LIGHTROOM Getting JPEG previews from Preview data WITHOUT the Original Catalogue

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I somehow deleted my catalogue, but I have my preview file and the original RAW files. This is a unique situation because most of the solutions that I've seen that help to get preview jpeg files back require the original catalogue file and are meant for people to get what they can at least when they lose their RAW files. I just want the JPEG previews out of the preview file so that I can have the files to reference as I rebuild my catalogue. This was just a smaller catalogue for organizational purposes, thank god. No major editing. But how can I get those preview files??? Shouldn't Adobe have a way for lightroom to do this or at least provide a tool? Please help if you can! Thanks.
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Adam Ottke

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Posted 3 years ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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You could restore one of your backup catalogs.

I can't imagine Adobe providing a tool to restore previews without a catalog, but there is a Mac app called File Juicer that was able to access the previews without a catalog last time I checked.
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Adam Ottke

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Thank you so much. That made my life SO much easier! I'll probably write an article on Fstoppers about the experience and will give a shoutout to you! :-) It'll take me some time for me to get through the backlog of other articles I have to do, but I'll get there.

Thanks, again!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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As you observed, Cole's Preview Exporter plugin, Friedl's Extract Cached Image Previews plugin, and Adobe's ExtractPreviews script all need the presence of the catalog.

However, Rob Cole's plugin looks like it has all the pieces to extract the preview JPEGs without a catalog (and thus without the original filenames and any assigned metadata). You might send Rob a private email (look at robcole.com) to ask if he could write you a script. However, Rob has been offline for many weeks.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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But if File Juicer still works, that's obviously a better solution.