Lightroom: Mark a photo as the FINAL version

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Mark a photo as the FINAL version.
A way to differentiate a photo as the final version which is being used in a project.
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pat d

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  • hopeful

Posted 5 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Chief Customer Advocate

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Pat, can't you use a custom color or keyword as metadata to do this?
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pat d

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Yes I know you can and maybe I'm just being to obsessive. I was just wanting something to make it REALLY stand out but maybe I just need to be content with whats available. :)

I had also thought it might be nice to be able to assign file types to automatically be a certain color. Example any photo that is a .tif would automatically set to Red. But I guess I'll start a new idea for that :)
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Ian Lyons, Champion

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Jeff,

Using keywords and/or colour labels to denote that a photo is final isn't really the best use of either.

Also, I think this request should be read along with the earlier request re a lock feature. A badge denoting the image is locked is as good a way as any to indicate that the editing phase has probably reached completion. At least, that's how many Bridge users operate.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Chief Customer Advocate

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Do you guys think it should be merged with this topic? http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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Ian Lyons, Champion

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Jeff,

Merging would be useful.
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TK

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Merging is a possibility but note that the OP just asked for a way of flagging final versions. He didn't imply locking. I use colour labels for recording the status and that works fine because I don't have a locking requirement.

So strictly speaking, the two threads had different motivations. If this thread's OP (pat d) agrees that locking would address his feature request (in which case locked photos need to stand out somehow) then merging makes sense.
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Kevin Tieskoetter

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That would be cool, to "lock" the photo down. If you tried to make any more edits, it could offer to make a virtual copy.

I like it.
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pat d

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Yeah that's a good idea too!
It might be cool to have a feature in Bridge that would keep track of all of the Final files used in a project. I do package with InDesign but maybe just a pointer to the original RAW file(s) that were used in a project? Maybe it doesn't make sense? Maybe a way within Bridge to LOCK the folder containing Final files such as right after I send a project to the printer I would LOCK those files so I know I ALWAYS have the files in the state I sent them. Then if I wanted to edit them again Bridge could offer to make a copy of them and maybe name them with a version 2 or whatever way you set to name versions in Bridge prefs.

Sort of like having "Digital Negatives" with RAW files because you would ALWAYS have the files in that state to go from.
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Jack Thompson

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I think this would be absolutely phenomenal, especially for people who like to experiment with different finishing techniques on the same image. Genius!
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Jon Miller

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Jack, that's PRECISELY how I would use this!! I do different finishing and effect techniques on various images, both in my fine art and portrait work. I don't want these edits to clutter everything, and I don't want them thrown away. And I already have specific uses for all star and color ratings/categories. This would DEFINITELY be a tremendously helpful tool, and it should be tremendously simple to implement.

HOWEVER, I disagree that "final" means "you can't edit it anymore". I would just want it to require a confirmation that I do want to edit it further before allowing me to do so. Sometimes I need to go back to do "one more" edit, but I don't want to need to remove the "final" label in order to do so because I know myself well enough to know that I would forget to re-apply it at least half the time. :)
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Rob Cole

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Kevin - Can you offer any odds that this feature will make it into Lr4-final, or are we more likely talking Lr5 for this one?
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Winston Mitchell

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Doesn't a Snapshot do this?
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Michael Houlden

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Not really, because snapshots exist within the develop history of a single image and doesn't show up when there are multiple virtual copies of an image and/or multiple psd edit files from round tripping to photoshop. You can't see a snapshot status or name from the grid either.
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Rob Cole

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If locking is what's being called for, then forget the rest of this reply.

But, if marking a photo as the final within a group is what's being requested, I'd like to suggest the alternative feature request for enhanced photo group handling (aka stack replacement technology) - please read down aways since the topic evolved quite a bit... In a nutshell - any set of photos could be defined as some kind of group, and one photo in the group is always elected as "representative". I would think this "representative" would be the same as "final" in this case.
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pat d

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Maybe a way to MARK, LOCK and TAG it with the project that this final photo version was used in?
Then if you tried to open it Lightroom could offer to make a virtual copy of the final file as a version 2 to edit that way you always have the FINAL file in the state it was used in that project but could still go on from there to edit for another use.
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pat d

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Note I said TAG not keyword. Keywords are for sorting photos for Lightroom use and I want a separate way to sort specifically for projects final files are used in.
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Rob Cole

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There is no concept of "project" in Lightroom that I know of, perhaps you should define what you mean by that term.
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pat d

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I mean that I use photos outside of Lightroom in design projects but I would like to know when I am in Lightroom which photos were the Final versions used in a certain design project. Using a TAG would differentiate from Lightroom workflow.
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Rob Cole

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Well, from the first response given, it seems like Adobe may be thinking of this more like the "lock" idea. I mean if all you want to do is tag a photo as final for a project you can easily use a free IPTC field or custom metadata if you don't want to bastardize IPTC. I mean, you could easily define a custom metadata field, called "project", then just enter the name of the project for each final version to be included. Then you can filter all finals used in a project... Would this fall short of your desires? (you could also define project status as custom metadata...) I use custom metadata all the time to associate photos in various ways or record notes about them, without polluting the keyword space or consuming color labels...
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Rob Cole

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Jeffrey Tranberry said: "Do you guys think it should be merged with this topic? http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh..."

