2 Ways to Organize Catalog Files in Lightroom 4
How you create your catalog folders may seem like an insignificant detail, but the method you use can affect the organization of these catalogs and the ease with which you can access them. Two of these methods include 1) creating the folder from the drop-down menu in Lightroom itself, and 2) creating the root folder in your operating system, then creating your Lightroom catalog and saving it to that file.This may sound confusing at first, but hopefully you will find that both approaches are pretty simple as we go through and explain both methods in this article.
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The first method is very straight-forward. In Lightroom, go to the “File” drop-down menu and select “New Catalog”. This allows you to create a new folder through which you can access your catalog.
Suppose you name the catalog “Catalog Example 1” and save it onto your desktop as shown below.
This action simultaneously creates a folder on your desktop titled “Catalog Example 1” and the catalog itself, by the same name, within that folder. The “Catalog Example 1” folder contents are shown below.
Example #2 : Create the Catalog Folder on Your Operating System
The second method has an extra step involved, but is still pretty simple. Begin by creating a folder in your operating system. For instance, you could create a folder directly on your desktop called “Catalog Example 2”.
This folder initially has nothing in it because you are essentially just designating an empty space to which you can save the work relating to your catalog. The next step is to create a new catalog within Lightroom by utilizing the drop-down menu and selecting “New Catalog”.
Save the new catalog to the folder you have just created, which in this case is “Catalog Example 2”.
Then name your catalog and save. In this example, we named it “Catalog”, but you may want it to be more descriptive.
It may seem like we have just added an unnecessary step to the process, but proceeding in this way has an advantage: the visual organization is much cleaner and simpler because your catalog and previews will all be neatly contained within the initial folder you created. For this reason, this is the method we prefer in our studio.
Here’s a visual representation of the folder contents:
Now you have a couple organization options for your Lightroom catalog system. Whichever you choose, make sure that you keep it consistent. Stay tuned for the next article.
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