The back and forward navigation arrow (in the black bar above the filmstrip) navigate recent folders, collections etc. To the right of the navigation buttons is the path to the currently selected image. Clicking on the path will display a list of recent folders. If you navigate to specific folders often, use the option at the bottom of the list to save the folder as a “favorite” so that it remains accessible in the Folder area (as oppose to the recent folders which only list the 12 most recent folders/collections visited. Click here for more information about navigating the Grid view and selecting images.
Custom Sort orders depend on folder hierarchy. If a folder contains subfolders a custom sort order is not possible unless the option to “Include Items from Subfolders” is disabled. Custom Sort orders are not available for Smart Collections. Click here for a video for more information.
If you have added images to a folder that Lightroom is already aware of, instead of using the Import dialog, you can simply Control (Mac), right mouse (Win) -click the folder (in the Folder panel) and choose Synchronize Folder… to (import) any additional images in that folder.
There are times when you may have imported multiple folders into Lightroom yet can not see the parent folder (the folder higher up on the hierarchical structure). For example, you may see your 2008, 2009, and 2010 folders but not the Photographs folder that they are contained in. If this is the case, to display the parent (Photographs folder), Control (Mac), right mouse (Win) -click the 2008 folder in the Folder panel and choose “Add Parent Folder”. Technically you aren’t really “adding” a folder, but asking Lightroom to display the parent folder that already exists on your drive.
Now, if you have the opposite dilemma, where you have too many levels of folders showing, you can Control (Mac), right mouse (Win) -click the top most (parent) folder and select Promote Subfolder to remove the parent folder and promote the child folder(s).This will move the child folder(s) one indentation to the right.
To quickly create a subfolder without having to scroll to the top of the Folder panel, Control (Mac), right mouse (Win) -click any folder and choose “Create Folder Inside “xxx”…” from the list. Notice that you can also use this shortcut to select “Import into this Folder” to automatically display the Import dialog while setting the destination folder.
Customize what is displayed in the Folder panel’s header by Control (Mac), right mouse (Win) -clicking it and choosing between Disk Space, Photo Count, Status or None. In addition, clicking the Plus icon (on the Folder panel header ) provides three choice for displaying the Root folder’s path (the Root folder refers to the top most parent folder(s) in the panel). Choose from Folder Name Only, the Path from Volume or Both. (Due to limited space, I typically choose to only display the Folder Name.) Finally, Lightroom provides a hint as to the available disk space on a drive by displaying a color-coded Disk icon in the Folder panel’s header. Green means that you have a significant amount of free space, yellow hints that the space is becoming limited and red warns that the drive almost full (of course this is all relative). When the Header of a drive is gray, the drive is off-line.
While creating a new folder (or a subfolder) in Lightroom might be straightforward enough (simply click the plus icon in the Folder panel header and select Add Folder or Add Subfolder), what many people don’t realize is that this is also the way to make Lightroom aware of an already existing folder on disk – one that has yet to be imported and, may even be empty. Lets say for example, you have created a folder on an external drive that you want to archive/move images into yet Lightroom has not been told to display that folder in the Folder panel. To add this folder to the Folder panel (so that images can be moved to it) click the plus icon on the Folder panel and select Add Folder. Navigate to and select the desired folder. If the folder is empty, Lightroom will simply add it to the Folder panel. If there are images in the folder, Lightroom will display the Import dialog so that you can decide what to import, what metadata to apply etc..
In Lightroom, clicking on a folder in the Folder panel displays not only the photographs in the selected folder, but also the photographs in it’s subfolders. This may be confusing if you are accustomed to viewing images in the operating system or in Bridge where the default view would display the photographs in the folder as well as an icon for any subfolders, but not show the contents of the subfolders. To change this default view to display only the photographs in a folder (and neither their subfolders nor their contents in the Grid view) toggle the Library > Show Photos in Subfolders option (or click the + (plus) icon on the Folders panel and toggle the Show Photos in Subfolders menu item.
Note: With the Show Photos in Subfolders option toggled off, the photo count displayed in the Folder panel will change (as it is now counting only the photos in a folder and not in a subfolder). Don’t be alarmed if the top folder suddenly has a count of zero – it is probably because there are no loose photos in that folder, they are all in subfolders instead.
Double click on any folder in either the Source or Destination panels in the Import dialog in order to “Doc” that folder and remove unneeded folders from being displayed. To display the contents of a folder, click the disclosure triangle to the left of the folder name.