Jeffrey’s “Folder Publisher” Lightroom Plugin

This Lightroom “Publish” plugin allows you to export copies of your Lightroom photos to disk in a folder hierarchy that mimics the folder hierarchy in your Lightroom catalog. I've found it very useful in mirroring my Lightroom catalog as small JPGs on my wife's computer.

This plugin works in Lightroom Classic, and older versions as far back as Lightroom 3 (though some features depend on the version of Lightroom).

The same download works for both Windows and Mac. See the box to the upper right for the download link (in orange) and installation instructions.

This is a sister plugin to my Collection Publisher plugin (which is similar to this plugin, except that plugin mirrors a collection hierarchy instead of a folder hierarchy).

Unlike a normal export, this Publish service allows you to create an ongoing relationship between the photo in Lightroom and the copy on disk. The tree on disk is refreshed for any changes (new images, removed images, and image changes) each time you “Publish”.

The plugin is normally used in the following pattern:

  1. Initial setup of the publish service.
  2. Populate the default collection with image you want to mirror, or create a smart collection that identifies the images you want to mirrors.
  3. “Publish” them, causing copies of the images to be reflected into a hierarchy on disk matching the folder hierarchy in Lightroom.
  4. Going forward, any time changes are made (images updated, added, or removed), “Publish” causes those changes to be reflected on disk.

Publish-Service Setup

When setting up a new publish service, you first assign a name, though you can leave it blank if you'll only have one...

You indicate where published copies are to be placed by specifying the root of the publish tree. When first setting up a new publisher, you'll likely want to pick an empty folder as the root.

The next sections are all part of the standard Lightroom export. In them you decide the size and quality of the published copies...

The next two sections shown in the example aren't included unless you specifically add them:

They're from my crop for iPad and Metadata Wrangler plugins; I use them in my exports to allow me extra control of what metadata is included in each exported copy, and in the case of my iPad portfolio, special iPad-specific crops so that some images better fill the screen.

The next section controls what changes in Lightroom should cause published images to be slated for republish.

Then we have a plugin-specific seciton on file renaming that gives much more flexability than Lightroom's standard “File Naming” section, should you need it:

This allows you to have the files for the exported copies named derived from image matadata using template tokens that are processed on the fly for each image.

The next section provides a way to do an FTP sync of the published copies, should you need it. Photo-viewing iPad apps tend to allow updates via FTP sync, so this section is convenient for that.

It's here as a convenient tool rather than an actual part of the configuration; the FTP sync is never automatic... it happens only when you launch it manually from the Publishing Manager.

The plugin also provides a way to import and export settings, making it easier to set up comparable publish services on multiple catalogs (such as when part of your library is on your desktop, and part on your laptop, as is my case).

When first setting up a service, you'll have the ability to import settings...

... but once it's been set up the first time, after that the section allows for export:

Collection Setup

Once you've got the publish service created, you can drag images into the default collection, or you can create your own collections, including “smart collections” that identify images to include via rules (e.g. “all five-star images”).

The default publish location for any image in any collection is that its folder structure in Lightroom is replicated and placed starting at the root folder chosen when you set up the publish service. However, you can modify aspects of how image locations are mapped when you create/edit a collection:


This plugin is distributed as “donationware”. I have chosen to make it available for free — everyone can use it forever, without cost of any kind — but unless registered, its functionality is somewhat reduced after six weeks.

Registration is done via PayPal, and if you choose to register, it costs the minimum 1-cent PayPal fee; any amount you'd like to add beyond PayPal's sliding fees as a gift to me is completely optional, and completely appreciated.

Note: a Lightroom major upgrade, such as from Lr6 to Lr7 (or the equivalent under the hood for the Lightroom Classic subscription) de-registers the plugin in the upgraded version, so if you want to maintain registration, a new ($0.01 if you like) registration code is needed in the upgraded version. It makes for a hassle every couple of years, I know. Sorry. See this note for details.

For details on plugin registration and on how I came into this hobby of Lightroom plugin development, see my Plugin Registration page.

Version History
( Update Log via RSS )


Fixed a bug WRT database access while moving the destination root.

Work around a Windows bug related to canceling out of the registration dialog.

Added some extra debug logging to note whether the plugin is enabled.


Upgraded to the embedded copy of ExifTool to version 11.70.

Added special {AbsSequenceFirst=####"} and {AbsSequenceAppend=####} tokens.

Added the LensInfo template token.

Updated the Exposure token to allow customization.

More token work: added {Urls}, and updated {ISO} and {Copyright} to allow customization.

Added the {RelativeFolder} token.


Work around a bug in Lightroom related to filename conflicts (where two exported files have names that differ only in lettercase).

Fixed the SST1 and SST2 tokens.


Fixed a bug in the name-change scan.


Updated the PublishCollectionName token (and CollectionNames and CollectionFullNames) to remove the MIRROR: prefix from the name that mirrored collections within my Collection Publisher plugin automatically get.


Newline token.

Fixed a problem related to template tokens and photos without capture times.

Upgraded to the embedded copy of ExifTool to version 11.50.

Added functions uc(), ucFirst(), lc(), and lcFirst() to the LUA token.


Added the ability to notice when files have their filename or folder changed.

