You can select thumbnails in the Library grid and press delete. LR will give you the option to also delete from disk.
Your keywords and editing work will all be safe. Simply launch the catalog (.lrcat file) by copying to the new computer or OS.
Thanks for your answer. Will the procedure then be as follows when I install everything on my "new"computer?
1. Install lightroom
2. Import photos stored on my hard drive
3. Load the catalog file
will Lightroom be able to find/use all my keywords although I have reinstalled lightroom and the photos are placed in a different folder on my hard drive to the one they were placed in before the reinstallation?
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If placing the folders in a different location/folder the Library will usually show question marks against the folder names but it is quite easy to re-link. Simply right-click on a folder in the left hand panel and choose “Update Folder Location” then navigate to the new folder. LR will automatically update everything.
If using your last catalog backup you may wish to copy it to the default location (Pictures Folder) or your preferred drive/partition. Simply double-click on the named catalog with the ending .lrcat to launch it in Lightroom.
Thanks for your answers .)