Using same Catalog on multiple computers and syncing?

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  • Updated 2 years ago
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My workflow is this:

I use my Lightroom catalog at home on my MacBook Pro in Classic, images stored on either my home server shared drive or external USB drives. I then copy this catalog to the external drive and I bring it to my office each morning. I copy the lightroom catalog file from the external drive into the Lightroom folder on my iMac in the office. 

At the end of the day at the office, I do the same. I copy the lightroom catalog file back to the external drive and then return back home. Where I would copy it back to my MacBook Pro and resume working. 

This has worked fine. However, now with syncing the smart previews from Classic to the Cloud for use on my iPad I want to know if this is going to cause problems if I have syncing turned on both at work and at home. Ideally, I would of course hope there isn't any issue here as my work internet link doesn't limit the upload rate like my home does.

Long story short, can I sync the same catalog from 2 different computers without issue?
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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Just Shot Me

Just Shot Me

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In LR Classic CC you can only sync from one catalog on ONE (1) computer to the cloud and LR CC mobile devices.
Even if you copy that same catalog to another computer it will not sync up with LR Web and LR CC mobile.
The sync feature is base on a unique ID that the catalog get from that ONE computer. Moving or copying to another computer and it gets a different unique ID.
This is why Adobe came out with the LR CC cloud Centric version.
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Thanks, and after re-reading this I am not sure I am that clear. Syncing does appear to work when using multiple computers with the same catalog. Just have not been able to verify if it works properly yet..

With each computer having a UID and Lightroom using this, it seem it would be reason for multiple computers and one catalog to work just fine. For instance, knowing that photo A was updated on computer with UID X and also more recently on computer with UID Z. Therefore applying changes to the current photo in proper orders.

Lightroom CC is fine and all, but editing on Smart Previews in Lightroom CC is just not viable for professional work, IMO. For me, the usage of Lr CC Cloud is on the fly editing and having the files available for reasons such as showing clients, and making small edits on an iPad. I don't think the idea behind LR CC Cloud was to be able to use Lightroom Classic on multiple computers with the same files. 
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Jeff Lopez Photography

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I do something pretty similar and it works just fine with MULTIPLE computers and ONE Lightroom Classic CC Catalog. It's true you can only sync one catalog at a time to the cloud but it works just fine on multiple computers using the same catalog file.

I actually store my catalog file in Dropbox and open it from there each time on whatever computer I want. Because the file is actually locally stored it works just fine. The folder I save it in also has the preview files in it so everything syncs just fine. At least I haven't had any problems and I use up to 3 computers most of the time.
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Roelof Moorlag

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Instead of copying the 'master' database you could try to export as catalog (and later import as catalog again)
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Rick Spaulding, Champion

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The short answer to your question is yes.

Check out this link for some detailed examples of using Lightroom on multiple computers:

The easiest way might be to keep your catalog and its related files on an external drive and swap it between your two computers. I keep my catalog on an external drive and use it between two laptops without any problem. You just have to take the normal precautions of not inadvertently disconnecting your drive.
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Thanks guys, Jeff and Just Shot Me had the answer I was looking for.

To Rick and  Roelof, I have no problem with using my catalog the way it is. I was inquiring entirely about syncing of Smart Previews to the cloud from one Catalog on multiple computers. Thanks though!