Jeffrey’s “Folder Watch” Lightroom Plugin

This plugin is a feature-rich alternative (or supplement) to Lightroom's built-in tethering and Auto Import, and also attempts to make up for Lightroom's lack of an auto-export facility. It allows you to run a continuous scan of select folders on your hard disk in the background, automatically importing new images in place, or first moving/renaming if you like.

It can scan an individual folder, a list of folders, or whole trees of folders.

It also allows for automatic processing of imported images, and also automatic export, creating a fully-automatic end-to-end processing system.

As a special case to enhance Lightroom's built-in tethering, it can apply special processing to images that have been recently added to Lightroom.

This plugin works in Lightroom Classic, and older versions as far back as Lightroom 4, 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.

Configuration and Use

The plugin is configured in the Plugin Manager:
The dialog shown is as of version 20180503.126; the current version of the plugin is 20181101.134.

When the Enable Scan checkbox is checked, the scan runs continuously, even after the Plugin Manager has been dismissed.

Scan-Related Configuration Items

Folders to watch  —  A comma-separated list of folders the plugin should scan for new images. Non-absolute folders are relative to the catalog folder.

See the Common Scenarios section for guidance here.

Also watch subfolders  —  If checked, the scan also descends into all subfolders of the folders listed.

Frequency to check  —  The scan takes some of your computer's resources, so it's not prudent to have it scanning nonstop; this indicates how long a pause should be made between scans.

New images only  —  If checked, images found in the first scan are not imported. This is perhaps useful when tethering and are interested only in new images going forward.

Ignore suspected duplicates  —  Ignores (does not import) new files that have the same filename, byte size, and pixel dimensions as a photo already in the catalog. (If a catalog photo is currently offline, that is, its master file is not currently available, then the byte-size comparison is not included in the decision.)

Filenames to consider  —  Lets you include or exclude filenames that match a filename pattern like *.jpg.

Special rules for when the provided pattern includes a slash: in this case, the pattern is matched against the full path of the file being considered. To exclude files in a sub-folder named junk, for example, select exclude names matching pattern and enter a pattern of /junk/. To exclude files in any folder that has junk in its name, use a pattern of junk*/ or /*junk.

(The special rules about folder patterns make sense only when Also watch subfolders is turned on.)

File size to consider  —  A sanity check to avoid too-big or too-small images.

File unmodified for  —  If the plugin were to try to import a file as it was being written to disk, Lightroom would get only a partial file, resulting in errors. To help avoid this, the plugin waits until the image file hasn't been updated for some time, in hopes that doing so will ensure the write has fully completed.

Read-only images only  —  Enabling this has the plugin ignore writeable files, considering only read-only files. The lock image feature on some cameras can result in a read-only file on disk.

Special tether support  —  This special option is explained below.

Move/Rename Configuration Items   

Just before a file is imported, you can have the plugin move it to a target folder, and rename it as well.


If you enable the file-move option, the plugin moves images it finds into a folder you specify.

In specifying the target folder, you can use many preset template tokens, though most that refer to photo metadata are not available. However, tokens that refer to the capture time of the image, such as {YYYY}, are available.

You can also use tokens that refer to the master image file (in this context, the file to be moved/renamed, prior to move/rename and import), such as {FileYYYY} for the file's creation year, or {FolderName} for the name of the folder that the file to be imported was found in.

In writing the target-folder template, sub-folders can be separated by either kind of slash (forward or backward).

Optionally, you can then append the name of the watched folder (test2 in the screenshot example above) to come up with the final target folder. (This is the same as using {FolderName} at the end of the move-to path, or at the beginning of the rename-to path.)

For example, if you have the plugin watch folders named Main Shooter, Sub Shooter 1, and Sub Shooter 2, enabling this option would have images moved to the appropriate sub-folder (Main Shooter, Sub Shooter 1, or Sub Shooter 2) of the destination folder you specified.

Additionally, you can have the plugin preserve any folder structure found under the watched folder, replicating it within whatever target folder the above steps resulted in.


