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 6/CC (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:

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 comperable 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 Lr4 to Lr5, 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 )


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.

Comments so far....

Thank you Jeffrey!

— comment by Boris on February 14th, 2012 at 4:02pm JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I just switched over to this plugin from tree published and I was wondering if there is some way to “mark as published” so that I don’t have to republish many thousands of files which have not technically changed.

No, sorry, there’s no easy way to back in old stuff. I’m facing the same thing with 100k photos, but I’ll just let it run overnight. —Jeffrey

— comment by Don on February 20th, 2012 at 9:42am JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
can you relocate the root folder? There’s only a visit button now while the old plugin let you change it.

Not at the moment, but it will… that’s the last big thing to add. I wanted to get the plugin out for a bit, though, before I tackle root relocation. I’ve moved back over to updating plugins for Lr4 for the time being, but I’ll probably get to the relocation thing within a month. —Jeffrey

— comment by Silvio on February 22nd, 2012 at 5:13pm JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
last week I found your new FolderPubisher Plugin. It would be very helpfull for me.
I just tried it the but hadn’t sucess.
I get the the warning window ” TreePublisher_FolderLocal:161: ‘for’ limit must be a number” and the plugin stopped working.
Woul’d you pleas help me
Thank’s Herbert

Sorry ’bout that… I’ve pushed a new version of the plugin that should fix it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Herbert on February 23rd, 2012 at 11:46pm JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I’m using Lightroom for many years and it serves my purpose perfectly! On the other hand I use the iPad more and more for presentations. The main problem I am facing is about the order/sequence of pictures within a folder. Whenever I synchronize a new “picture folder” with my iPad, the Apple software copies the photos in a “ramdom order” on the iPad, which sometimes makes to presentation “useless” (I have tried with renaming; changing the dates in the exif data, etc.). Is your plugin able to make sure that the sequence of pictures stays the same on the iPad (as in Lightroom)? That would be a great help!!
Thanks for your answer

You’re running into a problem that I talked about and tried to solve on this post, but in the end iTunes is just too unpredictable. The workflow becomes predictable and smoother when you abandon Apple’s “Photos” app for a third-party app. I talk about that and this plugin in this post. —Jeffrey

— comment by Markus on March 7th, 2012 at 5:11pm JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,
I would love to use your plugin but it does not work for me. All my images are placed in the root folder of the export. Exmple:
is exported to

(both leading and trailing path to ‘None’)

I’m using Windows and Lr4. Am I doing something wrong or is the network share I use a problem?

— comment by Tobias on March 8th, 2012 at 4:19am JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,
I did some testing and it seems that filenames on network shares are not handled correctly (see last message). E.g. for “D:\Images\a\b\c\img.jpg” everything works fine but for “\\MYSHARE\Images\a\b\c\img.jpg all” exports are transferred to the output root without any subfolders. The output root is also set to a network share. (Windows, LR4)

With kind regards
I can’t reproduce this bug on my side, but I’ve just pushed a new version of the plugin that has more debug logging, so if you could try it, then if it doesn’t work, send the log with a description of what went wrong, I’ll take a look. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tobias on March 9th, 2012 at 11:51pm JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I just registered this plug-in and while doing the initial setup I realized I can’t save the changes because the save button is disabled. On the bottom of the plug-in dialog there’s a message saying “Can’t save changes: Choose a root folder for the publish tree”. The publish tree root is filled in, in my case with E:\Dropbox\iPad, but no matter what I put there the error stays the same. I believe it’s an error related only to Windows, which is my platform.
Any advice of how to go around this issue?

After getting into that situation, could you visit the plugin manager and send the log, along with a short recap of the problem? Thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by Gabriel on March 10th, 2012 at 6:48pm JST (3 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I had the same problem as Gabriel, “Save” button inactive, I just restarted Lightroom and the button became active and worked ever since. Hope it helps.

— comment by Ion on March 12th, 2012 at 10:06am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hi, I don’t know if it’s a bug or made on purpose but if I have folder with pictures with no ratings at all is published with no problems. Then, if I put some ratings, 4,5 stars to some pictures, in “Folder Publisher” those pictures will show in “deleted photos to remove” category and of course will be deleted from the “root of publish tree”.


It sounds as if you’ve got them in a smart collection where a rule excludes ratings of 4+ stars. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ion on March 16th, 2012 at 5:29pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Spot on. It was a smart collection with the rule of any with no stars, when I created it I thought was a good idea to include all photos but when I started to give stars I forgot about the rule in collection.

Thanks for the quick reply

— comment by Ion on March 16th, 2012 at 8:03pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks to your folder publisher and your pointer to photomgr pro, i no longer need to maintain a publish collection for every collection i have in a flat hierarchy to get photos onto my ipad nicely ( i organized by -> year > month -> photos and itunes doesn’t like that but photomgr deals very nicely with it.

I have found one problem but i’m not certain it’s specific to this plugin. When I rename the source files in lightroom, the plugin doesn’t by default move them to be republished. I can’t find anything in the plugin config to tell it to republish based on file name change. Is this the expected behavior? If so, any idea why and anything I can do to change it?

It’s an oversight (or inexplicable decision) on Adobe’s part. I submitted a bug about it, asking for folder/filename to be included in the list of things that can trigger republish. We’ll see. —Jeffrey

— comment by Andrew Bell on March 26th, 2012 at 12:17am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I have tried with the plug-in on WIN7 but cannot manage to let it create the folder structure as the photos are structured on the server. It constantly saves the output under the choicen root.

What is wrong in my procedure?


It turns out to have been a problem with Lightroom on Windows for certain kinds of file paths. I finally pushed a version with a workaround, as of 20120529.10. —Jeffrey

— comment by Kim Kruse on April 5th, 2012 at 8:31pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Is the plugin supposed to be “Processing Updated Publish Criteria” on every LR4 restart? This seems to have started a few updates ago.

It’s fairly annoying because it takes about a minute on my largest catalog. Even on my smallest catalog, it’s about 10 seconds.

This is something on Lightroom’s side, and I don’t understand it. I saw it in the Lr4 trial, but thought it was fixed in the real Lr4, so didn’t peruse it further. If you’re getting it in the real Lr4, I’d be interested in a copy of your catalog (sans photos) to test with and to send to Adobe. But before that, perhaps give the Lr4.1RC a try? —Jeffrey

— comment by Warren Young on April 6th, 2012 at 6:21am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hi, the download link doesn’t work. Can you please check that?

It seems to be working when I test it, though you must try to download it via the link on the plugin page, or via the plugin itself. If it’s not working for you in those situations, I’d appreciate it if you could follow up with more details… —Jeffrey

— comment by Mike on April 7th, 2012 at 6:35pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for your reply Jeffrey. I’m using Firefox with RefControl which blocks referrers. After disabling this for your site it does work.

