Lightroom: Is it possible to show the linkage between an original image and its virtual "offspring"?

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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Can Adobe please provide a way to show the linkage between an original image and its virtual "offspring"? Reason being that I have been caught out numerous times trying ti slim down a catalogue by removing older unwanted images, only to find that by accident I have removed an original image and which leaves the virtual copy unsupported.

surely there is a way to provide a warnings that avoid this type of error? something that says:
"Image X is inked to virtual copy Y and Z, do you want to delete it and all related virtual copies?

etc!

Suggestions?
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Edward

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Posted 7 years ago

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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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First off, just to be clear, virtual copies aren't actually taking up any additional hard drive space, if that's your concern. If you're deleting them because you just don't want to see them in your catalog any more, then that's another matter. :-)

Second, if I understand you correctly, Lightroom already does what you ask for. If you select a master photo (not a virtual copy), and press Delete, Lightroom will give you a dialog box which says "Delete the selected master photo from disk, or just remove it from Lightroom?" If there is a virtual copy associated with this photo, the dialog box will additionally say "One virtual copy will also be removed." The options are "Cancel," Remove," and "Delete from Disk."

Also, If you wish to know what master photo a virtual copy is associated with, double-click on the "folded corner" icon in the lower left corner of the thumbnail of the virtual copy, and the master photo will become selected.

Hope this helps,
Ben
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Edward

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Hi Ben
That works fine if you are deleting things one at a time, but say (as I am imagining many users do) you want to go through perhaps a whole catalogue, potentially marking hundreds for deletion, then the warnings are not tied to the specific type of images under discussion here, so you are again faced with with a "one at a time" sort through. It's this that is the problem.

If when a user has selected many images for deletion you saw a menu (with thumb nails perhaps) identifying which ones have virtual copies associated, and how many, and perhaps a tick box system to delete, then the risk would be eliminated. I know of a number of users who have been caught out this way, so it really would be useful to make it that much more user friendly
thanks.
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Benjamin Warde, Employee

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Got it. If you have multiple photos selected, Lightroom will still warn you if any virtual copies are going to be deleted, so you won't get caught out accidentally deleting any. But as you say, figuring out which of the selected photos have virtual copies associated with them is currently a very manual process.

A few related features that do not solve your issue, but may be of some use:
1. The library filters can be set to show only virtual copies (or only master photos).
2. Any virtual copy can be "promoted" to become the master copy.
3. Double-clicking on the "folded-corner" icon in the lower left corner of a virtual copy thumbnail will select the associated master photo.

-Ben