We hear the question all the time: “What is that question mark next to my photos in Lightroom?” Sometimes, the question takes a more panicked form: “Where did my photos go??? Lightroom lost my photos. Help!”
Don’t worry. Lightroom will find them.
If you move photos in the OS away from the location where Lightroom thinks they are, Lightroom loses the link to them. When that happens, you’ll see a little question-mark icon in the image thumbnail in the Library module, and in the Develop module, you’ll see a big message: “The file named XXX is offline or missing.”
The "missing photos" icon in the Grid view of the Library module
The "missing photos" error message in the Develop module
To relink the photos, see the Lightroom Community Help topic Locate missing photos. There’s even a link to a video tutorial of the process as well.
If you move entire folders of photos in the OS and break the link in Lightroom, the folder appears dim in the Folders panel and has a question-mark icon.
A missing folder in Lightroom
To restore broken links to folders, see the Help topic Locate missing folders. The topic Synchronize folders might be useful, too.
To prevent broken links between Lightroom and the folders and photos in your catalog, remember these tips:
- Don’t move photos or folders in the Finder (Mac OS) or Explorer (Windows). Do it from within Lightroom.
- If you store photos on an external hard drive, make sure it is attached and powered on when you start Lightroom. If the drive is disconnected, Lightroom will lose the links to the photos, even if they haven’t been moved.
When you want to change the color of objects in an image, you might first reach for Photoshop’s Color Replacement tool. But that’s not always the best approach. For more effective and flexible alternatives, check out these techniques:
Google sometimes favors older CS4 content simply because it’s been around longer. If that’s not what you want, just add “CS5″ to any search, and bingo–the new stuff appears.
If you prefer the direct route, here are links to key CS5 pages:
Photoshop Help main page
A rundown of all the new CS5 features
Some of you might have heard about a little announcement Adobe made at Photoshop World last week: a nifty new product called Adobe Carousel. Carousel manages all of your photos across all of your iOS devices and your Mac, so you can browse, edit, and share photos easily with friends and family. No manual syncing, no storage limits. Pretty nice.
To learn more about Carousel, watch a video about it, and sign up to be notified when it becomes available, go to the Adobe Carousel page on photoshop.com. You should also check out product manager Sumner Paine’s blog post, in which explains some of the concepts and features of the forthcoming service.
If you have a question about Carousel, go to our Adobe Carousel community feedback page. Members of the Carousel product, engineering, and support teams are there to help.
You learn something new every day, and I just learned a really useful tip from Jim Wilde in a thread over at Lightroom Forums.
As you probably know, you can work in one of two import windows in Lightroom: One is a relatively complex window in which you select the source photos, decide how to import, and then specify an array of import/destination options in panels on the right side of the window.
Or, you can click the Show Fewer Options button to work with just a bare minimum of import options.
But did you know that there’s a third way to work? In the full import window, you can use a keyboard shortcut to display only the import panels you want to see and hide the others from view. Right-click (Windows) or press Control+Command and then click (Mac OS) any of the panel headers on the right side of the window to open a context menu. You can show or hide all panels; expand or collapse them; select only those you want to view (the ones whose settings you always need to customize); or enter Solo Mode. You can use the keyboard shortcut on the Source panel on the left side of the window, too, but I tend to need to keep that panel open.
For more information, see the following Help topics:
There. Now you’ve learned something, too.
Many miss the old Picture Package feature from Photoshop CS3 and earlier. But did you know there are several ways to create packages in current Adobe apps?
Photoshop legend Michael Salinero provides several options, including a clever technique that uses Smart Objects to create flexible package layouts.
So you’ve installed Photoshop CS5 and started looking for that familiar Extract command. You could get it back by downloading an optional plug-in, but why take the time?
The new Select > Refine Edge produces far better results and is way more flexible. Fine detail like wispy hair is quickly captured, often without requiring any touch up. It’s really pretty stunning. If you want to fine-tune the results, however, non-destructive processing lets you revisit things at any time, simply by tweaking the related mask. (In contrast, the old Extract command permanently erased pixel data. Bad news when you want to revert a saved file.)
Here are a few online resources to get you started with Refine Edge:
One of the most common tech support questions we get is, “Why doesn’t Lightroom recognize my camera’s raw photos?” Or, similarly, “Why can’t I open my camera’s raw photos in Camera Raw?”
Jeff Tranberry answers these questions in his blog Why doesn’t my version of Photoshop or Lightroom support my camera? Read it to learn how to open your files.
When it comes to exporting photos from Lightroom 3 using the Publish Services panel, our traditional Help documentation wasn’t working for you, feedback showed. Typically, Adobe provides simple feature definitions and explains basic UI functionality—“This button does X, that slider does Y.” But that structure lacks context, and it seemed to be a particularly unhelpful way to document how to export photos to web-sharing sites from Lightroom. So I recently revised the topic according to (gasp!) how you actually use the panel: to publish photos to Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug, and Photoshop.com. Pick your website, follow the steps to upload your photos to it. Makes much more sense.
So check out the new-and-improved Exporting using Publish Services topic. You will also notice another positive change on the page: The addition of new, “Adobe recommends” links to the best-of-the-best community videos and tutorials on how to export photos to the web. The links were actually on the page before, but we’ve applied a new, more visual treatment to help you discover this great content–in some cases, we’ve actually embedded tutorial videos on the Help page. I rolled out the “Adobe recommends” links on a few other popular topics as well:
I updated some woefully out-of-date Adobe Bridge support articles this week. If you’ve been looking for info on the following topics or issues for Bridge CS4 or CS5 (as opposed to for Bridge CS2 or CS3), check ‘em out:
Nested and hierarchal keywording | Adobe Bridge (kb402660)
Troubleshoot errors and freezes | Adobe Bridge | Windows, Mac OS (317912)
Manually remove Adobe Bridge (328358)
Manage the cache | Adobe Bridge CS4, CS5 (kb405357)
Camera Raw files appear as generic icons | Adobe Bridge (kb407945)