Lightroom Classic folder to collection sync

Ugh! This should exist, but it looks like it doesn’t. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place or that it’s so obvious I’m not seeing it.

Here’s my issue. Recently, working directly from the folders panel has become unwieldy and so I’ve created collections that mimic my folder structure and I’ve further sliced and diced them in the ways I needed that the folders can’t handle.

Working from a collection and sending a photo to Photoshop and returning it back to Lightroom doesn’t automatically place that new file into the collection from whence it came and I can’t see a way other than dragging it to the collection to get it back there. The same thing happens with Topaz or any other external editor.

All my searches for sync folders to collections refer to the cloud and Lightroom CC - to sync folders and collections across those ecosystems and devices. What I want is to sync them within the Lr Classic software on my laptop.

It seems so basic I can’t understand why it doesn’t exist. Anyone else find an automatic way to accomplish this, or at least an easier one?

Would some kind of Smart Collection do it? I’ve experimented with SCs a little bit, but couldn’t get the parameters I wanted to be included in the list you can use. Now I think on this, it would only make a new collection, wouldn’t it? I definitely don’t want that.

I’ve also looked at external editor file handling and don’t see a way to do it there. Collections aren’t mentioned there at all.

I don’t see that issue. I don’t use collections extensively but I have one called Files to Work On, into which I drop interesting things I find while rummaging around for other reasons. If I open one in PS (from the collection) and work on it and save it, it immediately shows up in the collection as well as its original folder.

If working from the Folders panel had become unwieldy, maybe that’s somehing to tackle rather than (or in addition to) making an end-run with Collections. I have 168,349 images in the current catalog (yup, just checked…) I organize them in folders by subject and with sub-folders – Plants > Flowers > Hydrangea – etc. Or for many shoots, more likely they go in Plants > folders by date. It can be tedious scrolling up and down the list to find something I want, but it helps a little to tag folders I’m using recently with color labels. For me, importing with naming by date helps a lot. Then add to that name a subject hint.

The folder structure is very malleable and will change the structure on your HD, so I do quite a bit of dragging and dropping after imports. I may create a new folder under a different heading and drag part of a shoot into it.

I use Collections for stuff across folders, but I find keywords more useful. One click will pull up all my Hydrangeas – and usually lead to a deleting binge, which makes me forget what I was doing.

I always edit from folders, not collections, so I can’t reply based on experience, but I do believe a smart collection would solve your problem, as long as the keywords are maintained in the edited file.

From what I understand Lr should put the file into the collection as well, but it hasn’t been doing so. I can’t figure out what I need to do to get it that way. I asked the same question in a fb group and everyone insists they make the round trip just fine without having to drag the new PSD or TIF into the collection. How they get it to do this they don’t know, so it’s not very helpful, but is instead very frustrating.

I’ve searched the forums on the Lightroom Queen site and the consensus is the opposite there. I have no idea, but it’s irritating and stupid. Here is the result when I experimented to make sure this was really happening. I was in the Collection panel and sent a photo to Photoshop, worked on it and sent it back. The first panel is the Collection view and the second is Folder. No PSD file in the Collection, but it is in the Folder. OMFG!!

collection view

Folder view

I am not able to replicate the problem described.

I’m assuming from Photoshop, you are simply doing a File / Save when you are done with the edits, not a File / Save As … ???

Right, just file-save. It is making me crazy!! :melting_face:

When you start the process from LR, are you in the folder structure, or are you in the Collections structure? If you start the edit from the folder, then the new PSD will not be added to the collection. If you start the edit from the collection, then the new PSD will be added to the collection.

I promise you I’m starting in Collection panel. I’ll do it again now. In case I fell and hit my head yesterday.

I did, however, think of something that might have an effect on this process. Let me experiment some more.

OK, well mysteriously it’s working. The PSD is returning to the Collection and the folder. It wasn’t yesterday I promise. I have made no changes at all on my end. Not in settings or in how I’m moving the file from one app to the other. Will try Topaz next.

I can’t fathom why it suddenly works properly.

Russian spies?

I swear I’ve had things like that happen more than you would think. Complain about an issue and it goes away. More than bizarre!

It just happened to me with the Drobo. I’ve had it 4 years and it has always been very funky to start, often requiring repeated tries. With all the setup with the new computer, I had to restart quite a few times and it was driving me nuts so I complained on their user forum. One reply suggested the power brick could be the problem so the other day I ordered a new one, and since then, it starts as it should – and I haven’t even taken the new one out of the package. (Yes, it’s probably wiring to the switch, but Drobo’s repair service is nonexistent. I had to return the first FOUR housings within the first days or weeks of use, as the circuit boards failed. I figured I was ahead of the game with this one.)

Oh don’t I know it.

And it’s happening again. I sent out of a collection to Photoshop, edited, saved and it’s in the folder, but not the collection. I have no idea.

OK. I think I have a lead. Have tested it once.

It comes down to this little icon, I think -


Hover over it and it says Click to stop syncing this collection with Lightroom. It was clicked when the picture failed to return to the collection from Photoshop. It was unclicked (the little box is what shows then) and the PSD file went where it belongs.

From what I understand, the sync function is for the CC or cloud version of Lightroom, but apparently it has some bearing on how Classic behaves on its own. I don’t use CC or the cloud or any mobile version of Lr, so I don’t care about it and will make sure it’s turned off from now on.

It is a bit of a puzzler though. Will have to research more.

And no…I can’t spell moccasin. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yes, the lighting bolt icon instructs LR to sync images in that collection with your LR cloud storage so you can access the images on LR on a mobile device or on the web.

No, it doesn’t fail for me to do exactly the same thing, nor would it make any sense for that behavior to occur just because the collection is being synced with LR cloud.

Right, @Keith_Bauer - it makes no sense, but that’s the behavior I’m seeing. With it clicked, images don’t go into the collection, without it clicked they do. If there is a confounding or underlying factor here, I’m not seeing it.

I’ve never seen an icon like that. When I edit a photo in Collections, clicking on it from its collections filmstrip (of course I am editing the picture in the actual folder), it appears back in the collection, whether it was a raw file or a .psd/.tif/.jpg. Even if it is a raw file and the edit returns a .psd, it shows in the collection.

If I go to the actual folder to edit it, and it was a raw file and I create a .psd, it will not appear back in the collection. But if I pull up a .psd/.tif/.jpg (from the actual folder) that is in acollection and edit it, the change will show in the collection.

Here’s a part of my collection panel:

Screen Shot 2022-03-05 at 7.01.57 PM

Ah, maybe the clue is “sent out a collection to PS…” I’ve only edited single images.

I meant from a collection - one at a time. Typo.

That is because you don’t have syncing enabled with cloud storage that LightRoom (not LightRoom Classic) would have access to. If that option is not enabled, or not signed into via your Adobe Account, you won’t see the boxes next to collection names that when clicked, show the lightning bolt icon indicating that collection will be synced.

Many people seem to think that LightRoom (the cloud version) is something they don’t want to use. I’ve never met anyone who uses it exclusively rather than LightRoom Classic, but it is a marvelous way to share images, have images easily accessible on mobile devices, or at I use it to share images by making some synced collections shareable, then I don’t have to send pictures via e-mail or any other clunky way. The only thing people need to view the shared images is a machine with an internet connection and a web browser.

I just put them into galleries on my Smugmug site, which can be hidden or private but shareable, but I should probably catch up to the current possibilities.

Yeah, maybe if I had the luxury of unlimited high-speed internet I’d consider it. As it is with a cellular hotspot and 100gb a month, I can’t even download new software at home. I need the library for that.