Ah, that makes sense. Unless the referrer is from my site, it forwards you to the plugin’s home page, so that folks following a hard link will always be presented with the latest version. —Jeffrey

— comment by Mike on April 10th, 2012 at 8:53am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink


Have now found a corrupt file and a few missing links so have managed to babysit all the files through now.

Great plugin, thank you.


— comment by Peter on April 20th, 2012 at 5:25am JST (3 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I also have the “Processing Updated Publish Criteria” on startup. I´m using 4.1RC. Where can I send a copy of the catalogue?

Adobe has already been sent a way to reproduce the problem, so there’s no benefit to sending additional catalogs…. just send hope. :-) —Jeffrey

— comment by Flo on April 25th, 2012 at 5:48am JST (3 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

For me the “Processing Updated Publish Criteria” has stopped with 4.1RC2

— comment by Flo on April 29th, 2012 at 9:25pm JST (3 years ago) comment permalink

Folder publisher plugin 20120529.10 in LR4.1 (upgraded from 4 to 4.1 yesterday)
When I use the folder publisher to… well… publish photos to a folder with your plugin, the XMP files for the picture are lost after the publish. The XMP files *are* present in the folder I publish to. The XMP files are for NEF files. The publisher is set to publish the original files. The Lightroom catalog is set to write changes to XMP files automatically.

I also tried this with your flickr publish plugin. When that plugin is used to publish pictures, the XMP files remain where they should be, so no problem with that plugin.

For me this is a very serious issue. At the moment I have to remember to write the XMP files again, with the Write Metadata to Files function in Lightroom, after every export with your folder publisher plugin.

Yikes, sorry about that… minor little boo-boo with the plugin there. I just pushed a fixed version. Thanks for the report! —Jeffrey

— comment by Marjo on May 31st, 2012 at 7:44pm JST (3 years ago) comment permalink

Now it works correctly again.
Thanks for that very quick update!

— comment by Marjo on May 31st, 2012 at 8:53pm JST (3 years ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
very very nice Plugin, I use it for the same purpose that you developed it for :-)

One issue I have – Pressing “publish now” it will publish some photos but sooner or later will stop with the error
“Warning: Collection can not be updated. An internal error has occured: bad argument #1 to ‘gsub’ (string expected, got function) ”

Restarting the process it will publish some more pics but again, sooner or later will stop with the same error. For some photos, it will always interrupt with this error and I have to deselect them for publishing in order to continue with publishing the other photos.
I use Win7x64 and LR4.1×64 publishing to a network share on a Win7x32 server, which is assigned a drive letter and using the “make available offline” feature – the error, however, occurs in work offline mode, as well as working online. I’d like to submit a log but have no clue how to aquire it :-)

Best regards,

If you get this, please send a log, but I don’t have much hope it’ll help because I did get one long where the comment mentioned this bug, but the log had nothing, which means that the error is not from the plugin but from Lightroom proper, so that makes it much more difficult to debug. —Jeffrey

— comment by Martin on June 27th, 2012 at 4:12pm JST (2 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey
I just upgraded to LR4 (4.1) and installed this plugin (I used to work with “Tree Publisher”)
When trying to create a new publishing service (Following your instructions)
I get this message “Choose a root folder for the publish tree” and “Save” button is grayed.
Choosing “Publish tree root” directory doesn’t change it and I cannot save
Thanks, Love your work

If you’re sure you’re using the latest version of the plugin, please send a log after encountering this situation. —Jeffrey

— comment by Nir on July 7th, 2012 at 10:44pm JST (2 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink


I have a series of folders an they all export fine, but later, if I rename one folder or move one of them, let’s say inside another folder as a sub-folder, the move is not picked by the plugin and mirror it onto the export folder. Any change (metadata,crop…) to those pictures is processed without problems inside the original folder. I ticked all the “triggers”.


Yeah, Lightroom doesn’t account for that (though I wish they would). It’s a minor hassle, but the best I can suggest is to select all the images in the affected folder and “mark to republish”. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ion on July 8th, 2012 at 7:27pm JST (2 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Sometimes when I publish pictures the jpg file name ends with -2 like _DSC0956-2.jpg instead of _DSC0956.jpg. In the plug in log file I can read something about duplicate file and then create a copy instead of overwrite.

I can’t figure it out when the plug in decide to create a new file or overwrite. I don’t get any confirmation dialog or anything.

It does not matter if I actually delete the jpg-file and publish again. If the plugin think It need to create a copy instead of overwrite it always add -2 to the file name even if there is no file from the beginning. If I publish a whole folder, this only happens random to some of the files, not all of them.

I do add metadata and change develop settings to try different looks at my pictures but it is really a problem with not having the file names correct and a lot of duplicates.

My only solution right now is to publish to a empty temporary folder and then manually move my files to my real album folder. It actually does this by itself because of the “leading path components strip” settings I have. Before I published directly to my album folders but I can’t do that until the rename/overwrite issue is taken care of.

I’m still a happy paying customer =)

If your file-naming (and/or file-renaming) rules would give multiple images the same filename, the plugin adds a sequence number, and once it’s been added, it maintains it so that the filename of an image doesn’t randomly fluctuate each time you happen to publish. This was a really difficult nut to crack and the plugin goes to extensive lengths to make sure that images don’t overwrite each other and filenames don’t change willy-nilly. If you don’t care for it, look to a different way to name the files so that they’re unique (and, also, take note of the comment that follows this one). —Jeffrey

— comment by maglet on July 21st, 2012 at 2:55am JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

LR 4.1 & Folder Publisher 20120531.11 here.

I’m trying to make use of your Advanced Renaming feature to accomplish what I figured was a simple output format. I want to end up with this:

Filename-CopyName.jpg (or with underscore instead of dash) (or with underscore instead of dash)

But I’m ending-up with:


At least I surmise it’s sequence number, I’m really not sure where the value is coming from, but I get a 1-based sequence applied to the virtual copies if I’ve got multiple virtual copies of the same DNG in LR.

For example:
Master file: 20111203124523_0027.DNG (Copy name field is blank for the master copies)
Virtual copy 1 Copy Name: crop1
Virtual copy 2 Copy Name: bw
Advanced renaming template: {Filename}-{CopyName}

When I run these through advanced renaming I get:

So I’m a little puzzled where the -2-, and -3- are coming from. I tried enabling the standard renaming (set to just Filename), and disabling it, but get the same results either way. It’s acting as if it thinks there’s going to be a filename conflict, so is automatically appending the “-#” your routine has a chance to append the copyname.

Am I missing something here?

p.s. Please consider adding the “_” underscore to your list of standard joining characters, as that would be my usual preference.


