Adobe, Please Fix This in Lightroom 6

This one has been driving me crazy for years, because it puts a speed bump in our workflow. Here’s the issue (in short); when you create a Collection, while you do have the option of adding this new collection to any existing Collection Set, there is no way to add it to a NEW Collection Set. You have to go create one first, then come back and try again. Ugh.

For example: I imported some automotive photos from a studio car shoot. Some of the shots are of a Corvette; some are of a Shelby Cobra. I select the Corvette images; I go to create a New Collection and Create Collection dialog (below appears). I can add these Corvette shots to an existing Collection Set by turning on the “Inside a Collection Set” checkbox and then choosing which Set I want them to appear within from the pop-up menu. Well, since I just imported these photos, I don’t have a Collection Set made yet, so I have to stop and hit Cancel.



Now I have to go and create a new Collection Set (I’ll name it “Car Studio Shoot”) and I have to go to the Collections Panel itself to create it, because I don’t believe there’s a “New Collection Set” keyboard shortcut (at least I don’t think there is, but if there is, it still won’t change the problem). When you do this, what do you get? A useless blank gray screen (seen below).

Yes, a New Collection Set was created and added to your list of Collections, but now what? This is a useless screen. We can’t do anything here. (I don’t know why Adobe didn’t just leave me right where I was — at the Previous Import, so I could keep working. Just add my new “Car Studio Shoot” Collection Set to the Collections Panel, and leave me right where I was instead of taking me to this useless gray screen, but I digress).

Now I have to get back to where my images are so I can get back to putting my images in collections, so I click on Previous Import to get back there. Now, when I create new collection for the Corvette and Cobra shots, I can add them to my “Car Studio Shoot” Collection Set. That’s a lot of work for something seemingly so simple.




Here’s my simple idea for a fix in Lightroom 6
Dear Adobe: just add a “New Collection Set” option to the New Collection dialog, like you see below where I mocked it up by putting it at the bottom of the Inside a Collection Set pop-up menu (that’s where I thought it made the most sense).



This speeds our workflow because now we can create New Collection Sets any time we make a new Collection. In this case, here’s how my workflow would go now:

Step One: I import the photos from my shoot, and select just the Corvette shots.
Step Two: I create a New Collection; name it Corvette, and create the new Collection Set right now in the same dialog (as seen above) and when the naming dialog appears, I name it”Car Studio Shoot.”

That’s it. My new Corvette collection appears in my new “Car Studio Shoot” Collection Set. No useless gray screen. No jumping back and forth between useless gray screen and Previous Import. No canceling out of the Create Collection dialog and going to the Collection Panel to create a New Collection set — it’s fast, quick and it just makes sense.

So, Dear Adobe: please consider this simple request — it will make our lives easier and our workflow faster.

Now, I know I’m not the only one with simple little things like this that are driving you crazy. Go ahead and share yours here in the comments below.



P.S. RC has an idea that I’m hoping he’ll share tomorrow that would be an AWESOME add-on to this concept that would add some automation to the process. 



  1. Rob Edgcumbe 21 January, 2015 at 10:11 Reply

    A number of issues that I have. First, it won’t let you delete from within smart collections. I have a set of smart collections that I use for each shoot, one of which is the rejects. I can’t select them all and delete them. I have to go back to all photos and delete them there.

    Also, for all versions of Lightroom, I have had an issue where, when you open the text filter box, you start typing and after a short pause, it jumps back to the beginning of the box. You end up with the end of the keyword at the beginning which is nonsense. You then have to delete and start again.

    It is impossible to delete the backup folder setting from the import dialog presets. I tried using them once and decided with a different workflow but now when I update the preset with that box unchecked, it is the zombie box and won’t stay dead.

    I’ll probably remember others later but these three are the ones that immediately spring to mind.

  2. Jeremy 14 January, 2015 at 10:55 Reply

    While we are piling on I would like to see “Vibrance” added to available adjustments when using the Adjustment Brush or Radial Filter tool.

