of comittment and responsibility it should. As other posters mentioned trust and faith I find it hard to trust this application. Who is to say that other modules won't behave the same ?


                Thank you again for your help and reply.

                • 5. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                  john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Sorry to hear about that, Joe. About the other modules, I would say that Book is an exception in being hard to trust, as well as fiddly. In the other output features , Print is pretty solid, Web nicely facilitates 3rd party solutions, Slideshow works but is showing its age with 3 or 4 obvious missing features. Develop is a strength of Lightroom and I think the only thing I'd steal from Aperture would be its retouching tool, while Library has significant advantages (transparency of file management) with some undercooked but working features (give me Aperture smart albums over smart collections).


                  Depending on how often you need books, a half-way house may work. Another Mac-only user does most of his work in Lightroom and then uses Aperture for books and slideshows, sending JPEGs. I use PC and Mac but send images to Aperture for standalone slideshows.


                  Also, specifically for books, the Lightroom-InDesign route can work well if you want a high level of control and want to learn InDesign. One great thing is that you can script InDesign without being a real programmer, so you can populate text boxes from IPTC data, for instance.

                  • 6. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                    Cornelia-I Level 4

                    Hi John,

                    Could you point me to instructions how this InDesign-route works?

                    Maybe even so generic, that I could use them for finding my way in Scribus as well?



                    • 7. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                      john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Hi Cornelia


                      I thought it was a route you knew - at least the use of publish services to create folders of TIF files for InDesign. Publish works better than Export because you can be more certain that subsequent adjustments to the images will be automatically marked for republishing, and secondly the published files will always be written to the same folders and with exactly the same filenames as the ones already in InDesign, where you just refresh the link. That part of it is generic, though as I don't know Scribus I can't say how transferrable it is.


                      After that I  used self-written Javascripts in InDesign to handle creating ID pages, adding the pictures, reading their IPTC info and adding titles, and to do repetitive stuff like thumbnail pages at the back. All of that can be done manually.... JS though is so much easier than Lua for people like me who aren't trained programmers. I know other people are doing the same thing, and only last week I was  contacted by someone who was doing something similar - my ListView > Excel > His Macros > InDesign datamerge.


                      Beyond that, I'm not sure much is written anywhere. I  just Googled for it  and  one of the first hits was... me when I was first bouncing  ideas off people in Adobe's InDesign forum.



                      • 8. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                        Cornelia-I Level 4

                        Thanks, John!

                        I was asking about template modification for the book module - I hit that road of thinking immediately by the mentioning of InDesign...


                        Publish service is what I recommend and use myself for book creation in any other software.

                        For this I would not even try to reinvent the wheel in Scribus. I have no particular experience in Scribus yet, my only interest is not to reward Adobe with sales of another product after having made such a miserable job with LR's book module.

                        But it seems they consider it too miserable themselves so that they don't even publish instructions how to create other templates and plug them in ??



                        • 9. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                          Joe_Caldwell Level 1

                          Hi, John and Cornelia.


                          I am also interested in this pairing of InDesign with Lightroom. After browsing Blurb's website for a possible template for Aperture I was surprised to find that they don't have one but I noticed they have one for InDesign.


                          The problem now is the fact that I can't seem to use the 'Place' command to place photos on my InDesign page layout because my images are all RAW (Canon CR2 for the most part) and InDesign file dialog box doesn't recognized them as an importable or, better yet, "placeable" file format.


                          So how would this work ?


                          Also, it is a lot more difficult to have to review images outside InDesign in another application, then import or place them one by one on the book pages. I can see this is going to take an enormous amount of time.


                          Is there an easier and more intelligent way to do this ? Is there some kind of plug-in or 'route' as you described it that would allow a strip of photos from Lightroom to be displayed inside InDesign for the selection of photos (similar to the old file browser in Photoshop before they introduced Bridge) ?


                          Thank you in advance.

                          • 10. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                            john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP



                            You create a Publish service to build a folder of TIFs which you then use in the InDesign project:

                            • Select the Hard Drive option
                            • Choose a folder such as "my ID book 30x30cm images" (you won't be able to change this folder so choose its location carefully)
                            • 16 bit tifs
                            • Set the size as required for the book (multiple sizes, multiple hard drive services)
                            • Sharpening
                            • Add pictures - you can subdivide them into sets which become separate subfolders
                            • Now press the Publish button - this creates the output folder and creates the tifs
                            • Place the pictures in InDesign - you could pull them from the output folder using Mini Bridge (inside InDesign)
                            • Captions should be automatically added - see here
                            • In InDesign pictures will be at actual size - if you resize them in InDesign some quality/sharpening impact?
                            • If you need to edit a picture, back to LR, adjust, then to Publish and hit Republish, In InDesign, refresh the link in Links panel





                            • 11. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                              Joe_Caldwell Level 1

                              Thank you, John.


