3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2015 9:56 AM by john beardsworth

    How can I export a preview when the original file is offline?

    damoncrane

      I recently moved from Aperture to Lightroom with one main feature in mind. That was the ability to search and view previews when the external storage with the originals is unattached.

       

      My library is quite large, around 200,000 photographs. The master files are now all stored externally on a 2TB external hard drive, with a decent resolution preview for everything kept locally on the MacBook Pro.

       

      I really love this feature. Its rare that I need full resolution images, but I do need to be able to search my whole library all the time when out in the field. I don't really intend to take the external drive with me, or use it other than to initially capture the originals from camera and do some immediate basic retouching. Once the big files are stored on the drive, I will rarely need to access them again, and was hoping just to work with the previews which are big enough.

       

      I have come across a problem which is a potential deal breaker and may mean I need to go back to Aperture if I can't find a solution or decent workaround. I won't always have the external drive with me as I work out on location most of the time and need to send photographs at no notice. My idea was I could grab the laptop, do a quick search of the whole library, select the photos I need and send them to the client straight away. I am very surprised to see that Lightroom seemingly has no way to export the previews. This seems crazy as I can view it on screen, so surely there must be a way to save it?!

       

      The only work around I have thought of so far is to do a screen grab for each image, but this is far from perfect as it is a step I will have to repeat thousands of times, also if I have to send a couple of hundred images, it will take far too long. It will also lack a correct filename or any metadata.

       

      Hopefully one of you Lightroom veterans or staff will be able to give me a solution.

       

      Here's hoping. Thanks.

        • 1. Re: How can I export a preview when the original file is offline?
          john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Look into the smart previews feature. There's no equivalent in Aperture, but these are highly compressed versions of your originals and provide significant offline editing capability.

          • 2. Re: How can I export a preview when the original file is offline?
            damoncrane Level 1

            Thanks John, I will look into smart preview sizes now. I was hoping to avoid them as I'm sure the file size will have to go up and therefore I probably won't be able to store the whole library locally. I will certainly look into it though, and hopefully that will solve the problem. Perhaps I will have to use smart previews for part of the library, and regular previews for the rest.

             

            It is strange though, don't you think? The preview file is obviously there as you can view it and zoom into it, but there is no export option.

            • 3. Re: How can I export a preview when the original file is offline?
              john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              The size goes up, I seem to remember they're 1 mb per photo so no bigger than regular previews, but the benefits are big.

               

              When I travel I now take my complete catalogue with smart previews for tens of thousands of images (based on a smart collection finding starred images and those from the region/subject I'm revisiting). I don't bother with regular previews as they will be generated from the smart previews. So when I am offline I can copy metadata from previous visits, remind myself of locations, and also meet some needs to play with or output existing pictures. I could even make rough adjustments to images where the originals are back home. At the end I just copy this catalogue back to my main computer.