  3. Bend Jimi 11 January, 2015 at 12:51 Reply

    Oh yeah, Scott. Great subject idea. Now all you have to do is to get Adobe to read these. I wonder why they don’t have a Just-Do-It (JDI) process like the one (the claim to have) for Photoshop.
    So, one thing that has made me crazy since LR Export button appeared is that the pop-up floating window that appears can’t be resized horizontally. Nor can the divider bar be moved. That means that any preset with a name longer than 24 characters (22 if in a group) is foreshortened and the end can’t be viewed. Not ever a scroll bar at the bottom. The only way to see the full name is to initiate a “rename”. What about those of us who name the preset (or lots of them) with descriptive names that are simply too long to be seen.
    Oh, and wouldn’t it be nice to be able to change the order of presets so that the names don’t need a leading number in order to force the user’s preferred sorts.
    And what about being able to nest presets more than 1 lever deep.
    At PSWLV two years ago, I actually asked one of the lead LR DevManagers about this and he really did say “I’ve never heard requests for that before”! So, I figured it would get fixed in an update, or at least LR5. No joy so far.
    So Adobe, I mean I’m just sayin’, “JDI”.

  4. Hein 10 January, 2015 at 13:56 Reply

    Id like to have two sets of keyboard shortcuts, one thats the existing lightroom shortcuts and the other one, the option to choose a set where the keyboard shortcuts corresponds much more to those of Photoshop, then the user can choose between either the confusing lightroom shortcuts or the Photoshop shortcuts you already know

  5. Randy 9 January, 2015 at 19:54 Reply

    Another thing I would like to be able to do is to convert RAW images to JPEG, all within Lightroom. What I’m doing now is exporting them to JPEG and re-importing them back into Lightroom.

  6. Randy 9 January, 2015 at 19:35 Reply

    I would like the ability to drag and drop to change the order in which pictures are displayed. Right now you can only choose things like name, time, etc. I would like a “manual” option so that i can rearrange photos, then I can rename them in the new order that may include a sequence number.

  7. John 9 January, 2015 at 15:58 Reply

    The whole collection module could use some work. I would like to see a search feature for collections. Being able to create a set at the same time I am creating a collection would be nice.

  8. Laryssa 9 January, 2015 at 11:53 Reply

    I wish I could select a folder to go into LR mobile. I hate having to create a collection if I’m culling I don’t want the whole thing in a collection.

  9. Laurent 9 January, 2015 at 11:15 Reply

    I wish we could have a time stamp in front of each line in develop history : too often, I make modifications to an old image, and then cannot remember its previous state. I may also not remember sometimes which virtual copy was the last version I worked on.

  10. René 9 January, 2015 at 09:34 Reply

    Hi Scott!
    Great idea!

    I got another thing that is annoying me, maybe others too?

    When importing photos, it would be a big help to be able to apply different tags to the selected photos, then select some others, apply other tags, and so on, and then start the import.

    Maybe there is a lack in my workflow as I would like to Do it that way, but maybe not… or is there a way to do this and I’m not aware of it?

  11. Valerie G 8 January, 2015 at 16:24 Reply

    Nice post, Scott. I thought it was just me. A simple fix like that will save some busy work. As for other wishes, I’d like to see a Gaussian blur like in PS. Sometimes local negative clarity or local negative sharpening just doesn’t cut it.

  12. Gary haley 8 January, 2015 at 15:09 Reply

    My one wish would be to separate out the camera and lense updates from pure program updates. If a new camera is available import it into the camera database. Likewise with lense data. Along that same line, it would be nice if you could configure LR so that the only camera(s) and lense(s) in the active program are those that you use. I don’t know how much the extra unused data bloats and/or slows down LR, but any speed boost is a good thing.

    And yes, since Adobe Camera Raw is basically the same thing, then you fix two programs at the same time.

  13. James 8 January, 2015 at 15:00 Reply

    Why is it that when I need to use the Adjustment Brush if I also want/need to see the mask of the brush, the button to turn on the visible red layer is not in the brush perimeters where my pointer is already at? No I have to move it to an entirely different position on the screen. This is not efficient.

  14. Gene Lowinger 8 January, 2015 at 14:08 Reply

    I have another ‘simple’ request, although probably not do simple because people have been moaning about it since LR1: after the red button in the upper left corner is clicked (on a Mac) give us the option to cancel the request, rather that having to close LR and reopen it.