                              This will be very helpful.


                              One thing just occured to me and I wanted to consult both you and Cornelia.


                              There is no doubt that InDesign is a much more powerful application for desiging books. Lightroom, on the other hand, makes the process of selecting and placing images much simpler particularly when one considers the many different page templates with image holders that come with the book module. Since I already have a back-up of the early stages of my book I thought I might try to use it so I don't have to start from step one.


                              So, based on the above, here are some questions I have:


                              1. The blurb book I selected was the large landscape (the template I used in Lightroom). I also downloaded the InDesign plug-in for the large landscape book. I would like to export all the pages I have now in Lightroom and place them on my InDesign book. This will save me an enourmous amount of time. In this case, what is the best export format to use that will not compromise the quality of the printing ? PDF, PSD, TIFF, ... ?


                              2. InDesign offers the ability to use layers, a feature that seems to be absent in Lightroom. After I place the exported image or file from Lightroom on the InDesign page I would like to add additional elements such as page numbers, some effects and even transparency. Will this result in any problems or can I treat the exported Lightroom book pages very much the same way I would treat any other image with elements above or below, and different degrees of transparency ?


                              Thank you in advance for your help.

                              • 12. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                                john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP



                                If you export the pages, then you are exporting from Book and  save as JPEG. When you place these in ID, make sure they are at their exact size. So a 12x12 book in LR generates JPEGs that should be 12x12 in ID.


                                If you are exporting the pictures, I included those details before.


                                re 2, the exported JPEGs would cover the full page area in ID and won't be transparent, so all you need to do is ensure your page number layer, for example, is above it in the layers stack.



                                • 13. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                                  Joe_Caldwell Level 1

                                  Hi, John.


                                  I need to understand this better so I hope you don't mind if I ask a few additional questions on this approach.


                                  Why did you recommend that the pages from Lightroom's book be exported or saved in JPEG format instead of TIFF ? Any specific reason ? I would imagine that TIFF would produce higher quality images. I understand TIFF would not be an ideal format due to its large size, but wouldn't exporting the InDesign book as a PDF file in the end perform a certain degree of compression and/or optimization to reduce file size ? And this being the case, when InDesign does that it converts images to JPEG to compress the file, right ? In this case wouldn't the saving of JPEG images again as JPEG further reduce the quality of the images ? My understanding is that every time a JPEG image is saved it undergoes a new round of compression that further deteriorates its quality.


                                  In regards to the layers, I get it. I will simply position the added elements above the images saved from Lightroom. This will allow me to add other elements I can't add in Lightroom such as page numbers, overlapping elements and others.


                                  One question on layers: Once I finish and before I export the InDesign document as PDF what should I do about the layers ? Would it affect the final file and the printing process if layers were left as they were created or should I either merge layers or flatten the document ?


                                  Thank you very much again to both you and Cornelia for all your help.

                                  • 14. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                                    Joe_Caldwell Level 1



                                    Just to add more information, I just tried what you suggested. I wasn't able to find a way to save or export book pages as JPEG or TIFF. When I click one of the book pages it actually selects the photo on that page and shows it as selected on the film strip below. I then try the export command to export it either as a JPEG or TIFF file. However, instead of exporting the book page it actually exports the photo.


                                    The only thing I have been able to do so far is to export the entire book as a PDF file. InDesign will not allow me to import or place PDF files on its pages. Instead I had to use Acrobat to export pages from the PDF as TIFF files. I was then able to place the TIFF images corresponding to the Lightroom book on the InDesign book template pages.


                                    I don't have a problem with this workflow that requires many additional steps. My concern is with the quality of the final document. I am concerned that all this file format conversions may affect the quality of the final printed book. In case there is a way to export the pages as JPEG or, better yet, as TIFF this would ensure that the final book exported from InDesign would have the highest quality possible. No ?


                                    What resolution is used for Lightroom books ? Are they printed at 300 dpi ? If not, can this be altered ? I know that Acrobat allows settings to be modified so that the final PDF document can have images printed at 300 dpi or downsized to lower resolutions. How does this work with Lightroom books ?


                                    Thank you in advance for your help.

                                    • 15. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                                      john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      Joe, notice I italicised pages and pictures. If you export the pages, JPEG is the only possibility. If you export the photos, you can use TIF.


                                      To export the pages, select the pages in Book's grid view. Then in Book Settings, change the book type to JPEG.

