Lightroom: "Collections" not syncing across machines (when all other settings have)

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I have just used Microsoft's Mesh, the new sync function to sync selected folders from my main PC (where I do nearly all my Lightroom work) to my laptop (for when I am working away from home etc)

I have successfully synced Lightroom's folder of presets etc
(example path: C:\Users\Edward\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom)
And all seem to work fine across both machines, except the "Collections" which on the laptop appear as the standard ones that are created in a new catalogue.

(I am looking at different catalogs on each machine, but in each case the tick box to "store presets with catalog" are unchecked)

So, are "Collections" specific to each catalog perhaps?
Or are they located somewhere else, and still need to be synced?

Finally, does anyone know if syncing presets like this has any risks please?

Thanks in advance for your help
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Edward

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  • confused

Posted 7 years ago

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Brett N, Official Rep

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Yes, Collections are catalog specific. They are not represented by files on the system, the information is stored only in the catalog file itself. They are not a type of preset, the are more like a playlist or folder. They contain specific files from the catalog, which may not be in another catalog.

I wouldn't imaging that there is any real risk in syncing the presets like this.
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Edward

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Thanks Brett. At least I know.

Looking ahead, wouldn't it be helpful if they were indeed stored as presets, and therefore could be transferred across machines or catalogs? (after all there are some master catalogue types stored this way)
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Jim Wilde

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Storing "static" collections in the manner suggested, in order to "sync" them to a different catalog or computer, makes no sense to me. As Brett says, they are catalog specific.

More of a case could be made for Smart collections, however, as these are effectively 'settings', not a dumb container. If these are what you are trying to 'sync', there is a workaround (though it's a bit of a kludge): right-click on a Smart Collection and choose "Export Smart Collection Setting", this will create a file (your choice of name) with the extension '*.lrsmcol'. Although you can then individually import those settings into your other catalogs, a more creative solution (which I learnt from John Beardsworth) would be to rename the ".lrsmcol" extension to ".lrtemplate" and then add this file into the Smart Collection Templates sub-folder within the Lightroom settings, and it will then appear in all catalogs on that computer. If you then sync those settings, as you are doing, you should also see them appear in your catalog(s) on your other computer.
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john beardsworth

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Why not sync your catalogue file too? Copying the folders only copies whatever Lightroom work is saved back to the folders.

John

PS Devious rather than creative, Jim!
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Edward

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Hi John, that would be the ideal, but I only get 5gb at present with the MS Mesh service.
I'd welcome any suggestions on ways to do this for larger (20Gb+) catalogues.
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john beardsworth

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Can you just sync the lrcat file, not the previews folder?
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Edward

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Hi John, sorry I'm not sure of the implications of this. could you expand on it a little more please?

Thanks
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john beardsworth

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You know the total catalogue consists of the *.lrcat file and the *previews.lrdata that's in the same folder? Most of that 20gb is going to be in the latter, which is just like a temporary or dynamic cache and doesn't really need to be copied. But all your real work - adjustments, collections and other metadata - is held in the lrcat. So if you just sync the lrcat over to the laptop, you can open it there and Lightroom will simply start recreating previews as it needs.
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Edward

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Good to know. thanks.
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Ian Grainger

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I use keywords extensively when using Lightroom, and have set up quite a few that I use for tracking which images I've submitted to stock agencies.

I've then setup a number of Smart Collections to show me which images were accepted or rejected or are still going through the submission process.

This all works very well.

However, when I create a new Catalogue, I lose all of the Smart Collections and have to set them up again. Now, I know I can export each one individually, and import it into the new Catalogue, but as I've got over 100 of them, it's not really a good solution!

So, I guess my question is, does anyone know of a quick method of migrating batches of Smart Collections between Catalogues?

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Best strategy for moving Smart Collections between catalogues?.
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Edward

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Any ideas why the only thing to not be the same as my previously used catalogs is my "Collections"?

I've just created a new catalog for 2013, and they aren't there, but all other settings appear OK.

Thanks in advance

(Lr 4.3 on PC)

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LightRoom 4.3: "collections" not appearing in new catalog.
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john beardsworth

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Because collections are specific to the individual catalogue. Stuff like presets are Lightroom-wide.
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Ian Grainger

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Why should Smart Collections be specific to an individual catalogue?
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john beardsworth

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Why should smart collections defined in one catalogue appear in another?
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john beardsworth

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PS Look at the Adobe\Lightroom\Smart Collection Templates folder (export smart collection definitions and put the export files in there) or Google my Workflow Smart Collections for a way of importing large numbers of structured smart collections. In the end, fragmenting your workflow into multiple catalogues has a range of downsides.
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Ian Grainger

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One large catalogue does not work for me. It is too slow.

"Fragmenting" my "workflow" into multiple catalogues has many upsides for me, and it is how I want to work.

Being able to quickly export / import multiple hierarchical Smart Collections and Collection Sets would have many benefits for myself, and I suspect, other users.

Not everybody works in the same way...
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john beardsworth

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Maybe not, but LR is a streamlined app for a narrow range of workflows and without ridiculous hardware can happily contain 400k images or more.

That Workflow Smart Collections tip shows how to export/import multiple structured smart collections. This possibility has existed since LR2.
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Edward

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Ian puts it well, users just need the flexibility to move all the bespoke presets etc from Catalog to catalog quickly & without fuss.

(It seems odd that Adobe seems to not want to enhance Lightroom to make life easier, but yet they will go to great lengths to trumpet new flashy features (like maps, emailing or bookmaking) that lets be frank are not used that much and (in my experience) fail to work well anyway)