Specify import options

After you choose the photos you want to import (see Import photos into a catalog), use the File Handling, File Renaming, and Apply During Import panels on the right side of the import window to specify options for the photos you are bringing into your Lightroom catalog.

Back up photos during import

 If you’re copying or moving photos into the catalog, you can create a one-time copy, or backup, of the original photo files. In the File Handling panel on the right side of the import window, select Make A Second Copy To and specify a location.
Note: You still need to regularly back up your photos and catalog. For more detailed information on backing up Lightroom, see Backing up the catalog.

Specify duplicate file handling when importing

Lightroom determines a photo is a duplicate of another file in the catalog if it has the same, original filename; the same EXIF capture date and time; and the same file size. You can instruct Lightroom to disregard duplicate files when importing.

 In the File Handling panel on the right side of the import window, select Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates.

Specify initial previews when importing

As photos are imported, Lightroom can immediately display a photo’s embedded preview, or display higher-quality previews as the program renders them. Embedded previews are created by cameras and are not color managed, so embedded previews don’t match how Lightroom interprets the camera raw files. Previews rendered by Lightroom take longer to generate but are color managed.

 In the File Handling panel on the right side of the import window, choose an option from the Render Previews menu:
Minimal
Immediately display images using the smallest previews embedded in the photos. Lightroom renders standard-size previews when needed.

Embedded & Sidecar
Display the largest possible preview available from the camera. This option may take longer than a Minimal preview but is still faster than rendering a standard-size preview.

Standard
Display previews as Lightroom renders them. Standard-size previews use the Adobe RGB color space and are what you see in the Fit zoom level of the Loupe view. Specify the Standard preview size in the Catalog Settings dialog box. See Set preview cache.

1:1
Display previews that are a 100% view of actual pixels.

Rename photos when importing

When copying or moving photos into the catalog during import, you can specify how the files are named.

  1. In the File Renaming panel on the right side of the import window, select Rename Files.
  2. If you choose a naming option that uses a custom name, type the name in the Custom Text field.
  3. If you don’t want a numeric sequence to start with “1,” enter a value in the Start Number field.
Note: For more information on custom names, see Naming options.

Apply Develop settings to photos when importing

Any Develop settings preset can be applied to photos as they are imported. This is especially useful for applying Develop settings to photos from a camera for which you created a Develop preset.

 In the Apply During Import panel on the right side of the import window, choose a setting from the Develop Settings menu.
Note: For more information, see Create and apply Develop presets.

Apply metadata to photos when importing

 In the Apply During Import panel on the right side of the import window, choose any of the following options from the Metadata menu:
  • To not apply metadata to photos during import, choose None.

  • To apply a set of metadata that you saved as a template, choose a metadata preset from the menu.

  • To apply a new set of metadata to photos while importing, choose New and enter the information in the New Metadata Preset dialog box.

  • To add keyword metadata to photos while importing, type the keywords in the Keywords text box. Use commas to separate the keywords.

Note: When adding metadata to photos, Lightroom doesn’t apply the data to proprietary camera raw files but to their sidecar XMP files.