A key benefit of working with Luminar Neo’s Catalog is organization. Finding your best and favorite photos makes your Catalog more useful. Taking the time to organize in Luminar Neo is essential.
Folders are the primary organizational tool in Luminar Neo. Folders in Luminar Neo are directly connected to folders on your hard drive. In addition to organizing folders on your hard drive within Luminar, you can also organize your images virtually using Albums. Albums let you organize your images into groups without affecting their location on your hard drive. Let’s explore both approaches.
Organizing your images within folders in Neo is a great way to keep your photo collection in order. All changes you make to folders in Luminar Neo directly affect how the folders on your hard drive are organized and vice versa. If you create subfolders or add new images to folders on your hard drive, your Luminar Neo Catalog will automatically be updated to reflect those changes.
What Are Folders?
When you add a folder of images to Luminar Neo, you create a direct link to that folder on your hard drive, along with all the subfolders and images it contains. You should consider managing folders and their contents in Luminar Neo as an alternative to managing these items directly within File Explorer in Windows or Finder in macOS.
How Are Folders Different from Albums?
Folders in Luminar Neo are directly linked to (and affect) folders on your hard drive. On the other hand, Albums allow you to organize your images inside Luminar Neo without affecting the structure of images on your hard drive. Think of Albums as playlists. One image can be organized in several different Albums, making it easier to find without affecting its location on your hard drive.
There are three ways to add a folder to your Catalog:
- Click the Add Photos button at the top of the Catalog panel.
- Click the Add Folder *icon (the *+ sign to the right of the word Folder) in the Catalog panel.
- Go to File > Add Folder with Images…
The folder you select will be added to your Folder collection as a top-level folder. All folders contained within that top-level folder will also be added as subfolders.
Any folders that already exist within a master folder you add to Luminar Neo are added to your Catalog as subfolders. If a new folder is added to a master folder from within the operating system, Luminar Neo will recognize that change and automatically add that subfolder to your Luminar Neo Catalog. You can also add subfolders to Luminar Neo. Subfolders make organizing images by client, location, or event easy.
As you work in your Luminar Neo Catalog, you may want to create additional folders to get organized. You can quickly create subfolders inside any folder in your Catalog in two ways.
- Right-click on a folder and choose New Subfolder.
- Select a folder in the Catalog panel and choose File > New Subfolder from the main application menu.
A new subfolder will be created called New folder (you can rename it). This subfolder will also be created on your hard drive within the master folder.
Additionally, you can drag folders from one level to another to create nested folders. Simply drag a folder on top of another to nest it and convert it into a subfolder. The nested folder (now a subfolder) will be relocated both in your Luminar Neo Catalog and on your hard drive.
As you organize images, you may want to rename folders or subfolders. You might name folders to identify the status of images (such as “Selects”) or to split up collections by date or location.
If you rename a folder or subfolder within Luminar Neo, the name of the linked folder or subfolder will also be changed on your hard drive. If you change the name of a folder on your hard drive while Luminar Neo is running, your Catalog will automatically update to reflect the new name.
Moving Images Between Folders
You can move images and subfolders from one folder in your Catalog to another. When reorganizing your photos in Luminar Neo, you can select single or multiple images and drag them to master folders or subfolders. These images will be relocated on your hard drive to match their new locations inside your Catalog. You can also move an entire subfolder of images from one folder to another, which will also affect the folder structure on your hard drive.
Moving Images from the Single Image Edits Shortcut to a Folder (macOS)
The Edit Single Image command is a great way to work with individual images without having to add them to your collection of folders. Any image you open is tracked as a recent file in the Single Image Edits shortcut.
Images that have been temporarily added to Luminar Neo using the Edit Single Image command can be permanently added to your Luminar Neo Catalog.
- Click on Single Image Edits in the top section of the Catalog panel.
- Select an image (or multiple images)
- Drag the image thumbnails onto any folder or subfolder in the Folders section of the Catalog panel. The images will be physically moved from their original location into the folder you specified on your hard drive.
These images will still appear in the Single Image Edits shortcut even though they are now part of your Library. To remove them from the Single Image Edit shortcut, select them and just press the Delete key. The image is removed from the Single Image Edits collection. Though no longer in the Single Image Edits collection, the images are in the new location you added to your Library.
