At first sight this might appear to be a trite question with an obvious answer - but I'm not finding it so, and would request you to read on and advise me: (please overlook inconsistent use of 'folder' and 'directory')
I'm currently running LR 5 under Win 7 with the following structure to relevant folders and directories:
- (Image files locations) At the top level within 'My Picture' folder I have a set of multi-level directories, the highest level of each being an obvious clue to their content (such as travel, analog-source and so on). These could be anywhere on my PC and I don't have a problem with them, Their chief characteristic is that all my images files are within 'My Pictures'. There is a one to one matching between the highest level image files directories and LR catalog name
- (lightroom information) At the same level as these image directories Lightroom has created a directory called 'Lightroom'. The structure within this directory is:
-- A set of *preview.lrdata folders, one for each of my groups of images/catalogs, such as travel, analog-source and so on (as expected)
-- a matching set of *.lrcat files
-- a directory named 'Lightroom Settings', which contains multiple subdirectors for presets, templates and the like (as expected). That is, there is just the one folder for settings that appears to apply to all the existing calalogs. There are no other 'settings' type files or folders.
My problem come when deciding to create a new catalog: I cannot make it fit in with the above structure. I could create the new catalog at the highest level within the 'My Pictures' folder, or, as I expected. within the 'Lightroom' folder. No matter where I create the new catalog it will have the structure of:
- Directory named with the name of the catalog
- Sub-directory named 'new_catalog_name' preview.lrdata
- File named 'new_catalog_name.lrcat
- Directory named 'Lightroom Settings'
- (collection of associated image files somewhere I choose)
So, if this new catalog is created within 'My Pictures', the settings for the new catalog, while being at the same hierarchical depth as the of the existing catalogs, are now in a separate location from those of the existing catalogs, and the lrdata and lrcat folder/ file is not stored in the same place as the other lrdata and lrcat folders/files.
If I choose to create the new catalog within the ,'My Pictures'><'Lightroom'> folder then the settings are at different hierarchical depth (one deeper) then those for the existing catalogs and are certainly not shared with them.
Can I achieve again what I appear to have achieved in the past (without remembering how !) or is the organisation of my existing catalogs bad practice?
most LR users only use one catalog, which fine in most cases.
Some professional photographers use one catalog per client (with one image folder per client).
I know, this is no answer to your question, but perhapst you rethink your decision to have muliple catalogs. (Or explain, why you need them).