Biggest problem is the way each OS addresses hard drives, whether internal, external or across a network.
I recently got an older iMac and have been fooling around with using the same catalog on both systems. Not working for me.
About the only, Easy, way it to store both catalog file, preview and ALL the images on an External drive and move that drive from one system to the other. But that isn't without problem either because of how OS X and Windows sees and access the hard drives connected to their systems.
Personally I gave up. Started a New catalog on the Mac and import my images using the ADD option and leaving the image files on my Win PC, accessing them across my LAN.
Putting the images on the network drive works well for both OS.
The catalog is compatible between both Mac and Windows.
The problem is that the drives are not referenced the same way in Mac (by names) and in Windows (by letter). This means that every time you switch between the two computers, you will need to do a "find missing folder" in the Folders panel to map all the root directories to their "new" drive names.
Just for correct understanding. If I still use my under windows created catalogue on my PC, store the raws and pictures of this catalogue on my NAS, it will work if I create a new catalogue on my Mac Book Pro for accessing the same folders/pictures on my NAS for working from both systems? Must the Mac catalogue have the same name or a different one?
In a first step, I will move my raws today to my NAS. This means I will transfer only the folder with all the pictures to my NAS and will keep the catalog file (.lrcat) and *previews.lrdata on my current local folder on my PC. Afterwards I will create a new catalogue on my Mac Book Pro with reference to the same folder on my NAS?
Another question I have regarding new catalogues. When creating a complete new catalogue is it possible to import/export the keyword list from my old catalogue? If so how?
Many thanks for your support and I'm looking forward hearing again from you.
Lightroom stores edits and metadata in the catalog, it does not touch the images. That means that if you create a new catalog on the Mac, this new catalog will not contain any edits, keywords or anything else you did. The only way you can use Lightroom Classic on two computer is by using the same catalog (via an external hard drive) on both.
Like others have said, there is an additional problem because Windows uses drive letters while Macs use a drive name. Because the Lightroom catalog contains paths to the images, the path on a PC will be something like D://Foldername/Imagename while the path to the same image on a Mac would be NASname/Foldername/Imagename. As long as you have one single top image folder, that isn’t a big deal however. The only thing you need to do when you switch between computer is right-click on the now ‘missing’ top folder and choose ‘Find Missing Folder’. In the dialog that comes up you select the top folder on the NAS and the images are ‘reconnected’ again. Until you switch computers again...
Sorry if I'm a bit complicated, but english is not my motherlanguage. What are you meaning "as long as the pictures are on a single top folder ?
My current folder structure within my catalogue ist as follows :
1. level/main folder : Mein Lightroom Archiv
within this main folder I have following folders/files available:
Mein Lightroom Archiv.lrcat
Folder: Archive RAW -> Subfolders included with raws of all my events
Folder: Mein Lightroom Archiv Smart Previews,lrdata
Folder: Mein Lightroom Archiv Preview.lrdata
Folder: Mein Lightroom Archiv Helper.lrdata
Folder: Import from Camera -> Subfolders included with all my new raw raws.
Folder Archiv RAW: Folder for Holiday's, Event, Portraits etc.
Folder Import from Camera: Folder for Holiday's, Event, Portraits etc. which I have to work
Folder Archiv RAW: Event A, B, C, Holiday X, Y, Z etc....
To my understanding I transfer now the main folder "Mein Lightroom Archiv" completely from my SSD to my NAS. Then I copy the preview folders and also the helper folder (lrdata folders) back to my PC or better to my external SSD and use this on both systems? correct?
I will never work on both system together, I will work either or on one system only.
Mayber you could send my a detail how to description or a step by step guide to get everything working as wished?
Many thanks and kind regards
You can bypass the above by turning on the option to Auto write changes to XMP. That takes care of the Edits but not everything like keywords and collection.
Also you CAN'T Sync both, or even the same, catalog from both computers to the LR Web/Mobile system. You can only sync collections from One Catalog on One computer. Even if you Copy the same catalog to the other computer it can't be synced up with the web/mobile system.
I mean one single main folder, with as many subfolders as you like.
which folder must i move exactly to my NAS and which folders do I have to move/keep on the Mac and Win PC to get everything working ? A step by step guide would be very helpful ofr me to get the catalogue working on my PC and Mac when the Raws itself are stored on my NAS. Many thanks.
The images should (could) remain on the NAS. What you need to do is copy the catalog folder to the external drive you intend to use with both computers. The default location of the catalog folder is your Pictures folder. After you have copied the catalog folder to the external drive, start Lightroom by double clicking on the catalog file inside that folder (the file with the .lrcat extension). You will have to do this once on each computer. From then on Lightroom knows where to find the catalog.
Make sure the external drive is formatted in ExFAT, not NTFS. MacOS X can read NTFS drives, but not write to them (unless you install a special driver, like the one from Paragon). There is one limitation you will have to live with: you can store most presets with the catalog, so they can be used on both computers. Except develop presets and profiles. These must be in a designated place on each computer, meaning that if you create a preset on one computer, it won’t be available on the other one.
regarding the develop presets, is it possible to copy my collection to the other, on to the mac book? it is a lil bit pitty that a catalog can be stored on a local drive in my opinion and surprises me. External drives are always a bigger risk in data loss.
i moved now my picture folders to my and kept my preview folders, lrcat file still on my external sdd, exfat format. after updating the ppath to my pictures everything is recognized correctly on my windows-pc. currently I have another problem.
until now, i have stored all my develop presets and my export presets within the lightroom folder under C:\user\stephan\appdata
\roaming\adobe\lightroom\develop presets & \export presets. I organized my presets in separate folders. the folders are still there, but no of them is recognized by my catalogue nor lightroom. I have only the default LR-presets available currently, even my presets are within mentioned folders. What I have seen is, LR has created within my catalogues a new folder "lightroom settings" in which the current available default presets are stored. Store presets with catalogue is unchecked by the way. Have you any idea, how I get my presets back again to work with and use them as I could until now?
Another question I have is, how do I recreate new previews if I change the preview setting from 1:1 to standard?
Any help and hints are highly aprecciated. Many thanks
Sounds like you may have checked the option to store the presets with the catalog. In that case Lightroom creates a new set of default presets inside the catalog folder, and starts to use those. It does not move your custom presets however, and because it doesn't delete the default presets in the default location, it may seem it is still using those.