  15. Gregg 8 January, 2015 at 13:00 Reply

    I agree and if they are listening my other grip which I have suggested before but still not fixed is the sort order default. In my work flow I will at time go out of Lightroom’s develop module into Photoshop and back. If I have not changed my sort order it put it at the end of the “roll” So every time I have stop working and go to the library module. Change the sort order to file name then go back to my work. I really wish the would have in preferences the option to pick a sort order default.

    • David 8 January, 2015 at 15:24 Reply

      Nice post Scott and the others with their suggestions.

      I would like the option to permanently delete the file (from harddrive) from inside of a collection rather than only being able to delete the preview from the collection and yet the underlying file remains in lightroom.

      I’d like to be able to create collections before I’ve decided on all the keepers and later cull (permanently delete) the images further after adding them to a collection.

  16. Darren Clark 8 January, 2015 at 12:50 Reply

    I’d like to see Collection Sets and Smart Collection working in LR Mobile. I have very few single stand alone Collections. Unless I’m wrong and there is a way to do this that I haven’t seen, yet. I would have to change my entire workflow to use LR Mobile with out these 2, so it’s sitting idle on my iPad.

    Search function – I would like the search function to automatically default to “All Photos” instead having to always remember to go back up and select it again. I’m usually searching my catalog for a particular keyword, but the default is only for the folder you currently have selected. When it returns no results I get that same grey screen Scott was talking about. Only then do I remember that I have to click All Photos

  17. Jim 8 January, 2015 at 12:36 Reply

    Instead of using the drop down menu, why not add a selection button as for inside collection set? You would click on the”Inside New Collection Set”, add the name of the set and continue on.

  18. Dennis 8 January, 2015 at 11:34 Reply

    I have a similar issue but with Smart Collections. In my workflow I have several smart collections with multiple filter parameters and sometimes I would like to create a new smart collection that has nearly the exact parameters to an existing one.

    For example, my existing smart collection may have the parameters: file type: DNG, Label Color: Red, Flag Status: Flagged, Rating: > 3 stars, etc,. If I want to create a NEW smart collection with all the same parameters as the existing one, EXCEPT I want to change the File Type to be PSD, then I have to create a new smart collection from scratch or export the smart collection and re-import it into LR then make the change…unless there is an easier way to do it that I’m not aware of.

    My suggestion would be to have an option to create a copy of an existing smart collection then I could easily just change the single parameter I need to create the new smart collection.

  19. Gretchen Troop 8 January, 2015 at 11:14 Reply

    Here’s my beef. I would love to be able to adjust the Whites and Blacks in the Tool Strip in Develop mode, i.e., Graduated Filter, Radial Filter and Adjustment Brush. I have been correcting so many photos for so long in this program that it is automatic to look for those in the sliders and alas they are not there, I work around it with Highlights, Shadows and Exposure… but why not make those identical, that would make my workflow go much faster and also yield better results.
    My much larger problem with LR 5 is that the performance has slowed down immensely with the 5 upgrade. It has gotten better with the sequential updates, but it’s still not back to working as smoothly as pre-LR 5.

      • 10 January, 2015 at 07:47 Reply

        To sort by portrait or landscape, I include these in the keywording set. ie : “portrait_Orientation” or “landscape_Orientation”. I have the long expression so as not to confuse with the keywords “landscape” and “portrait”.

  20. Tony 8 January, 2015 at 11:02 Reply

    I would like to see a more bad@$$ cloning and/or healing brush and the ability to copy/paste from other images. I hate having to go over into Elements and having to convert the color depths and filenames and AAAARRRGH!

    Also, a faster LR would be nice too 🙂

  21. Drew Cason 8 January, 2015 at 10:49 Reply

    I would love to see some sort of “Timeline” view that plots out when the images were taken in a given folder. It would be really helpful to those photographers that shoot weddings. INstead of having to go back through your cards again to make sure everything uploaded, you could, in theory, pull up the timeline view and look for any large gaps.

  22. Danelle Hevron 8 January, 2015 at 10:05 Reply

    I’m actually glad you brought this up. I thought I was just missing something so it’s good to know it isn’t just me:)

    • Patti 8 January, 2015 at 12:26 Reply

      Me, too. I thought I was missing how to do it. A search didn’t give me any answer, so I just cancel out and create the collection. Of course, I also don’t remember that I need to create a collection first, so it happens every time.

