Lightroom: New virtual copies should inherit develop history

  • 119
  • Idea
  • Updated 10 months ago
  • (Edited)
When a virtual copy is created, the initial develop history includes only a "Create Virtual Copy" history step with a timestamp.

I'd like to see the develop history of the parent as well. I'd envision seeing the entire develop history of the parent plus the new "Create Virtual Copy" step.

This is particularly valuable in cases where you switch the copy to the master, then delete the old master. This triggers a needless loss of develop history.
Photo of Mark Sirota

Mark Sirota

  • 146 Posts
  • 29 Reply Likes

Posted 9 years ago

  • 119
Photo of Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips

  • 163 Posts
  • 52 Reply Likes
Yes, yes, yes!! This drives me crazy!

There is a workaround, but it's annoying to have to do it:

1. Open the History Panel in Develop
2. Select the "Import" step at the bottom of the History panel
3. Create a virtual copy
4. Navigate back to the master and select the final step at the top of the History panel
5. Copy the settings from the master
("Copy Settings" on the "Select" menu, or Ctrl+Shift+C)
6. Navigate back to the Virtual Copy and paste the settings
("Paste Settings" on the "Select" menu, or Ctrl+Shift+V)
Photo of Wayne Nummela

Wayne Nummela

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
I tried this, but after pasting, the virtual copy just shows a "paste" entry and does not show all of the develop history. Possibly I am doing something wrong? This is in LR4 btw. Thanks.
Photo of Bradley Fernihough

Bradley Fernihough

  • 14 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
Yes pleaase +1 here.
Photo of Jill Lynch

Jill Lynch

  • 17 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
It does seem easier to delete anything you don't want from the history panel rather than trying to recreate with a blank virtual copy. Agreed.
Photo of SLOPhotographer


  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I strongly agree with the need for history carried over to virtual copies. Often I want to produce various versions of a photo, and would like to remember exactly how each was created, even if I go back and change the original copy's development. Seems obvious and simple for Adobe to do.
Photo of Tim Tam

Tim Tam

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I completely agree. Often I like how I've processed an image, and want to see how I did it (usually, the question is: "which preset did I use as a starting point?"). With virtual copies, that information isn't available any more; you have to look at the editing history of the original AND the virtual copy. Too many steps and it's illogical anyway. A virtual copy should be just that - a copy, including the edit history. Seems like a straightforward change; the copied history isn't dynamic, it's just statically copied once when the virtual copy is made.
Photo of Richard Balch

Richard Balch

  • 3 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
+1 A virtual copy should be a 100% copy of everything.
Photo of doctor doctor

doctor doctor

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I need this - yes, yes yes!!!
Photo of Stephen Shankland

Stephen Shankland

  • 107 Posts
  • 23 Reply Likes
I'm sure there are reasons why Adobe did things the way it did. All I know is that they don't seem to apply to me and my workflow needs. On many occasions I've needed the full editing history in a virtual copy and not once has it been the other way around. Missing this feature makes virtual copies significantly less useful to me.
Photo of Andrei I. Gere

Andrei I. Gere

  • 32 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Agreed..always finding myself wishing the entire history was available in the virtual copy.. i especially want to be able to see the original before, not the before being at the time when the virtual copy was created.
Photo of Greg Benz

Greg Benz

  • 54 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Agreed... I'm not so concerned with going back in history, as much as I'd like for my before and after comparison (using the \ key) to compare to my original photo, rather than the point at which I created the virtual copy. I often use such a comparison for perspective on the changes I've made on a specific image, my own learning over time, or for doing demos.
Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 394 Reply Likes
you can still do the before after comparisons - the snapshots are all there, even though the edit history is not.
Photo of Greg Benz

Greg Benz

  • 54 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
True, but I use the / key to do before and after comparisons very quickly. I edit thousands of photos a month, so I'm looking for every time savings I can find, and I've found snapshots aren't nearly as convenient as just using the / key.
Photo of Rob Cole

Rob Cole

  • 4831 Posts
  • 394 Reply Likes
In case you aren't aware: you can use the '\' key in conjunction with snapshots too - granted, you have to copy the snapshot settings into the "before buffer".
Photo of Greg Benz

Greg Benz

  • 54 Posts
  • 24 Reply Likes
Rob - I hadn't seen that before. It isn't as smooth as having the full history on the virtual copy, but that's a very useful feature to know. Thanks!!
Photo of squash


  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

How about this scenario, I develop an image, but I want to try something else with it. I want to save a copy with history and call it "1st attempt". Then I want to reset the original and re-develop it another way.

The best I can find so far is to click on the Import entry in history of the original, create a virtual copy, then reposition the history to the latest entry on the original. Then develop the virtual copy. That way I keep my original history in case I decide that was the way to go.

However, if I decide to keep the copy and delete the master, now the copy history starts with Create Virtual Copy and not Import.

Photo of Antoine Hlmn

Antoine Hlmn

  • 919 Posts
  • 222 Reply Likes