Lightroom: Ability to lock photos. Please protect me from myself!

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I'm a relatively newbie to Lightroom and I think it is fantastic.

It does occur to me that pros who have been using Lightroom for a while understand all the issues about selections, settings, copying, pasting, synchronising etc etc.

Like many things in life the people who do things almost as second nature forget what it was like to be a beginner.

The one thing that has surprised me about lightroom is that I cannot find a way of indicating "I am happy with this - I just want to lock it to ensure I don't damage, amend or delete it" through my own incompetence.
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google

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  • frustrated people do'nt understand me.

Posted 7 years ago

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Gene McCullagh

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Great suggestion!

In the meantime take a look at Jeffrey Friedl's Photosafe plugin for LR. It will "protect you from yourself" LOL

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-good...
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Rob Cole

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I went to a huge amount of trouble to implement a locking plugin, but native support would be better.

Jeffrey's plugin only protects you from deletion - my problem is with inadvertent edits. ChangeManager is my present solution, but it leaves something to be desired.

The main problem with change manager, is that it can't stop changes from being made, it can only detect that they have been made after the fact.
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Pete Roberts

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Thanks Rob,

It does go a long way towards what I need but I see why you say native support would be better

Pete
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TK

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In which situations exactly did you run across the problem of accidentally changing photos?

It only happens to me when I use "Auto Sync" and forget to switch it off after I'm done. Next time when I happen to have multiple photos selected but of course only edit one in the Develop module, I sometimes don't notice the still active "Auto Sync" and then unintentionally apply changes to all selected photos.

I'm not sure whether I should just discipline myself better or if the Auto Sync button should change colour to make that mode more noticeable or whether there should be some feedback showing that "Auto Syncing" is happening. When the filmstrip is open, there is such feedback, but when it's closed I'm not aware of "Auto Syncing" going on.

Locking won't help me with this problem because I would not have locked the images I didn't want to have synced.

If anyone ran into such "Auto Sync" problems as well and thinks it is hard to discipline oneself to always switch it off after having used it then I'd be happy to make a feature request. The simplest solution would be to let "Auto Sync" automatically revert to "off" after a change of image selection but surely some would not regard that as a good idea.
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pat d

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No I do Graphic Design work and once I get a photo to the point where it is used in a project I want to be able to LOCK it so I don't accidentally do anything more to it. If it was locked the only thing Lightroom would let me do is offer to make a copy for me that way it's like the idea of the "Digital Negative" except for my project files which would be GREAT!
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Rob Cole

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Yeah, in general I'm not a fan of things turning on and off automatically, but this may be a case where it is entirely appropriate - and predictable, and immediate...

Workflow:
1. select images.
2. turn on auto-sync if desired.
3. adjust images.
(rinse, and repeat...)

- I like it!
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Rob Cole

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Auto-sync is a biggie, but its not an only. And, having an "in-your-face" indication when its on, and maybe auto turnoff, would go a long way in alleviating the auto-sync problem.

I dont know how I do it, but another inadvertent edit I constantly make is "Exposure Matching", I dont think I'm issueing the keystrokes to do it, but it happens.

There are other keyboard initiated edits too that happen from time to time. And also, for me, there's... - sorry, I lost my train of thought. Maybe I was going to say DevAdjust - my relative preset and adjustment plugin.

Oh yeah, ratings - I use the ']' key constantly, to adjust brush size, but it increases ratings when you dont have an active brush. I realize that one would not be able to brush unless unlocked, but this points more to the ability to lock different things, which I'd also like. Maybe as coarse as Unlock/lock for:

- Develop Settings and/or
- Metadata.

Then it could be unlocked for a quick tweak to develop settings, without inadvertently changing ratings or whatever, or unlocked for a metadata change, whilst assuring no inadvertent develop setting changes.
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Rob Cole

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Partly, its an assurance thing.

Its comforting to know that if a photo is locked, it hasn't changed since it was locked, period.

I would keep all my photos locked all the time (after initial editing). Unlock to edit some more, or approve prompt to accept changes despite the lock. That way you can bump exposure in quick develop even when locked, without too much fuss... (for example). Maybe a prompt like:

"Increase exposure by .1 on 3 locked photos? - Are you sure?...

In other words, the point is to protect from inadvertent changes, but not make it inconvenient to make changes on purpose - even if photo is locked.

R
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pat d

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Did you see my "digital negative" idea above?
It could make you a version copy of the locked file.
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Rob Cole

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Yes - This sounds like another good option. I wouldn't want it to replace the other options, but in addition to, it would be great!...
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Rob Cole

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Very related 'Idea': Mark a photo as final
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Native Photo

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A lock feature to prevent deletion is a great idea and not just for beginners. The Photosafe plugin by Jeffrey Fried is really nice, but it should be added as a simple feature standard in Lightroom... I like using snapshots to save a version of a photo, essentially locking it from future edits... But of course; that does not prevent accidental edits of the image (which can lead to trouble); it only locks the snapshot.
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Rob Cole

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Poor human's "ChangeManager":

- Create a develop preset with any settings (does not matter), and name it something like "Finished".
- Load into text editor and replace the settings with:
settings = {
NoEdit = true,
},
- Save the file & restart Lightroom.