Fixed an issue with {SequenceFirst}.

Work around a bug that sometimes causes plugins to be disabled when starting Lightroom via clicking on a catalog file.

Fix an "Unknown key: captureTime" crash.

Added the GPSCoords token.


Updated the keyword-related tokens to accept standard filters.


Upgraded to the embedded copy of ExifTool to version 11.30.


Added the {Exiftool=...} template token.


Added some extra debug loging.

If the plugin's attempt to create a folder fails, try again a few times before actually reporting the failure.

Added the PEOPLE variable to the LUA token.

Fixed a problem with the SpeedKPH token.

Added the TempC and TempF tokens.


Updates for Lr8 (Lightroom Classic CC Version 8).

Added the special PP() function to the {LUA} token.

Added hierarchical options to the Keywords token.

Try to work around a Lightroom bug related to photo timezones and how Lightroom handles accessing plugin data.


Added the 'nicknames' modifier to the {People} token.

Added the SST1, SST2, and SS3 tokens to the template tokens that the plugin understands.


Try to avoid having unexpectedly-long error messages create too-big a dialog.


Limit the amount of temporary disk used by Lightroom before handing files off to the plugin.


Added some extra debug logging.

Clicking on the version number in the Plugin Manager now copies version info to the clipboard

Updated the PublishCollectionName token to allow numeric arguments along the lines of the CollectionName token.

Added the folowing template tokens: {home}, {desktop}, {temp}, {pictures}, {documents}, IptcDateTaken

Added the 'PCH' variable to the {LUA} tag.


Fixed a bug when 'Token Examples' invoked in certain situations.

Added a bunch of token filters: F2D F2S F2X B2D B2S B2X S2X A2D A2S A2X


Updates to the data templates that my plugins understand: updated the Keywords token, added CollectionNames and CollectionFullNames tokens, and added a bunch of stuff (KWf, CN, CFN, CNf, CFNf) to the {LUA} token.


Oops, more Lr7 stuff.


Updates for Lr7.

Better handle some character-encoding issues related to template tokens.

Allow the "If Exists" feature of Templat Tokens to work with the PluginProperty token.

Update registration support to handle a stupid bug at PayPal that PayPal refuses to fix )-:


Fixed a bug introuded the other day in template tokens, related to Windows filenames.

Added extra debug-logging to track down a timing issue.


Added the Newline template token.

Enhanced the FolderName token

Added the "only if it has a value" feature to template tokens.


Added the following tokens to the template tokens that my plugins understand: Artworks, ArtworkTitle, ArtworkCopyright, ArtworkSource, ArtworkCreator, ArtworkDateCreated, ArtworkInventoryNum


Couldn't set the exported-copy file date older than about 50 years ago; fixed.


The rules about what characters are disallowed in a folder name were too aggressive, so relax them.

Fixed a bug with the keyword tables in the LUA token.

Added Weekday, Wday, weekday, wday, and ISO8601Date to the list of template tokens that my plugins understand.

Switch the log-sending mechanism to https.


Better support for network shares on Windows.


Added the following tokens to the templates that my plugins understand: {FilenameNumber}, FileModYYYY, FileModYY, FileModMM, FileModDD, FileModHH, FileModMIN, FileModSS, FileYYYY, FileYY, FileMM, FileDD, FileHH, FileMIN, FileSS.


Fix to get around a Mac display issue with Lr6 on OSX.

Added Russian-langauge support for the People-Support {People} tag.

Added more debug logging to track down some issues.


Added ChildOf and DescendantOf filters to the {Keywords} and {KeywordsAll} template tokens that my plugins understand.

Fixed how custom {People} formatting works with people keywords that have no birthday associated with them.

Try to avoid yet another place where Lightroom gets hung because it can't handle certain kinds of dialogs at the same time.


If there's an error exporting one particular image, try to continue with others and merely have Lightroom report a summary of errors at the end.

Added support for sequence numbers on publish. See the "sequence numbers" link in the "Enhanced File Renaming" section of the dialog.

Added {SpeedKPH} and {SpeedMPH} to the list of template tokens supported by my plugins.

The {People} token wasn't working properly for some keywords without a registered birthday.


Allowed the Enhanced File Renaming to actually create sub-folders under where an image would normally be placed.


Fixed the "SpecPeople:259: attemt to index al nil value" error.


If the root folder of the publish tree had a very long name, the view/change buttons would be pushed off the edge of the screen.


In the "Enhanced File Renaming" section, add the ability to override the extension on the exported filename.


In the POODLE-vunerability dialog, display a raw URL of a page on my site that discusses the issue, so that folks can be independently sure that the dialog is indeed from me and not malware.


Updated the camera-name code to try to guess the actual camera model of Hasselblad H5D files, since in their infinite wisdom Hasselblad decided to encode three distinct models with the same internal code, making it impossible to know for sure what camera produced a given image file.


Fix to the date_diff() function supported by the LUA template token.

