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Editing images on Lightroom

Lightroom is a comprehensive photo editing and image management software. It allows photographers to complete their photography workflow such as importing, processing, and exporting images. But how much is Lightroom? Is it worth the price? Although Lig ...



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How to Create a New Catalog in Lightroom

Published: 16/07/2021

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One of the best features of Lightroom is its catalog system that helps you manage all your images at a single location. Learning how to create a new catalog in Lightroom will help you have an organized workspace to edit and store your images. Let’s look at how the Lightroom catalog helps you in your image editing workflow.

How to Create a New Catalog in Lightroom

Creating a catalog should be the first step for your image editing workflow in Lightroom. It will help you organize and store all your images in one place, making the process of editing images far easier. Before proceeding with the process of creating a catalog, let’s find out what a Lightroom catalog is and how they are beneficial.

Introduction to Lightroom Catalogs

When you first install and initiate Lightroom, it will automatically create a catalog for you. The Lightroom catalog is a unique feature that makes Lightroom one of the most useful tools to fulfill all your image storing and image editing needs.

The Lightroom catalog can be defined as the storage unit for all your images. However, it does much more than just storing your images. A catalog will save links to your images and gallery, it will display all the images in one place, and will also show all the changes you make to your images.

One thing to know is that your images are not actually saved in the catalog. Instead, they are actually saved on the hard drive. A catalog is only a displaying unit that shows and organizes all your images in one place.

Benefits of Creating a Catalog in Lightroom

A catalog-based workflow in Lightroom provides several benefits to your overall image editing procedure. However, the most significant benefits of using catalogs in Lightroom are:

  1. You can see all your images in one place.
  2. The edits you make to your images are non-destructive, which means that your original image remains unaffected.
  3. You can save your images anywhere.
  4. Your images remain organized and well-sorted.

Creating New Catalog in Lightroom

The process of creating a new catalog in Lightroom is very simple, short, and straightforward. All you have to do is follow a few quick steps, and you will have a new catalog at your hands. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch the Lightroom classic application on your computer.
  2. Hover your cursor over to the menu bar, which is present on the top of your Lightroom screen.
  3. Click on ‘File.’ This will open a drop-down menu for you. From the menu, select the first option, which is ‘New Catalog.’
New Catalog option in Lightroom
  1. As you click on the new catalog option, you will see a dialog box for ‘Create Folder with New Catalog.’ 
Create Folder with New Catalog dialog box
  1. In this dialog box, enter the name and the location you want for your new catalog folder.
  2. Then click on the ‘Create’ button present at the bottom of the dialog box.
  3. You will then see that your Lightroom workspace will show an empty library module. 
  4. At this moment, you can import the photos you want in this catalog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Create and Have More Than One Catalog in Lightroom?

Yes, you can create and have more than one catalog in Lightroom. All the Lightroom versions after version 1.1 allow you to create multiple catalogs at the same time. You can switch between the catalogs as per your requirements.

Can I Delete a Lightroom Catalog After Creating It?

Yes, if you want to, you can easily delete an existing Lightroom catalog and create another one. To delete a Lightroom catalog, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Lightroom on your computer.
  2. Hover your cursor over to the menu bar present on the top of your Lightroom screen.
  3. Click on Edit. This will open a drop-down menu for you. 
  4. From the menu, click on ‘Catalog Settings.’ 
Lightroom Catalog settings
  1. As you select this option, you will see a dialog box. Click on the ‘Show’ button present on this dialog box. 
Lightroom Catalog settings dialog box
  1. You will then see the folder that contains all your Lightroom catalogs.
  2. At this point, close the Lightroom program.
  3. Now, again go to that folder and delete the Lightroom-based files from it.

Are Catalogs and Folders the Same In Lightroom?

No, the catalogs and folders are not the same in Lightroom. A Lightroom catalog is where the information about all the imported files is stored. On the other hand, a folder is where all your image files are stored.

How Can I Free up Space in My Lightroom Catalog?

You can easily free up space in your Lightroom catalog. There may be some scenarios when your Lightroom catalog becomes too occupied. This can cause multiple issues, such as the lightroom slowing down, the files get difficult to find, and many more.

If this happens, you can take several measures to free up some space in your Lightroom catalog. Here are a few of the most effective ways of getting rid of extra stuff from your Lightroom catalog:

  1. Move images that you no longer need into an external hard drive or storage device.
  2. Remove smart previews
  3. Delete unwanted files
  4. Delete duplicate files
  5. Clear out your cache
  6. Delete your history

Where Should I Store My Lightroom Catalog?

Your Lightroom catalog performs its best when you store it on your local hard drive. However, if you want your images to be portable, you can also save the catalog on an external hard drive.

What Are the Best Lightroom Catalog Settings?

Once you have created the Lightroom catalog, it is best to configure and set some preference for the catalog before importing images onto it. For catalog settings, go to Edit > Catalog Settings. This will open up a dialog box. You can configure your catalog depending upon your requirements through this dialog box.

Configuring Catalog settings in Lightroom

You can also ‘optimize’ your catalog for best performance. To do this, go to File > Optimize Catalog. Once you optimize the catalog, it will make your Lightroom run a lot faster than before.

Optimizing Lightroom Catalog Settings


As you can see, the process of creating a new catalog is very straightforward. Plus, it offers various advantages. You will have a more organized and sorted display of all your images, and that too at one location. Moreover, your overall Lightroom workflow will become a lot more efficient and quick.

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