Our next video in the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD is going to walk through the Library Menu System. While most of the Lightroom 4 functionality can be accessed via the standard interface, there are still quite a few features and functions that must be accessed from the menus.

To learn more, be sure to check out the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop which is also a part of the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection.

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1. Optimize Catalog

Lightroom 4 may run slowly at times because of the changes constantly being written to the catalog, a problem that becomes more noticeable with larger catalogs (10,000 – 20,000+ images). One way to speed up the performance of Lightroom is to optimize the catalog. You can access the Optimize Catalog function through the File Menu, as shown below.

Once you click on “Optimize Catalog,” a dialogue box will appear. Click “Optimize.”

So, if Lightroom is running slower than usual, it is a good idea to take advantage of this function which can help speed up your workflow.

2. Auto Import

Under the File Menu, you can choose to enable Auto Import. You will first need to set up the Auto Import Settings in order to use this feature.
When you click on “Auto Import Settings,” you can choose where your images are imported from and where they will be imported to.
Once you have your auto import settings set up, you can bypass the import window since you can quickly drag your images into the watched folder, where Lightroom will automatically import them into a catalog.

3. Email Photo

This feature allows you to directly email from Lightroom itself, which saves you the trouble of having to export the image, open up your email, and attach the exported files. However, you need to set up your email application first. This feature is compatible with general email applications and even online email services, such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail. Once your email application is set up, you can email photos from Lightroom with just a couple clicks. Select your image and go to “Email Photo” under the File Menu.
Once you have clicked Email Photo, a dialogue box will appear. Simply fill out the dialogue like a normal email and hit send, that easy!

4. Show Photos in Subfolders

If you have multiple subfolders in a parent folder, you can choose whether you want parent folders to show the images within subfolders, or to only have Lightroom display photos within the exact folder selected. This function can be quite useful at times from an organizational standpoint.

To enable, simply go to the Library Menu and select “Show Photos in Subfolders” (This can also be accessed from the Library Folder interface). If you want to hide the photos in the subfolders, then make sure this feature is not checked.

5. Previews

This can be accessed under the Library Menu. Here, you can render Standard-Size Previews or 1:1 Previews. Rendering 1:1 images prior to working on them will save a lot of time as you don’t have to wait for Lightroom to load previews while you work on them.

6. Show in Explorer

To go to this function, simply click on the Photo Menu and click “Show in Explorer.” You can also access this function by right clicking on a folder within the Folders Panel. This will bring up the location of your images within the file system itself.

7. Go to Folder in Library

If you are looking through photos in a collection, you can go to the folder that contains the photo by selecting this function. It will also take you back to the Library Module if you happen to be in a different module. You can get there by clicking on the Photo Menu and then selecting “Go to Folder in Library.” You can also access this function by simply right clicking on the image.

8. Delete Rejected Photos

If you want to delete all photos that are flagged as “rejected,” you can do so by clicking on the Photo Menu. Then select “Delete Rejected Photos.” This will automatically purge all photos that have been marked as a “reject.”

9. Edit Capture Time

When you need to fix the timestamp on your images, you can quickly do so by taking advantage of this feature. As we mentioned in a recent article, this function is extremely useful in fixing timestamps sync issues on multi-camera shoots. Go to the Metadata Menu and select “Edit Capture Time.”

Once you select “Edit Capture Time,” a dialogue box will appear. This is where you enter the time that you want to sync your images to. This change cannot be undone, unless you write in a new time, so make sure you put in the correct time that you want. For more details, be sure to check out the article mentioned above.

10. Purge Unused Keywords

This feature automatically deletes any keywords from the catalog that are not used, a very useful function when you want to clean up your keyword listing. To use this feature, go to your Metadata Menu. Then click on “Purge Unused Keywords.”

Conclusion & Learn More

We hope you enjoyed this article and video excerpt from the Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD. Stay tuned for our next article and episode!

The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop on DVD is a 14 hour video workshop turning any Lightroom novice into a complete master of Lightroom 4 in no time! The Lightroom 4 A to Z Workshop can be purchased by itself, or within the Lightroom 4 Workshop Collection which also contains our award winning and industry standard Lightroom 4 Preset System, as well as the Lightroom 4 Workflow System.