20141215.67 Added a bit more debug-logging for when a file copy can't be done.
20141019.66 Windows Only: Add a one-time check for the POODLE security vulnerability, and alert the user if it exists.
20141005.65 Clicking on the blank area next to the upper-right [Publish] button caused an error dialog to display.
20140923.64 Added the LrMD5, LrLocalization, LrSystemInfo, and LrMath packages to the {LUA} template token.
20140922.63 Workaround for a Lightroom bug that causes the plugin to croak on certain folder names.
20140920.62 Some extra debug logging to track down a problem.
20140902.61 New build system

Made the {GPSAltitude}, {Altitude}, and {GPSCoordinates} tokens subject to the geo-privacy settings like the other geo-related tokens.

20140731.59 Registration fix for Lr5.6
20140720.58 More Creative-Cloud support.

Fixed an issue with Creative-Cloud revalidation.


Lr5.5 and later Creative-Cloud installs can now revalidate themselves if needed.

20140710.55 Sigh, had a bug in the Creative-Cloud support.

Now supports Lr5.5+ Creative-Cloud Installs.

20140704.53 Sigh, introduced an error for some folks with the rebuild the other day.
20140630.52 Build-system update

Added date_diff() and raw_time_diff() functions to the special {LUA} token understood by the plugin.

20140612.50 Under some error conditions plugin would crash instead of presenting the proper error message.

Added new tokens to the template language the plugin understands: LrVersion, LrVersionMajor, LrVersionMinor, LrVersionRevision, LrVersionBuild, Location, CatalogName, CatalogPath, OperatingSystem, OS

Added new token filters: NS and LO

20140423.48 Fix a location-related template-token bug introduced in a recent build.

Fixed a bug in the "smoother revalidation" stuff recently added.


Enhancements to the FTP stuff: take care not to work with "." and ".." that some servers return.

The {Empty} template token wasn't working properly.

Make the revalidation process smoother, especially for folks using Lr5.4 and later.


Added an option to limit the overall depth of the publish tree.


Internally track whether exports are via the master image or via a smart preview. In the future this may allow for a "republish those for which a master is now available" feature.

Worked around a mysterious "attempt to get length of a nil value" bug.

20131213.43 Added {PublishCollectionName}, {PublishCollectionDepth}, and {PublishServiceTitle} tokens to the preset templates. See template-token web page for important restrictions.
20131102.42 Update for OS X Mavricks
20131010.41 Yikes, it seems that version 20130905.36 broke the "Metadata that Triggers Republish" section, clearing all items you might have had set (well, all but Caption). Sorry about that. Please visit the "Metadata that Triggers Republish" section to reconfigure to your liking.
20130926.40 Oops, fix a bug introduced in the previous update

The 'Template Examples' dialog had been broken. Deprecated 'Folder' and 'Path' tokens in preference to 'FolderName' and 'FolderPath' tokens.


Added a bunch of tokens to the preset templates supported: ExportFormat, ExportColorSpace, ExportBitDepth, ExportQuality, ExportSharpeningLevel, ExportSharpeningMedia, IpernityUrl, GoogleDriveUrl, and TumblrUrl.

Additional debug logging.


Work around a Lightroom bug concerning the determination of whether a photo is offline.


Respond more gracefully when enhanced file renaming can't come up with something valid.

Added an "Ask" option to the "Export with Smart Previews?" section, so one can be alerted to the situation at each export.

Fixed the KW/KWE tables in template tokens; they had been broken when using load for the script.

20130708.35 Fixed a crash during certain file-renaming attempts where originals no longer existed.

When "Format" is "ORIGINAL" (meaning to spit out the original image pixels with new metadata, instead of the developed version with new metadata), the plugin didn't handle XMP sidecars properly at all. Now it does.

You now have control over the file time of exported copies (set to the image capture time, or the time of export).

20130620.33 Allow published copies to remain on disk even if a photo is deleted from Lightroom.
20130613.32 Better support for plugin revalidation.
20130612.31 A failure for the plugin to copy a file on disk resulted in a plugin crash instead of the appropriate error message display.

Added the ability in Lr5 to export images even if the master image file is not available, so long as there's a smart preview available.

20130611.29 Yet another Lr5 update
20130610.28 Final update for Lr5
20130513.27 More changes for the root-selection problem... really seems to be a bug in Lightroom, but it's hard to tell because I can't replicate the bug myself.
20130501.26 Update for Lr5
20130412.25 Build system update.

More with with the code that handles changing the root of the publish tree.


Added support for some new template tokens: FlagStatus (requires Lr4.1 or later), and for Lr3 and later, a bunch of IPTC extended metadata: AdditionalModelInfo, CodeOfOrgShown, DigImageGUID, Event, ImageSupplierImageId, MinorModelAge, ModelAge, ModelReleaseID, ModelReleaseStatus, NameOfOrgShown, PersonShown, PlusVersion, PropertyReleaseID, PropertyReleaseStatus, and SourceType.

20130209.22 More build-system maintenance
20130206.21 Tweak for my registration system
20121210.19 Added some extra debug logging.
20121024.18 Allow Video to be FTP'd as well.

Workaround for an "attempt to call field 'getProgressScope'" bug introduced in Lr4.2.

Disallow DPX video export because it breaks things.

Enhance the {EMPTY} template token so that it interrupts the squelching of superfluous joining characters.

20121004.16 Oops, the file-extension thing got worse, not better... reverting that change.

Work around a "situation" (likely Lr bug) where exported video loses its file extension.

