Lightroom Export and Stack Tip

Here’s a simple tip that may just keep you from pulling out your hair when trying to export from Lightroom 2.+ and stack the copy back with the source photo.

When exporting to disk you have the option to add those copies to the catalog (kind of like an auto-import).  In addition, you also have the option to stack the copies back with the source photo, but only under certain conditions.

  • You have to export the copies to the same folder as original photo (no subfolder).
  • You have to check the Add to This Catalog box.

Those options are pretty straight forward, but here is one that caused me some confusion until I realized what I did …

  • You have to select the photo for export while working from within a folder.

It kinda makes sense in that you can’t stack photos from within a collection, so apparently you can’t stack the exported copy with the source photo if you make the selection from within a collection. In fact you won’t even see the stacking option visible.

Export and Stack

So, I hope this helps you avoid the frustration I went through trying to figure out why I couldn’t stack!

4 thoughts on “Lightroom Export and Stack Tip”

  1. Interesting puzzle. Yes, the stacking checkbox goes away when you start import from a place where it won’t work (i.e. collections).

    This makes me think that perhaps we should leave it visible but disabled instead and maybe include some helper text to explain why it’s disabled.

  2. That would be a good solution. At least then I wouldn’t think I was imagining a feature. 😀

    It made total sense once I realized what I had done … and perhaps I am being a bit melodramatic when I say I was close to pulling out my hair … but I was indeed confused.

  3. Hi, LR newbie and I am unable to understand what you mean when you say that export while working from within a folder. I am trying to export from the Library module and still the stacking option remains disabled. Also what are the benefits f stacking?

  4. Hi Debi,

    I mean that you need to click on a folder name in the Folders panel so that you are then working with just the photos within that folder. If you are in a collection you will find the stacking option disabled. The benefit of stacking is to reduce clutter if you have a lot of similars or perhaps you might have a raw file a virtual copy and even a TIF or PSD version. You can stack them all together and make your folder view a little more manageable.

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