Reconnecting Missing Folders and Images
To bring these folders back online, simply reconnect or remount the external hard drive, and Luminar Neo will re-establish its link with the folders. Once reconnected, folders will no longer be grayed out, and you can edit and organize the images within them as usual.
Tips for working with folders and images:
- To avoid breaking links to folders, move, rename, and organize any folders linked to your Catalog while Luminar Neo is running.
- Rename master folders in Luminar Neo and not in File Explorer *(Windows) or *Finder (macOS).
- Remember that relocating and renaming folders in Luminar Neo directly affects those folders on your hard drive.
Deleting Files from Folders
Deleting images in your Luminar Neo Catalog is an excellent way to clean up your hard drive and free up storage space. Remember that deleting files from folders in Luminar Neo will also delete them from your hard drive. To help you avoid permanently deleting your original photos unintentionally, Luminar Neo includes multiple warnings.
Here’s an example of a workflow you might use to delete multiple files from folders at one time.
Flag Files As Rejected
Rejecting a file is a helpful way to queue it for deletion. Just press the X key to flag a file as Rejected (press U to flag it as Unmarked if needed). When you flag an image as Rejected, it becomes grayed out in Luminar Neo.
Safely Remove Rejected Files from Your Catalog
Luminar Neo makes it easy to see and manage rejected files. This way, you only work with the files you want to remove.
- Choose the All Photos collection. Alternatively, you can select a folder or an album to view just a portion of your Catalog.
- At the top of the Catalog window, click on the drop-down menu labeled Showing and choose only to show Rejected images.
- Select all Rejected images you wish to delete, then right-click on one of them and choose Move to Trash. You can also move images to the trash via the Luminar Neo Image menu, then selecting Move to Luminar Trash
- To view images in Luminar Neo’s Trash, choose the Trash shortcut from the Catalog panel.
- Click the Empty Trash button at the top of the Catalog window. This will send all images in the Luminar Neo Trash to your operating system’s Trash (macOS) or Recycle Bin (Windows).
Using Albums to Organize Images
Albums let you organize your images into groups without affecting their location on your hard drive. Albums are a helpful way to sort your images into groups or categories such as people, places, and pets.
What Are Albums?
Albums are virtual storage locations. Think of them as playlists for your photos. A song on your hard drive can live in a playlist based on the artist, the year it was released, or the musical genre it belongs to. So can a photo. One photo can be assigned to multiple albums. These might be named for the subject, where the photo was taken, or the event where the photo was shot.
How Are Albums Different from Folders?
When you move an image between albums — or even one image into multiple albums — the folder structure on your hard drive doesn’t change as it does when working with folders. Also, if you delete a photo from an album, it remains in its original folder in Luminar Neo and on your hard drive.
Creating an Album
Creating albums is an easy way to organize your photos.
- To create an album, select a single image or a group of images in your Catalog.
- Click the Add Album button (the small + button to the right of the word Albums) in the Catalog panel. A new album will be created named “New Album,” and the image or group of images you selected will be placed in that album. You can also create a new album by selecting an image or images and choosing File > New Album, by right-clicking on an image or series of images and choosing Create Album, or by pressing Cmd+N (macOS) / Ctrl+N (Windows).
- When you create an album, its name will be highlighted so you can easily rename it. Give your new album a descriptive name.
You can rename an album at any time by right-clicking on it and selecting Rename from the pop-up menu. It’s possible to have two albums with identical names, so be careful when naming albums so you can easily find your images in the future.
Copying Images Between Albums
Dragging images from one album to another puts those images in a new album without removing them from the first album. For example, you may have photos of people in your Paris Travel album and want those photos in your People album.
Removing Files from Albums
Removing an image from an album is easy; after doing so, the image file will remain in its original folder on your hard drive and in your Catalog.
- Choose the album you want to remove an image from.
- Select the image you want to discard (hold down the Shift key to select a range of images).
- Right-click on one of the selected images, choose Remove from Album, or press the Delete key.
Your images will be removed from the selected album but live in other albums and their original folder(s). Removing an image from an album does not affect the original file on your hard drive.
Moving Images from the Single Image Edits Shortcut to an Album
This is a great way to organize images you want to edit but not affect where they are located on your hard drive. When you remove an image from the Single Image Edits shortcut, it will also be removed from any Albums you have added it to.