More debug logging for the elusive "no root folder" problem.


Updates to the environment in the {LUA} token (in the template tokens in my plugins) to include photoTime() and currentTime(), and other changes to match the updated docs at that link.

20120810.13 Added some debug logging to try to track down an error
20120722.12 More debugging for the "choose a root folder" bug that seems to still affect a few folks.
20120531.11 Oops, I was moving the original XMP file (when the Publish format was "Original" instead of copying it. Fixed.

Finally tracked down why the plugin had problem with Windows network shares. Ended up filing three separate bug reports with Adobe, but in the end was able to work around the bugs, so hopefully it's working now.

Update to handle the Mac App Store version of Lightroom.


Tweak for Lr4.1RC2.

Added the ability to move/reset the root folder. As a byproduct, this should allow the "choose a root folder" situation to be repaired.

In some crazy file-renaming situations, the plugin could get confused about the file extension.

Enhanced the send-log dialog to hopefully make reports more meaningful to me, yielding, I hope, the ability to respond more sensibly to more reports.

Added to the template tokens supported by the plugin: {FullMasterFile}, {FullMasterFolder}, {FullExportedFile}, and {FullExportedFolder}

20120330.8 Update to handle 4.1RC
20120315.7 Add some extra debug logging to try to track down some network-folder errors.

Update to the debug logging to better track down timing issues that might arise.


Wasn't handling some kind of file-rename templates properly.

Now handles things much more gracefully when some files are offline when the publish is started.

Better support for video in Lr4.

20120224.4 A few bug and Lr4 fixes, and some extra debug logging.
20120217.3 Didn't handle XMP sidecars correctly when publishing original raw files.
20120217.2 Discovered why "metadata that triggers a republish" wasn't reliable, and fixed it.
20120213.1 Initial release, evolving from my earlier tree-publisher plugin, which dated back to the summer of 2010.

The 30 most-recent comments (out of 198; see all), most recent last...

Hi, it’s really a great and very helpful tool!

I need some help: I moved my LR to a new computer. In the new setup I imported a backup of the catalog from the old computer. So far so good. Now the folder publisher has lost all it’s previous state about already published photos and want’s to publish the full catalog again. And that are really many (90,000) pics. So it’s not possible to just let it happen and sit and wait.

Is there a way to just mark all pics as already published?

No. )-: In this case, it would have been better to simply use the moved-over catalog, rather than importing it. (Lightroom excludes all Publish info when importing or exporting catalogs). —Jeffrey

— comment by Riccardo on March 21st, 2019 at 4:36am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

I’m running LR CC…does your plugin work with it?
I need something that will export my files from LR and keep the creation date/time as the file date/time.

Adobe has made the naming stuff so egregiously complicated I’m not sure what to call it. If your “Lightroom” product can use plugins, it can use my plugins. All other “Lightroom” products can’t use plugins. You can use Rob Perrin on May 8th, 2019 at 1:35am JST (10 months, 25 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

thanks a lot for your plugin, which I use to keep ~100,000 photos synchronized to a Dropbox folder.
Recently, I have run into problems:
I moved several 100s of already published photos to other folders within LR 6.0, but the move was not reflected in the published files. Also renaming an already published folder is not reflected in the published version.
I cannot (and don’t want to) undo the changes I’ve made in my lightroom catalog, but now I’m left with the LR structure not synchronized to the published version. What should I do?
I’m hesitating to delete all exported files on Dropbox and publish everything again, since it will take days…


Lightroom doesn’t consider filename or folder changes with Publish, so this aspect is inconvenient. I just realized, after all these years, that I can have the plugin scan for changes, so I just added that. The plugin hadn’t kept quite enough data to make the first scan reliable — it might be overzealous and dirty photos whose filename hasn’t changed — but from then on, each scan will be reliable and should cause photos whose filename or folder has changed to be republished. —Jeffrey

— comment by Elmar on May 13th, 2019 at 6:02pm JST (10 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

wow – that’s quite impressive that you have integrated my comment so quickly and released a new version. Thanks a lot!
Just one more question: do I have to do a new Publish of all files with that version now, so that it will be able to detect filename or folder changes in the future?

Thanks, Elmar
(from Austria, since you asked)

Performing the scan the first time will accomplish the same thing, while it marks to republish items that it thinks might have had filename changes. —Jeffrey

— comment by Elmar on May 14th, 2019 at 10:35pm JST (10 months, 18 days ago) comment permalink

I’m very happy to learn about detecting filename changes. I was bothered by that as well, but was assuming it’s not possible to do this given Lightroom limitations. Very happy, thanks!

— comment by Iustin Pop on May 30th, 2019 at 4:19am JST (10 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Using latest version of this plugin (20190514.99) I see some pictures being exported with some directories missing. E.g. instead of final path being drive:\a\b\c\d\e.jpg, it will be drive:\d\e.jpg. However, only some pictures get this “treatment”.

I can confirm that editing the smart collection, the preview shows the path simplified, even though leading path components/trailing path components and overall depth limit are all set to none.

If I quit Lightroom and then restart it, the bug dissapears. And it seems related to pictures that have been renamed, or that are no longer part of a stack.

Does this all ring a bell?

