Duplicating a Source Image in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: Is there a way to make a 1:1 duplicate of a file in Lightroom Classic?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can make an exact duplicate of a source image in Lightroom Classic by using a bit of trick with the Export feature, essentially exporting a copy of the image and adding it back to the catalog.

More Detail: By using a specific combination of settings in the Export dialog in Lightroom Classic you can create a copy of an image in the same folder as the image selected for export and add that copy back to the catalog.

To get started, select the photo you want to duplicate in this way. Then click the Export button at the bottom of the left panel in the Library module to bring up the Export dialog.

In the Export Location section of the Export dialog set the destination to the location where you want to save the derivative image you’re creating via the export. For example, you could set the Export To popup to “Same folder as original photo” to save the exported copy to the same folder as the original you’ve selected. In this case make sure the “Put in Subfolder” checkbox is turned off. However, you can save the new derivative image to any location you’d like.

Be sure to also turn on the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox in the Export Location section, so the exported image will be added to the catalog. This will enable you to manage that derivative copy using your normal workflow.

If you’re saving the exported copy to the same folder as the original image, you’ll need to rename the copy as well. To do so turn on the “Rename To” checkbox in the File Naming section of the export dialog. You can then use a preset from the popup as a starting point. Choose “Edit” from that same popup if you want to customize the settings for renaming, such as by using the original filename along with custom text you can define, such as to add the word “Copy” to the end of the filename.

In the File Settings section you can choose the file type you want to use for the exported copy. If you’re truly making an exact copy of the source image, you will want to choose “Original” from the Image Format popup so the copy will be the same file type as the original. This will also disable the in the Image Sizing, Output Sharpening, Metadata, and Watermarking sections, since you’re making a copy of the source file without modification in this case.

After configuring the settings for the export, you can click the Export dialog and the new image will be created and saved based on the settings you selected.