Simply set the Import method to "ADD".
There is no "Saving" of files with this method.
"ADD" will leave the photo files untouched, exactly where they are in your computer system. Lr does not make copies anywhere. Only previews of the photos are created in the Catalog library. Lightroom does not contain your photos.
(The ADD option will not work if importing from a Camera Card as that is not considered to be a suitable permanent file storage location.)
Using "COPY as DNG" or "COPY" will do two things- 1) COPY the files to another location that YOU define in the Destination panel, and 2) Create the previews in the Catalog library.
I suspect you are using "COPY" and the Destination is set, or has defaulted to, the "User" folder.
Hi wobertc, thanks for your reply. I don't know where to set the import method. Normally I just drag items from Explorer and then select Import. When I look in the File Handling box on the right I can't see any options to "add". There's only the big Import or Cancel buttons at bottom right. However having said this, this morning I imported some pictures as usual and they did NOT copy into the User subfolder. I didn't change anything, at least I don't think so unless I clicked something inadvertently, so I don't know why it suddenly started working properly again. Anyway I appreciate your help.
It's right along the top and center of the import dialog. You have options to Add, Copy, Copy as DNG. The Add option will add the images in their current location.
Ah OK I see it now. That makes sense, thank you I will try that. (Since while it did not make a copy to the User folder on import, I found that it did make a copy as soon as I exported an amended image).
Well it's still doing the same thing, even though I am using the Import option rather than drag and drop. But I have found a workaround: Never use the "export to same folder" but instead navigate through to the folder you want to export to. It's a bit more mucking around but it works.
I might ask- Why are you Exporting?
You never have to Export a photo to "Save" the edits- all the edits are preserved in the Lightroom Catalog.
You only ever need to do an Export when you need a file for a special purpose- eg. to send in email, give to a friend, etc.
I found that it did make a copy
Naturally.!! That is what the export function is for., but usually you are exporting a derivative (jpg or tiff) for reasons as above, and there is never (very seldom) a need to Export "As original". If you are trying to create backup copies by Exporting "originals" that is wrong- better to use other software (even FIle Explorer/FInder) to copy original files to backup.
navigate through to the folder you want to export to.
The destination options in the Export Dialog are quite comprehensive, and if you are doing Exports for a similar reason, and location, each time you must create an Export Preset that makes it a three step process- 1. Select images, 2. Click [Export] 3. Select the Preset & [Export]
Another point: You are aware that the "User" folder is in the path to your documents and pictures folders in a PC.
(eg. C:\Users\My Name\Pictures )
Thanks for clarifying the User folder. This is a folder I prefer not to use if I can, as I have my own system already set up.
My problem is that I have a huge and extensive collection of tens of thousands of images on my network drive, which are organised in a way that is logical to me. This system has been set up since well before 2000 and I have some for web use, some photos, some for graphic design, etc. etc. each in their own folders/subfolders etc. When I have edited a file in Lightroom I need to save a copy of the amended file, along with the original, in the same folder as the original, so that I can find both of them later on in the same place. Normally I would save about 5-10 edited files per day for immediate use, and they do need to go in the exact same folder as the original so I don't have to hunt for them through the pesky User folder. To use presets, I would have to save hundreds of presets for different folders, and even then it would not cover every location. It would just be too confusing. I definitely need to be able to export a copy to the same location as the original file and I do not understand why Lightroom seems to give this option if in fact there is no such option. (It used to work in previous builds!!!)
Anyway as I said the workaround (navigate each time to the same folder as the original) works best for me, though it is a bit klunky.
Yes it does look like that. And yes Lightroom does NOT save to the same folder, as I said before, but instead it saves into my User folder (or a dated subfolder thereof).
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I can then only suggest-
1. Your Preferences file is 'corrupt' and a reset of preferences may help.
2. Your Original file you are editing is actually in the "User" folder and not where you think it is (NAS, External, etc)
3. You are using an Export Preset that perpetuates the "User" folder destination. (Modify it and add it as a new export preset)
I am keen to see you get an answer to your problem.
First, Check the folder location of a photo in the library grid view (Show in Explorer), then do an Export (not a preset) by entering all the options afresh, then report your result.
ps: This thread started talking about "Importing", now the posts are about "Exporting"- clarification is needed.
Thanks again for your reply.
I tried resetting the preferences by deleting the preferences files (there were two in my AppData) and restarted Lightroom. I know this worked because it went back to thinking I was a new user.However ... The problem persists.
I am definitely not using an export preset. I made sure I was not using one at all.
Also, when I right-click one of the recently-imported files to "Show in Explorer", it goes to the dated folder in my User folder. NOT the actual file on the network drive. (The older files which I imported are still in their correct locations according to right-click "Show in Explorer", this behaviour is only in recently-imported files). Right-clicking is how I found out what it was doing in the first place. This is why I thought it was an Import problem and not an Export problem. I thought it was importing my files into the User folder by mistake. (Should I or can I edit the name of the thread?)
This problem applies to all newly-imported images in many different locations on my network drive as I am constantly working with different folders.
Do you have any other ideas???
Yes- it is still the IMPORT problem for you.
Your recent imports have created copies of your (original 'out-of-camera) files in the "User" folders and these are the files referenced in the catalog library (They can only be referenced once!). So this is where the exports are going also (To the same folder).
To correct this (Import) problem you will need to link the previews in the catalog with the files in their original location (NAS, etc). This will be easy if the folders with containing images are exactly the same (names, location,etc)- you will just update a folder reference to the proper location, then you can later use the OS to delete the folders in "user folders".
To change the referenced folder- Right-click on the folder (in 'User') , choose [Update folder location], and navigate to the same folder on the NAS. Now Lightroom is referencing the 'original' location.
Some links to help-
Read Part 2 of this link Adobe Lightroom - Find moved or missing files and folders
Thank you again, and yes, I have already done this for some files.
But how do I stop Lightroom from doing this again? It is doing it every single new import. I shudder to think that I would have to re-link every single file to its NAS location after every single import. I think it is easier to use my workaround described previously.
I would prefer it if Lightroom would automatically reference the original NAS file on import, instead of copying it to my User folder and then referencing that copy location as if it were the original location.
Okay I have found the problem!! and it is leaving me feeling very stupid and sorry for wasting people's time.
At some stage in the past I must have clicked "Copy" instead of "Add" in the import dialogue. And I didn't think to look there as it always worked fine in the past. Since then, this must have remained the selected option.
I have only imported 1 image correctly so far and all is fine. But hopefully it will keep working for me now.
Thank you for staying with me through this
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Ah Ha.!!! so my suggestion to "Add" in Post#1 is the answer. Always pays to check all options occasionally.
Now you are on the right path. All the best.