I say: "Yes, most definitely"!

There is considerable confusion about whether "marking as final" implies locking. And, there being 2 Ideas about it makes it even more subject to question. My sense is that any-ol' metadata item can be used to "mark" any photo for any reason (hopefully custom metadata will be supported in Lr4 for this sort of thing...).

Without the "locking" aspect, what would be the value added in marking "as final" over a simple metadata assignment?
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Rob Cole

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I'd like to request some other options besides "Create a Virtual Copy" if user tries to edit a locked file:

- Accept change, but remain locked (allows single edits in case you just want to add one keyword, or increment temperature or exposure by .1... - I find this *very* convenient when keeping files locked via ChangeManager - avoids having to unlock, adjust one thing, then re-lock).
- Unlock - self explanatory (I almost never explicitly unlock files anymore in ChangeManager - just start editing then approve the unlock prompt).
- Revert after a few seconds (allows one to freely experiment temporarily, with the knowledge that it will return to its locked state immediately thereafter - I use this all the time in ChangeManager (via the 'Ignore' function) - also my display driver works this way ;-).

PS - Another option I like is to create a snapshot when a file is locked, so in case its unlocked for editing or whatever, one can still compare to or return to previous locked state or whatever. If a snapshot is associated with a locked photo, there should also be an option to update the snapshot if change accepted (see above), and date changed to reflect update.

PS - Please display snapshot and/or lock date-time.

Summary:
=======
The goal is to eliminate inadvertent changes, *without* impeding the ability to continue to make changes on purpose - or even to play (er, I meant "experiment").
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Rob Cole

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Another related topic:

New way to handle related groups of photos in Lightroom. Hint: read down a ways - this 'Idea' evolved considerably after initial conception.

In case ya didn't catch the connection:
--------------------------------------------------
One photo is always the "elected representative" in a defined group of photos (for the purpose of collapsed viewing...), so if one defined a group of photos as being "potentially final for a project" then which ever one was the elected representative would also serve to "mark" it as final in this case.
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Scott Martin

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I think a snapshot is best for this kind of thing. As final as we might think an image is there's always more that you might want to do to an image later. Saving snapshots that indicate what you may have delivered to a client at the time, for example, is very useful for reprinting purposes without limiting future image development.
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Rob Cole

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I agree Scott - I use snapshots without exception as part of "marking-as-final" - its part of the next best thing work-around-wise to not having a true lock, IMO. However, that does not solve the problem of inadvertent edits.

However, if Lightroom used a simplified/unified targeting scheme, *and* there was some clear difference, even if subtle, when adjustments are being targeted at multiple photos versus just one, I would not make the mistake of inadvertent edits nearly so often, making locking far less necessary.

Reminder: locking does not limit future development, it just means you have to click "unlock" first, or answer a prompt if you don't unlock first. I mean, I suspect the steadiest handed and consistent brained users may never lock - more trouble than its worth, but for the more oopsidaisical of us...

Another idea that can be used in conjunction with snapshots, instead of or along with locking, is photo comparison. For example instead of locking, just take a "final" snapshot, then have a feature that can compare the present state of photos to their final snapshots.
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Scott Martin

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While I could see how locking an image might be useful to some I can't help from thinking that the idea of finality is a misnomer. I can't tell you how many times I've seen my clients name Photoshop files "[image name] final.psd" "[image name] final 2.psd" "[image name] final 3.psd". At least we can now have it parametrically! IE, Snapshots named "Final 1" "Final 2", etc. LOL.

Question: If we get rid of the word "final", how could we convey the same meaning?
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Rob Cole

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"Final" does sound permanent. I prefer: "finished for now"...
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Rob Cole

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Poor man'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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Mark Sirota

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That's pretty clever. Is it better than a snapshot? I suppose you can apply it using Quick Develop, which could be handy...
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Rob Cole

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Snapshots are stored in xmp, so they can weather catalog anomalies. But, you can't search for photos with "thus and such" a snapshot taken, so they don't help with finding photos that have been changed since snapshotted, or those that still need work done...

In addition to the obvious of being able to clear the edit history list (or even just for serving as a visual separator between editing sessions), the NoEdit presets can be used in library filters and smart collections - snapshots can't.
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Rob Cole

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SnapAndMark - Snapshotting and annotating the edit history list, on steroids...
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Frederick Moor

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i like the idea of being able to "lock" an image to prevent editing.

pat d, as far as marking "final", wouldn't this work.

1) Create a metadata tag called 'my projects'
2) Under 'my projects' create a 'project name' metadata tag for each project.
3) For each image in a project, add the appropriate 'project name' tag during import.