Those are indeed sequence numbers, and Lightroom is applying them before ever letting the plugin have a look at the filename. Whether you rename with Lightroom or not, Lightroom will apply the sequence numbers if it thinks there will be a conflict, so to avoid that, you could use Lightroom’s renaming to include the filename and the copy name…. if that combination is unique, it won’t add the sequence numbers. The problem is that it won’t get rid of a trailing minus. So the real solution here is to leave Lightroom’s renaming turned off, and build the final filename in the plugin without regard to whatever the exported copy’s filename is, e.g. with {LibraryFilename}-{CopyName}. I’m really hesitant to add underscore to the list of joining characters because it’s so common in camera-produced filenames. —Jeffrey

— comment by Pete on July 21st, 2012 at 2:12pm JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Great plugin!
But I can’t change root directory once chosen?

Yes, since version .9. —Jeffrey

— comment by GarfieldKlon on July 30th, 2012 at 2:26am JST (2 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks! Again another great plugin! The republish feature on the change of a source file/directory rename would indeed be very helpful!

Kind regards from Berlin, Michael

Indeed it would, but Lightroom doesn’t allow for it )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Michael on August 24th, 2012 at 6:50pm JST (2 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

the Folder publisher plug-in is just what I was looking for, unfortunately while I was trying to configure it, I stumbled upon an issue that does not allow me to save the new publisher.

Regardless of what I enter into the “Publish Tree Root” TextBox, the publishing manager states that It “Can’t save changes: Choose a root folder for the publish tree”.

The save button is also disabled.
I am currently using Lightroom 4 with wondows 7.

Regards from München,

— comment by Marcus on September 16th, 2012 at 11:09pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

your plugin is verry cool and I would like to request a new feature for smart collections in jf Folder Publisher:

It would be a nice feature, to export all photos of folder where at lease one photo within that folder hits the defined criterias.


— comment by XaronX on September 19th, 2012 at 3:22pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

hi jeff, just updated to the latest version — — something seems to be wrong with the file format: i have selected JPG as format, but end up getting all pictures exported as NEF. any idea what i might be doing wrong?

It was a mistake in that version, sorry… a fixed version is now out. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dirk Husemann on October 4th, 2012 at 4:13am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

For a short while I am using “Folder Publisher” now, and I quite like it! I wonder about two things: when I hit delete on an image, “Folder Publisher” instantly removes it from the target directory, even when I decide to hit “cancel” (to not delete the image). It is then marked for re-publishing. I guess this is “works as designed”…? The other thing: when I move an image (within Lightroom) to another folder, this is not recognised by the plugin and therefore will not be reflected in the target directory. Is this an intended behaviour, and if yes, do you have a workaround for this scenario?

Kind regards from Switzerland

Both issues are Lightroom limitations. Neither are desirable, but there’s nothing I can do until Adobe gives the plugin infrastructure some TLC. —Jeffrey

— comment by Christian on October 10th, 2012 at 4:42am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Last update for tonight.

On 2nd thought, my junction workaround may do more harm than good. Since the path is actually valid, the plugin appears to try to migrate the images from a to b, not just update the root pointer. What I may try next is, rather than a junction, just create a dummy full path to the old root location to see if that alone will enable the save button.

Am I misunderstanding the logic behind the change button? I definitely don’t want to physically move any images, just update the root pointer.


When you change the root folder, it moves all the files that had been under its control, from the old root to the new root. At least it should. It may take a while, which is perhaps why the save button doesn’t enable right away. You might want to look at the log to see whether there’s any activity… —Jeffrey

— comment by Pete on November 2nd, 2012 at 4:34pm JST (2 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

This is an EXCELLENT plugin. Works great.

FYI I had the “Publish Tree root” as well in the beginning.
But as I saw some Swedish (standard translations from Adobe I guess) beeing mixed up in your english text inside the plugin, I took a longshot and changed my Lightroom language to English. This removed the bug for me.

Thanks again!


— comment by Jonas on November 5th, 2012 at 6:49am JST (2 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, thank you for this plugin, but even after donation and entering registering info I can’t export more than 15 photos.
In plugin page i see: plugin is unrestricted and registered to Stanislav Ploschansky….
But in export I have the same error: This version of LR/TreeExporter can only export up to 15 files. Please consider offering a donation in order to download the unrestricted version.

Any comments?

LR/TreeExporter is not my plugin… I think you’ve confused it for my Folder Publisher. —Jeffrey

— comment by Stanislav Ploschansky on November 27th, 2012 at 6:27pm JST (2 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Is there a way to publish the photos but have them placed into a subfolder of each original folder?

For example:

\directory\project\print size\

If this is possible, I will definitely use this for most of my exporting needs.

Yes, you can do that. Give it a try; my plugins are free. —Jeffrey

— comment by JONATHAN HILLENBRAND on December 6th, 2012 at 3:06am JST (2 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I have a severe problem with my Folder Publisher setup: after using a dedicated Smart Collection for some months (publishing approx 10.000 photos during that time onto my photo server) I opened LR today and found that the collection below that service had gone completely.

I tried to restate the collection by redefining it and – alas – I now have all my 10.000 photos back but on the “to be published” side of the “coin”.

I have all the photos on my server and do not want to republish them another time! What can I do to re-establish the state: photos transferred and marked as published without tzransferring all the files again?


The service shouldn’t have just disappeared, so I’d worry about a corrupt catalog, perhaps going back to a backup and checking its integrity. There’s no way, unfortunately, to recreate the thing and have it recognize the already-published photos, sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by Klaus on January 4th, 2013 at 3:55am JST (2 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

That is ther answer I feared. I do a weekly backup of my catalogs so the choice was losing one week of MY work or re-transferring and re-indexing 10.000 photos to my internal Synology server (which will take approx. one week of SERVER time). So the decision is really to re-transfer!

What worries me is that during backup LR will always check integrity and optimize the catalog. Hopefully no hard disk problem.

Anyway: I still have one question. Is the smart collection that you are using for the publishing module something that can be seen as a seperate file or description? Or is it integral part of the catalog and there is no way to handle a rescue separately?


Publish stuff is all in the catalog… only your encrypted temporary login information is kept elsewhere (Lightroom’s preferences file). —Jeffrey

— comment by Klaus on January 4th, 2013 at 3:13pm JST (2 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

It would great to have the same PlugIn as a “Symlink Publisher” which create the same structure from a Collection and/or Folder hierarchy.
Within Windows (Mac?) it should just create a symlink/hardlink (possible to do with mkling) to the Picture-/Video-File/Folder instead of a copy.
Advantage: Save space and creating is fast. usefull e.g. for an slideshowplayer which plays the content from (symlink) folder(s)/files and with this it is possible to play slideshows which playing videos too (what lightroom cannot this time).

— comment by Claudio on February 5th, 2013 at 2:34am JST (2 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

It would be nice if we can edit the paths more advanced
for example my directory structure is like this


I want to export my files in a sub-directory named Export placed in Day-Event_Name


So I want to strip the second last directory name not the last one.
I think a more advanced path options like the ones in Collection Publisher will be welcomed.

Thank you.

