Lightroom’s Hidden Gems #3

Lightroom’s Hidden Gems #3

From keyboard shortcuts to menu items, there is a lot of Lightroom’s hidden gems we miss while organizing and enhancing our images. In this series, I’ll introduce you to (or remind you of) time saving shortcuts, enhancement techniques, and many of the lesser known, but really cool features in Lightroom.

Renaming Your Lightroom Catalog

For many folks, the beginning  of the new year is time to clean up their computers and get organized.  If having a generic catalog name is frustrating or confusing, now is a great time to make that change.  Fortunately for us, renaming your Lightroom catalog is not all that hard.

1.  Launch Lightroom.

2. Go Lightroom > Catalog Settings > General (Mac) OR Edit > Catalog Settings > General (Pc.)

3. The Catalog Settings box will appear showing you the location of your catalog.  Press the Show Button circled in red (below) to reveal the location in the operating system window.

4. A Finder/Explorer window will open showing the location of the catalog. My catalog is circled in red in an Apple Finder window below.

5.  Leave the operating system window open and return to the Lightroom application. Quit or Exit out of Lightroom.

6. Return to the operating system window and locate your Lightroom Catalog.lrcat file.  Below you can see that my Lightroom Catalog is named Lightroom Classic CC.  The file extension is  .lrcat.

7. Right click (Apple- Control+click) to change this file’s name.  Be sure to keep its extension of “.lrcat”. The “.lrcat”  is essential.

8. Below you can see I changed the name to Primary Catalog.lrcat.

9 .Next, change the name of the Previews.lrdata package (Mac) or Previews.lrcat folder (Pc) so that it is now an exact match with your catalog’s new name. Be sure to keep the word “Previews” at the end of this file’s name and to preserve its .lrdata extension. In the following screen shot notice the new name is Primary Catalog, but I kept the word previews in the title to preserve the file.

10.  You are now finished renaming your Lightroom catalog.  By double clicking the .lrcat file you will now launch THAT catalog with its new name!

11.  Once you’ve returned to Lightroom, its time to ensure you always open this catalog when you relaunch the program.  Go to Lightroom > Preferences> General (Mac) OR Edit > Preferences > General (Pc.).  Here you can choose Load most recent catalog from the When starting up use this catalog drop down as seen circled in red below.


If you have more than one Lightroom Catalog, you might want to check out the following blog Lightroom Catalog Confusion we posted back in February.  This video will teach you how to consolidate all of your various catalogs into one!

Lightroom Catalog Confusion

Lightroom CatalogConfusion


For more information on Lightroom, view our 33 part, 5 hour training tutorial!

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