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Customizing thumbnail view in Lightroom Classic?

Community Beginner ,
Apr 20, 2024 Apr 20, 2024

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Is there some way to alter the thumbnail view in Lightroom Classic to display more useful info? For example, I don't feel a need for a big, and arbitrary, image number showing next to each thumbnail. More useful would be the image name.

 

And since I work with many external drives and want to know which drive contains a selected image, having the option to display the file path for the selection would speed things up vs right clicking for a finder view to see the path in an error message. And it woud be more helpful for me than something All Photographs or Previous Import.

 

Thanks!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 20, 2024 Apr 20, 2024

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What you want for the grid thumbnails is, in the Library module, choose View > View Options, almost the same command name that customizes the grid/list views in the macOS Finder.

 

Note that View Options can be different for Compact Cells or Expanded Cells. The option name for the useless big number is Index Number, you can see that I disabled mine. I have also customized the info that appears in all four header locations for an Expanded cell.

 

If you were asking about the thumbnails in the Filmstrip, right-click that and a context menu pops up; on the View Options submenu you can control some thumbnail options such as Index Number.

 

Lightroom-Classic-View-Options-custom.jpg

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Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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This is wonderful. Thank you.  Two more questions:

 

1. Is there a way to change the size or color of items as they are displayed. Here is a screen shot of the black on grey I see:

 

kr drives.jpg

That's tough to read.

 

2. My understanding is that LRC takes the first frame of an imported videa as a thumbnail for the reference to the vidoe. But, that thumbnail is displayed for me only when the drive with the video is attached. Is there any way to have video posters that persist?

 

Thanks again!

 

Gary

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Community Beginner ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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And, is there any way to display the file path in the Library thumbnail view without having to ask that each individual file be shown in the Finder?

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Community Expert ,
May 03, 2024 May 03, 2024

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I suggest: use Go to Folder in Library instead of opening up Finder / Explorer as a separate operation. The Catalog will highlight for you in its Folders panel, where the active image's source file lives. If the file system location is not sufficiently obvious from this - perhaps the relative hierarchy is not showing there, and you can do something about that -  hovering over that highlighted folder name should temporarily give a tooltip stating the full file path - at least this is what I get (I am on Windows).

 

I use a unified dated folder scheme and within that keep naming very short and lean - YYYY/MM/DD - so the hierarchy is essential for me to see. This extreme simplicity can only work for my own needs, because other metadata (bulk added on the images themselves) tells me about each photo's circumstances and content. An alternative folder scheme might have been YYYY/MM/YYYY-MM-DD. In that case each folder name would alone communicate the same information even without my seeing the context of its parent and grandparent folders.

 

This scheme is all auto-created by the Catalog. But there's no reason not to subsequently make the final folder name more informative by appending text (editing that from within LrC). So that might become "YYYY-MM-DD ClientName EventDescription".

 

The name of the currently shown folder (or other "source" such as a Collection) is constantly displayed above the thumbnails in the Filmstrip, in Develop as well as in Library, without any action needed on your part. Also there's a drop-down selector here allowing you to return directly to your other recently shown "sources". So one might get increased advantage for that reason, from having more informative folder names.

 

There are no settings available to alter the contrastiness of the different parts of the interface. All these different relative tones of grey are an attempt at directing one's attention appropriately, AFAICT. In the screenshot shown, those look to me like currently disabled or disconnected storage volumes? If so, clicking on them could do nothing much that's useful - so I expect LrC presumes these will have a low practical importance at the current moment. And reflects that by making their names much less prominent.

 

But if a given photo (as found say, within a Collection) has got a currently offline storage volume as its location and you use "go to Folder in library": that volume and the appropriate subfolder within will be automatically expanded and highlighted for you regardless. Despite being offline, and shown dimmed. Show in Finder could not be helpful when the needed storage volume is disconnected, of course.

