No, can't be done.
You can transfer your edits and user-supplied metadata back to the LR 5 catalog by saving metadata to XMP in LR 6 and then in Lightroom 5 reading the metadata from the files. This won't transfer everything, virtual copies, edit history and collections and pick flags won't transfer this way (and other things as well that I can't remember now)
What would happen if you made a copy of your LR5 catalogue then updated to LR6? You would then have a LR6 only catalogue that would contain your LR5 data and new additions would be added to your LR6 catalogue but you would also have a LR5 catalogue kind of frozen in time for use on LR5. i.e. a catalogue that does not contain your new data that is in your LR6 catalogue. To keep your old LR5 catalogue up to date you would have to import your new images etc to your version of LR5
I assume that you want Lightroom 5 on one machine and Lightroom 6 on another. Of course any edits on LR6 would be of any use on LR5 and vice versa as they would not synch
Hope that makes sense and helps
The real problem with trying to keep a LR 5 catalog and LR 6 catalog in sync, is that it requires repeated manual effort. Every time you make a series of changes in one catalog you have to make the same changes (either via XMP or some other mechanism) to the other catalog. If you forget once (and we all do that), or make a mistake (and we all do that) then your catalogs are no longer in sync. And, let's not forget, it's twice the work of keeping everything in one catalog. Furthermore, as I said, there are some things that cannot be transferred by XMP. In general, I strongly advise against anybody trying to use two catalogs for the same images, regardless of whether the two catalogs are LR 5 and LR 6, or Bridge and LR, or PSE and LR, or whatever ... its just a bad idea.
I agree it's not the best idea but it is just a suggestion and a possible work round for what really should not be an issue. It's surely not impossible to build compatibility into the catalogue system but there again I am no computer boffin. I think the option is deliberately left out so as to force sales, as is the way the update for the stand alone version is sort of hidden.
Almost no programs are completely backwards compatible. There are always features in the new version that the old version will not understand.
Furthermore, how does this drive sales? You can stay with LR 5 forever if you have the perpetual license, and you can stay on the most recent version if you have the subscription.
I think the option is deliberately left out so as to force sales
I think it's less about sales and more about resources to test opening current version catalogs in old versions.
Please let the OP respond, their question is simple with the answer being no, catalogs are not backwards compatible and never have been.
THen the question is: for what reason would you want to have that???
Thank you for being so curt and a little intolerant. Suggestions made were to try and help someone who had a problem. I realise that there is no obligation to upgrade but if you have the need for 2 computers to synch and one is perhaps not capable of running the latest version then you are forced to upgrade your hardware. This is a feature of the computing industry and the whole business can become a vicious circle. The backwards compatibility could be overcome if there was the will.
Stick to facts please not your fantasy of backwards compatibility... or maybe you don't want features that work only with new OS's??
The forum is not for your indulgence but to help users find answers. If you don't like it feel free to post elsewhere.
Firstly, my post was a suggestion to help somebody with problem. That suggestion was roundly put down even although it could have been handled as a starting point for discussion. I don't know the original poster's reason for wanting backward compatibility, but for example, my ancient laptop which only gets used very occasionally will not support Liightroom 5. Therefore I have some kind of understanding of the original poster's question. The compatibility issue does not bother me as I rarely use my laptop anyway. It is all very well having features that work on new OS's but not everybody can afford the continual upgrades that various software demands if you want to keep up. I am sure that it is not impossible for software companies to add a "save as " kind of feature to accommodate their customers but as I said I think the selfish sales driven attitude of companies prevails rather than having some kind of sympathy for their customers. A sympathetic approach would actually drive sales.
Now, that is my opinion and not as you suggest "fantasy" It is meant to be constructive and not an indulgence. I have always tried on any forum I post on to be helpful and friendly, but your reply does not reflect that outlook. I think it is unfortunate that you finish your reply by "if you don't like it feel free to post elsewhere" since as you say, the forums to help users find answers. Aggressive comments such as you have made will drive forum users away.
As I said, my intentions and comments were made in good faith to be constructive and certainly not in any way an indulgence.
These are my final words since but I will close by saying that if suggestions and comment are not treated with respect then there is no point in the forum in the first place.
Have a nice day.
You don't seem to get it, software is not made to have backwards compatibility..... end of story.
What do old computers have to do with the question?? I don't see them mentioned that anywhere.... You are answering questions that haven't been asked.
My position is to try and see questions get answered clearly and concisely.
You have a great weekend....
hey I really didn't mean to start any trouble. I just had a simple question. My hard drive broke and i had my lightroom erased. I thought I had lightroom 6 so I downloaded it and created a catalog and started editing. When I found the sleeve for my serial number I realized I had lightroom 5. No big deal because i hadn't edit that many. I can just edit them in my lightroom 5. No worries everyone I figured it out!
Hi, You didn't start any trouble. I gave an answer that may have offered one solution but it was dismissed out of hand. I still feel that software companies use updates to force customers down a path. On that I offered an opinion and comment in good faith but I must admit I was a bit taken aback by the aggressive responses. I don't think I was offensive in any way. I have never experienced this kind of comment on a forum before and in all probablility I will not use this forum again. That is a pity as discussion helps some problems and even though you might not agree with opinions you can discuss and express without being intolerant. However, you have nothing to apologise for and I am glad that your problem is solved and that this discussion is now closed.
Best wishes and happy editing.