You can do that with the Collection Publisher, where you use a {LUA=} template token to craft whatever target folder you want. If one rule hands all the kinds of photos you might put into it, you’ll only need one collection. —Jeffrey

— comment by SB on February 7th, 2013 at 9:16pm JST (2 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink


— comment by Henk on February 25th, 2013 at 7:45am JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Writing from New Zealand. I love the plugin, works very well. I’m using a Mac.
My question: My catalogue sits on USB drive X, I publish to another USB drive Y. During the publishinh I notice that the process consumes disk space on the volume MaIntish Hd (main drive).
Why is this and how can I clean it up?

I don’t know, but it could be that Lightroom is writing to a temporary file? Also, check the settings for the size/location of the Camera Raw cache. —Jeffrey

— comment by Henk on March 3rd, 2013 at 1:51pm JST (2 years, 3 months ago) comment permalink

I’m very happy with your plug-in, but now I would like to have a second publishing to another drive.
How to do this – or is it impossibel ?

Greetings from Vienna/Austria

Right click on the publish-service header and in the context menu that pops up select “Create Another Publish Service…”. —Jeffrey

— comment by Franz on March 17th, 2013 at 1:59am JST (2 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Thanks a lot for changes in 20130329.24 build. The changing of the root of the publish tree now without problems.
Thank you!

— comment by Ales on April 3rd, 2013 at 11:23pm JST (2 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I have a nested structure of folders within folders within folders. Folder Publisher doesn’t seem to understand the nesting. The export/publish results in all of the individual folders being saved in the root tree, but the nesting is gone. Am I missing something?

It should work as you expect, preserving the folder structure, unless you’ve told it to strip X levels of leading path. If you haven’t done that, publish a few photos that go to the wrong spot and send a log with details about what should have happened vs. what did happen. —Jeffrey

— comment by jlpeifer on April 25th, 2013 at 3:19am JST (2 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

About the post by Henk on March 3rd, 2013 at 1:51pm JST above: it witnessed the same behaviour and observing the file creation pattern, this is what seems to happen: it looks like LR is rendering the files asynchronously ahead of the plug-in (i.e. as if LR uses the hard drive as an unbound queue of the files to send to the plug-in). In my case, the destination directory for the files is on a network drive and therefore it is slow to write the files. Therefore, lightroom produces the files much faster than the plug-in can write them (after renaming and some other processing i guess), which causes my hard drive to fill up (backlog) because I have thousands of photos to publish and a small main HD (SSD).
The moment I cancel the publication, all these files go away but the number of published files is not affected.

Just my $2 cents about a behaviour that is annoying. Can something be done about that?

Thanks and best regards.

Unfortunately, Lightroom does all the rendering in the background, and just passes off the rendered copies to the plugin when the plugin is ready. There’s now way for the plugin to say “go slower”. If the plugin processing is slow (e.g. uploading somewhere, or writing to a slow network drive), this creates a backlog on the computer and turns the CPU into a space heater for a while. My requests for some control over this have not been fulfilled. )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Mahamane on May 14th, 2013 at 4:02am JST (2 years ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, greetings from Houston, TX.

I like this program, it’s just what I was looking for.

I just wanted to chime in on the LR creating a backlog of files on the main hard drive. My pictures number about 16,000 so far (around 330 GB of pictures and videos), I’ve been trying to backup all of the master files to an external hard drive but I keep running out of disk space and having to restart Lightroom. I then have to go to my main C:\ and clear out the temporary folder it’s creating filled with about 60 GB worth of pictures and videos at a time. I’m using Vista, so the temporary file path is C:\Users\(my account name)\AppData\Local\Temp\ then I need to find the newest created temporary folder and delete it.
Another thing I noticed is the 60 GB of files created doesn’t seem to add up to my catalog’s size (330 GB), otherwise I would have been done after about 6 restarts, but I’m probably on #10 now and still have 6000 files to go. That’s more of an odd quirk though I guess.

I guess my question is, is it possible for the plugin to delete the duplicated files on the C drive as it uploads? Or is there an option to do the upload in chunks (maybe specified in Gigabytes), and then have the upload pause once it reaches that buffer and then flush the temporary files?

The way it is now works, but not having to restart Lightroom every 50 GB would sure make life a lot easier :)

I don’t understand what you mean about “as it uploads”, but there’s no way for the plugin to control how fast Lightroom generates copies behind the scenes. A better idea than restarting Lightroom all the time would be to limit it yourself, by selecting photos in groups (of ~1000 photos?) and holding down Alt/Option… with that, “Publish” becomes “Publish Selected”. —Jeffrey

— comment by Keith on June 14th, 2013 at 11:24am JST (1 year, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Do you have a Zenfolio Publisher for LR 5? If so where can I find it?

Yes, on my Lightroom Goodies page. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve Delaney on June 16th, 2013 at 2:42am JST (1 year, 11 months ago) comment permalink

[Folder Publisher LR5]
My catalog for analog photos has been grown too big and I exported a complete directory structure (approx. 6000 photos; already published) to a seperate catalog (using the export catalog function). In the new catalog I created a new folder publisher service and imported the settings from “old” catalog. Next step was to import the smart collection settings (which I exported from the original catalog). Now all 6000 photos are appearing correctly in the grid (I used the color green to mark photos for publishing) – but they are no more marked as published!!

Do I have to republish them again? Is there any way to override that situation and mark the the photos as already published?

Any help is appreciated …


No, sorry. Your best bet for this kind of thing would be to make a copy of the LRCAT catalog file, then in the copy delete everything but the ones you want separated (your 6,000 analog photos). —Jeffrey

— comment by Klaus on June 20th, 2013 at 3:31am JST (1 year, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey – thanks for the answer: I finally succeeded by following your advice to copy and delete. It took a while but has been successful.


— comment by Klaus on June 21st, 2013 at 12:39pm JST (1 year, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hi, This plugin sounds very interesting. Could you explain how this is different from using a hardisk publishing plugin which also creates a folder hierarchy based on the structure of the published collections?

My version is much more configurable. If the built-in plugin does all you need, then that’s fine, but mine gives much more control over file naming, file dates, folder structure, smart-preview handling, what to do with exported copies when deleting from the collection, and such. —Jeffrey

— comment by Danish on June 26th, 2013 at 3:37am JST (1 year, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hello from San Diego.

Is there a way to have “original” set for video files as well? It seems like it takes awhile to reprocess the MP4’s I have and it’s not really necessary, I can use them as is.

In the “Video” section, set the “video format” to “original, unedited file”. —Jeffrey

— comment by Kevin Roczey on July 4th, 2013 at 10:35am JST (1 year, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hi, I think I found a bug in the folder-publisher. Videos (i convert them to medium) all end up with a current (=wrong) timestamp in the published folder. Yes, i have checked the option to set the date to the photo’s capture time. Can you confirm this or it is my fault?


Does Lightroom show the video date in the Metadata panel? Lightroom has pretty bad support for video metadata like dates. —Jeffrey

— comment by Chris M on September 14th, 2013 at 1:32am JST (1 year, 8 months ago) comment permalink

First of all thanks for all the wonderful LR plug-ins. I have used them to organize my publish services and really save me time.

