How to manage catalogs and apply watermarks in Lightroom

I’ve pushed another big update to Lightroom Community Help. The edits are geared toward helping you more easily find information about two confusing and oft-searched topics: managing files and catalogs, and applying copyright watermarks to photos for sharing online.

Check out the new “chapter” on Managing catalogs and files, which includes all the topics you’d expect, such as Copying and moving catalogs, Backing up the catalog, and Combining and merging catalogs. In addition, the topics Locate missing photos and Locate missing folders now explain why/how photos and folders go missing, the errors Lightroom displays when it happens, and provide clearer instructions on finding and relinking the files.

“Watermark” is consistently the most-searched term in Lightroom Community Help, but Help about it has been scattered and, frankly, obtuse. So to be perfectly clear: Lightroom only supports text-based copyright watermarks. These are derived from copyright IPTC metadata. To create graphical or custom watermarks, you need a plug-in.

To apply a copyright watermark to photos that you’re sharing online, such as at Facebook, Flickr, or SmugMug, do so when you export the photos. Read how at Specify metadata handling.

To apply a copyright watermark to photos that you’re uploading to an HTML website, use the Web module. See Display a copyright watermark in web photo galleries.

I’ve also made a few other minor corrections and clarifications based on your comments and questions, including one that’s come up often: What do the various mysterious Numbering options for filenaming mean? Find out at The Filename Template Editor and the Text Template Editor.

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