Adding a folder of images to your Catalog allows you to quickly access, organize, and work with photos located on your hard drive, on external drives, and even on synced cloud storage. When you add a folder, none of your photos are moved. LuminarAI simply scans the folder and any subfolders and creates thumbnails and links to the images inside. LuminarAI will keep your existing folder hierarchy, and folders in LuminarAI are tied directly to folders on your hard drive.

There are three ways to add a folder to your LuminarAI Catalog. All three methods accomplish the same goal.

  1. Adding Folders from the Catalog panel
  2. Adding Folders from the + button in the Top Toolbar
  3. Adding Folders from the Menu Bar

Adding Folders from the Catalog Panel

  • Clicking the + sign to the right of the word Folder in the Catalog panel opens a browser window in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (macOS).
  • In this browser window, navigate to the folder on your hard drive that you would like to add and select it.

When you select a folder, it will be added to your Folder collection as a top-level folder. All subfolders within the added folder will also be added to your Catalog.
The folder you have added will now appear under the Folders collection in the Catalog panel. Each folder you add to your Catalog is considered a master folder. Any folders contained within a master folder are added as subfolders.

  • Any folder with a small triangle to the left of its name is a master folder that contains subfolders.
  • Clicking on this triangle will reveal the subfolders within the master folder.
  • You can add additional subfolders to any master folder by right-clicking on the master folder and choosing the New Subfolder command.

Adding Folders from the + Button in the Top Toolbar

Clicking the + button in the top toolbar (to the left of the Catalog tab) will reveal two options. Choose Add Folder with Images… to add an existing folder to your Catalog. Once selected, the folder will be added as described in the section on adding folders from the Catalog panel.

Adding Folders from the Menu Bar

You can also add a folder from the main menu by choosing File > Add Folder with Images … Once selected, the folder will be added the same way as with the first two methods.

Folders added from an External Hard Drive

You can add folders located on an external hard drive to your Catalog. The process is the same as for adding folders from an internal hard drive. However, be aware that if an external hard drive is disconnected from your system, the media contained on it will go offline. If this happens, the names of folders located on your external hard drive will be greyed out in the Catalog and a warning triangle will appear next to the folder names.

  • When an offline folder is opened, thumbnails of the original photos will be available.
  • You select or reject offline images, but you won’t be able to edit them 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, but you cannot move offline images into Folders.

When an external hard drive containing a folder in your Catalog is reconnected and mounted, the folder and all the images inside it 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 disappear. Any selection or rejection of images done while the folder was offline will be remembered. Also, if any images had been edited before the external drive was removed, the edits will be remembered when the drive is reconnected.

If your system cannot locate a drive, you can right-click on a folder located on that drive and choose Locate Drive to select it manually.

Folders added from Synced Cloud Storage

LuminarAI 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 cloud storage, LuminarAI will not be able to create a thumbnail or 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. Once these images are synced locally to your computer, LuminarAI will automatically add them to your Catalog.

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