11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2016 7:47 PM by woosleykizzy

    how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?

    woosleykizzy

      I use Lightroom 5 on 2 different Mac computers, A and B. Several months ago, I moved the photos and the catalog from Computer A to an external drive. Now I want Computer B to recognize and work with only that external drive. Computer B has some photos and a catalog already installed on its internal drive. How do I proceed?

        • 1. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
          Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

          You Export As A Catalog on one computer and Import From Catalog on the other.

          • 2. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
            woosleykizzy Level 1

            Thanks for the quick reply, but this doesn't apply to my situation. I don't want to export anything from Computer B to the external drive. I want Computer B to work only with the external drive, which already has everything up to date.

            • 3. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
              Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

              If all your images are on the external drive and a catalog file that has all those images imported then all you have to do is Open that catalog file on computer B.

              • 4. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                woosleykizzy Level 1

                Apparently, I'm missing something here. I don't want the catalog to be on my computer. I want it to be on the external drive. If I import, then the catalog will be on the computer. I want to change the location of the catalog on Computer B to the already existing catalog on the external drive. I never work on the two computers at the same time, so I want the running catalog to be on the external drive. What I'm trying to create is a single place for the most up to date catalog. Maybe this is not possible, or, more likely, I'm not explaining the situation properly. Thanks once again for trying to sort this out.

                • 5. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                  wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                  My take on the OPs question-

                   

                  Catalog "B" with image files on an "E" External drive.

                  Catalog "A" with image files on Internal drive A Computer.

                   

                  The steps to consolidate would be-

                  1. On the "A" computer plug in the "E" External drive, and open catalog "A",

                  2. With "All Photos" selected, Go  { Menu > File  > Export as Catalog } , with option to "Export negative files"

                  3. Save this 'Catalog Export' to the "E" External drive.

                   

                  External drive now has the master "B" catalog + images,  and the temporary exported "A" catalog + images.

                   

                  4. Swap to "B" computer, plug in the "E" External Drive

                  5. Open Lightroom Catalog "B" on the "E" External Drive

                  6. Go  { Menu > File > Import from another catalog }

                  7. Select the "A" catalog to merge with "B".   "B" is now your Master catalog on the "E" drive.

                   

                  Now you have merged both "B" and "A" catalogs on the external drive. (The "A" catalog can later be deleted when all is working as you want it. Take Care not to delete any image files!)

                  You will need to re-arrange folders of images on the External drive using the Lightroom folder panel.

                  If the image 'negative' files exist in both locations, then the merge will create virtual copies where different editing/development has been done on the image.

                   

                  So a summary-

                  Export Catalog "A" > "E"

                  Import Catalog from "E" to Merge "B" + "A"

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                    Just Shoot Me Adobe Community Professional

                    The LR catalog is a Database file. It can reside on any drive connect directly to any computer you want to use LR on with all the images and catalog file.

                     

                    So you place all your images on the external drive. You also place the Catalog file that has all the images imported into it on that same external drive in its own folder. On each computer you move that external drive to you open LR (Which Does have to be installed on each computer) and then Open the catalog file that is on the external drive.

                     

                    A problem might arise if you are going from a Mac to a PC or PC to  Mac or if on one computer that drive is given drive letter D and on the other it gets the letter F.

                    But the drive letter thing can get worked out.

                    • 7. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                      woosleykizzy Level 1

                      These last two responses sound right, but when I followed wobertc's advice, my computer wouldn't allow me to merge files because of "unknown error." I was able to get LR to recognize a new catalog on the external drive, per justshootme's last, but I can't make all the photos on that drive visible. I can't import them, because LR shows them as being already imported. When I look for those supposedly imported files in Library, they are not there. So now I have a LR database on my external drive, but I still haven't achieved the consolidation I was striving for.

                      • 8. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                        wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                        Can you post some screen-clips of your External hard drive folder structure as seen in Finder (not LR)?

                        It would help us to see how your image folders and Lightroom folders are placed.

                        It may help us sort your problems.

                        Do I understand you now have two Catalogs on the external hard drive, and you cannot use the menu command to "Import FROM ANOTHER CATALOG"? it is giving an error.

                        • 9. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                          woosleykizzy Level 1

                          I have only one catalog on the external drive. I have now been able to get my computer B to recognize that catalog, but the files from 2016 do not come up in Library. When I try to import those files, LR treats them as already in the catalog. So I'm stymied. Here is a screenshot of the top level of my hard drive.

                           

                          Screenshot 2016-07-14 19.50.24.png

                          Here is a screenshot of the contents of that folder:

                          Screenshot 2016-07-14 19.51.11.png

                           

                          And here is a screenshot of the contents of the LR folder:

                           

                          Screenshot 2016-07-14 19.51.36.png

                          • 10. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                            wobertc Adobe Community Professional

                            I have only one catalog on the external drive

                            Just making an observation- you have two catalogs on the drive-  "Lightroom 4...LRCAT"  and "Lightroom 5....LRCAT"

                             

                            Are these two catalogs each from the different computers?

                            Are they the same catalog, one being an updated version by a LR version update?

                            Have you opened both of these catalogs separately?

                            You know you can open a catalog by double-clicking on the catalog (...LRCAT file)

                            • 11. Re: how do I consolidate catalogs from 2 computers on an external drive?
                              woosleykizzy Level 1

                              I have resolved the issue. It turns out that for the last 18 months, I have been creating duplicate files with different names. Without my knowing it, the import date setting changed from year-month-date to year/month-date. That backslash created all the havoc. I've had to go through all the files in order to clean things up, but now everything is fine.

                               

                              Thanks you for your guidance in all this. I really appreciate it.