Adding Folders

Adding a folder of images to your library allows you to quickly access, organize, and work with photos located on your hard drive, on external hard drives, and even in synced cloud storage. When you add a folder, none of your photos are moved. Luminar scans the folder and subfolders then creates a thumbnail that links to the image. If there are subfolders inside the folder being added, Luminar will keep the folder structure. Luminar works with the real-world folder structure of your hard drive(s) keeping folders and images synchronized.

There are three ways to add a folder to your Luminar library: the Library Panel, Add Button menu, and File menu. All three methods accomplish the same goal.

Adding with the Library Panel

  • Clicking on the + sign to the right of the word “folder” on the Library panel opens up a browser window in Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac.) 

  • Navigate to a folder of images on your hard drive and select it. 

  • When you select a folder, it will be added as a top-level folder to your folder collection. 

  • All folders contained within an added folder are also added as subfolders.

All the folders added will now appear under the word Folder in the Library Panel. Each of these folders are considered a Master Folder. Any folders contained within a Master folder are added as subfolders. Additional folders within those folders are also added.  These are referred to as Subfolders. Any folder with a small disclosure triangle to the left of its name contains subfolders. Clicking on the disclosure triangle will reveal the subfolders within a Master Folder. You can add additional subfolders to any folder in the future by right-clicking on a folder and choosing the New Subfolder command.

Adding with the Add Button Menu

The Add Button menu is located on the Top Toolbar. Click the Add button and choose Add Folder with images. Folders are added in exactly the same way as from the Library panel.

Adding with the File menu

You can add a folder from the file menu by choosing Library > Add Folder with images. Once selected, folders are added in exactly the same way as from the Library Panel.

Adding Folders from an External Hard Drive

You can add folders located on an external hard drive. The process is the same as adding folders from an internal hard drive. Be aware that if the external hard drive is disconnected from your system, the media will go offline. If the media is offline, the name of the folder is greyed out and a warning triangle appears next to the folder's name.

When an offline folder is opened, thumbnails of the original photos will be available. You can flag, rate, and label offline images, but you will not be able to edit the images until the external hard drive is reconnected. Offline images will also have a warning triangle in the upper left corner of the thumbnail. You can still organize these offline images into Albums. (Please see the Organizing Images chapter for more details on using Albums). You cannot move offline images into a folder.

When the external hard drive is reattached and mounted, the folder and all the images inside will come back online. The folder will no longer be greyed out and the warning triangle next to the folder’s name and on each of the images will no longer be there. Any tagging, rating, and labeling, while the folder is offline, will be remembered. Also if any images had been edited prior to the external drive being removed, their edits will be remembered when the drive is reconnected.

Adding Folders from Synced Cloud Storage

Luminar lets you add folders from cloud storage locations that are synced to your computer. In this case, synced means that a physical copy of the photo resides on either your internal or external hard drive. If only a reference copy of the photo is located in the cloud storage photo, Luminar will not be able to create a thumbnail or be able to edit the image. 

Adding folders from synced cloud storage is very useful in situations where a client or family member adds images remotely to a cloud service server. Once these images are synced locally to your computer, Luminar automatically adds them to your Library.

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