In the latest update of Folder Publish, I ran into a persistent bug. Not sure if it was my PC or the plug-in. Anyway after a number of files (anywhere from 15 to 30) are published, the plug-in reported an error in failure during “move the file from “…appdata…” to the destination folder (in my case a google drive folder), an unknown error had occured. The plug-in then stopped.

I can republish again, then after another 15 to 30 files, the error repeated itself.

Please help.

Is the reference to “appdata” a typo? I can’t imagine Lightroom ever purposefully writing images there, unless you told it to, in which case I have to ask whats going on. As for the error, could it possibly be related to the destination being Google Drive? Can you try the same publish settings except to a local drive? Maybe the Google Drive daemon is somehow diddling things? —Jeffrey

— comment by David Tam on November 12th, 2013 at 1:32pm JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I published the same set of folders except this time using Collection Publisher by manually creating the collection sets to have same names as the folders. Everything worked and the folders in Google Drive were created correctly. Therefore the bugs are probably within the Folder Publisher when it reported unknown errors and stopped the publishing after seemingly random number of files.
I did manage to publish more than 5000 photos in 50 folders by repeating the publishing again everytime it stopped, but the restart process takes time to init again everytime and painfully slow.

The painful init time is, indeed, painful, but that’s beyond the control of the plugin, unfortunately. You can mitigate the problem somewhat by selecting a smaller set of images and holding down the option key to change the “Publish” button into “Publish Selected”. But the real issue is that it’s crashing… perhaps send a log the next time, and I’ll take a look. —Jeffrey

— comment by David Tam on November 24th, 2013 at 6:44pm JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I’m finding in v. 20131213.43 (not certain if this behaviour changed priot to that) that changes to ratings do not trigger a republish. I’ve unchecked/rechecked the ‘rating’ checkbox within Publishing Manager dialog, but no change.

Possbly related to this, I’ve also been noticing that some types of keyword adjustments do not trigger a republish, although I haven’t had time to fully test this out. (I suspect the failure occurs when I have a keyword set to “do not export” but have “export synonyms” selected. Keyword renaming / changes to synonyms does not appear to trigger a republish).

As a result, unfortunately, I’m not entirely trusting currently that the published shots contain the latest ratings and keywords, so forced full republishing is the only way to guarantee a sync.


About the keywords, Lightroom says that only “include on export” keywords cause a republish. However, as with your experience with ratings, it wouldn’t surprise me to see bugs here… this area of Lightroom has been buggy since day one, but unfortunately, there’s nothing the plugin can do about it. The rating bug seems to be more blatant (and perhaps more recent). I’ve just reported it to Adobe. —Jeffrey

— comment by Pete on January 1st, 2014 at 7:57am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey,

I just started to use Folder Publisher, and have a question: when one or some images are changed, a click on Publish republishes all photos ever published with the plugin. Is that the way it is designed to work or am I missing something (I am quite a beginner on LR :/).

I am not a pro photographer, I just plan to maintain my family Photo Library in Lightroom, and while Lightroom is perfect for workflows, sorting, searching, etc, I need to always maintain an updated version of all photos as JPEGs mimicking the folder structure, so that these can be then viewed by family members on their computers.

I currently have around 20K+ photos. Do not know If I can use LR + Folder Publisher to accomplish that.

Thanks for your dedication on these plugins. The breadth and quality of your work is remarkable!


Publish shouldn’t republish everything unless everything is somehow changed. Check the grid while viewing the publish collection: items in “Published Photos” shouldn’t be republished, while items in “Modified Photos to Republish” should be. Folder Publisher is exactly the tool to solve your “always maintain updated JPEGs” problem. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ricardo on January 4th, 2014 at 2:05pm JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

is it possible to have a post process action with folder publisher plugin? I’d like to move the *original* files after being exported to another drive. Background: I put new files on my SSD for faster processing, do what ever is needed, mark them for export by folder publisher and move the raw files to my NAS afterwards. Instead of moving them manually, I thought of letting them move automatically :)


You can use my Run Any Command plugin to execute arbitrary commands after a publish. You’ll still have to manually tell Lightroom that the image has moved, but at least the move can be automated. —Jeffrey

— comment by Raimund on January 5th, 2014 at 8:21am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve been experimenting with Folder Publisher as well as Collection Publisher and I think I’ may be missing something about their intended respective uses.

In Folder Publisher, one sets up a service and FP creates a collection called “photos to include.” One then drags images into that collection, and when published, the images are exported into a folder structure that mirrors the folder structure in the Folders panel in LR, but under the root specified when setting up the service. This makes sense to me and I think I understand why it would be useful.

Question 1: One can manually create additional collections (or collection sets) under the jf Folder Publisher service. That doesn’t seem to serve any useful purpose. Do I understand that correctly?

Two useful purposes: each collection can have its own set of leading/trailing path components stripped, and it may be convenient to have separate collections for organizational purposes.


In Collection Publisher, one sets up a service and CP a collection called “at root” by default. Unlike in FP, if one drags images to that collection and publishes, all the images go into the root folder selected when one set up the service. One must create the collections (and collection sets) oneself that are then mirrored on the drive. This collection hierarchy may, but does not need to, mirror any collections set up in the Collections panel. So CP is more “free form” than FP in that I must manually create whatever structure I want the exported images to be in. Yes?

And, unlike what I initially thought, the CP collection hierarchy has nothing to do the with collection hierarchy in the Collections panel, right?


I think what I REALLY want to do is to have a way to mirror to my hard drive the structure I’m going to be setting up using your Zenfolio publish service. I know I can use CP and manually create a collection structure that mirrors the ZF gallery structure set up through the ZF publish service.

Question 2: Is there an easier way to do what I would like here (mirror the ZF publish service hierarchy)?

Yup, see this post —Jeffrey

Thank you for your plugins…they are truly extraordinary!

— comment by Robert on January 19th, 2014 at 2:44pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Wondering if you could suggest the smartest way to change a destination folder for this plugin. I have perhaps 10k photos on my server and I’d like to move them to a new folder on the server side (fastest that way rather than republish 10k photos to the server) and have the publish service “find” them again, is this possible?

Thanks, your plugins are incredible!

Use the “change” button in the Folder Publisher’s Publish Manager settings, and the plugin will do the move and track the changes. —Jeffrey

— comment by Phil on February 17th, 2014 at 2:11am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Everytime I try to publish my photos it seems I run into some problem – lost photo, etc. But now I get a showstopper – it copies about 2/3 of my photos then stops with an error “Can’t Update this collection – Cant move C:users\David Harens\AppData\local\temp\6D40020E-567A-48AA… .it does not seem to exist.” I have a a screengrab of the actual error that I put up on Google drive if you care to look at it:

I am trying to publish about 18000 images in my Pictures Folder (on my D drive) as jpegs so I can use them in a screen saver that only uses jpegs. The only way I know to get all the images in a collection to use in your routine is to use a smart collection and add all images that don’t contain a filename of XXXXXX which I know does not exist. I am publishing from a Pictures folder on my D drive to a Pictures folder on my E: drive. The C: drive should not be involved at all.