Not at all, unfortunately. If you can identify a specific failure before restarting Lightroom, send a plugin log with specific info about it (which image, exactly when where, exactly, and where you thought it should go, exactly). Thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by Iustin Pop on May 30th, 2019 at 7:33am JST (10 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

From the UK

I like Folder publisher a lot but what it doesn’t seem to handle is when I have new folders created as a result of importing new pictures, it doesn’t pick them up. So I have Dave’s Pictures\2015, … Dave’s Pictures\2018 (with subfolders). Which I published using Folder Publisher. Now I’ve got some pix from 2019 which I imported into LR so I now have a new subfolder under Dave’s Pictures called 2019 (and subfolders thereof). Surely FolderPublisher ought to detect that (as after all I selected “Dave’s Pictures” as the thing I wanted published …

Cheers and thanks for the plugin

I’m not sure what you mean, by “I selected ‘Dave’s Pictures’ as the thing I wanted published”. Any Lightroom Publish Service, including Folder Publisher, includes one or more collections of photos that are populated either by you dragging specific photos into them, or via smart-collection rules that are computed on the fly. Whatever photos are there, however they get there, is what the plugin works with during a Publish operation, and the folders that those master images are in are what’s replicated at the Publish target. If you import new photos, and they’re not included via one of smart collections you set up in the publish service, you have to manually drag them in. —Jeffrey

— comment by David Partridge on June 8th, 2019 at 2:03am JST (9 months, 24 days ago) comment permalink

Just recently updated to the latest folder publisher plugin and I am having something happen that I’ve never experienced before. As my photos are publishing they are sending copies to C:\Users\rob\AppData\Local\Temp. The problem is as the temp folder fills up my computer eventually runs out of storage and the lightroom process shuts down. Then I have to delete all the temp files and start the publisher process from where it failed. In all my years of using Folder Publisher I’ve never had this happen. Any idea what might be available for a solution.

Lightroom has a mechanism specifically meant to stop a publish operation from doing that, but it becomes disabled if the plugin takes “too long” to process files. The plugin normally should be very quick, as it’s just moving files around, but if you have some other plugins as part of the publish stack, and they take a long time, then perhaps this is enough to trigger things? —Jeffrey

— comment by Robert Norman on June 12th, 2019 at 8:16am JST (9 months, 20 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I have been using Folder Publisher for about 7 years in my old LR 4.4.
Somehow today it told me that I have to register and will continue working with limited functionality.

I am pretty sure I registered years ago, but cannot find the registration code.
What do you recommend, should I (re-)register or is there a way to retrieve my code again?

Best regards

You can easily create a new code with a one-cent transaction, but my worry is why did the registration disappear to begin with. I worry that your Lightroom preferences file has started to go corrupt… please see this FAQ if it disappears again. —Jeffrey

— comment by Georg on June 23rd, 2019 at 9:04pm JST (9 months, 8 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Am I correct in understanding that this plugin doesn’t work as an Export plugin, which is to say I can’t use it when I click the Export button to export photos as JPGs?

Assuming so, do you have any plans to introduce an export plugin that provides this functionality, ie. the ability to export the photos to a chosen destination using the same folder hierarchy as that of the Lightroom catalog? I would find such a plugin to be absolutely invaluable!


You are correct… it supports only Publish, and there are currently no plans to extend it to Export. What’s your use case for this functionality in Export… how do you see it being used? —Jeffrey

— comment by Jeremy on July 18th, 2019 at 1:11am JST (8 months, 15 days ago) comment permalink

First of all, thanks for great plugin. Just started using it and that’s exactly what I wanted.
Have bug report, and I wonder if it is correct place for it.
When I’m publishing videos, creation date being lost.
I have .mov that have capture date/time set, but the resulting .mp4 file has “media create date”
set to date of the publish. Checked it with exiftool, no field with correct date.
Can you please have a look at that?
If needed, I can send the video file, but it seems that it will happen to any video.
Thank you!

Video dates are a minefield in Lightroom, and it’s not necessarily easy to even get the proper video date. But for what it’s worth, my Metadata Wrangler has an option to try to set the image/video date in exported copies to the capture date known to Lightroom. I’ve recently tested this on videos, and it seems to work. You could add that into the Publish pipeline. —Jeffrey

— comment by Roman Viskin on July 20th, 2019 at 12:31am JST (8 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I’m trying the new functionality to scan for filename and folder changes but after a long time progress bar I get the following error:

jutil:1958: bad argument #2 to ‘?’ (number expected, got string)

Any hints?


Normally I’d ask you to send a log after encountering the problem, but in this case I was actually able to track down the problem and push out a fixed version. Thanks for the report. —Jeffrey

— comment by silviu on July 31st, 2019 at 3:05pm JST (8 months, 1 day ago) comment permalink

Yes, it’s fixed !

