Adobe Please Fix This in Lightroom 6 (Part 2)


While Scott and I were talking about things that drive us batty inside of Lightroom 5, I brought up something that I thought should be pretty straightforward of a fix – and wondered why we had gone six versions without it seeing the light of day.  This one has to do with Collections and Collection Sets.

Here’s my workflow with working with Collection Sets. I have a main Collection Set called Models.  Inside of that, I dedicate a Collection Set for each individual model.  Considering the fact that I will often work with a model multiple times, I will separate each shoot I do with them into their own Collection Set.  So – lets take Lukas here.  He would have a Collection Set called Lukas inside of the master Collection Set called Models.  Inside the Lukas Collection Set, I would have Shoot 1 as another Set.  This lets me organize the shoots hierarchically inside of Lightroom and let me twirl down only the specific type of work I am doing at that moment in time (There’s no reason for me to scroll through multiple Collection Sets of Landscapes if I am looking for models – you get the picture).

Now, something that each individual Collection Set for a shoot gets is a series of Collections.  I see these as “views” of the individual images that I made.  One Collection is a view of all of the images of the shoot.  Another ‘View” is all of the images that I picked (Its easier for me to see than having to Filter – though that would work too).  All of the rejects would get another Collection (This is in the instance that the client requests that I keep rejects – which will happen often enough).  From there I add a Collection for images to edit, and another to hold edited pictures.  Sometimes these collections get drilled further (Client Portfolio, Shoots to the Magazine, 8X10 prints, etc), But I can always count on having these four collection sets as default.


What if you could make a blank Collection Set, and throw a series of Collections in there with no images in it.  You can keep that handy anywhere in the Collection structure.  Now, when you need it, you can just right click it and select “Duplicate”.  This would make a copy of the Collection Set and all of the Collections in them.  From there, all you need to do is drag it into the master Collection Set you need and you’re off to the races.  This would save you a little bit of time as you don’t have to make each Collection Set and Collection over and over.  The more you use as a default – the more time it would save.

Is it a little thing- no doubt.  But those little things add up quite a bit when you’re working day to day in Lightroom.  It’s those kinds of upgrades that can really make moving to a new version great. Id love to see it in Lightroom 6

We’d love to keep hearing from you to see what kinds of things you would like to see that just bug you.  Let us know!



  1. James Linton 5 October, 2015 at 21:10 Reply

    Items that would be nice to see in LR – 1) properly handle the Slo Mo videos that are now a part of iPhones and 2) have the ability to create time lapse or use time lapse properly directly from the camera. These are all part of the photographer’s toolkit for photo shows and to impress clients and if LR is the tool of choice for photographers then Adobe needs to include these in LR.

  2. Anders 19 January, 2015 at 14:59 Reply

    I’d love to see them finally allow us to customize the shortcut keys.
    I have a non-US keyboard without dedicated keys for a lot of the keys Adobe decided to use as shortcuts, which means these shortcuts are simply unavailable to me (e.g. ‘/’ is on Shift-7 which Lightroom doesn’t recognize. ‘\’, ‘[‘, ‘]’ and several others have the same issue).
    I just want a shortcut for toggling Before/After that I can actually use!

  3. Shawn Moore 13 January, 2015 at 15:36 Reply

    How about they just fix the speed of rendering the images. Iview from 20 years ago renders images faster than LR. LR speed is it’s biggest flaw .

  4. Lyle 10 January, 2015 at 15:24 Reply

    They need an auto nest Print template type. You define the paper size, and then whatever various (including non-standard) cell size prints you want get maximized onto a single sheet, and advance to the next sheet when they won’t fit. It could accommodate width only for roll printing as well. They could have an option to orient for minimum cuts, cuts total width/length etc. Nesting software is out there for a long time, and this is an area where LR provides nothing to my knowledge. (qimage does this btw).

    On a separate Print to File issue, it would be nice if you could pick a cell and flag it to set the same bleed file dimensions set automatically for those occasions where you’re putting 1200 files from the family reunion out via Print to File to take to Costco. 🙂

  5. Dennis Zito 10 January, 2015 at 12:19 Reply

    Hey RC,

    If I understand the problem, I think what your saying is to have the ability to create a Template for Collection and Collection Sets. That way we can create a empty template (like in print module) and just import and place our images inside the template and rename it. Cool!


  6. Florian 10 January, 2015 at 10:14 Reply

    Tried posting this yesterday but I got a message that the site traffic was busy. Here goes: Aperture has had this capability for some time now so Adobe is long over due on this. In Aperture you can set up a blank project with sub projects, albums, etc. Then duplicate it and drag it to the folder you want and rename it and then import your photos. It definitely comes in handy if you have a fairly set hierarchy for the way you work. This would really be a nice addition to Lr.

  7. Carsten 10 January, 2015 at 05:01 Reply

    Regarding collections I would like to see two improvements that could speed up my way of working:
    1. it should be to delete virtual copies (and also originals) while standing in a collection. I often do create virtual copies in order to try out different editing and while it is possible to create a virtual copy in a collection, one has to jump to the library in order to delete these again.
    2. there should be a possibility to duplicate smart collections. I often do create smart collections with similar selections. It would be much faster if I could duplicate an existing smart collection and just would have to change a part of the selection list instead of building it from scratch again.

    I think both would be easy to implement.