  23. Andy Thien 8 January, 2015 at 10:04 Reply

    +1 for your wish, Scott. One step further… Why can’t a destination collection be specified during the import process (same as a project destination during the Aperture import process)?

    My collection-related wish… When I drag a photo stack into a collection, add the entire stack to the collection instead of the stack pick alone.

    Scott, do you still recommend this collection workflow which you posted back in 2009?

    Full disclosure… I’m a very recent convert from Aperture to LR (thanks a ton to Scott and Matt (RIP) for the webcast the night of the big announcement). I was a big fan of the managed library in Aperture, so maybe I’m still trying to force LR to do things the Aperture way.

    • cody 8 January, 2015 at 10:53 Reply

      I was thinking the same thing. On import would help as well. I’ve already done it on my PC to organize, let me do it on my collections.

  24. Charles 8 January, 2015 at 09:57 Reply

    Two fixes I’d like to see in the next version of Lightroom:
    1. When you use a plug-in like Nik or onOne, Lr automatically creates a TIFF. If you choose not to save any edits in that plug-in (i.e. cancel out), you still have an extra TIFF file. Fix it so that if you do this (cancel out), Lr deletes the TIFF.

    2. When creating a HDR using HDR Efex Pro or whatever, the new file doesn’t automatically import back into the collection that the original files are in.

  25. Eric Wessman 8 January, 2015 at 09:02 Reply

    I think that the Clarity adjustment in LR5 was a step backwards. In most cases what I notice is that the image gets darker. I would like to see this improved.

    It would be really great if there were detail and structure controls that were built in to LR, rather than forcing me to go outside LR to a plug-in (Perfect Effects or Intensify Pro) that generates a new file that takes up more space.

  26. Greig 8 January, 2015 at 08:20 Reply

    Amen, this drives me totally nuts every time. While Adobe are it, can you also us to copy and paste collection set along with any other sets or collections contained within them. For example for travel photos, I have a structure that breaks downs with collection sets for country/state/place and then finally two collections for All photos and another for my picks. Every time I visit a new place I have to spend time creating a new collection set for the place and then the two standard collections for all and picks. Worse still if I visit a new country. It would be much easier if I could set one collection set as a template and then copy and paste this every time instead of manually creating the required levels. You would have to rename the collection sets but that is much quicker than manually creating the structure every time.

  27. Katherine 8 January, 2015 at 08:15 Reply

    along the same lines… Once you’ve made a selection, I wish there was an option in the right click contextual meny to add to a collectin. That option would contain a list of all your existing collections. It’s nice to have the B shortcut for adding to a default collection, but there are times when I’m working when I need to add to a variety of collections, not just the default.

    • Rikk Flohr 14 January, 2015 at 17:24 Reply

      When you select multiple files, Right Click on the Collection and chose Add Selected Photos to this Collection. Same number of clicks just in a different place. No incredibly long context menu to launch and struggle with.

  28. Paul Parkinson LRPS 8 January, 2015 at 05:32 Reply

    I would like to see the straighten tool available while you are zoomed in on part of an image.

    Sometimes the only straight part of the image is tiny and the process at the moment is little better than trial-and-error.

  29. Martin Gleixner 8 January, 2015 at 04:20 Reply

    Hi Scott,

    I had exactly the same issue on the weekend. This small error is driving me crazy. Thx for this post. Hopefully this issue is resolved in Lightroom 6.
    Have a great day.

  30. Al 8 January, 2015 at 03:29 Reply

    I agree but meanwhile you can improve your workflow :
    – don’t hit cancel, create the new collection and any new collections you need
    – then create a collection set and use drag and drop to move the newly created collections inside it

    • Lee Jay 9 January, 2015 at 13:13 Reply

      Improve it further – don’t use collections, use keywords instead.

      With keywords you can create parents and children at the same time.
      Parent keywords can be applied to images, collection sets cannot contain images.
      Keywords can be written to metadata, collection information cannot. If you need to re-import, your keywords remain if you wrote them out, your collections are always lost.
      Keywords can be properly handled by many tools other than Lightroom. Collections are only in Lightroom. If you want to move to a different tool at some point, you won’t lose your keywords, you will lose your collections.

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