The rename to field also accepts preset template tokens: tokens accepted are the same as those mentioned in Moving above.

For example, a rename to value of {YYYY}-{DD}-{MM}/{Filename} has new images moved to a subfolder (of the target folder computed by prior steps) based on the image capture time.

Or, you might use a rename to value of {yyyy}{dd}{mm}-{hh}{min}{ss}-{Filename} to prefix the current date/time to the image filename, and then place it within the move-to folder.

You can use either kind of slash (forward or back) to separate sub-folder names.

The plugin always ensures that the file extension remains the same across any move or rename, so you don't have to worry whether you specify a file extension in the rename to field.

You can specify that filenames should be rewritten to a sequence by including ### in the filename, using as many # as you want digits in the sequence. For example, you might use photo#### to have your files named photo0001.jpg, photo0002.DNG, etc. (the file extension will be maintained from the original file on a per-image basis). It's a pretty smart sequencing system, and always picks up from the filename with the highest number in the # location.

The plugin will never overwrite a previously-existing file; conflicts that arise are resolved via renaming as with photo-2.jpg, photo-3.jpg, etc.

Import-Related Configuration Items   

Show splash dialog  —  If you want to be alerted when an image is auto-imported, enabling this has a small dialog pop up for a few seconds. This can be useful particularly when Switch to photo is enabled and you intend to be using Lightroom interactively, to avoid keystrokes suddenly going to the new photo.

Apply develop preset  —  A develop preset you've previously saved can be automatically applied.

Apply metadata preset  —  Same with a metadata preset.

Add keyword  —  A keyword can be automatically added.

Set star rating  —  You can set the star rating.

Set color label  —  And the color-label text (which can be one of the defaults like red, or anything else you like). Once you've got something typed in the text field, the checkbox can be checked.

Set title  —  The image title can be set. You can use template tokens for dynamic text, e.g. Copyright {YYYY}.

Set caption  —  The image caption can be set, here also with template tokens.

Switch to photo  —  If enabled, upon each import Lightroom will switch to the Library view for the new photo's folder, and the new photo will be selected.

If you happen to be typing something into Lightroom when this suddenly happens, what you type will be taken as keyboard-shortcut commands for Library, which could be very bad, so enable the Show splash dialog option if you'll be using Lightroom interactively while the scan runs in the background. The splash dialog kills the keyboard input, giving you a few free seconds to realize what's happening and to stop typing.

Build Smart Preview  —  The Smart Preview can be made automatically.

Add to standard collection  —  Newly-imported photos can be added to one of your library's collections. This can be useful for many things, including automatically sending imported images to the web or your iPad via Lightroom mobile.

Add to Publish collection  —  Newly-imported photos can be added to a Publish collection.

Publish this collection  —  A specific publish collection can be automatically published with each new import, or, optionally via the also publish other collections in its Publish Service checkbox, all collections within the publish service are published.

This option is distinct from the Add to Publish collection because that option works only with non-Smart publish collections, but you may well have a smart collection that you want to publish automatically.

You can choose any publish service for each of the last two options. Choosing an uploader service (such as to Flickr, PicasaWeb (G+), or Tumblr, among many others) can allow for automated from-camera-to-the-web processing.

Alternatively, for local output (or to Dropbox, network disk, etc.), perhaps consider my Folder Publisher and Collection Publisher plugins. Publish Services from other developers should work fine too.

Special Tether Support  —  this option is discussed below.

Advanced Flexability: Execute Your Custom Lua Script

Those with the technical ability to program computer code in the Lua language can tap into that flexibility to perform custom actions as each photo is imported.

Your Lua script, which must be in a *.lua file, is executed within a simple environment that includes the variable photo, which is the LrPhoto object representing the newly-imported photo. The script can access information about that photo, and if it wishes to make changes to the photo can return a function that makes those changes. If such a function is returned by your script, the plugin will then execute it when Lightroom allows catalog updates.

