Lightroom 3 introduces a new Import dialog box that operates in either a compact or expanded mode, providing flexibility in the process from the very beginning. The top panel of the Import dialog box, common to both modes, presents the basic steps in the import process, arranged from left to right: choose an import source, specify how Lightroom is to handle the files you’re importing, and set an import destination-—whether that’s a folder (or folders), or simply your library catalog.
In expanded mode, the Import dialog box works very much like the Lightroom workspace modules. The Source panel at the left provides easy access to your files on any available drive. The Preview pane displays images from the source selection as thumbnails in Grid view or enlarged in Loupe view. Depending on the type of import, the right panel group offers a Destination panel that mirrors the Source panel, and a suite of controls for processing your images as they’re imported.
Evaluating photos before importing
Lightroom 3 makes it easier to decide which of your photos you wish to import by providing an enlarged Loupe view in the Import dialog box; you can examine each image in detail so that you can choose between similar images or exclude a photo that is out of focus.
- Double-click any of the thumbnails to see the photo in Loupe view, or select the thumbnail and click the Loupe view button () below the preview pane; the image is enlarged to fit the preview area and the pointer becomes a magnifying glass cursor ().
- Click the image again to further magnify the image to a zoom ratio of 1:1. Use the Zoom slider below the preview pane to see even more detail. Drag the enlarged image in the preview pane to inspect portions of the photo that are not currently visible.
- Drag the Zoom slider all the way to the left to return to the Fit view where the entire image is visible. Double-click the image, or click either the Loupe view button or the Grid view button beside it to return to the thumbnail display.
While you’re examining the photo in Loupe view, you can check mark the image for import or un-check it to exclude it by clicking the Include In Import check box below the preview pane. Alternatively, press the P key to check-mark the photo, the X key to un-check it, or the Tilde key (~) to toggle between the two states.