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Importing Photos by Copy in Lightroom


  1. Import Options
  2. Organizing Files Imported by Copy

Article Description

A number of convenient features are available in Lightroom when you import pictures by copying. Martin Evening points out the options that are particularly helpful.

Organizing Files Imported by Copy

If you import files by copy, you need to decide how they should be organized as you add them to the library. My personal preference is to import all the files from a folder or card, grouping them using the Into One Folder organization structure (see Figure 2). No matter what’s on the card, all the imports will be placed in a single folder location. If you select the Put in Subfolder option, you can create a new folder within the Copy To folder directory, and all the imported files eventually will appear inside the new folder in the Library Folders panel.

Figure 2

Figure 2 When you click the Organize menu, you get a choice of ways in which to organize the imported images within the destination folder.

If you select one of the By Date segmenting options, and the pictures you’re importing were shot over two or more days, Lightroom displays the files by segmenting them into their separate shoot dates (see Figure 3). This feature allows you to import files by selected dates only, using the naming structure shown in the Organize import list.

Figure 3

Figure 3 If you select the Into One Folder option in the Organize list (top), all the images from the import source will be amalgamated into a single destination folder. If you select one of the By Date options (bottom), Lightroom organizes the imported files by the date you specify.

When copying or moving a folder into a new location, you can double-click the highlighted original folder name to rename the folder, as shown in Figure 4. This option comes in handy for situations in which you want to retain the existing folder structure but would prefer to give the folder a new name. Note that you will only be able to change the way the folder name is displayed in Lightroom

Figure 4

Figure 4 Double-click to change the display name of a top-level folder in Lightroom.

If you’re importing a large number of images, the date calculation dialog shown in Figure 5 may appear, indicating that Lightroom is reading in the capture date metadata of all the files that are available to be imported.

Figure 5

Figure 5 Lightroom shows this dialog when importing a large number of images and sorting by date.