What you have now is a way to tag a photo as "final" by using a develop preset, instead of metadata.

You can search for photos that have this preset applied (or that dont) in library filters or in smart collections.

Options for taking this idea further:
- Create a no-edit develop preset named "Clear Edit History" and use it to clear the top of the edit history list without changing anything.
- Create a no-edit develop preset named "Finish Editing Later" and use it to mark photos as "Not Final"...

Summary:
========
Since Lightroom has "Develop Preset (applied)" as metadata, one can apply null/no-op/no-edit presets to clear the edit history list, and for recording end-of-present-editing-session status.

PS - this won't help with non-develop-settings changes, but hey...
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Keith Morris

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How about... not "locked" or "final" but if they add something very similar to version control labels you see in a file version control system. In other words you give the photo (plus any edits up to that point in time) a "label" or "version". You would also always have the original unlabeled baseline photo and the newest unlabeled edits available. (The newest unlabeled edit would always be remembered even if you set the current "view" as one of the other labels or the original image. That newest edit would only be "lost" if you then did more editing after that point in time without actually adding a discrete label for that point in time so it would be remembered later.)

You could then edit the photo again after that label is set but you would never lose anything done up to that point. If you use the RESET button it would ask you if you wanted to go back to the original baseline image before any editing or to one of the label points you have made or even back to the newest unlabeled edit.

Plus perhaps allow you to visually compare label points. (So compare the original untouched with now... or compare the edit of 7-29-2011 with now etc... select one as the "current".) This would allow continual editing and fussing with total ability to then review and decide what was the best and set it as the "current" view.

You could also select multiple photos and create the "label". And you could select multiple photos have them all migrate back to a common label if desired. But even if you did that you would not lose any newer edits on the files... that would still be available if desired later.

EXAMPLE: So you would have a set of wedding photos. You label all photos in that set as "Proof Set Given to Bride 2011-08-11" and you can continue to edit. You can then return them all to that snapshot in time and/or roll them forward to a newer snapshot in time if the newer edits looked better.

Anyway... just my ideas.
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Rob Cole

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In the mean time, a lot of this is doable now via a disciplined snapshotting regimen and maybe a plugin or two, e.g.

for bulk snapshotting:

- SnapAndMark
- TPG Snapshotter

(and of course ChangeManager)

Good ideas...
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Keith Morris

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Another idea: Regardless of what solution, that is IF any type of solution is created by Adobe for freezing/version control/etc. the "Photo has Develop adjustments" badge can use a different color to mean different things.

Example:
White: It was edited.
Red: It is locked.
Green: It has a checkpoint/version.

BTW: Thanks Rob... I am investigating the plugins you suggested. I'm a noob and only loaded Lightroom a week ago... give me time to figures stuffs out. But regardless of the merit of those plugins, it might be preferable to have Adobe implement something in a newer version anyway; at least in a basic way.

NEW EDIT: Or maybe not... one of the nice things about Lightroom is that it is clean and easy to get into... if they add too much it can be discouraging for new users... might better to let them slowly add plugins as needed.
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Rob Cole

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Good ideas Keith - a clear indication of lock-state would be essential, although for myself, I'd prefer an icon (or color) for "unlocked", since 100% of my photos ultimately get locked. I think Adobe can come up with a great solution without making Lr seem more complex. i.e. if a user hasn't ventured to lock their photos yet, it would work the same as now.

I was just thinking about things like autosync or other batch adjustments - what if a few of the selected photos are locked? - I'd say highlight the offending photos, and bring up a prompt? - You can't change locked photos - do you want to unlock them?, exclude them?, work on a virtual copy of them instead? ...
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Neus de Saavedra

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Yes! It would be great to be able to lock a file to avoid deleting it per accident.
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Emberger Media

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Two ideas for "Final Images"
1) When you are done editing an image create a snap shot at that point and name it "Final"
OR
2) When you complete an edit, create a virtual copy of that image and stack on top of the original

As for the Auto sync quagmire, I have been using LR since B2. And have been working full time professionally with digital since 2002 (and with scanned negs and other software since 1999). And i have to say this still frustrates the piss out of me! And I just recently did it again. I was on assignment in Argentina for a week. I edited images every day. Got back to my office and exported 2000 images as a library and imported to my main computer. Not realizing I had ALL those images selected I edited a photo. I didn't realize the agony I was about to be in until I thought about how long it was taking LR to edit ONE photo!! GRRRRR Now ALL 2000 images have to be reset to default using Auto Sync because it would be nearly impossible to figure out where each image was left off before the accident!

