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Author Topic: LR4: how do I move existing photos in catalog into dated subfolders?  (Read 3519 times)
dwnelson
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« on: July 19, 2013, 12:31:10 AM »
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I have thousands of photos in my LR4 catalog, and many hundreds were mistakenly imported into a root folder, rather than my preferred file organization system, listed below:

Name of drive: Lightroom_Library
Sub-folders are sorted by year: 2011, 2012, 2013. Ideally, only folders should be present at the root directory of the Lightroom_Library drive; no photos!
Sub-Sub-folders are sorted by YYYY-MM-DD, and these folders contain the actual NEFs. Again, only folders should be present in the year folders.

My question: How do I move my files in the root directory (and the year directory) into their respective YYYY-MM-DD folders?

At present I can only think of removing the files from the Catalog (not the drive), and re-importing them to this file structure. But, that would mean losing all of my previously made adjustments.

In a perfect world, this would be an easy thing that I overlooked. Please help!
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Simon Garrett
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 02:33:23 AM »
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If I understand you correctly, simply (in Lightroom) click on the top level folder (right hand panel in Library panel).  You should see all images.  If not, Library menu -> check "show photos in subfolders" (but if you're looking for stuff in the top level only, maybe you want to uncheck this option).  Then use the Library Filter towards the top, click Metadata to show date options, and you should be able to choose the date range affected.  Select the images you want to move, and drag them to the right folder.  If the folder doesn't exist, you may need to create if first (in Lightroom - right-click the parent folder and "Create folder inside...").  Clearly if there are lots dates to go into lots of new folders, you will need to do this a few times, but even for "many hundreds", and even if you want them in lots of different dated folders, it shouldn't take more than an hour or so. 

That all sounds pretty simple to me, so maybe I've misunderstood your problem.  I also keep stuff in dated folders and subfolders, and like you occasionally import into the wrong folder, and have to drag stuff around to the right place. 
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Costas
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 03:50:50 AM »
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I Assume that on your hard drive, the photos were in the correct folders prior to import and its the Lightroom view that you want to change. If that's the case then

Right Click in the folders panel
Select "Show Parent Folder"

That should do it

If they are in the wrong place on the hard drive, then create your new folders, from Grid view (set View/Sort = capture time) Select and drag to the appropriate folder.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 05:37:09 AM »
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You wouldn't necessarily lose your adjustments and other metadata if you removed and reimported. You could save your work back to the files, then remove and reimport.

However, this remove-reimport may lose some of your work - whatever LR doesn't save to xmp. So any virtual copies, stacking, pick flags, edit history steps, assignment to dumb collections (saved books, slideshows etc), assignment to published services. If these are not important, remove-reimport may be OK.

Test first with a few images. And don't proceed until you're certain you know what you're doing (and have backed up the catalogue).

Moving them within LR is safer. The Filter Panel allows you to split by date the images in the root folder, and you may want to disable the option to "show photos in subfolders" while doing this.
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dwnelson
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 08:39:21 AM »
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If I understand you correctly, simply (in Lightroom) click on the top level folder (right hand panel in Library panel).  You should see all images.  If not, Library menu -> check "show photos in subfolders" (but if you're looking for stuff in the top level only, maybe you want to uncheck this option).  Then use the Library Filter towards the top, click Metadata to show date options, and you should be able to choose the date range affected.  Select the images you want to move, and drag them to the right folder.  If the folder doesn't exist, you may need to create if first (in Lightroom - right-click the parent folder and "Create folder inside...").  Clearly if there are lots dates to go into lots of new folders, you will need to do this a few times, but even for "many hundreds", and even if you want them in lots of different dated folders, it shouldn't take more than an hour or so. 

That all sounds pretty simple to me, so maybe I've misunderstood your problem.  I also keep stuff in dated folders and subfolders, and like you occasionally import into the wrong folder, and have to drag stuff around to the right place. 

This did it! Thank you so much, it didn't take much time. The key points were unchecking the "Show photos in subfolders" so that only the misplaced photos in the root folder showed, and then using the Filter option to sort these misplaced photos by date. I was able to quickly move them into their respective dated YYYY-MM-DD subfolders. Thank you!
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 02:47:23 PM »
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And now that you've organized your file structure...
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dwnelson
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 11:21:57 PM »
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And now that you've organized your file structure...

Done! (I'm not sure how I lost that default method to begin with, but it's baaaack!)
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