1. Is there a better way to get all images into a collection to use in your routine?
2. Why would it be looking at a temp file on my C drive and give me this error?

I hope you can give me a suggestion. Thanks

The C: drive is coming into play because Lightroom is rendering the exported copy to a temporary file before handing it off to the plugin, which then moves it to the final destination. The error being reported is that Lightroom has told the plugin the temporary copy is available, but the plugin doesn’t find it. I’ve seen this problem, rarely, when certain other plugins are involved in the render (such as Lr/Mogrify, to no fault of that plugin… it just seems to be a bug in Lightroom that some folks get tickled by). You can try sending me a plugin log (as described here), and I’ll take a look. About getting all photos into a collection, there are many ways to do it, but a simple “Rating: is greater or equal to: ∙∙∙∙” should do it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dave Harens on March 10th, 2014 at 11:46pm JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

An Update: I just did a redo of the entire process – deleted my exported (Published files) , deleted the service and then created a new one, but then I did not use a smart collection to define the images I wished to publish, but rather just dragged the photos to the “photos to include” collection. The publish worked just fine this time. However, I have had it working before so who knows.

I have also seemed to have problems with smart collections using publish before (it would come back and say that a file could not be found, or could not be moved because of a missing root file in the collection, etc.. So maybe my issue was a smart collection. Thx for your help, and if you do see anything in the log or need more info, let me know. Not sure if I can recreate the problem again.

— comment by Dave Harens on March 12th, 2014 at 2:46am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

This is absolutely incredible!! Thank you for saving me an insane amount of time today!

— comment by ai on March 13th, 2014 at 6:13am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I have regularly received the error message “..cannot move the files from …/temp/…” then the plug-in would stop. I do not know the reason why, could be due to the use of Smart Collection as mentioned by Dave Harens or copying from C: drive to another drive. But anyway I would manually restart using “publish selected” to try to finish the whole collection. Is there a way the plug-in would restart automatically after the error message ?


I don’t want to have the plugin restart in this case, because the underlying problem could be something that will not clear up on its own, such as a permissions problem, a full disk, etc. During normal use, the error should never show up, so when it shows up, something is wrong and needs to be addressed. —Jeffrey

— comment by David Tam on March 16th, 2014 at 2:08am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I switched LR catalog and the published service collection settings were lost. After I re-established the collections, of course all the previously published photos are now marked as “New Photos to Publish”. Is there an easy way to mark the photos as “Published Photos” without going through the entire publishing process again ? The previously published photos are still in their respective folders.


The short answer is “no”. Unfortunately, Lightroom doesn’t include Publish info during Catalog exports/imports, so if you want to split things out to a different catalog, the only way is to make a copy of the LRCAT file and then remove the entries for everything you don’t want (taking special care to not actually delete the underlying files!). The plugin can’t reconnect to the images already published because it can’t reliably predict the target filename for each source image. It’s one of those things that looks simple at first glance, but in practice when you get down to details, it’s quite hairy and, essentially, impossible to guarantee. —Jeffrey

— comment by David Tam on March 16th, 2014 at 9:27am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hallo Jeffrey
it seems, that renaming doesn’t trigger re-publishing (or I do not find it).
Thanks in advance

Correct, it doesn’t. Adobe choose not to make it one of the things that can trigger a republish, and unfortunately. I’ve submitted a feature request to have it added, but I’m not holding my breath… :-( —Jeffrey

— comment by Franz Strelsky on March 17th, 2014 at 9:22pm JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Using a smart collection to publish small versions of all ‘picks’ to a folder, I have moved my source images from one folder to another (in lightroom) but this hasn’t triggered these files to be marked for re-publishing even though they would now be (similarly) published to a different location in my folder structure. I thought this used to happen, but maybe it didn’t, can it be done?

Unfortunately, Adobe choose not to make it one of the things that can trigger a republish. I’ve submitted a feature request to have it added, but I’m not holding my breath… :-( —Jeffrey

— comment by JC on March 21st, 2014 at 2:55am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hi and thank you for this great plugin!!!

I have a question:
How do I manage this (example):
Source folder:
Publish folder:

When selecting D:2_OUTPUT\ as publish folder I get:

Thanks in advance!!!

I can’t repeat this… I get “D:2_OUTPUT\1_INPUT\2014\2014_03” when I try it. Perhaps send a log after a publish that puts an image where you don’t expect (being sure to note in the log dialog which image went where, and how that differs from what you expected). —Jeffrey

— comment by Adam on March 26th, 2014 at 3:48am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Jeff, great plug-ins collection !

I have a folder structure with Year\Month\Day. For specific multi day events, I change the structure slightly to Year\Month\FirstDayOfEvent\Day so it is easier to identify those events (e.g. vacations). However, when publishing my folder hierarchy, I do not need/want the extra Day level on any event folder : I just want all photos to be grouped under the event folder.

So, I’d like to be able to tell the plugin to replicate the original folder hierarchy down do level X only. I have not found a way to do that. Is there one ? If not, would you consider this for a further release ?


I’ve just pushed a new version that includes a new option to do what you need here. Thanks for the idea. —Jeffrey

— comment by Xtof on April 4th, 2014 at 6:27pm JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I love this Plug-In – it is great to use! But today I discovered som problems.
I store my picture in a folder structure like:


and export, using to PlugIn, to a new folder structure

This works quite well, but today, I added a new folder (Session3), and changed the name of the root folder in Lightroom to Originals1. Since then, the PlugIn uses to root folder as part of the structure during exoprt. If I export now, I get the following strucutre:

Is there a way to avoid the “-Originals1″ sub-folder? And why doesn’t it use this for the folders exportet before? Thank’s in advance, HH

I don’t fully understand the situation, but I’m guessing that prior to renaming the root in Lightroom, it didn’t show up as an entry in the Folders panel, but now it does. If you right-click on it and choose “Hide this Parent”, it’ll then work. If that’s not it, perhaps send a log with details. —Jeffrey

— comment by HH on April 7th, 2014 at 12:29am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

It’s incredible ! Each time I wonder how to do something, you’ve ever developped the dedicated plugin !
I’m a regular user of Picasaweb export and was looking for a way to create a JPG image of all my “correct” photos to an external drive keeping my folder hyerarchy.
A quick google search and I’m back here.
Thanks for reading in my mind.

— comment by Denis FABREGUE on April 10th, 2014 at 2:54am JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink


I just finished testing your enhancement with folder depth limitation. It works exactly as expected and your warning messages are super clear.

Tx for the unbelievably quick enhancement … if only Adobe would react this way :-)


— comment by Xtof on April 11th, 2014 at 12:42am JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Thank you for this great plugin!

