I recently posted the method I use to update the metadata for virtual copies in Lightroom, after editing the EXIF info externally (to set manual focus/non-CPU lens info, in my case). Well, after I replied to a post on Adobe’s forums about a similar issue, there’s been some further activity on that thread, and I discovered a better way to do it.
New way to update a virtual copy’s metadata after it being updated externally:
- Make sure the virtual copy and master file have snapshots saved. Also note the rating and color label of the virtual copy.
- While in the Library module, select the virtual copy, then choose from the menu bar: Photo → Set Copy as Master. This will make the virtual copy the master file, and the previous master a virtual copy.
- Choose from the menu bar Metadata → Read Metadata from File. This will cause the current master (and what was a virtual copy) to be an exact match of the old master (develop settings, rating, color label).
- Right click on the master (the old virtual copy), and choose Develop Settings, and then choose the appropriate snapshot.
- Set the rating and color label back to their original values.
- Select the virtual copy (what was the master before), and choose from the menu bar: Photo → Set Copy as Master. From my experience the original settings will be reapplied (if not, re-apply the original master’s snapshot). Bonus: the virtual copy’s original Copy Name will still be set correctly.
The big benefits of this method include:
- If the virtual copies are in any publish collections, just their metadata wil be updated, and you don’t be prompted to remove the image from the publish collection like the old way.
- Less switching between modules, therefore is faster.
Of course, it’s still much easier to change the EXIF data before you create any virtual copies, but if you can’t avoid it, this appears to be the best way to handle it for now.