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Sort by file name directly after importing images?

Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2019

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I've posted about this before a few years ago and didn't get an anwer then so I thought I'd try again.

When I import to Lightroom, the images are sorted when first presented on the screen, in the order they were imported. I must then go to view>sort>file name, everytime I do an import. I don't care at all about the order the images happened to get imported by lightroom and I don't know why anyone would. Is there a way that the first presented sort is by file name so I don't need to do a sort after every import to get them presented by file name?

Perhaps I'm running into this problem because I'm importing folders with a lot of different sized images so the order they end up imported is willy nilly and not in the order of the file names as might be normal if the file sizes were all about the same.

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Correct answer by JohanElzenga | Adobe Community Professional

AFAIK, this behavior is specific for the 'Previous Import' (called 'Current Import' while the import is in progress) collection only. You can set in the preferences that Lightroom automatically selects this collection during an import, but you can also turn that off.

 

The reason is that images do not always arrive in a logical order during import, so setting the sorting to 'file name' or 'capture date' would create a weird workflow where images pop up all over the place, meaning your grid could also be moving all the time (because new images could come in at the beginning of the grid). That is why the sort order defaults to import order.

 

In all other locations the sorting order should stick to how you set it.

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Sort by file name directly after importing images?

Explorer ,
Dec 04, 2019

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I've posted about this before a few years ago and didn't get an anwer then so I thought I'd try again.

When I import to Lightroom, the images are sorted when first presented on the screen, in the order they were imported. I must then go to view>sort>file name, everytime I do an import. I don't care at all about the order the images happened to get imported by lightroom and I don't know why anyone would. Is there a way that the first presented sort is by file name so I don't need to do a sort after every import to get them presented by file name?

Perhaps I'm running into this problem because I'm importing folders with a lot of different sized images so the order they end up imported is willy nilly and not in the order of the file names as might be normal if the file sizes were all about the same.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by JohanElzenga | Adobe Community Professional

AFAIK, this behavior is specific for the 'Previous Import' (called 'Current Import' while the import is in progress) collection only. You can set in the preferences that Lightroom automatically selects this collection during an import, but you can also turn that off.

 

The reason is that images do not always arrive in a logical order during import, so setting the sorting to 'file name' or 'capture date' would create a weird workflow where images pop up all over the place, meaning your grid could also be moving all the time (because new images could come in at the beginning of the grid). That is why the sort order defaults to import order.

 

In all other locations the sorting order should stick to how you set it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2019

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As far as I'm aware, file size has no bearing on sort order in Lightroom. When images are imported Lightroom sorts them by capture time, and I don't believe there is a way to change that. I know, I prefer filename order as well. And I always have to remember to change the sort order after I performed an import. If there's a way to defeat that I'm not aware of it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 04, 2019

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When viewing the images from the Folders panel, Lightroom usually remembers my last used sort for that folder (filename in my case). However, the "last import" collection always seems to be stuck sorting by capture time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 05, 2019

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AFAIK, this behavior is specific for the 'Previous Import' (called 'Current Import' while the import is in progress) collection only. You can set in the preferences that Lightroom automatically selects this collection during an import, but you can also turn that off.

 

The reason is that images do not always arrive in a logical order during import, so setting the sorting to 'file name' or 'capture date' would create a weird workflow where images pop up all over the place, meaning your grid could also be moving all the time (because new images could come in at the beginning of the grid). That is why the sort order defaults to import order.

 

In all other locations the sorting order should stick to how you set it.


-- Johan W. Elzenga, http://www.johanfoto.com

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Explorer ,
Dec 05, 2019

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Thanks Johan

While your answer doesn't necessarily make me happy about it, I think you have the right answer. Nice to have an explanation for why things work how they work.

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Explorer ,
Dec 05, 2019

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 dg

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Mentor ,
Dec 05, 2019

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If the only difference between these images is that they have different sizes (resolutions), but otherwise they retain their original capture data from the camera, these should still show in a systematic way after import (within the "Previous Import" view) since that sorts according to capture date and time. And that will normally (for most users) equate to filename order since cameras typically name the photos with a sequential number depending on the order in which they have been taken.

 

IOW, other things being equal, filename order and capture order amount to the same thing within most people's default use case. If the capture order that's seen is chaotic and arbitrary, then that suggests something arbitrary has happened to the starting capture metadata before import to LR. If the extant filenaming has some desired meaning so far as sorting, which is different than what original capture date would have equally well conveyed (if preserved) - then this has been given to the files before import to LR. In either case, it may be worth considering either a simpler workflow which calls on LR to carry out more of these processes itself - or else, a better behaved prior workflow which properly passes through camera info unaltered, so that LR can later make productive use of that.

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Explorer ,
Dec 05, 2019

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Thanks Richard...Yes, these aren't ever properly metadata camera files I'm dealing with but instead film scans which are then renamed immidiately after scanning due to the different scanner's limited naming protocol. Perhaps here inlyes the problem.

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Mentor ,
Dec 05, 2019

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I see, that makes sense. Perhaps the scanner software could be left to apply simple sequential file naming (and file creation date at time of scanning) as if those were newly taken photos; your inital LR import would then show the sequence in which the photos were scanned which is at least something systematic; and LR could be then used to add keywords etc plus capture date/time metadata that is more appropriate to the original photograph exposure. That will immediately assist your ongoing photo library management.

 

If as-taken capture date and maybe title metadata can be added either before or after LR import, the files can then be renamed programmatically by LR - making use of this capture date and title metadata.

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