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Community Expert ,
May 04, 2024 May 04, 2024

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quote

My understanding is that LRC takes the first frame of an imported videa as a thumbnail for the reference to the vidoe. But, that thumbnail is displayed for me only when the drive with the video is attached. Is there any way to have video posters that persist?


By @gbeberman


Select the video and switch to Loupe view so you can play it. With the play bar move to the frame you want. Then click on the triangle on the right side of the bar and choose to create a Poster Frame.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
May 04, 2024 May 04, 2024

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Hi Johan

 

Thank you for your excellent descriptions. Manually creating the poster frame will be helpful. I'll find some Adobe suggestions box and offer the idea that LRC contain an option to create them automatically.

 

On the Go to Folder in Library option: I very much liked the interface. But, I'm not sure it fixes my problem.

We used MediaPro, and plan to use LightRoom, as the index to our imagery. Everything from a shoot is kept together on a drive in a folder named after that client and the shoot timeframe. When that drive is filled up with multiple shoots, we duplicate two backups and index one of them in LRC. All these drives are organized in ways that are mostly, but not perfectly, chronological.

Let's say the photographer is pitching a project and says images from a particular client should work. She's not specific about which shots. So, we need to review lots of shoots. Our workflow has been to search for the client name and other criteria (MediaPro allowed a parametric search I don't see in Lightroom. But, I'll soon try metadata filters to see how well they work).  Each drive had its own unique Mediapro catalog file. Mediapro also allowed search through all of the catalogs in a folder. Using that feature, only the catalogs for drives with that client's jobs would pop up with results. But even in the few examples when we had multiple drives in a catalog, it was easy to see which drives contained images for that client by scrolling through them. The path for a selected image was right in a window.

In LRC, I do not have that option for multiple catalogs. Even if I did, there is no cross-catalog search and only one can be open at a time. So, I will keep all my drives in one, or a few, catalogs, and search for that client's name. I get a large number of images and scroll through them to look for different images that might fit the photographer's proposal for the new job.

 

I can use "Show in Finder" to ID the relevant drives. But, that will have me doing it lots for the same drive as shoots tend to be thematic and there is no path display in LRC.

"Go to Folder in Library" allows me to focus on one drive. But, it also excludes all of the other candidates that might work for the proposal. And there appears to be no "back" button to restore the original search and my position in it. So, I start over.

I'm guessing this is another one for the suggestion box. That is, unless your experience has more insights.

Thank you very, very much.

Gary

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2024 May 06, 2024

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I'll find some Adobe suggestions box…

By @gbeberman

 

That’s the Ideas section that you can click on when you’re at the top level of the Lightroom Classic community here. If Adobe starts to act on a posted idea, they assign a status to it such as Started or Released. Some of your ideas might already be in there with votes and discussions.

 

quote

In LRC, I do not have that option for multiple catalogs. Even if I did, there is no cross-catalog search and only one can be open at a time.

By @gbeberman

 

Yes, these are some of the ways in which Lightroom Classic is inferior to Media Pro, which I also used to use. In most other ways I think Lightroom Classic is far superior to Media Pro, but I miss those Media Pro features too. Even though Lightroom Classic is built on top of a database, there are some very basic functions supported by most databases that Lightroom Classic simply won’t do, such as searching through multiple databases at once.

 

I do advocate using a single catalog in Lightroom Classic, but because there have always been valid cases where multiple databases are better, those things should be possible. But, I think it’s a matter of priorities…some of these are really good ideas, but the product team usually has something they consider more important to allocate resources to first.

 

quote

…there appears to be no "back" button to restore the original search and my position in it.

By @gbeberman

 

There are Go Back and Go Forward buttons, in the Filmstrip. These are also available as menu commands (Window > Go Back/Go Forward), so you can also use the keyboard shortcuts shown in the menu for those commands. So use the way that’s fastest for you.