— comment by silviu on August 2nd, 2019 at 7:39pm JST (7 months, 30 days ago) comment permalink

I can’t see how you don’t understand – I store all my pix under D:\Dave’s Pictures\

That’s arranged by date with subfolders per year.

so .\2016\etc, .\2017\etc …

So lets say at the end of 2018 I used jFolder Publisher to export all pix under D:\Dave’s Pictures\ – all’s well. Now it is 2019 and I have a new set of images stored at D:\Dave’s Pictures\2019 and subfolders:

D:\Dave’s Pictures\2019>dir /ad
Volume in drive D is Data
Volume Serial Number is 2892-0083

Directory of D:\Dave’s Pictures\2019

13/08/2019 11:44 .
13/08/2019 11:44 ..
22/04/2019 09:35 04-21 River Wear
16/05/2019 19:02 05-14 Hastings
16/05/2019 19:02 05-15 Rye
07/06/2019 21:25 05-16 Richborough Saxon Shore Fort
16/05/2019 18:56 05-16 Sandwich
18/05/2019 10:13 05-17 Great Dixter, Northiam
19/05/2019 09:36 05-18 Rye, Bodiam
05/06/2019 16:56 05-19 Dungeness, Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway
05/08/2019 02:41 08-04
13/08/2019 12:33 08-05
13/08/2019 12:33 08-07
13/08/2019 13:33 08-08
13/08/2019 12:59 08-09
0 File(s) 0 bytes
15 Dir(s) 438,295,867,392 bytes free

All I’m asking is that folder publisher auto-detect the new subfolders and publish those as well, rather than needing me to delete the collection and recreate it.

As I replied before, the plugin doesn’t choose which photos are in its publish service collections. You specify what photos are there, either explicitly by dragging photos from the grid into the collection, or implicitly by writing smart-collection rules that identify the photos you want to be included. If you want those 2019 photos to be handled, you have to (yourself, somehow) get them into Lightroom, and then you have to (yourself, somehow) get them into one of the collections in the publish service. For example, if you have a non-smart publish collection, just select and drag-n-drop them all into that collection. In any case, only once they’re there can the plugin actually work with them. If you want the plugin to work with all photos all the time, consider a smart collection with a rule along the lines of “date later than 1900”. —Jeffrey

— comment by David Partridge on August 14th, 2019 at 1:11am JST (7 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

I’ve been using your plug-in since LR 6. This time I decided to upgrade to LR classic while maintaining LR 6.
I’ll register your plug-in too but wonder what will happen if I register folder-publisher in LR classic.
Will it invalidate registration info of LR 6? If so how can I safely register folder-publisher in LR classic while having all previous settings untouched?
I want to use both copies.

It’s no problem to use plugins in both, and if the Lr8 install copies over your Lr6 preferences, it should even already be installed. You’ll need a separate registration code if you want them registered, but it takes just 1 cent to generate one, so hopefully it’s not such a hassle. —Jeffrey

— comment by SY Kwon on August 30th, 2019 at 4:12pm JST (7 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I installed, registered and succesfully used your plugin with several folder hierarchies (in the range of thousand photos each) I had to replicate: everything went well and the processing time was reasonable (I dont’rimember long waiting times). Now I’m trying to replicate the process with another hierarchy (1200 photos) and Lightroom is stuck showing the message “Update of published collections” (I’m translating the message from the Italian version so I’m not sure about wording). I left Lightroom working overnight but nothing seems changed. I tried to leave videos out, still no results. I set up the plugin to leave file format (both photos and videos) as the Original but nothing apparently has changed. Any clue? I tried to investigate before getting in touch with you but I’m a Lightroom rookie so maybe there is something silly I’m not taking into account. Thanks for any support

My first guess would have been that a big video was being encoded, but if you’re sure you left videos out, that can’t be it. Perhaps send a plugin log after it’s been stuck for 10 minutes or so, and maybe that’ll have a clue. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ludovico Diaz on September 7th, 2019 at 4:47pm JST (6 months, 24 days ago) comment permalink


Sorry to pester you again, need a bit of advice on Folder Publisher.

1. I need to republish everything that has been republished already

Why – well it seems that MS OneDrive is not well behaved when it comes to Keywords (Tags in their vocabulary). Leave the image itself unchanged but alter the keywords on a file you have already uploaded.
A. If you are lucky then it uploads the file and does nothing else. Not even change the keywords listed on the browser interface so what is shown is not what is stored
B. If you are unlucky then it uploads the file, does nothing per A; but then downloads a version of the file with a copy of the original keywords – restoring any you have removed and deleting any you have added

Consequence is that my published copies bear little resemblance to the originals even though everything has been published/republished !!

I’m thinking that I could just hack the LR table and remove any rows with a publish count greater than 1 but I’m not sure whether I’d then end up with two copies of the published file

2. Is there any way of spotting that keyword synonym has changed and the image needs republishing?

Why – I realised that I’ve not been entering them correctly and am in the process of doing it properly. My manual process of using the filter and marking the resultant image for re-publish seems flimsy; one false mouse click yesterday and I marked 28,000 images to be republished !!

Kind regards
Steve Leggett

I’m afraid that I don’t have any good ideas. There’s no publish count, nor info on keywords at the time of publish, so no way to track what’s changed. Sorry. ;-( —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve Leggett on September 10th, 2019 at 4:06pm JST (6 months, 21 days ago) comment permalink

There is a column publishCount on table AgRemotePhoto (on which your data is also stored) that gets incremented every time an image is published. I could use this and remove the rows where the count is greater than one, feels safer just to remove everything and republish the whole lot.

