4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 11, 2016 3:48 PM by WobertC

    Trouble Importing Smart Previews Catalog From Another Photographer


      Hi all!

      So I am on a Windows 10 PC and my client is on a Mac.

      We both have Lightroom CC.


      I edit her images via smart previews.  We transfer to one another through dropbox as zipped files.


      We have been able to do this process once successfully.  However, now I am getting an error message every time  I try to import a new catalog from her through the File> Import From Another Catalog >choose her LR Cat file and it shows me the next normal dialogue box and I can even see small previews of her images.  After I hit choose or import it then gives me this error message.

      Screenshot (46).png

      Now, if I right click on the LR catalog file and click "Open with Adobe Lightroom" instead of opening Lightroom first and trying to import,  it will open up a different LR catalog (I guess you would call it a different catalog) where it is no longer my normal LR catalog - my personalized settings at the top are gone as well as all of my collections. And it looks like this:

      Screenshot (52).png

      I tried editing a session after opening it like this for her and then exporting it and she now can't open them on her end.  It says file not found.

      It must be something happening on my clients end when she is exporting I guess because it has happened with three different catalogs she has tried to send me.  So any ideas what she might be doing wrong when she is exporting as a new catalog and sending me her smart previews? 


      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Trouble Importing Smart Previews Catalog From Another Photographer

          Did you find the problem/solution? I am having the same issue with a client. I'm on a pc and my client is on a mac, but I have edited catalogs from other mac users without a problem, but I keep having this issue with the same client.

          • 2. Re: Trouble Importing Smart Previews Catalog From Another Photographer
            WobertC Adobe Community Professional

            The answer- you do not import the Smart Previews. You cannot! (Only original image files can be 'imported')


            Melanie, You, as the 'Editor', should only OPEN the Catalog that is sent from the Client.

            An "Import from another catalog" is not necessary.

            You work with the Catalog (and Smart Previews) that the Client sends you.

            I am reasonably sure that if you do this, the Client Catalog will open with all your presets available to do the editing. (Lightroom will use your global preferences)

            Then you will only need to return the 'Editing' Catalog back to the Client (Smart Previews not needed. Even send the Catalog as a small ZIP file)


            The Client needs to send you the 'Editing' Catalog by-

            1. Selecting the FOLDER of images for you to edit.

            2. Right-click to [Export this Folder as a Catalog]

            3. Save the exported catalog folder with a suitable name (eg. "Editing" )

            4.  Options-  NO "Export Negative Files",   YES "Build/Include Smart Previews"

            5. Send this folder to you (the Editor)


            Upon you returning their Catalog, the Client does an "Import from another Catalog" bringing your edits back into their Master Catalog.


            Some of these steps may need more explanation if I have not made it clear enough.

            • 3. Re: Trouble Importing Smart Previews Catalog From Another Photographer
              andy_m22 Level 1

              Thanks for the input wobertc, I am just trying to open the catalog file (not importing). I think there is an issue with the way our clients are exporting the smart previews catalog in their Macs. I also am on a Windows PC receiving a smart previews catalog from a client who is using a Mac. The odd thing is that it works just fine on any Mac, but it will have erros on any PC.


              I don't see how this can be a PC vs Mac issue, because the majority of my other clients are sending me smart previews catalogs from Macs and I never have this issue. I have had this issue every time with the same client. I have shared with her the steps you provided for exporting. But isn't it odd that the current smart previews catalog in question works fine on a Mac and not on a PC?

              • 4. Re: Trouble Importing Smart Previews Catalog From Another Photographer
                WobertC Adobe Community Professional

                Andy, (Melanie may no longer be following)

                No answer- sorry.

                Can only suggest you work closely with the client to determine exactly how they are exporting their catalog with smart previews.

                Ask them to list their exact procedure, step by step, with options.

                You should be receiving a folder with something like the screen-clip below, the file dates all the same?-


                Just a thought- Maybe they are creating the catalog (without including the Smart Previews option) and then copying the smart previews folder from their master catalog. The exported catalog and SmPreviews would not then match.