Many Lightroom Classic users have one catalog, and that's perfectly fine. However, others have several catalogs or even a different catalog for each shoot they do. Regardless of which you are, this tip may save you some time and make your Lightroom time more productive.
There are two types of Lightroom Classic users: those that explore the preferences and those that don't. I love to explore the various preferences so that I can customize applications or get an idea of the different possibilities that may be available to me.
If you're the first type of user, with just one catalog, and you find yourself accidentally launching Lightroom via an errant click on the taskbar or dock, you may also find this setting useful.
In the Lightroom Classic Preferences, General Tab, there is a setting for the Default Catalog. The choices for this setting are:
- Load Most Recent Catalog (default setting)
- Prompt me when starting Lightroom
- A list of recent catalogs
- Other... (browse)
The Load Most Recent Catalog option is self-explanatory and loads the most recent open catalog unless you are launching Lightroom by double-clicking on the catalog file (*.lrcat).
The Prompt me when starting Lightroom option is the most useful if you have multiple catalogs and want to pick which one to open. This option has the added advantage of not having to re-launch Lightroom if you want a different catalog than the last one you had open. Choosing this option will show the following dialog when starting Lightroom Classic:
This dialog has the following options:
- Always load this catalog on startup: This will change the Default Catalog setting to always load that catalog.
- Choose a Different Catalog: This will show a browse dialog that enables you to pick a catalog that may not be shown in the dialog, such as a catalog that you have never opened or one that you have moved.
- Create a New Catalog: This option is useful if you create new catalogs often, perhaps one for each client or shoot.
- Test integrity of this catalog: This option will test the catalog's integrity before it is opened. This check can be useful if you feel your catalog may have issues due to a crash or odd behavior.
- Open/Quit: The Open button will open the selected catalog. Quit is where this next tip comes in: If you accidentally launch Lightroom from time to time and want to save yourself some startup/shutdown time, you can use this option. This will require one additional click to start, but the quit button allows you to quickly exit Lightroom if you've accidentally launched it.
Whether you have multiple catalogs or simply want the option to create or open a catalog, the catalog preferences in Lightroom Classic may just be what you need to optimize your workflow.