How to Merge Lightroom Catalogs

How to Merge Lightroom Catalogs

As a real estate photographer, you may initially have a different category for each photo session, such as a different category for each home you photograph. This can lead to multiple categories over time, which can be difficult to manage and organize.

How to Merge Lightroom Catalogs

Since you can only open one category at a time, searching for a file can be tedious if you don’t know what category it’s in. Knowing how to merge Lightroom categories into one main category is helpful, especially if you have a large catalog collection.

Note: If you want to make some adjustments to the photo just let me know. I can do it for you at a very low cost. You can hire me to edit your photo

Find a Lightroom catalog to merge

When merging categories in Lightroom, you often import photos from different categories into the main category. Typically, you’ll import collections, flags, ratings, keywords, and changes from other categories into the main category. When you need to find all the Lightroom catalogs you want to merge, you’ll want to search through File Explorer or Finder on your computer. Remember that categories in Lightroom have the extension. Mercat. You can use the search option in File Explorer if you are using a Windows PC or the Spotlight option if you are using a Mac to find all files with the . Mercat file extension. If there is a backup of your categories or an update to Lightroom, your search results may show multiple categories with the same name but with a numerical extension. Sort by “modified date”, then use the most recent version.

Clean Up the Individual Catalogs

Before merging Lightroom categories, you’ll need to go through each category to make sure you link missing files and get rid of duplicates. The following tips can help you clean up individual Lightroom categories before merging.

Delete Duplicate Files

While Lightroom can warn you when you try to import duplicate files, it cannot warn you if you import duplicate files into different categories. Usually, this is because Lightroom opens one category at a time. You can use plugins like the Lightroom duplicate finder to identify duplicate images even if they have different file versions like web, RAW, or JPEG versions.

Delete Unusable Images 

In most cases, photographers import all of their camera photos into Lightroom. This means that the imported photo will take up disk space that is at least the size of the camera’s SD card space photo takes up. However, there may be many images that are unusable due to blurred, blurred, or poorly exposed images. You can delete them and free up disk space by setting Lightroom to flag these photos so you can locate them easily.

Merge the Lightroom Catalogs Into a Master Catalog

When merging Lightroom catalogs, you don’t need to create a new master catalog if you already have an existing catalog that you want to use as the master catalog. 

In case you don’t have a master catalog to use, you will need to create one: 

  • Navigate to File and then select New Catalog
  • In the dialog box that pops up, specify the name of the new catalog as Master Catalog in the Save As textbox
  • Click on the Create button to confirm the creation of a master catalog

At this point, you will have your master catalog created. You’ll also have a list of the location and names of the catalogs you want to merge into this one. With the master catalog open in Lightroom:

  • Navigate to File in the top menu and then choose Import from Another Catalog
  • Once the Windows folders or Mac Finder window opens up, navigate to the location of the catalog you want to merge
  • Select the name of the file that ends with a . Ircat file extension and then click on Choose
  • In the Changed Existing Photos option, only select it if you have duplicate photos in multiple catalogs
  • Since you might not want to change the location of your images when merging the catalogs, choose the Add New Photos to Catalog without Moving option 
  • Repeat this procedure for all the catalogs you want to import and merge. 

Clean Up the Master Catalog

While computers have hundreds of gigabytes and terabytes of storage, that space can run out if you don’t clean and optimize your Lightroom catalog. One of the best ways to clean and optimize your Lightroom navigation is to clear the cache. While caching can help improve Lightroom’s speed, Lightroom may cache more than necessary. Sometimes the cache can be stale and only take up disk space. Remember that caching can cause Lightroom to run slower or cause errors. You can free up space by clearing raw video and cache. Keep in mind that clearing the preview cache can slow down or slow down Lightroom, so you should clear it as a last resort.

Create a Backup Schedule

It’s a good idea to back up your home directory after importing each one to avoid having to start all over again in case something goes wrong. Since all future changes and files will be in the parent directory, it’s a good idea to create a backup schedule to help create backups on a regular basis. Go to Edit if you’re using a Windows PC or the Lightroom menu if you’re using a Mac, then click Category Settings. In the Backup Category option, specify how often you want the backup to be performed.

Note: If you want to make some adjustments to the photo just let me know. I can do it for you at a very low cost. You can hire me to edit your photo

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