  8. Kevin 9 January, 2015 at 16:14 Reply

    A variation on this idea would be to copy collections and collection sets between LR catalogs. Particularly if you are creating a project or travel catalog.

  9. Monty Montgomery 9 January, 2015 at 16:05 Reply

    I would like to see a search function in collection. I have a lot of collections. It would love to be able to search for a given collection rather than have to scroll through the complete list.

  10. James Linton 9 January, 2015 at 12:41 Reply

    When I go to the collections panel and access the “Without Keywords” collection I have a couple of options to populate the keywords on an image. I can type them all in (which takes forever) or I can click in the keyword set to magically place them in the keyword list.

    The issue is of course – I want to use the keyword set to click and assign multiple keywords – yet LR does not give me that opportunity because as soon as I click on a keyword in the keyword set and LR assigns the keyword to the photo, the photo disappears from the “without keywords” collection because it now has a keyword assigned to it.

    I would love to see a “done adding keywords” option so that all keywords in the set can be assigned prior to the photo disappearing. The keyword feature of LR – while very powerful is also very limiting when you try to be more productive by using keyword sets

  11. Jeff 9 January, 2015 at 11:17 Reply

    I do something similar, but with smart collections that are date based. I have exported my master set and just have to import them when I set up a new collection set. I do still have to edit each one to change the dates.

  12. Roger Toliver 9 January, 2015 at 09:15 Reply

    These are great ideas and I’m excited to see them implemented as well. However my biggest issue with LightRoom is the inablilty to swap out the left and right panels. I would love to use LightRoom on my Surface tablet at a coffee shop or after a shoot, but being left handed, in this case, is a huge disadvantage. I’m all the time covering up the image with my arm as I’m trying to edit.

    Scott and RC, how about adding that request to you list of things you’d like to see in the next release?



  13. Matt 9 January, 2015 at 07:14 Reply

    Excellent, idea RC! This points out many companies fail. They get so hung up in internal think and design that they loose the ability to understand and focus their efforts on actual customer needs.

  14. Stephen Barnes 9 January, 2015 at 04:42 Reply

    I have a big issue with how LR handles Keywords.

    I have a VERY large taxonomy of keywords, all hierarchically arranged, and going down 7, 8 or 9 levels and covers every subject I’ve ever shot (I shoot news and stock, so there are lots!)

    My problem is that I will have one area of my keyword hierarchy expanded to find a keyword. When I scroll down to it and click it, LR does select it, but then scrolls down two or three pages of keywords. This means when I try to edit a keyword I have to scroll all the way back up and right click it.

    It’s a minor, but hugely annoying bug. Why can’t LR simply stay on the keyword that I’ve just clicked?

    (I can send you my keyword export if you’d like to try to reproduce the problem).


    PS. I’ve got lots of hints and tips about creating a useful keyword hierarchy, including using “*” at the start of categories, allowing you to quickly identify new keywords which need classified, use of synonyms, export containing keywords etc. I feel this area is always overlooked!

    • Paul C 9 January, 2015 at 06:47 Reply

      I shoot for education and the bulk of my work relies on keywords, there can be dozens associated with some photos. I rely on Smart-Collections to do a lot of the heavy-lifting when it comes to selection, so I’d love the whole “collections” and “keywording” side of things to be ramped up; particularly when it comes to creating groups of keywords… I’d want to see a selection grid of any size I choose rather than the limited grid we get now… and custom sorted, not aplhabetical.

  15. Jeff 9 January, 2015 at 03:40 Reply

    ” While Scott and I were talking about things that drive us batty inside of Lightroom 6, ”

    So, when do the rest of us get to see & use Lightroom 6 ?

  16. Juan Antonio Vizcaino 9 January, 2015 at 02:24 Reply

    Hi RC!!

    This can be done now easily… more or less. Is just as simple as creating the “empty” collection set, selecting the “views” you want to copy from another collection set and just drag them into the new “empty” one while you are keeping pressed the alt key (or the ctrl or cmd key, I don’t remember it right now). You will be realizing that you are “copying” the selected collections as long as you can see a little “plus” over the mouse icon while you are dragging them.

    Please, try it and let me know it it works for you.

    PS: I have seen a little bug using this tip regarding smart collections. Let me explain it. I use smart collections to differentiate sessions based on the IPTC Job identifier field and some other fields like flags or stars. Well, the bug occurs when you change the IPTC Job identifier filter value of the smart collection after you have entailed the job identifier to the photos… they won’t be shown in the smart collection. But if you restart Lightroom they are “collected” normally.

  17. Frédéric 9 January, 2015 at 02:09 Reply

    This is an excellent idea…

    Maybe ask Jeffrey Friedl to create a plugin ? I’am sure he really know how to do it 🙂

    Thanks for all new tips here.


    • Jesper 9 January, 2015 at 04:06 Reply

      I use a specific setup of collections too, much like you do RC, and I love the idea of being able to easily create an empty structure of collections. I rely heavily on collections to structure my archive and my workflow so anything that makes it easier to create hierarchical structures of collections would be very welcome.
      But I think it would be even better if it could be implemented as named presets rather than the ability to duplicate an empty set. Somehow, I don’t like the idea of having to keep empty collection structures to use as templates. It’s not as “clean” as using named presets. Presets is also a well-known concept in Lightroom so it ought be simple for most users to understand.

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