 

Lightroom-Classic-Go-Back.jpg

 

Go Back/Go Forward (and actually any change of sources) does maintain the currently selected item…if that item exists in both locations. But it’s very easy to screw this up. For example, I can select an item in search results and use Go to Folder in Library (I do it by right-clicking the item so I don’t have to go all the way up to the menu bar), and the item remains selected when the source is changed to the item’s folder. If I simply Go Back, that selection is maintained and I am back to where I was in the search results, no problem. But if I select another item in that folder that is not in the search results, and then I Go Back, because the item that is now selected is not in the search results, Lightroom Classic says “well, the selection isn’t here so I’ll just go to a default selection” and now I have to remember where I was in those search results.

 

So if you want to streamline this process a little, as you Go to Folder and then Go Back, just be mindful of not changing the selection if you want to maintain it when you go back.

 

To summarize, for me, the streamlined way is:

1. Right-click an image and choose Go to Folder in Library.

2. In the Folders panel, note the currently selected folder, taking care not to change the selected item.

3. Press Option+Command+Left Arrow key to Go Back to the selection results.

 

Obviously everything would be better if Lightroom Classic always remembered the item that was selected upon leaving any source (folder, collection, search results…) and restored that selection upon re-entering that source. But it does not do that, and people have complained about that here before.

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Community Expert ,
May 06, 2024 May 06, 2024

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Add to Quick Collection is one useful way of in effect "bookmarking" a given image you've found, so that you can subsequently get back to it easily. Each image knows its own folder, knows any collections it is a member of, also any keywords. Thus, it can be used as a "bridge" to related images via any of those aspects being held in common.

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Community Beginner ,
May 10, 2024 May 10, 2024

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Conrad:

My initial feeling is to agree with you that LRC is a superior product. I suspect, however, that more effort has gone into making it a convenient and effective image editing tool than an index to a very large collection of images.

Still, I SO APPRECIATE your suggections. Command-option-left arrow is just wonderful. Thank you. And I love how I can see the drive and path using the Go To Folder in Library option. It's very much like one way I could have seen it in Media Pro. I still think there's room on the screen for the path. But, that's for the Ideas section.

One more question, if you don't mind, especially since you're a former Media Pro user. When does performance max out based on catalog size and how do you organize multiple catalogs? I have indexed about 12 of the 118 drives in our archives (which are of varying size). This has put about 350K images and videos into the current catalog. I suspect I'll hit a performance limit well before finishing all of them.

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Community Expert ,
May 10, 2024 May 10, 2024

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I still think there's room on the screen for the path. But, that's for the Ideas section.

By @gbeberman

 

Yeah, and they’re already so close to that. If you hover the pointer over a folder in the Folders panel, a tool tip pops up with the path. But they haven’t taken it the rest of the way to display the path for a single file. They do provide a “photo info tooltip” but if enabled, the path is not in the infomation it shows. What they need to do is at least add the path to the existing photo info tool tip, although I like your idea of having a place to display the selected image’s file path persistently.

quote

One more question, if you don't mind, especially since you're a former Media Pro user. When does performance max out based on catalog size and how do you organize multiple catalogs? I have indexed about 12 of the 118 drives in our archives (which are of varying size). This has put about 350K images and videos into the current catalog. I suspect I'll hit a performance limit well before finishing all of them.

By @gbeberman

 

I’m not sure at which point you get a performance hit that you can associate directly with the catalog size or number of photos in the catalog. There is a widespread belief that more images make a catalog slower, but we’re told that technically that is not true, the number of images alone does not slow down a catalog, at least not in a direct way (doubling the number of cataloged images should never cut the speed in half). Other slowdowns are possible with a larger catalog, like it could take longer to open and back up.

quote

…how do you organize multiple catalogs? I have indexed about 12 of the 118 drives in our archives (which are of varying size).

By @gbeberman

 

It would probably be better to ask someone who uses Lightroom Classic at more of an enterprise level like you do. I maintain one large primary catalog, and only a few other catalogs that mostly store specialized image sets that will rarely/never need to be searched at the same time as the primary catalog. You might find some advice/answers in the article linked below:

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/one-or-multiple-catalogs/

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