An Update on the Lightroom 5 Publish Grid Bug

UPDATE (AUG 1): I initially thought that the bug discussed in this article was fixed in the Lightroom 5.2 beta release, but the bug still persists. )-:

Lightroom 5 was released the other day, and in my blog post about it, I warned about a potentially insidious Publish-related bug that could cause you to “do stuff” on different photos than it appeared you were working with. Since “do stuff” could mean “delete these images”, at worst this means that you could accidentally delete images from your disk without even realizing you'd done it.

The folks on the Lightroom team at Adobe have always been most generous to me with their time and attention, and that remains the case with this bug, and we've been working together on understanding it. At this point, I can report that things are both better and worse than I initially thought.

It turns out that with effort, I can reproduce the bug in older versions of Lightroom (Lr3 and Lr4), so at least in one manifestation, this is not a new bug. It's telling that I didn't notice the bug in the four years I've worked with Publish, and I didn't hear about it from any of the hundreds of thousands of folks who use my plugins. This makes me feel that it must be an exceptionally rare bug, and that somehow I just got unlucky in that I'm hitting the bug easily after the upgrade to Lr5. If this is true, the “general alarm” of my initial post is unwarranted.

However, the fact that I and others didn't notice the bug doesn't mean that I and others weren't affected by the bug; the insidious “silent killer” nature of it means that you simply don't know exactly the ramifications unless you happen to catch it right away. If you are affected, but don't catch it right away, it may be days or months or years before you notice that something was done to the wrong image, or not done to the right image.

Clearly this is a Big Deal if you're bit by this bug, but we just don't know how widespread it is in the wild. Perhaps I'm the only one who actually suffers from it in Lr5, and that as such it's just unfortunate for Lightroom's PR that I happen to have a well-trafficed blog.

The investigation continues; I'll post updates as warranted.

In any case, I continue to find what's new in Lr5 indispensable, and I heartily recommend it. But for now, when working in Publish, I suggest always keeping the Filmstrip open and making your selections there.

Continued here...

All 30 comments so far, oldest first...

as i wrote in the comments to your first post….i noticed the same behavior in the LIBRARY module when sending files to PS.

and i never noticed this before… with any LR version.

i can not reproduce it by will.. but it happened.

so adobe should have a closer look at this.. and not only relating to PUBLISH.

— comment by Hamada on June 12th, 2013 at 7:03pm JST (10 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Great to hear that Adobe is looking into this. I have struggled with this bug in LR4 for a long time. I often review my images in publish collections, and get this all the time. Because of that I had to change my workflow, but I still occationaly forget my own advice and discovers I have added keywords and rejected status on wrong pictures.

Actually I get this all the time, so I never thought about reporting the bug as I figured a lot of people already had done it, and Adobe was working on a fix. Since none of the 4.x releases fixed it I just guessed it was a problem with the architecture of things, and a bigger rewrite had to be done on the next major version…

— comment by Frode Evensen on June 13th, 2013 at 12:33am JST (10 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

“… I heartily recommend it. But for now, when working in Publish, I suggest always keeping the Filmstrip open and making your selections there.”

The key info guys. Pay attention when selecting to avoid “loosing” stuff.

Thanks Jeffery.

— comment by Michael Mba on June 13th, 2013 at 2:55am JST (10 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for the heads up Jeffrey. I haven’t experienced the bug you describe but I have noticed flaky behaviour in the filmstrip selections with LR5. My guess is that some kind of instability has crept into that area with the new version.

— comment by John King on June 13th, 2013 at 8:49pm JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I noticed that in LR4, I didn’t always get what I thought I had selected. So I was more careful about what was highlighted from then on, and I never had a problem.

It’s an issue which might potentially have severe consequences, but it seems to hardly ever happen, so I guess it needs to be fixed, but it is probably not a major risk due to the way people work with LR?

Probably both… many people don’t use Publish, so aren’t at risk, and even those who do may not be likely to get bitten by the bug. I get it all the time, for unknown reasons )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Relaxed on June 14th, 2013 at 12:04am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I’m not sure if this might “help”, or not. But I’ve noticed in LR4 (and still happens in LR5), if I use “undo” after setting presets, and jumping between modules, then at some point, undo stacks as well as =>selections<= go wonky. ie, I select something in grid, it's not the right thing selected, as operations affect the wrong photo. At this point, I've always just mumbled some unsavory language at lack of serious dog fooding and restart LR.

— comment by trevpp on June 14th, 2013 at 2:08am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Thank you Jeffrey for ringing the bell on this one.

Just upgraded to LR 5 and the first view of the Library module grid with filmstrip shows that selections are not in sync.

I select photos in either the grid or the filmstrip and the selections are not reflected in the filmstrip or grid.

This isn’t using Publish, but simply choosing images from the grid/filmstrip in Library module.

I haven’t re-opened the catalog, LR, or rebooted (yet) so I don’t know if this will take care of the problem at this point.

However, this is MAJOR dog doo for most workflow processes that you’d use gridview for — keywording, selections, collections, file renaming, etc. — virtually anything you need to select groups of photos for.

