Lightroom 5: Moving photos between folders on Mac? What's the deal? This seems counter-intuitive. I must be missing something.

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  • Updated 8 months ago
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Moving photos between folders? Hello, I've been using LR for a while and maybe I'm just missing this. Currently, I'm using LR5 on my Mac. I use the synchronize feature to manage photos in folders. But, I can's understand why there isn't a good way to move photos to other folders in LR. Maybe I'm missing it. I've found how to move photos from the grid by dragging them to a folder on my folder list. However, there seems to be what I would consider a HUGE problem with this. 2 issues (or questions).

If I just created a "New Folder" in Finder, there will be absolutely no photos in the folder. My experience with LR is that when there are no photos in a folder, LR will not show the folder in the folders list. Therefore, it is impossible to "drag" photos to a "New Folder", which I just created in Finder, that doesn't show up on the list. Am I missing something here? Secondly, why in the world does LR not give you the ability to create a "New Folder" when you highlight photos in the grid and "right-click" on them? Shouldn't there be a create new folder option, if it won't show the currently empty, newly created, folder?

If I can't find a solution, I guess I'll just stick with what I've been doing; That is just keep using synchronize every time after I move the photos to new folders in Finder. Which BTW, synchronize is acting weird. At the synchronization time, it frequently says there are photos that are either missing or need to be imported when I didn't move anything outside of LR, and the only thing I did was close and reopen the software. Any help is appreciated. Thank you.
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Benjamin Chou

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Posted 9 months ago

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Alan Harper

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Lightroom will not show you empty folders. There are two ways around it.

1) Create the folder in the finder, and then create the same folder in Lightroom. LR will realize that the folder is "already there" and will add the empty folder to your list of folders.

2) Just create the folder in LR.

You create a new folder by right clicking on a folder in the Folders panel. Empty folders are grayed out in that panel.

Hope this helps.
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Benjamin Chou

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Thank you Alan.  You have shed light on the situation.  :-)
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Michel DELFELD

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On the principle of "changing thinks always the same way" I only use the point 2 of Alan.  Never the Finder. This since years! And moving images form folders to other folders, I do it within LR By simply clicking on the images and gliding it to the new folder.
(Edited)
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Carlos Cardona

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ONLY use LR to move photos, never the Finder. First principle of LR!
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Actually, Lightroom does show empty folders as well. But it has to know that the folder exist. Lightroom is not a browser, so it doesn't automatically see every new folder you create in the Finder. It uses a catalog, so that empty folder has to be added to the catalog somehow. You do this by creating the folder from within Lightroom, not in the Finder. The same applies to folders that do contain images. If you haven't imported these images yet (meaning added them to the catalog), then Lightroom won't show them.
(Edited)
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Michel DELFELD

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Completely correct Johan. I will add that if a new empty folder has been created using the classic browser, a synchronisation of the upper folder will create the empty folder in the LR DataBase.

But when dealing with pictures and using LR to organise these pictures,  use ONLY LR tp modify, move, remove, delete: pictures and folders