I have two tags that I use to mark "final" : 'Client Pick' and 'Final Pick'

With these tags, I can now:

1) Find all images for a given project.
2) Within a project, identify images that are either my 'final' set and/or the set that the client picked.
3) Find all 'final' images across all projects (or any subset of projects).

This is an example of the power of metadata.

I also have metadata tags 'On Flickr', 'On my site', 'On Facebook', etc. With these, I can find all images for a given project and see where I have published them.

hope this helps.
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Rob Cole

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When you say "metadata tag", I assume you mean "keyword"(?)

Some people shy away from using keywords for such stuff, forgetting that they can be made non-exportable if they are only to be used for such "internal" purposes.

Others use custom-metadata for such stuff instead of (or along with) keywords...

Anyway, because its already so easy to mark things with metadata like this, I have also assumed that the primary thrust of this Idea is really the "lock" aspect.
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Frederick Moor

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Rob,

Yes. Sorry for mixing it up. I wanted to say Keyword rather than metadata tag.
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Rob Cole

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OK. I think pat d's primary objection was just that "project final" keywords kinda get lost when mixed in with the rest. He wanted something more specifically purposed, I think.

I'd also like to see the notion of groups of related photos extended, e.g. (read down aways): http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

This would allow photos to be associated for projects or other purposes without requiring additional metadata assignment or additional collections..., and one could stack all photos in a group, any group, or expand them, which is something you can't really do now using keywords or collections.
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Neal Lippman

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It would be useful if a given image in Lightroom could be "locked" - the effect would be that no further edits could be made to that image without first unlocking the image.

The idea is that once you have completed editing an image, you could "lock" it to prevent any inadvertent further changes - essentially marking it as a final image. You would make a virtual copy of that locked image in order to create a new, further edited version, while still ensuring that the "final" for a given purpose was protected from further changes.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lock edits to prevent further changes in Lightroom.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Snapshots effectively do the same thing, so that you always have a way to "get back to" where your stated "final edit" was.
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Scott Martin

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Agreed, I think Snapshots are the key and the idea of anything as being "final" is a lost cause/ false notion.
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Rob Cole

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Its not just about having a way back, its about preventing the need to go back, and/or knowing when/if you need to go back...

The notion of "final" (for now) is a *very* useful one - after marking/locking, attempts to edit in the future require approval.

Summary: Right now a photo has only one state:
- Anybody can do anything they want to it, on purpose or by accident, and although there are a multitude of ways to go back, there is no way to detect the need to go back - no way to distinguish inadvertent edits from intended edits.

This proposal is to add another state:
- I'm done for now. In which case you know it hasn't changed. If you want to edit it again, then do - but you'll have to answer a prompt first, that's all.
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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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The path leads to many destinations but who can say which is home.

Relatively few of my images ever reach a singularly "final" state.
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Rob Cole

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*All* of my images reach a "final (for now)" state, sometimes only once, sometimes many times over...
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Glen Bowe

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I would use a feature like that. Select and Reject are not enough. Finished should be added. Maybe even one more that is user adjustable such as uploaded, printed, etc.
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f_rele

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Yes Final version tag with lock would be ideal. I have too many times accidentally edited a file that was already final and part of a collection and it no longer matches the set.

This could be set also (if user wants) automatically to any images that have been exported, have been part of a web gallery etc. It would warn user that the photo is part of collections so and so and exported yy-mm-dd and force user to make new virtual copy,
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Niala

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Lock images (prevent from any new changes unless un-locked) whenever you feel, would indeed be a fantastic added feature to LR.

But then also, when you include such locked files within a multiple selection
(images to witch you intend to apply a batch alteration),

LR should then warn you with
"Your selection also includes "somany" locked files"

And if you then choose to proceed nevertheless, LR should go ahead to proceed changes to all un-loocked files(as is per default), but hold and
let you see one by one each of those locked files, and let you confirm first

1) "Skip/Dont apply",
2) "Apply"
3) "Apply to a copy" (hard or virtual?)

..and with the additional option :
A) "Re-look after"
B) "Discard look".

with option
"Just this one"
"All"

(or of course other combinations of the above ideas)

Of course with ability to use "locked files" as a filter.
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Christopher R Souser

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My thought was something similar but not exactly the same as outlined. I would like to go beyond just locking down a single image. I would like to mark as folder as processed/done/complete/final with all of its sub-images.
The 'pick' and color coding of individual images is part of my work flow as generally finalizing which photos were the delivered versions.. it is just looking through my huge library that I would like a library management function and have the folder denote it being marked processed / complete / locked in the library explorer view.
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Rob Cole

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Regarding the locking aspect of this idea, I'd like exports to be locked if photo not locked. Or at least a prompt must be answered to do so.
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benjamin wong

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I mark my photos as "Final" versions by placing them into collections. I also tag those photos with the word "delivered".