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How to create single contact/proof sheet over multiple LR catalogues?

Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2020

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I've long debated the pros and cons of having multiple catalogues for career, hobby and miscelaneous photo categories. Either choice seems imperfect, but given I have nearly 1 million photos, I went with multiple catlogues.

 

Here's my dilemma: I use LR's print module to create contact/proof sheets. It's very effective for sharing previews with clients however, I often would like add a couple images here and there from different catalogues. How can I do this with ease?

 

Currently I'll either manually add thumbnails and metadata manually in Adobe Acrobat but it's tedious. Likewise, temporarily adding them to my work catalogue just to add to contact sheet is as tedious and replaces my "previously imported" folder, which sometimes is an inconvenience.

 

It's also not ideal to generate contact sheets in each catalogue, then combining since any individual contact sheet rarely fills the last page, and hence appears "broken" when combined. 

 

This may not be an often-asked question, but even if it is I'm not able to effectively Google it due to the number of combined generic search terms; creating, contact sheet, multiple, LR catalogues, etc. 

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How to create single contact/proof sheet over multiple LR catalogues?

Community Beginner ,
May 14, 2020

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I've long debated the pros and cons of having multiple catalogues for career, hobby and miscelaneous photo categories. Either choice seems imperfect, but given I have nearly 1 million photos, I went with multiple catlogues.

 

Here's my dilemma: I use LR's print module to create contact/proof sheets. It's very effective for sharing previews with clients however, I often would like add a couple images here and there from different catalogues. How can I do this with ease?

 

Currently I'll either manually add thumbnails and metadata manually in Adobe Acrobat but it's tedious. Likewise, temporarily adding them to my work catalogue just to add to contact sheet is as tedious and replaces my "previously imported" folder, which sometimes is an inconvenience.

 

It's also not ideal to generate contact sheets in each catalogue, then combining since any individual contact sheet rarely fills the last page, and hence appears "broken" when combined. 

 

This may not be an often-asked question, but even if it is I'm not able to effectively Google it due to the number of combined generic search terms; creating, contact sheet, multiple, LR catalogues, etc. 

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How to, Import and export, Mac

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May 14, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 14, 2020

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Since you aren't opposed to having lots of catalogs, you could export a new catalog from the collection of photos for the proof sheet, then import into the new collection the few more that you need. When you are done with the proofing stage you could delete the new catalog.  

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May 14, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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There's more inconvenience built into this process vs. having them in the same catalogue to begin with, but your solution seems to be the best for someone who wants to maintain separate catalogues. Thanks for your input. 

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May 20, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
May 14, 2020

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Just to point out, there are people who have catalogs with over 1 million photos, and they are not having problems with their catalog.

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May 14, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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Point taken but that's not what I've observed. Closing out my primary catalogues take my fully loaded iMac Pro a few minutes (without the LR backup). A new catalog without many images, previews, collections, etc. will close in under 5 seconds, so large catalogs must have a slowdown effect to some extent. 

 

The 1-2 minute delay doesn't sound long but when I'm quickly trying to group images into a contact sheet, it's a real workflow breaker and will usually avoid those handful of images from others catalogs.  

 

Thank you for your input addressing my own LR drama 🙂 

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May 20, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 14, 2020

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Lightroom treats the images in different catalogs as separate entities, which is why creating a contact sheet from multiple catalogs isn't really possible. Similarly, you can't search across multiple catalogs. You would need to combine the catalogs or at least import certain images into the same catalog to create the contact sheets.

warmly/j

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May 14, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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That makes sense. Makes me wonder if an LR feature that were to allow easier integretion betweens catalogs would be possible? Like having one calalog open and using the "second window" feature to view and work in another catalogue. 

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May 20, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2020

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Problem is, the only file Lightroom actually opens is the catalog. And Lightroom can only open one file at a time. And you can only have one instance of Lightroom running at any given time on the same computer.

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May 20, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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Understood. Any idea if this warrants a feature request? For intance, there may be an obvious practical reason I don't know of why that would not be possible.

Thx 

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May 20, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2020

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You can search the official Lightroom Feedback site, where feature requests are voted on and discussed. Adobe staff often participate there. Some of your ideas may already be entered. For example, there is an 8-year-old request named Lightroom Classic: Open Multiple Library Catalogs.

 

It’s entirely possible that Adobe is open to the idea, but that it hasn’t become a high enough priority relative to other features in the pipeline. That reason is typically more likely than any technical limitation.

 

Before I started using Lightroom (Classic) 1.0, I managed photos using iView MediaPro (later bought by Microsoft, then Phase One, and now discontinued). MediaPro was able to open multiple catalogs at once, search across them, etc. I’ve been waiting 13 years for Lightroom Classic to meet or beat that capability, but for whatever reason, it still hasn’t happened yet.

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May 20, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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Conrad, thanks for taking the time. Also appreciate you sourcing that 6 year old thread. Doesn't seem there's much movement on there but I'll look into other similar feature requests on the forum or possibly post something fresh.

Interesting and unfrotunate story about MediaPro. I recall some features in Apple's Aperture that to this day I wish LR had, and that was only 8 years ago relateive to your 13+ years, so I can only just share in your frustations on that front. 

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May 20, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 20, 2020

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This is what I would suggest since you know the Catalog (the main catalog) that will supply the bulk of the images for the proof sheet, use the other Catalogs to export jpegs/tiff files of the images you wish to use in the proof sheets at an appropriate size to a new folder on your desktop. You can name it whatever.

Then you can use the Add option to import those files into your main Catalog and you can proceed to print the proof sheets. All the images you wish to include will be available in your main Catalog.

When you are finished you can clean up the mess by simply selecting the folder within Lightroom (of the temp images) and delete the files from disk.

 

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.7: LrC 9.4, Lr 3.4.1, Ps 21.2.4, Camera OM-D E-M1.

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May 20, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
May 20, 2020

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Thanks for sharing this tip. I had this as an original workaround but have been doing what Theresa_J has suggested for a few years... that is exporting the bunch as it's own catalog without masters, therefore it exports a couple MB file that can be imported into another catalogue, referecing the photos in their original location. So it's the same as the Add import feature, but doesn't require exporting JPEG/TIFF files that then get caught up and added to my backups. 

Hope this suggestion, for your tip for me, can help your own workflow.

Cheers!

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