                                      • 16. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                                        Joe_Caldwell Level 1

                                        John and all other members,


                                        I wanted to follow up on this thread. I have been waiting for the results of this experiment in order to post my views here. I just received the Blurb book I ordered yesterday and would like to share some of my findings as well as some questions or concerns. Since this is an older thread I will also post this as another post or thread so others can read it and provide their input in case they miss it here.


                                        First, after the catastrophic failure with the book I had created in Lightroom's book module (I lost a book that was nearly finished and contained approximately 220 pages) I was able to recover an early back-up done by Lightroom with the initial 60 pages of the book. I exported the pages as JPEGs following John's helpful advice and instructions. The pages were exported as JPEG's with 300 dpi and compression set to the highest level of quality.


                                        After that I downloaded Blurb's InDesign template for the same book size I had created in Lightroom (in my case the large landscape, 10" x 13"). I was able next to place the JPEG images on the first 60 pages of my InDesign book and then just continued from there. The JPEG images were placed on a layer of their own. Next I locked that layer so that no changes could be made by accident and created additional layers for the other elements. I continued to place my images on the subsequent pages (from page 61 forward) as well as to place additional elements such as text, image caption, page numbers and others. These elements were placed on the initial pages on layers above that containing the JPEG images exported from Lightroom. They were also placed above the image layer on the subsequent pages. When the book was finished I exported the book using the Blurb downloaded PDF export preset. The book was submitted as a PDF to book. The uploading took less time than I anticipated and, with the exception of the price (I wish it would be a bit more reasonable), everyting went very smoothly.


                                        The book looks great. The hardcover makes it look like a book you would expect to find at your local Barnes & Noble store - really professional. In general I am quite impressed and the following are my observations:


                                        1. It's not a photographic quality book.


                                        The book was a pictorial containing photos for the most part. The images are 'book quality' but not 'photo quality', if you know what I mean. It is not the quality you would expect from even a low cost Epson photo printer but looks like photos you would find on your typical printed book. Most of my images were either 300 dpi or higher. InDesign has a nice feature that allows you to place an image on a page and then reduce its size. As the size is reduced you can see the resolution increasing on one of its menus. The resolution should have been enough to produce high quality images but I suspect the process has to do with the printing process rather than the resolution (registration?, others?).


                                        2. The images appear darker.


                                        The images were in general darker than they appeared when the book was created. I know there are differences between both media - computer screen is emissive and paper is reflective. However, I had hoped that the printing process would take this into account, including the brightness of the paper, and make proper adjustments so that the book would look as close as possible to its screen counterpart. This is clearly not the case.


                                        Is there a scientific way to address this ? Is there a calculate way to increase brightness prior to submitting a book for printing that would compensate for this phenomenon ? If not, is this more art than science and one must 'guess' the loss and increase brightness at will ?


                                        3. The paper looks great but affects (sometimes negatively) the viewing experience.


                                        I chose the most expensive paper Blurb offers. It is the Proline Pearl Photo Paper and it has a very nice, soft, matte finish I like. The downside is that it is not very reflective and further compounds the 'darker' feel. In addition I think that its 'white' isn't really white due to the characteristics of the paper. It is probably more like an off-white or light gray. Again, it would be nice to know if there is a scientific way to address this. One would expect the press to utilize some kind of algorithm that takes all these variables into account, including the paper individual qualities. Is there a way to do this ?


                                        4. The hardcover looks really nice but I can already see fingerprints on it. The cover isn't offered with a choice of UV coating, which would be nice to protect it and make this a longer term investment. I can see this book ageing faster if care is not exercised in its handling.


                                        Having said all of the above I must say that my experience has, for the most part, been a positive one. The book looks quite nice. Adobe InDesign has proven to be a terrific tool for this type of job and there can definitely be good integration between Lightroom's book module (once that thing is working the way it should) and InDesign. I didn't notice any difference in quality between the images exported from Lightroom and those I manually placed in InDesign.


                                        I wish Blurb would offer more choices and that I few issues would be addressed:


                                        1. More paper choices.

                                        2. UV coating for cover (and also for pages).

                                        3. A reliable method to compensate for brightness so images on books don't appear dark.

                                        4. Lightroom export to InDesign document for those who wish to add, refine or edit the book in InDesign.


                                        Thanks John for your help and for pointing the right direction.

                                        • 17. Re: URGENT !!! Book disappeared. Need help.
                                          Pete.Green Adobe Employee

                                          Sharad, the product manager for Lightroom, has just posted a new blog entry on this book issue. It includes specifics on what can cause it and how to avoid it. The team has tracked down a reproducible set of steps that can be used to nail down a fix in a future update to Lightroom 4.


                                          Help with Disappearing Books in Lightroom 4