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Problem Adding empty folders to Catalog. Import dialog page "Import button" grayed out.

Contributor ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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When trying to import a whole folder structure into a catalog (LrC 12.2, macOS Ventura 13.2.1) in the Library module, the "Import button" (bottom right) in the Import dialog page is grayed out if the selected parent folder has no files in it. I want to add all the folders and subfolders to the catalog regardless of whether they contain files or not. I wish to drag and drop files from collections to other folders as part of a workflow process, but LrC is not presenting the other folder options in the left side Folders panel. Do I have to add a file to each folder & subfolder (that can later be removed) before trying to add the folders to the catalog?

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Community Expert , Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

An alternative is to add a temporary photo to each folder at the lowest part of the hierarchy and import these. That will import the entire folder hierarchy (you may have to right-click on a folder and choose 'Show Parent Folder' to see all of it in the folder panel). Then simply delete those images again from Lightroom. That may be easier if the folder structure already exists on the drive.

 

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LEGEND ,
Mar 12, 2023 Mar 12, 2023

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If their are no photos to import, then the approach you are taking is not the way to go. 
Instead, in the Folders Panel, add folders.

 

see:

https://jkost.com/blog/2020/10/working-with-folders-in-lightroom-classic.html

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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Ad @GoldingD has already stated LrC will not import empty folders. That being said, you can easily create the folders in the Library F'olders' panel.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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An alternative is to add a temporary photo to each folder at the lowest part of the hierarchy and import these. That will import the entire folder hierarchy (you may have to right-click on a folder and choose 'Show Parent Folder' to see all of it in the folder panel). Then simply delete those images again from Lightroom. That may be easier if the folder structure already exists on the drive.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Contributor ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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"An alternative is to add a temporary photo to each folder at the lowest part of the hierarchy and import these."

 

Thanks, that works, but is not practical with more than 30 subfolders to optumise a keyword batch tagging workflow. I don't think LrC should be triggering the Import dialog page on subfolders when trying to add folders. This action should be made exclusive to files found inside folders, not subfolders found inside them!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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Like I already said: that has been reported before and I agree it's a bug.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Contributor ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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I went through the add folders proceedure... "click the + (plus) icon on the Folder panel, select Add Folder, navigate to and select the desired folder. If the folder is empty, Lightroom will simply add it to the Folder panel. If there are images in the folder, Lightroom display the Import dialog so that you can take advantage of options such as applying metadata or Develop presets as you import the files in the folder." and discovered something interesting. 

 

If there are no files, (as above) but there are empty subfolders, then LrC also displays the Import dialog, but because there are no files, the "Import button" (bottom right) in the Import dialog page is once again grayed out and I'm back to square one. It seems subfolders are triggering the option to open the Import dialog just as files do preventing the simple action of just adding the folder into the catalog. How do I get around this problem?

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Community Expert ,
Mar 13, 2023 Mar 13, 2023

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I have seen this been reported before. I would say this is a bug. See my suggestion of using a few temporary images to import a folder structure.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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