Adobe should be working hard to smash this bug quickly as its quite nasty.

Haven’t seen anything like this before so it’s unclear where it was introduced.

Keeping my fingers crossed that reopening the catalog, LR, or rebooting resolves it or I’ll have to figure out how to revert to LR 4 with a creative cloud subscription. (I’ll repost if any of those actions aside from reversion resolves it.)

I guess bleeding edge with creative cloud is sometimes, well… a bit bloody.

— comment by Bonnie on June 14th, 2013 at 8:47am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink


Re-opening the catalog seems to have resolved the issue for me.

The behavior now is as desired (so far) — I select an image or images in the grid and the filmstrip responds by selecting the same images.

Now I’m much more hopeful that this isn’t a show-stopper for the typical work done in the Library module.

But it does mean we all should pay close attention to our selections to avoid getting bit by the bug.

Thanks again Jeffrey for keeping us in the loop and aware of the good as well as the little ugly nasties that can sometimes bite us with upgrades of complex programs like LR and that can be difficult to eradicate for the developers (especially if its not easily replicated). Hopefully this one will be rooted out and an appropriate update sent out.

— comment by Bonnie on June 14th, 2013 at 9:09am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey – you getting it all the time is indeed strange. I get it from time to time (I use Publish too), but since I am aware of this, I always check that the right image is selected, so nothing bad ever happened to me, I just accepted it as one of these minor things that every software has and you have to deal with

— comment by Relaxed on June 14th, 2013 at 5:53pm JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Now that I read this, I realize I’ve encountered this bug many times, as detailed by trevpp above. I always wrote it off to user error, i.e. ME. I assumed I selected the wrong images, but I didn’t. I assumed that my cursor jumped, or that something else was going on. All of this in LR 4. Never noticed it in LR 3 though. I would quit LR and restart to resolve problem, because as with Photoshop, most problems seem to happen when the cache fills up. I got a new iMac with more RAM now, so I’m hoping many issues disappear! Thanks, ilene

— comment by ileneh on June 15th, 2013 at 10:59am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I have successfully used your plugin for Zenfolio for several years but it quit working with LR4 and I still cannot use it with LR5. When trying to reinstall the plugin I get this message: “An error occurred while reading the schema for the plug-in “jf Zenfolio”. The plug-in will be disabled.” Do you have any information on this problem and how I can correct it. I really would like to be able to use the plugin.

Check the lower-right and upper-right sections of the plugin manager for diagnostics, and make sure you’re using the latest version of the plugin. —Jeffrey

— comment by JPR on June 18th, 2013 at 10:45am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Do you know whether the NIK Collection plugins by Google will work in Lightroom 5? I am planning to upgrade fro LR 4 to LR 5 and would like to know if the NIK software will work before I purchase it. I know it works with LR 4.

I don’t know anything about NIK except that they kept calling their products “plugins” when they clearly were not Lightroom plugins. (That doesn’t make their plugins better or worse, but called into question the honesty of their marketing folks, claiming a higher level of integration than they actually provided.) That being said, I would expect anything that worked with Lr4 would also work with Lr5. They’re just external programs that you run, like Photoshop, to create new images that are then added to your catalog. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dennis on June 19th, 2013 at 7:21am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Question: Is this happening on both, the Windows version and the Mac version?

I believe so, yes, though I personally use only a Mac. —Jeffrey

— comment by Chris on June 19th, 2013 at 3:50pm JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I’m in the same case as John King :
I don’t often use the publish section, but noticed strange behavior in the library; I observed this right away, the first time I launched LR5 and just after I had converted my catalogue : what was selected in the grid didn’t correspond to what was selected in the strip..

I tried deselecting and reselecting and the selection in the strip didn’t want to follow the selection made on the grid. I had to go to the strip to make the selection.

All my tasks are taking a huge time to complete now. So I attributed that disarraying behavior to the fact that my catalogue has grown too big and that LR5 was underperforming (the grid didn’t manage to keep up with the strip.

Now that the previews of my most recent and used files have been created, I didn’t notice that problem as often as at the beginning.

I find that very worrying however.

— comment by rrr_hhh on June 20th, 2013 at 1:40am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Running under windows 7 and I actually found this bug on importing while in library mode.. Yikes. tried to import from a Lexar 32 g card and what was showing as highlighted was NOT what it started to import. Actually imported some duplicates even though “suspect duplicates” was clicked.

This happened at least 3 times until I just made sure to delete all pics on the card once I had done the importing.. Crazy that bug… haven’t tried from publish yet, but I used that ALL the time in LR4 and will no doubt want to again.

Thanks for the heads up on filmstrip…cause I certainly haven’t used that in the past when publishing.

— comment by Clawzzz on June 21st, 2013 at 7:27am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
— comment by Josh on June 28th, 2013 at 8:04am JST (10 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I updatrd to Lightroom 5 yesterday, cannot publish to Picassa wed Upload from light room I get this error message:

Lightroom version is incompatible with this plug-in

Any suggestions?