There needs to be a way to undue the recently changed settings in Auto Sync. As stepping back in the history only affects the current image!! AND I would like something like the image data overlay you see in the upper left corner of the screen in loupe view to show "AUTO SYNC" in the Develop module if it is set.
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Rob Cole

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|> "When you are done editing an image create a snap shot at that point and name it "Final"

I think this is a common practice now as "lock substitute". The only problem is one must consult the edit-history of each photo to see how it's doing and revert if necessary... I recommend SnapAndMark for people using this approach since it ties the snapshot to the point in the edit-history when it was taken. Otherwise you can't tell by looking whether a photo has been edited since it was snapped, or where in the edit-history corresponds to the snap.

|> "When you complete an edit, create a virtual copy of that image and stack on top of the original "

Very interesting idea. Simple and effective - I should of thought of this myself ;-}

To "unlock" for edit, just delete the virtual copy. When editing complete again, create, label, & stack a "locking" VC. The virtual copy would have to be accompanied by a color to distinguish it from a virtual copy that *is* the final version (as opposed to covering the final version for lock purpose). I like it! Its the only solution of any (even ChangeManager) that will actually keep the final from being edited as opposed to dealing with changes after the fact (as long as stacks are collapsed, that is). Of course there's still some "Sherlock Holmes" effort to determine if settings in locking virtual copy still match the settings in the locked photo underneath - if its still virginal, then they probably match, but sometimes I like to goof around, then put back - at which point the waters are muddied (and anyway one needs to check each photo individually). On the other hand, I suppose one could just *always* delete the locking virtual copy or unstack before exporting... hmm... Too bad the SDK doesn't support any stacking operations other than reading stack info and allowing top or bottom when adding new, (nor virtual copy creation / removal), otherwise this technique could be nicely exploited by a locking plugin.

PS - 'Undo' can be used to revert all auto-sync'd edits - if you catch it in time.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hopefully Adobe is convinced by now that it needs to be clearer when adjustments are affecting one vs. many photos.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-R
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John Delcoure

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I know this question was about a ago, I just ran across it. If you are afraid to overwrite your the changes, not to worry. You don't need to lock your precious edit. Just go to the the develop model and click on the history panel under the preset panel. Everything you have done is recorded there. Every change you make to an image is recorded to the history panel. You can make a virtual copy of the state you your edits are in, and experiment from there.

Give it a try, if you have't done so. John
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Rob Cole

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History panel doesn't solve the problem, nor does undo. The problem is when changes are made inadvertently and not realized immediately. Snapshots help, but you still have to realize the photo was changed inadvertently, and then you have to revert one-by-one.

Note: locking protects against metadata changes too, not just develop adjustments.
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Paeter Illman

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please give us a feature to protect images from accidently changing them.

something like a lock button that protects images from changes made in LR.

it has happend a few times that i accidently selected an RAW image and synchronized it in LR, only to notice later in PS (and after some time spend on editing) that i have exported a version with the wrong develop settings.

once i think a RAW image is FINAL (in LR) i would like to lock/protect it (at least from changes in the LR develop module).

if i then try to edit/synchronize it, a warning message should come up.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lock/Protect Images in Lightroom.
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Native Photo

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Locking from further edits & preventing accidental edits without "unlocking" MAKES GOOD SENSE. It's a good idea!

This idea goes hand in hand with this topic: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Ed

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+1 for locking an image to prevent accidental deletion. This thread is pretty old, has Adobe had a response to it?
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Rob Cole

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This plugin may help you work around:

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-good...
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Ed

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Thanks, I just downloaded it and am installing it now. I appreciate the pointer.
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Rob Cole

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You're welcome - but it was just a re-iteration of the first response in this thread.
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Mattias Thuvander

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A lock feature would be nice. Just spent hours restoring my edits since i happened to sync a preset to a almost finished edited full day wedding job without noticing until I had restarted Lightroom. Which means I was not able to use ctrl+z.

If I had protected the finished images this would never had happened.
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Pietro

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+1 for locking. Adding a filter for locked/unlocked photos would help me to quickly find "finished" against "work in progress" photos.
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Sergey Bulychev

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+1 for locking images from sync in develop module!!
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Drdul

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Lock files to prevent metadata and develop changes.

I would like to be able to lock files to prevent any changes, including changes to metadata and develop settings. I sometimes accidentally press a key that makes a change to a file (such as changing the rating) and don't realize until later when it's too late to undo the change/ I also find that Lightroom is sometimes slow to respond to a keyboard shortcut, and I start typing thinking I'm in a text box, and I'm not, and all sorts of damage is being done. Being able to lock files would avoid these unintended changes. An easy-to-use lock/unlock icon and/or command would be great!
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Tanja Schulte

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.... another idea adobe ignores for years.
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Joachim Wester

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...and years
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Louis Sherwin

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... and years ...
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Nick Koudis

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Since the beginning of time, I've used a red color label named MASTER or FINAL MASTER to mark all images that are finals. The label keeps me away from them insofar as editing goes, but it's also a great way to indicate which one to use when submitting finals to clients or galleries. I also add a keyword "MASTER", but if you name your color labels, they show up in metadata searches and smart collections.