20140410.45 Added an option to limit the overall depth of the publish tree.

I cannot find this. Is there a trick? Thank you very much!

It’s on a per-collection basis, so it’s in the create/edit-collection dialog. —Jeffrey

— comment by GK on May 14th, 2014 at 8:04am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Thank you, Jeffrey! Now I am really happy!!!

— comment by GK on May 14th, 2014 at 6:52pm JST (1 year ago) comment permalink


Your plugin saved me countless hours of managing exports! Just one quick question: would it be possible to run an external application once publishing completes?

I have a .bat file that rsyncs all the exports to a NAS on my home network.

Writing from Sibiu, Romania.

Sure, you can do that with my run-any-command plugin. —Jeffrey

— comment by silviu on June 10th, 2014 at 6:40pm JST (11 months, 15 days ago) comment permalink


I hope I’m not reading it wrong but “run-any-command” appear to run an external command after each file is exported. What I’m looking for is running a command after completing “Publish” from “Folder Publisher”

I guess I could copy each file to the nas one-by-one but I feel is more efficient to sync the exports root folder once.

Anyways it’s not a big deal, sync-ing the nas manually takes one minute, I can spare it from the hours your plugin saved :)


The plugin can do both (execute something after each image, or after the entire export/publish operation). —Jeffrey

— comment by silviu on June 12th, 2014 at 3:09pm JST (11 months, 13 days ago) comment permalink


I have just discovered your plugin and have been testing with it for a bit now and am finding it very well thought out in its features and execution.

I do have one question. Does the plugin support removable storage? I want to use it to create JPEG backups of all my photos in case something happens to Lightroom. I want to do a full backup to an external hard drive, then continue to work without the drive attached, reattaching it occasionally to refresh the backup. Is this workflow supported?



Sure, that’s fine, just make sure the drive is attached whenever you publish. Otherwise, it shouldn’t matter. —Jeffrey

— comment by Mike on July 1st, 2014 at 10:03pm JST (10 months, 24 days ago) comment permalink

Hey Jeffery,

Ever see a problem where a publish will fail with “Can’t update this collection”?

“jf Folder Publisher”: Moved Failed:
returns unknon error

The destination is a dropbox folder, my guess is that has something to do with it? Maybe dropbox can’t keep up and returns a “full” event or something. The drive is definitely not full.

Anyways, feature request here : have the plugin continue the export if there is one failed file. It seemed to be working up until that point. I’m curious if it’s one file or if it would have continued on.

Whatever the case, THANKS ! Love these plugins.

The inability for the plugin to move a file is usually a pretty catastrophic error (target disk full? No permission to write there?), so continuing is probably not the best course of action. I don’t know what dropbox is doing… perhaps it’s locking the file temporarily? Without more details it’s hard to tell. —Jeffrey

— comment by Max Baker on July 28th, 2014 at 3:00am JST (9 months, 29 days ago) comment permalink

Does Jf Folder/Collection Publisher support removable / network drives without loosing the linkage between published images and original images in case the removable/network drive is not present?

The page says “.. export copies of your Lightroom photos to local disk in a folder …”.

Based on comments and changelog I could assume it works, but just checking.

Superb plugin! I love it.

It should work fine, though all chaos may ensue if you invoke a Publish operation while the target disk is not connected. — Jeffrey

— comment by Jarno on July 28th, 2014 at 9:16pm JST (9 months, 28 days ago) comment permalink

Dear Jeffrey,

thanks for your plugin, it just sounded to be what I was looking for…. only that I don’t really get how it works:
I have set up the “jf Folder Publisher” and it shows up in “publishing services”.
And I have organised my images inside a windows folder structure in LR5.

But I can not pull a complete folder (or multiple) over from the folder structure in LR into the jf Folder publisher: it won’t allow me. It only allows me to pull over a selection of images.

Wasn’t that the whole idea of the plugin? What am I doing wrong?!

The idea is that whatever images you do bring in to appear in the plugin will get exported to a folder structure that parallels that of their originals. If you want all the photos in your library to appear in the plugin automatically, just create a smart collection that refers to all images. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jan on August 22nd, 2014 at 6:08am JST (9 months, 4 days ago) comment permalink

I sometimes get the same error as Max Baker on 7/28/14 mentions.

“jf Folder Publisher”: Moved Failed:
returns unknown error

I notice it more on extremely large publishing runs with multiple thousands of files. Latest error was during a publish I was trying to setup to Google Photos which uses a folder on harddrive to sync similar to drop box. However I also sometimes get the error just publishing to a regular folder. Otherwise I love this plugin!!!

Is there something I can log or provide to figure out the issue? I know that there is plenty of space on drive. I’m running Windows 7, 64bit.

You can try sending a log when you encounter the error, but with Windows there’s very little insight into why a move failed, so frankly it’ll probably remain a mystery. )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Jeff Wilkinson on August 22nd, 2014 at 2:30pm JST (9 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey

I have been really enjoying the plug in for a while now, what a difference it has made. I have the latest version of LR5 and the plug-in. Not sure what is going on but when i added some photos from a holiday and told LR to publish it just hangs. I have the small status bar at the top left that something is happening but the bar itself remains empty, as no progress/export is occurring. I haven’t made any changes so not sure what the issue is. Have you come across this before?

I’ve not seen this before, but when strange things start to happen in Lightroom I wonder whether Lightroom’s preferences file has started to go corrupt. Clearing it out often solves these things. But in this case it could be an issue with your disk(?) You might check out the plugin log for hints, or send it to me. —Jeffrey

— comment by Graeme on August 24th, 2014 at 5:25pm JST (9 months, 1 day ago) comment permalink

Awesome plugin. It works great and is what I needed to create a lower resolution version of our images in the existing organized folder structure on a NAS for the family to access.

One request if possible: When exporting videos, could you add the option to embed the poster frame in the exported video?

I have a Seagate Central NAS that does not create thumbnails for videos but will use the embedded thumbnail/poster frame if it exists. I have a cumbersome workaround using an action in mp3tag to embed the poster frame from a jpeg exported from the videos using another utility.

Unfortunately, that’s all up to Lightroom and it gives no insight to a plugin. I’d think their video export would do that, so perhaps file it with Adobe as a bug (or feature request). —Jeffrey

— comment by Tom on September 2nd, 2014 at 1:55am JST (8 months, 24 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey

I’ve been using a number of your plugins here in London, UK for years and they’re great! I’ve just started using the Folder Publisher one and I’m having a problem though.

I have LR5.6 with a catalogue containing 560,000+ images all under one root folder on my disk. I’m trying to use your plugin to publish a lower resolution, JPEG only copy of the entire folder and I noticed things get very slow. I set up the plugin with a single smart collection that includes my entire catalogue (but excludes any images smaller than 250px). I have a fast PC with 32GB RAM, but I noticed that when “Preparing to Export”, LR was using 40GB of RAM with a working set of 30GB, which I suspect is leading to a lot of disk swaps which, even with my SSD, slows the export (and the PC) to a crawl.

