Lightroom: "Enable Auto Sync" is logically in the wrong menus, which could be confusing

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The "Enable Auto Sync" is located...
- in the "Metadata" menu for library
- in the "Settings" menu for develop.

However, in library one is able to change development settings (e.g. presets and quick develop), and in develop one is able to change metadata (e.g. flags and rating) - and in both cases they auto-sync, too - depending on the auto-sync setting of the active module.

So it would be more logical and less confusing to move the "Enable Auto Sync" command from the "Metadata"/"Settings" menus to the "Library"/"Develop" menus, because these menus are specific to the modules themselves, and not to metadata and development settings.
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LRuserXY

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Posted 6 years ago

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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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Agree.

And even then it's confusing.

And the whole Auto Sync thing feels sowehow unnatural (my opinion).
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LRuserXY

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And some more confusing things about auto-sync - just from a GUI design point of view:

1) In library (except in grid mode, see below), the auto-sync switch appears on the metadata "Sync" button, but as explained in my original post, it also activates auto-sync for develop settings, so it is confusing that only the metadata "Sync" button turns to "Auto Sync", but not the "Sync Settings" button - there is *no* visual indication that auto-sync is active for the development settings, too.

2) In grid view, the auto-sync switch disappears from the "Sync" button (named "Sync Metadata" then, see below). Seems logical because in grid view auto-sync is implicitely and always enabled. But why is the corresponding menu command ("metadata" - "enable auto sync") still enabled? It has absolutely no effect and no meaning in grid mode (except that you can preset auto-sync for later when you change to loupe etc. - which is confusing, too, and except for "show metadata for target photo only", see below).

3) Why is the "Sync" button named "Sync" in all library views, except in grid view when "show metadata for target photo only" is NOT set (see below) where it is named "Sync Metadata"? Just because it may change to "Auto Sync"? The button itself still means "Sync Metadata", not "sync everything".

4) Ctrl+Click on "Sync" button to toggle autosync works in develop, but not in library. Even more confusing, once auto-sync is enabled, clicking on the "Auto Sync" button will bring up the synchronization dialog in library, but will turn off auto-sync in develop.

5) The "show metadata for target photo only" setting is confusing in combination with auto-sync and grid view. When this setting is enabled, auto-sync has a meaning even in grid view (and it can be enabled!). If both are enabled, the metadata panel *shows* metadata for the active photo only, but *changes* them for *all* selected photos (just like if "show metadata for target photo only" is *not* enabled in grid view). Logical? Yes. Easy to understand? No. To elaborate: There are three "working modes" in grid mode:
A. "show metadata for target photo only" is OFF, auto-sync does not matter: Normal operation, each panel shows and changes metadata of all selected photos.
B. "show metadata for target photo only" is ON and auto-sync is OFF. Like A, except the metadata panel, which shows and changes metadata for the active photo only.
C. "show metadata for target photo only" is ON and auto-sync is ON. Like A, except the metadata panel, which shows metadata for the active photo only (it still changes metadata for all selected photos like in A). Note that the auto-sync setting has no effect on other panels, commands or the toolbar in this case.

6) Still concerning "show metadata for target photo only": What is also confusing is that this setting only applies to the metadata *panel* and e.g. not to the keywords which in fact are "metadata", too. And very confusing, too: it also does not apply to the tool bar (and also not to the commands in the photo menu), so e.g. in grid view with "show metadata for target photo only" ON and auto-sync OFF (mode B, see above), the rating stars in the tool bar and the metadata panel *show* the same (i.e. the rating of the active photo only), but clicking on the stars in the tool bar will change *all* selected photos, while clicking on the stars in the metadata panel will only change the active photo [edit: corrected this last sentence].

7) The metadata presets have their own rules, even though their selection drop-down box is located right inside the metadata panel. If a metadata preset is selected, LR asks every time "apply to all selected or only to active photo?". And this is the most confusing of all: It does not matter whether you are in grid view or not, or whether auto-sync is enabled or not: LR will always ask that *or* if you choose "don't show again", it will alway do the same (again, auto-sync or grid view does not matter), until you reset the warning dialogs.

-- End of rant -- ;-)

P.S. To be honest, I don't have any ideas how to solve these issues. I only know that they are confusing, ranging from "mildly" to "quite". And forgive me if some of the things I stated are not correct - this whole thing is so confusing that one is easily mistaken.
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Rob Cole

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Yep, auto-sync is confusing. Photo targeting in general is confusing, and it's very hard to come up with a complete list of exceptions to the rules. Please don't make me try. Maybe at some point Adobe will redesign the whole app, to support comprehensive local adjustments, flexible UI, and simplify/unify photo targeting.
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Pete Roberts

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One year on and nothing has happened.

As far as I can tell the auto sync switch in the bottom of the RH panel operates independently in Library and develop mode (LR5.3)

Even worse - if you manage to work your way through the GUI confusion it simply does not work see my post
http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

And no-one from Adobe comments on any post about Auto Sync
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Rob Cole

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|> "As far as I can tell the auto sync switch in the bottom of the RH panel operates independently in Library and develop mode".

Yes, and I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that it took me a couple of years to realize that - kept wondering how it got turned back on when I was sure I had turned it off - duh (in hindsight).

PS - you might be interested in Gazoo, which supports relative as well as absolute adjustment, and works the same regardless of which module you're in - that's what I use instead of auto-sync.

Cheers,
Rob