Almost everyday, I talk with someone who is completely confused by Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic’s complicated Import Dialog box. Unlike almost all of the other parts of this program, Import is not a forgiving activity but there is an easy way to make the whole Import process fast, predictable, and painless. The secret to conquering Lightroom Classic’s Import Dialog requires a robust understanding of the program’s Import Presets feature.
Once you understand what Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic’s Import Presets do, then adding files from a digital camera memory card, or any other storage device, into your Lightroom Catalog is a piece of cake. Use the appropriate Import Preset every time and your files will never accidentally end up in the wrong place. Below are two video tutorials on how to build and use Import Presets. The first tutorial is probably all that you need but I added a second one at the bottom of this lesson just to cover every other conceivable Import scenario.
Many Photoshop Lightroom Classic users get frustrated when their Import Dialog “refuses” to import a group of images. Usually this frustration occurs when the images in question are already connected to the users Lightroom Catalog. The Import Dialog automatically “grey’s out” the thumbnails for any image that the Catalog has already referenced and it refuses to import these files a second time. The Import Dialog will not create new reference points for these images because Lightroom’s database cannot hold multiple reference points that lead to the same object (image file).
It would be nice if the Import Dialog explained this behavior using words, but it is actually doing you a favor by keeping your Lightroom Catalog from becoming an enormous mess full of duplicate entries. Unfortunately, many novice users assume that there is something wrong with the application when this occurs. Happily, nothing is wrong. Multiple reference points that lead to the same object would create needless repetition, mass confusion, and eventually bring total chaos to your Catalog.
Many thanks to my friend Farshid Ariz for some of the photos that I used in this tutorial. Most appreciated Farshid!