It did seem to be working though, until about 23,000 images into the export when it failed with a “cannot move from C:\Users\xxx\Temp\blah-blah” error. My disk was nowhere near full, so it couldn’t be that the Temp file wasn’t created/copied.

I might try splitting up the catalogue into a set of collections in the publisher as a workaround, but this isn’t an ideal workflow for me, so any assistance would be appreciated.


The “preparing to Export” stuff is Lightroom itself, before it hands off control to the plugin. I can imagine that preparing info on half a million photos does take quite a bit of resources. You might consider selecting a group of images (try 10k to start) then then hold down the alt/option key to turn the [Publish] button into [Publish Selected], and then clicking that. As for the move failing, Windows gives no info to the plugin why it fails… the plugin just notices that the file is not where it was supposed to have been copied to, so it’s hard to speculate as to the reason. )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve Insley on September 16th, 2014 at 7:02pm JST (8 months, 9 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Not sure if this helps or not but I figured out that if I get the moved fail error as shown below, I just filter by filename to quickly find the file in question, change one minor item within develop module (brightness, etc.), re-export and it doesn’t fail on that file again. On the surface there doesn’t appear to be any commonality for files that do fail to be transferred by Folder Publisher. However at least now there is a quick way to get past the files that cause issues.

“jf Folder Publisher”: Moved Failed:
returns unknown error

Jeff Wilkinson

— comment by Jeff Wilkinson on September 19th, 2014 at 12:33pm JST (8 months, 6 days ago) comment permalink

I currently use the folder publisher to export the images, I then use either FTP or rsync to copy them to my server. I have tried the FTP from within the Folder Publisher Manager, works about the same except I avoid opening another terminal window and is easier to see total progress.
Any chance for an enhanced version of the Folder Publisher which skips the step of writing to my local disk and just publishes on the server remotely?


No, sorry, though I believe there’s an FTP plugin available as part of the Lightroom plugin SDK. —Jeffrey

— comment by Timothy Spear on September 22nd, 2014 at 5:04am JST (8 months, 4 days ago) comment permalink


The Lightroom SDK sample is export only, and does not retain the folder structure. Oh well, I will just have to “waste” the space on my local machine.


— comment by Timothy Spear on September 22nd, 2014 at 6:40pm JST (8 months, 3 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey

I resolve my earlier issue of large collection publishing by publishing in batches as you suggested. However, after while I have now noticed another odd behaviour that I think might be a bug.

As I mentioned, I have 560,000+ photos over thousands of folders. Inevitably, some of those photos have the same file name. I realised that when the file names are the same, the export process is suffixing a hyphen and number to the file name, even though the files are in different folders, hence not strictly duplicates. In some cases, I have as many as 60 photos with the exact same name in different folders, so I’m ending up with IMG_2043-60.jpg.

For clarity, I have only run the publish process once for each batch of photos by selecting 30K at a time and using Alt+Publish, so I doubt this is “re-publishing” logic error.

This is a problem for me as it’s imperative that ALL photos in the target publish folder have the identical name to the source. Please can you advise?


Lightroom is doing that because all exported copies go through a single (temporary) folder before being given to the plugin. You can get around it by having the plugin rename back to what you wanted, via the “Enhanced File Renaming” section of the plugin-settings dialog. In your case, if you want the exported copy to be named the same as the master image file (though with a different extension as needed), use {LibraryFilename} as your template. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve Insley on October 20th, 2014 at 7:41am JST (7 months, 6 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Here is what I want to do. Will this plugin allow me to do this easily?

I have a very large lightroom catalog, with many years of folders organized by YYYY-MM (with subfolders for specific dates in each).

I have gone through and tagged a few thousand photos that are family photos, that I now want to export and publish to DVD(s) AND I want to retain the existing folder structure on the output DVDs for easy browsing by year, month (day subfolders).

This plugin looks like it will work, but, can it also write to DVD? How does it handle spanning multiple DVDs?

Thanks in advance!

The plugin will write to a disk on your system the way you want… you’d then have to (somehow) write the files to DVD. I suppose it’d be a manual process to break it up into individual discs. —Jeffrey

— comment by Amy on December 16th, 2014 at 12:10am JST (5 months, 10 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffry, I’m a happy user of your Zenfolio plugin. Now I am wondering if your “folder publisher'” plug in will help with this task. I have duplicate copies of my raw files on three external drives as insurance against loss. The are organized in a YYYY-MM-DD hierarchy on every drive. The first drive is the drive on which my LR raw files are located. The other two drives have mirrored copies.

When I go from LR to edit a file in PSCC, I have PS create a tiff or psd. If I select all the newly created tiffs or psds in my catalogue after a day of working on them, can I use the plugin to export copies to the corresponding folders in my second and third external drives all at once? Hope this makes sense. It would certainly be a great convenience compared to making separate file copies and moving them to the corresponding location on my duplicate drives.

It can work… set up a publish service where the format is “Original” and use a smart collection to identify your PSDs. But realize that in a Lightroom export, “Original” actually has the very odd meaning of “original pixels; current metadata”, which makes little sense to me, but that’s what it is. Still, if your intention is to back up your originals, your best bet is to use a real backup solution so that the backup is complete and identical. —Jeffrey

— comment by Shirley Sanderson on December 29th, 2014 at 10:56am JST (4 months, 27 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
First thanks for your nice job. I will try to use this plugin as a standard workflow for sharing pictures and video on a LAN NAS (qnap). Publishing video with the option “explicitly set the date/time …” to “The photo’s capture time” is not working (picture or video). It’s working on a local drive.

Unfortunately, I suspect you’re out of luck here. The plugin is launching a shell to launch a Perl script, which then tells your OS to update the time, but it seems that whatever filesystem driver is allowing the NAS to be seen on your OS doesn’t support the time-update thing. —Jeffrey

— comment by Thierry on January 21st, 2015 at 11:53pm JST (4 months, 4 days ago) comment permalink

Hey, great plug-in!
Having little problem – I need to export folders containing 72 photos each (for 360 innersphere photos), and when exported, these photos filenames should be from 1 to 72. When publishing one folder, everything is okay, but when exporting multiple folders, first’s filenames goes from 1 to 72, and the second folder goes from 73 to 144, which is not good for me.
How could I solve this?


The best I can suggest is to publish each folder’s worth of images at a time. Select them, then hold down the Alt/Option key… that turns the [Publish] button into [Publish Selected]. —Jeffrey

— comment by Saulius on January 28th, 2015 at 10:17pm JST (3 months, 28 days ago) comment permalink

Hi – do you plan to update for Lightroom 6. Very disappointed by Adobe when I opened my catalog in a new version and none of my old plugins work…

Versions of my plugins were ready for Lr6 since late last year. I suspect you haven’t kept up on updates. —Jeffrey

— comment by SM on May 12th, 2015 at 1:41am JST (2 weeks ago) comment permalink
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