Synonyms seem to have very limited support, e.g. although the keyword gets put in the xmp files, I can’t see the synonyms there, so moving an image between catalogs would require the catalogs to be coordinated. They do get shown on publish though, as separate keywords, but I can’t find a way to get these changes to trigger a publish, and there is no date data on the relevant table AgLibraryKeywordSynonym

If you manually edit Lightroom’s database out from under Lightroom, there’s a very good chance you will break things, as there are relationships among the data that are not necessarily readily apparent. It’s your data, so do what you like, but I won’t go anywhere near a catalog that’s been so modified. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve Leggett on September 12th, 2019 at 4:46pm JST (6 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

Question on publishing Video

I had this set as ‘Include Video Files’ – Original Unedited File. Although there is metadata in the catalog (Title, caption, keywords…), LR does not write the data back into the video file, or create a sidecar. Nor is it included on publish

I tried changing the format to h.264 on publish. Same result – no metadata in the file

So I assume there is no way to publish with this data.

Lightroom’s support for video metadata is pretty bad. Just looking at how it mishandles video dates during import is enough to drive one mad. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve Leggett on September 12th, 2019 at 6:02pm JST (6 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey

I made a virtual copy of a photo and put both the original and the copy in a collection folder. When I published the folder using the 20190909.105 plugin version, only the original photo was published (but was given a “-2” filename suffix.) It used to be that both photos would be published, with the virtual copy taking the “-2” filename suffix, but now only one is published. Could you make it behave the way it used to be?

I would like to thank you once again for everything you do, I’m sure you’ve saved us all some 100,000 hours in aggregate


That “-2” is coming from Lightroom; I’ve no idea why it’s suddenly adding it to the first image published, instead of the second. I’d like to be able to suggest using {LibraryFilenam} in the plugin’s extended renaming, to let the plugin handle the “-2” and do so properly, but it seems a bit aggressive with multiple files in the same folder with the same name (as is the case with a virtual copy), so it doesn’t work correctly. I’ve been investigating this for some time, and have to be very careful about making any changes; it’s all really complex and I could easily break other things. So for the time being, I’m not sure what to suggest, beyond report it to Adobe. They can’t ignore your report until you submit it. 😉 —Jeffrey

— comment by CrisC on September 22nd, 2019 at 11:51pm JST (6 months, 9 days ago) comment permalink

My Lightroom Classic (latest) version with Folder Publisher seems to be stuck with a message “updating published collection”. Any suggestions?

Sorry, but that’s not much to go on. Is it during a Publish operation? Do you have some videos in there? (Lightroom can sometimes take very very long to process videos.) —Jeffrey

— comment by David on November 4th, 2019 at 8:39am JST (4 months, 28 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I hadn’t run the folder sync for a while. I was making a lot of changes to my catalogue. I create jpg copy of about 90,000 images on my NAS. Recently I decided to re-publish these files,but have run into a disk problem

The publish eats up my free space. I have about 80GB free on the drive with my catalogue (an SSD drive). After publishing about 5,000 images, LR stops publishing and I get a message that disk space is down to less than 20 MB.

Checking the drive, it is down to 20 MB. Once I stop the publish, all the space comes back.

I didn’t have this problem when I ran the publish 6 months ago. I don’t know if this is a LR 9 issue or a plug-in issue.

Thanks, … Jan

It sounds like a bug in Lightroom. The plugin doesn’t itself use any extra disk space, other than a minuscule amount used in the creation of the folders to hold the images. Lightroom creates the images and the plugin just moves them to where they need to go. Why it’s using 80GB of temporary space is beyond me. Worth reporting to Adobe, though it might be worth trying to replicate the problem with the built-in “Hard Drive” publish service, to take a third-party plugin out of the equation. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jan Schwarz on November 11th, 2019 at 1:27am JST (4 months, 21 days ago) comment permalink

Error message that Folder Publisher plug- in is too old for this version of Lightrrom. Also states that the plug-in does not work in Lr9.

Deleted plug-in via plug in manager. Manually deleted plug-in folder from computer. Downloaded newest version, unzipped and copied to Plug-in Folder.

Same error messages. Please advise how I can install the current plug-in. Thank you.

I can only guess that you’ve got old copies on your system that you didn’t realize. The version available here works fine on Lr9. —Jeffrey

— comment by Alvin Kawasaki on November 29th, 2019 at 4:22pm JST (4 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,
Thanks for the suggestion about older versions of the plug-in. That wasn’t the cause of the problem. I think it simply needed to be “registered” to the new version of Lightroom, LR9. It’s working now. Thanks again.

Alvin Kawasaki

— comment by Alvin Kawasaki on December 2nd, 2019 at 7:22am JST (4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I lately tried to export about 30.000 images again, and now I can confirm the behavior already commented by Robert Norman on June 12th, 2019, and by Pavel Desort on February 25th, 2019. During export a folder C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\Temp\<GUID> is created and piles up all the images which are exported. In my case the export stopped because the disk ran full. For a successfull export, the folder is deleted, finally.

Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to export huge amounts of images. It would be great, if the temp folder could be configured, or if not all the images would pile up there.

I like your plugins very much, and I already found a solution by splitting up my exports, but, nevertheless, a bugfix would be nice.

Best Regards, Kai.