Upload to the latest version of the plugin. —Jeffrey

— comment by Kathy on July 18th, 2013 at 6:37am JST (10 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hopefully this problem will be addressed in the planned update mentioned in this Adobe blog post (blog post created on the 25 July 2013):

— comment by Roger Byrne on July 26th, 2013 at 4:20am JST (10 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

A release candidate containing a fix for this problem is now available (31st July 2013):

You beat me too it (I was out playing soccer with my boy)… I’ve posted an update here, but essentially it’s what you just said… the bug is fixed. 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Roger Byrne on August 1st, 2013 at 7:30am JST (10 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Seems that the fix does not apply to all possible configuraions – for me , the situation with 5.2 RC is unchanged at best – whenever I do a seletcion in the segemented publish grid, the actual selection as shown in filmstrip is not updated – no virtual copies, nothing fancy at all with my publish services…

— comment by Claudio on August 2nd, 2013 at 1:38am JST (10 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I can consistently reproduce the selected image mis-match between grid and filmstrip, when working on a published collection. Anytime I do a change (quick develop or change meta-data) on an already published image the image is moved from “Published images” to “Modified images to Re-publish”, at that moment the selection remains on the changed image in the filmstrip, but is moved to the next image in the grid view. I hope this helps to solve this problem/bug.

— comment by Fredrik Norrsell on August 2nd, 2013 at 9:10pm JST (10 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Wow. I have had several unexplained events 0ver the past year where finished photos suddenly had completely wrong develop settings when published, meta data mysteriously changed from a correct value to weird and twice, where finished files were deleted from disk. After reading this caution last week I have been keeping an eye on selections between the grid and film strip and this is the cause of my weirdness. Thanks for revealing this subtle but troubling issue.

— comment by Eric on August 10th, 2013 at 3:20am JST (10 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve just upgraded to LR5.2 and can confirm that the issue regarding the mis-match selection in the Publish module is still present. It happens when you have images to publish or re-publish. I also notice that the thumbnail in the navigator often does not sync with the main image in other modules. V5.2 stated that the Publish issue had been fixed – it has not, in my case.

— comment by Dayve on September 20th, 2013 at 3:42pm JST (10 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve also upgraded to LR 5.2 and the issue remains. Adobe seem to have done some changes though. Now when I’m working on a published collection and go to develop module to tweek the settings for an image or two, then all images I open in develop gets marked “To Re-publish” even if I don’t change its settings. At least I don’t remember seeing this behavior before.

I’m not seeing this at all. If you can find a way to constantly reproduce this, it’d be good to report to Adobe (or send to me to let me). One method would be to make two copies of your catalog and set them aside, then the next time you run into this problem, try the same operation in one of the copies, and if the problem happens again, send the untouched copy and detailed instructions to Adobe. You’ll need to include the master image files for only the images that you visit in Develop. —Jeffrey

— comment by Fredrik Norrsell on September 21st, 2013 at 2:11pm JST (10 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I believe the problem with the selections after publishing has even gotten worse. I did not notice the problem at all prior to 5.2. Now, whenever I publish something (be it Dropbox or Flickr), the selection in the fimstrip but also in the development or library module stays the same. I can click in the navigator whereever I like, it won’t update the center of the screen or the filmstrip. Only option is to exit and open LR again… Did not have this before. Do they ever test their software or am I the only one to experience this?

— comment by Alejandro on September 22nd, 2013 at 6:20pm JST (10 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink


I see the same problem in the library. The center of the screen doesn’t update no matter what I do in the filmstrip. In addition it’s completely unpredictable what photo gets deleted when I press the delete key. Is it the picture in the center of the screen or the selected one in the filmstrip? I am starting to regret updating to LR5 and am very disappointed that this is still not fixed.

— comment by Hans on October 22nd, 2013 at 12:52pm JST (10 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

A quick addition. I have created a new catalog and imported my old one. Now everything seems to to work.

— comment by Hans on October 22nd, 2013 at 12:54pm JST (10 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Now it’s not working again. Very disappointing……..

— comment by Hans on October 22nd, 2013 at 12:56pm JST (10 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Am I correct in assuming that this bug (the one Jeffrey has noted) only affects items uploaded via the LR 5 Publish module (i.e. using the Grid view) and that images uploaded using on the Export function do not suffer from this problem?

The bug is not one that affects uploaded photos… merely the Lightroom display of your photos when you view them via Publish collections. As far as I can tell, the bug has been fixed in Lr5.3. — Jeffrey

— comment by WesN on December 2nd, 2013 at 7:04am JST (10 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks Jeffrey. FWIW, this particular bug apparently doesn’t affect me, even under Lr5.2. I played around quite a bit in the grid view of Publish, switching back and for between other modules, etc. and still found that the photo(s) selected in Publish Grid View were the same as in the filmstrip. Also, FWIW, I wasn’t able to replicate the bug (cited in various places) with the Compare view locking onto previously selected images. It’s interesting (and probably instructive) how LR can behave so differently for different users.

— comment by WesN on December 3rd, 2013 at 2:38am JST (10 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink
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