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Is there a way to preset file locations when importing in Lightroom Classic

Community Beginner ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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Lightroom Classic is constantly "forgetting" where I usually import files from (my download folder on my Mac) and where I usually put them (a Misc folder in my library).

The program collapses the folder structure for both the "where from" and the "where to" locations, forcing me to laboriously re-open folders to get to the ones I want to use.

Is there a way to store a preset for these locations, or some other method that would prevent this unnecessary work?

Thanks for any help the community can give here.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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If you regularly put image files (by other means than LrC) in a particular 'workflow' folder, and want those photos imported to the Catalog and also moved to a chosen 'storage' folder - you could consider a WATCHED folder method.

import-photos-automatically 

 

This does presume the 'storage' location will be always the same, at least as a starting point.

 

Note: you would not have the opportunity, as you do with normal Import, of having LrC carry out auto-filing - e.g., into a YYYY/MM/DD date-based folder structure. If that is what you want, a (named) import preset can preserve, retrievably, the specification of a particular destination / renaming / folder organization etc. This does not include details of a particular source location. The last used import settings are in any case remembered by default - but again as you've discovered, even if the destination selection persists the source selection does not.

 

But if you were to have your standard source folder remain visible in the Catalog, then Sync Folder on this entry will auto select that as source for a new import (by default, of Add type). This can be switched to a Move or Copy import with your choice of other destination settings, on re-selecting your import preset by name at the bottom of the import screen.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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If it's exactly the same everytime, that's what Import Presets are for. 

Set up as usual, and then from the bottom of the Import dialog, click None

impre.jpg

 

From the menu choose Save Curent Settings as New Preset...

 

impre2.jpg

 

Select the Preset, which I belive is then a sticky option for the future. 

Sean McCormack. Author of 'Essential Development 3'. Magazine Writer. Former Official Fuji X-Photographer.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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My experience is that Destination settings in the right side panel default to the same selection as previously, but the Source settings in the left side panel always re-initialise - regardless of re-choosing an import preset that was first created with a desired particular Source folder selected.

 

IOW, import presets seem to be source-neutral and destination-specific - from my own testing (Windows).

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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Correct. The source is not stored in an import preset, only the destination is. If you click on the word 'Source' in the import dialog, then Lightroom will show you a list of four default source folders and below that the recently used source folders, sorted by last time used. That means that a source folder that is used all the time will be at the top of that second list.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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LEGEND ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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"forgetting" where I usually import files from

If importing from a memory card, and SD, a CF, do you place that card in your reader before or after starting LrC?

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 10, 2024 Jan 10, 2024

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LATEST
quote

Is there a way to store a preset for these locations, or some other method that would prevent this unnecessary work?

By @Kenneth31553285hpeb

 

Yes, a preset is exactly how I always ensure a perfect import every time.

 

First, set up every part of the Import dialog box the way you want it: The final location (in the Destination panel), the preview generation settings, any default preset or metadata you want, etc.

 

Then, go to the bottom, click the Import Preset menu, and choose Save Current Settings as New Preset. Name it something that tells you that it’s your preferred import settings.

 

Then, in the future, every time you import, just look at the name of the currently selected Import Preset. If it’s the preset representing your preferred settings, everything is fine, just click Import. If it says anything else or ends with “…edited” then something has changed so that it no longer matches your preferred settings, so just re-select your preferred preset.

 

Lightroom-Classic-import-preset.jpg

 

Now, for the source half of your question: I never have to navigate any locations, because if I want to import a picture from anywhere, all I do is drag it from wherever it is on the macOS Finder desktop (such as the Downloads folder), and drop it on the Lightroom Classic icon that I keep in my macOS Dock. Lightroom Classic responds to a file drag-and-drop by opening the Import dialog box with the dropped file(s) already selected (the source folder is already set by where it was dragged from), so at that point, all I have to do is glance at the Import Preset, and if it’s the right one, I just click Import, and everything is perfect.

 

You can reduce it all to just that: Drag from desktop, drop on Lightroom Classic icon, verify Import Preset, click the Import button to finish. Fast, simple, reliable.

 

Now, if you must navigate locations for some reason, be sure you know how to take advantage of the source menus in the top left corner of the Import dialog box. You probably already know you can change the source volume, but you can also click the path menu below it to see a list of common sources and recent sources. If you often import from the Downloads folder, then the Downloads folder has got to be near the top of your Recent list. If not, choose Other Source to get the standard macOS Open dialog box, and if you already keep the Downloads folder under Favorites in the macOS sidebar, you can just click that.

 

Lightroom-Classic-import-source.jpg

 

If you use these techniques, there is no reason you should ever have to keep manually navigating to the same source and destination folders in the Import dialog box. Use the built-in features that remember those locations for you.

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