I’m afraid that plugins have no control here… it’s all Lightroom’s behind-the-scenes work prior to handing control over to the plugin. A plugin can tell Lightroom “don’t get too far ahead”, but Lightroom seems to be ignoring that, or there’s some other bug. That option is intended for “upload to ABC” plugins for which processing each photo (uploading) takes longer than it takes Lightroom to generate them; for this Folder Publisher plugin, the processing is just renaming/moving, so it should be very fast and there shouldn’t be any accumulation of exported copies awaiting the plugin’s attention, so perhaps these “GUID” files are something else???? —Jeffrey

— comment by Kai A. on December 23rd, 2019 at 4:19pm JST (3 months, 9 days ago) comment permalink

I keep getting the error:

Can’t update this collection.
jf Folder Publisher: Can’t create target folder: /Users/sam/Desktop/foldername/subfolders/

– – – – – – – – – –

Using LR classic 9.1 on a Mac
Have given LR full disc access – didn’t help.

Screen shot:

Please send a plugin log after encountering the error. —Jeffrey

— comment by Sam Frysteen on December 30th, 2019 at 10:39am JST (3 months, 2 days ago) comment permalink

Writing from northern Virginia. Love the plugin. I use it to publish a collection of ~90000 document photographs I use for archival research.

I’m using the AbsSequenceFirst token to control the filesystem list ordering for my photos, so that I can generate a folder-scoped PDF file for reading offline. I’m having a bit of an issue with a number of my folders, wherein some images are being published out-of-sequence.

Is AbsSequenceFirst intended to be a folder-scoped sequence number reflecting the order in which photos are arranged in the Library? If so, have you noticed any issues wherein a number of photos are skipped and then published at the end?

Example output:



For various reasons I won’t bore you with, I can’t use the original filename as a reliable index for controlling the filesystem ordering.

Thanks for the great work, and whatever guidance you can provide here.

AbsSequenceFirst works within the scope of the target folder, but it looks at the first string of digits in the filename, which in your case is the leading three-digit part, which is perhaps not appropriate for your needs? The order that photos are published is the same as the order within each section of the Library Grid when viewing the publish service, with modified photos being published before new photos. Within the grid, you can the sort order in various ways. —Jeffrey

— comment by Chad Levinson on January 6th, 2020 at 6:14am JST (2 months, 27 days ago) comment permalink

Other question, why do I get a number behind the filename in the exported file.

It doesn’t matter whether I use {Filename} of {LibraryFilename} in the rename. I always get a number behind it.

EG IKO-23-02.jpg becomes IKO-23-02-2.jpg. This is useless for website generation.

please help…….

With {Filename}, Lightroom does collision detection to avoid sending two photos that happen to have the same name out to the same final file. With {LibraryFilename}, it’s the plugin that does it. If you’ve got two or more “IKO-23-03” files in your publish service, and they would end up in the same folder, they get the “-2”, “-3”, etc. suffix to avoid collisions. —Jeffrey

— comment by Rob den Braasem on January 8th, 2020 at 11:40pm JST (2 months, 24 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Love the idea of this plugin thanks!

Quick question –
Think I’m doing something wrong… I have created a smart collection and would like it to reflect the file path hierarchy of all folders within it-

/top-folder – folder has photos
/top-folder/middle-folder – folder has photos
/top-folder/middle-folder/bottom-folder – folder has photos

However it publishes all folders with any photos inside it into my chosen destination but does not hold the hierarchy, just puts all the folders go into the 1 folder destination.
It does not put folders in a folder if that makes sense?

Please help 🙂

Thank you for your time 🙂

When setting up each collection within the publish service, you can set various parameters as to how photos published through it should end up on your disk, including having it remove leading sections of the path. It looks like that’s what you’ve done. Right click on the collection name, “Edit Collection”, and make sure the settings are as you want. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dave on January 22nd, 2020 at 2:33am JST (2 months, 11 days ago) comment permalink

Hi, I am from Belgium and very grateful for your excellent plug-in !
I have seen several questions about maintaining the folder hierarchy of the export and also the suggestion to correct the setting for removing leading and trailing sections of the path. I still think something is not working here, either because of Lightroom, either because of the plug-in.
I have the impression that things don’t work properly whenever the path has more than 2 levels (not including the root)
In my example the root is “/Volumes/photo/shoot/”
I filter on source map equal to “6-SNT”
One of the actual images is located in “6-SNT/4-product/DCS2100.NEF”
I expect the folder to be published in “/Volumes/photo/shoots/6-SNT/4-products” but instead it is published in “/Volumes/photo/shoots/4-products”. So, I loose one of the intermediate levels.
Any idea ? I am doing something wrongly ?
Thanks !

If the “6-SNT” folder appears in the Library folder list as a child of the “/Volumes/photo/shoot” root, then the result should be as you expect, unless you’ve told the plugin to remove one leading level from the photo path. So there might be a bug somewhere…. please send a plugin log after a small publish operation that exhibits the problem, being sure to be clear in the comment about what exactly did happen, and how that differs from what exactly you expected… —Jeffrey

— comment by Dirk Colaert on February 12th, 2020 at 7:23pm JST (1 month, 18 days ago) comment permalink
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