Selective Import


Today’s Question: Is there a way to select a group of files to import into Lightroom Classic without checking or unchecking each file in the import screen? Example: you shoot a wedding on one card and want the ceremony in one folder, the dancing in another, and the family shots in a third folder. Or you went to five places on a road trip and want the pictures of each place in separate folders. Is there a way to select a group of files for importing without checking or unchecking each file?

Tim’s Quick Answer: To divide photos up into multiple folders you would either need to select a range of photos for import and turn on the checkboxes for those photos in batch, or import to one folder and divide the images into multiple folders after the import.

More Detail: By default when you import photos into Lightroom Classic, all of the photos (and videos) in the selected source location will be imported. However, you can import selectively if you prefer.

It is important to note that you can select a range of photos to be imported relatively easily, making it possible to perform several import operations for various photos in a single source location that you want to import into different destination folders.

First, after bringing up the Import dialog and selecting the source of photos to be imported, you would want to uncheck all photos so that none of the photos are enabled for import. To do so, simply click the “Uncheck All” button at the bottom of the Import dialog.

Next, you’ll want to select the range of photos you want to import. Start by clicking on the thumbnail for the first image in the range of those you want to import. Then hold the Shift key on the keyboard and click on the last photo in the range. Once you have selected all photos you want to import in this way, you can click the empty checkbox for any one of the selected photos, and all selected photos will have the checkbox turned on. In other words, all selected photos would be enabled for import.

You could repeat this process as many times as is necessary, selecting a different range of photos and a different target folder for each batch of photos you want to import.

Another option would be to simply import all of the photos into a single folder, and then make subfolders after the import and move photos to the appropriate folder. You could create a subfolder within the current folder by clicking the plus icon (+) to the right of the Folders heading on the left panel in the Library module, and then choosing “Add Subfolder” from the popup menu. Enter a name for the new subfolder and click Create, and you can then select photos and drag-and-drop them to the applicable subfolder.