5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 9, 2016 2:55 PM by joachims25232702

    LR Catalog Management Between Multiple Computers

    Tahosa640 Level 1

      I am having difficulty understanding the management of catalog(s) between different stand alone computer platforms.  I import RAW files in a remote location using a laptop and store the RAW files on external hard drive(s) in the field.  As time allows, I often do some post processing in LR and PS CC while still in the field.  When I return to the office studio, I often print many of the files using an Epson 3880 connected to a desktop computer.  I am using LR 6 CC platforms on the laptop as well as the desktop that is used for post processing and development.  When I attempt to add the RAW files to the LR catalog existing to the desktop platform from the external hard drive used in the field, it states I cannot do so (greyed out) as they already exist in a catalog.  Yes, they have been imported into the catalog on the laptop, but not into the catalog on the desktop. I understand that whatever I have done in terms of postprocessing in the field that is reflected in the field catalog will not be reflected in a new import, but I do not see why I cannot in real terms start again  and import the files from the external hard drive(s) to a new catalog.  So, I do not understand why I cannot re-import original RAW files into a new catalog.  I assume I could copy the catalog from the laptop and update the desktop catalog as a work around, but it appears to me (being uninformed) that once an import has been done to a catalog in one location, it does not allow you to do another import to another completely new catalog.  I just do not think this is the case and I am misunderstanding the process.  Thanks.

        • 1. Re: LR Catalog Management Between Multiple Computers
          Mrinmay Majhi Adobe Employee

          Hi Tahosa,


          You have stated that you keep your images on an external hard drive and import them in a catalog which you have accessed on your laptop originally.


          If you are not able to re-import them, which using the desktop, it means you have the catalog on the external hard drive as well. Lightroom has the location of the catalog last accessed on either of the computers.


          Now, if you want to use the same catalog on multiple computers, you should keep the images and the catalog on the external hard drive itself.


          If you wish to keep different catalog for both the computers, please create a new catalog on any one of them and start using it.


          Hope this helps.




          • 2. Re: LR Catalog Management Between Multiple Computers
            Tahosa640 Level 1

            Thank you.  There are no catalogs on any of the external hard drives.  There ARE multiple catalogs on the desktop to which I was unable to import the DNGs from the external hard drive.  However, if the DNG had NOT been imported into the catalog that is associated with the operating LR program to which you are trying to import, I do not see why it would not accept the import.  I assume if I create a brand new catalog on the desktop, I should be able to import any picture I want from any source as it has never been imported into THAT catalog, although it may have been imported into another catalog on THAT desktop or laptop for that matter. 


            Based upon the business model that I use due to remote shooting, post processing in the field, and then uploading to a main desktop for printing and copyright submission etc,, having the catalog on the external drive does not work with my process.   I use eight external hard drives based upon the client and venue of a particular shoot.


            VERY much appreciate your helpful comments and suggestions.  Thank you. 

            • 3. Re: LR Catalog Management Between Multiple Computers
              Geoff the kiwi Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              You need to merge all the catalogs..


              Also why don't you keep a Catalog on it's own external drive??

              I have my catalog on a La Cie Thunderbolt drive of 2TB and images are on other drives.

              I can plug into any computer with Lightroom and use it all, simple!!

              • 4. Re: LR Catalog Management Between Multiple Computers
                Tahosa640 Level 1

                That's a great idea to just dedicate one external hard drive as the catalog hard drive and then set the different platform LR programs to use that catalog.    REALLY ... good suggestion.  I will also look at the merge catalog option.  Having grown from LR2 through LR6 cc over the years, when you look at the catalogs folder, there are versions of catalogs from 2 on up in the folder as well the the catalog backup folder which I have back-up the catalog everytime I exit LR. 


                I still do not get why if I imported a dng into the catalog on the laptop from an external hard drive, when I connect that external hard drive to a desktop with a different catalog why it will not import into the desktop catalog ... and I am sure the catalog is NOT on the external hard drive.  Go figure ...  There is something that I am missing.


                Thanks for your response and very helpful comment.

                • 5. Re: LR Catalog Management Between Multiple Computers
                  joachims25232702 Level 1

                  Sorry for possibly being stupid here: But when you say " import in a catalog", what exactly do you mean? Load dngs into a new folder on the new computer, or leave them were they are while adding them to an existing catalog. Or import a catalog into another catalog?