Using Lightroom on 2 Computers? HELP!

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by MrsBaker, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. MrsBaker
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    MrsBaker New Member

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    I'm hoping someone here can help me out. I apologize if this has been covered before, but I didn't see anything in my search here and google only confused me more. I warn you, I am incredibly non-technical.

    I currently use my PC to edit images. I'm planning on installing lightroom on my laptop so I can take it to work and edit on my lunch hour, which would give me much more time at home with my family. I had planned to place my images on a network so I could access them from my laptop. (By "I," I mean someone that knows what they're doing.) But I realized that I had no way to work in the same lightroom application from different locations. I understand lightroom is not multi-system friendly. I also understand that it's not very network friendly, either. Does anyone use 2 computers to edit the same photos? If so, how the heck are you doing it?
  2. 480sparky
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    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator

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    I'm not a LR user, but perhaps LR licenses are only valid on one computer?
  3. SCraig
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    SCraig Well-Known Member

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    When you agreed to the license terms (you did read that, right?) you agreed to use the software on one computer. One doesn't mean two, and Adobe isn't going to authorize it on two I wouldn't think.
  4. bhop
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    bhop Well-Known Member

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    You can use it on up to two computers.. It's in their faq, right on their site.. did you try going to adobe's site?

    FAQ | Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4

    How many computers are covered by a single license of Lightroom 4?

    Subject to the terms of the software license agreement, the primary user of the computer on which Lightroom is installed may install a second copy of the software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable computer or a home computer, provided that the software is not used on both computers at the same time. Lightroom is sold as multiplatform software, which means it can be installed on either Mac OS X or Windows.
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  5. kathyt
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    kathyt Well-Known Member

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    You are licensed on 2 computers.
  6. kathyt
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    kathyt Well-Known Member

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    I understand what your question is though. How do you save what you have done from one computer and then continue on to your laptop with the changes you have made? Is that what you mean?
  7. MrsBaker
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    MrsBaker New Member

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    My question isn't about licensing or how to actually install it on 2 systems. I'm wondering how to manage the workflow on 2 computers. How do I share my lightroom catalog between the two so that I can work on both systems seamlessly? I want to be able to access, edit and save the same batch of photos from each computer.
  8. MrsBaker
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    MrsBaker New Member

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    Yes! I'm afraid that if I import/export from each system, it'll be confusing and I'll risk lost edits or multiple copies of the same images.
  9. ghache
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    ghache New Member

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    licencing is not an issue. the problem your going to have is to keep your catalogs sync and the files on both computer with the same file structure.


    you're going to have to do it yourself. every time you finish working on your home computer, you need to make a backup copy of your lightroom catalog and copy this catalog to your laptop somehow. You will also need to sync your files from your computer to your laptop.


    on thing you can do is to work you files from a usb hard drive (not recommended as its slow as ****) and then reconnect that usb drive to your laptop once you need to work from your laptop, opening the catalog (backup copy) from the usb drive

    other option is to create shares on both machine and once you have both on the network you can copy/sync the files.
  10. bhop
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    bhop Well-Known Member

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    My bad.. I should've read better.
  11. ghache
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    ghache New Member

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    I would use Beyond compare to do this as its a great tool to makes this sort of copies. it will do incremental copy vs full copy of files everytime. same thing as a backup system with the 0-1 bits
  12. kathyt
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    kathyt Well-Known Member

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    This is the reason I only edit off of my main desktop and then just use my laptop for messing around. Plus you will never have consistant color if you go back and forth.
  13. ghache
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    ghache New Member

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    if both monitors are calibrated and verified it could be pretty accurate.
  14. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Lightroom isn't set up well for a network. As others are saying, the best solution seems to be using a portable drive and just taking it from one computer to the next.

    That being said, once you have loaded the catalog and generated the previews...many of the things you can do in LR, don't require you to actually have the image files on hand. In LR, they will still appear to be there, but with a question mark beside them, telling you that the link to the original files is broken.

    I'll always defer to Matt K. for LR advice.
    The Easiest Way to Share Lightroom Catalogs with Different Computers « Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips
  15. 480sparky
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    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator

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    I use the desktop for all my heavy lifting. The laptop, if used for editing at all, is for simple cloning, cropping, resizing, ect.
  16. SCraig
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    SCraig Well-Known Member

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    I stand corrected. Thanks for pointing that out.
  17. MLeeK
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    MLeeK New Member

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    The networking and synching to multiple computers is pretty simple and the guys can walk you through the different ways to do it that may fit you best.
    My concern for you is the laptop, period. Can you control the calibration on your laptop 100%? Laptops are not even a remotely good choice for editing as the displays are just not good. Every little movement will have an effect on the calibration and how you see the image. You must be looking at it flat on 100%. You will need to calibrate it every day at work before working on it, unless you do not move it and you will still need to calibrate it at the very least weekly. Although even if I were working on a 100% stationary laptop that is glued in place I'd want to calibrate it before every single editing session. You will have to move it because you will need to take it home with you and I assume you are not lunching at your desk-you could be. Your best bet when editing on a laptop is to have an external, quality monitor attached. That doesn't sound like it's much of an option here because you are wanting the portability.
    I have a feeling you will find yourself re-working everything you did on your laptop-especially with the color and exposure-when you get back home.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012
  18. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    You can't share the catalog.

    In that regard Lightroom is a 1 trick pony. A serious limitation of Lightroom is that only 1 computer at a time can open or access a Lightroom catalog. No networking, unless only 1 computer on the network is accessing the catalog.

    As MLeek mentions, laptops are notoriously poor image editing devices.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2012

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