As a simple example, here's a script that sets the star rating of newly-imported photos to 3 only if they currently have no star rating:

if not photo:getRawMetadata('rating') then
   return function()
             photo:setRawMetadata('rating', 3)

The simple environment in which the Lua script is run includes the basics from the standard Lua environment (e.g. the string and table libraries), and also some namespaces provided by the Lua SDK, such as LrDate and LrPathUtils.

It also includes the function log(), which dumps its arguments to the plugin log (see the upper-right section of the plugin manager), and printf(), which is a standard formatted print to the plugin log.

Note: Lightroom uses Lua version 5.1.

Special Support for Lightroom's Tethering

Tether support was added in version 20140721.82 (July 21, 2014), and should be considered beta.

This plugin main purpose is as a replacement for Lightroom's integrated tethering support, because Lightroom's tethering offers very little in the way of advanced workflow support.

As such, the plugin's main purpose is to find image files that have not yet been added to the current Lightroom catalog, import them into the catalog, then apply the various workflow support features selected by the user, such as setting a develop preset or adding to a publish collection. In this context, it's presumed that one uses some third-party solution to get the image files to appear on your disk, such as third-party tethering software, Dropbox or the like, an FTP server, or even an Eye-Fi memory card.

However, the plugin does offer a way to work with Lightroom's integrated tethering support, to perform the aforementioned apply the various workflow support features selected by the user step on files that found their way into Lightroom apart from the plugin (presumably via tethering) since the plugin started its scan.

To use this special support, have the plugin watch the same folder that Lightroom's tethering support is depositing files, and turn on the

Enable the Upon Import of a New Image processing for all relevant newly-added images

option in the plugin. Then start the plugin scan, and then start your tethering.

When you start the plugin scan, the plugin will first take the time to note what images under the watched folders are already in Lightroom. Since they're in there before the scan and tethering starts, the plugin knows not to touch them later. (If the plugin didn't ignore pre-existing Lightroom photos in this way, it would apply all the after-import processing to all the images, every time, which could lead to disaster.)

Then the plugin will scan the folders as often as you've told it. If you're using Lightroom's tethering, new files that the plugin comes across will likely already be in Lightroom (having been imported by the tethering unit at the same time it created the image file), but it's perhaps important to remember that any time the plugin finds a file that is not already in Lightroom, it'll import it into Lightroom and perform the after-import steps.

Anyway, what'll happen if you're using tethering is that the plugin will find the new file is already in Lightroom. It'll check against the list of photos it made when it started its scan, and realize that indeed the photo is new since the scan started, and because this special tethering-support option has been enabled in the plugin, the plugin will go ahead and apply the after-import selections such as applying a develop preset or adding to a publish collection.

This is the only situation in which the plugin processes an image that it didn't itself import.

In this scenario, an image can exist be added to Lightroom by the tethering unit and sit there for some time before the plugin gets around to the after-import processing. How long depends on the frequency to check setting, how much scanning the plugin has to do (few files or logs?), and the timing of the tethering with respect to the scan.

Common Scenarios

The plugin can scan folders that are not part of your Lightroom catalog, folders that are part of your Lightroom catalog, or both. It can move/rename files or not, as you see fit. People use the features of this plugin in all kinds of crazy combination, but here are there common scenarios to consider:

  1. Using a drop-off folder outside of Lightroom

    If you have a third-party application depositing files to a drop-off folder (or a drop-off folder that's getting new image files somehow, such as a Dropbox folder being fed externally), you can watch that folder with this plugin, and use the plugin's file-moving options to shuffle the files into a folder that Lightroom knows about. The plugin will then add the image to Lightroom.

    In this scenario, the drop-off folder is generally empty except for when a fresh file has been deposited but not yet processed by the plugin. This is the most efficient scenario.

  2. Feeding a Lightroom folder with a third-party application

    This scenario is similar to the one above, except the folder that new image files are deposited into (via the third-party app, Dropbox, etc.) is already a folder that Lightroom knows about. In this case, you'd probably not want to use the plugin's move/rename options, but just have the plugin scan a folder that Lightroom knows about, adding new files to the Lightroom catalog in place.

    In this scenario, the plugin is acting like an automatic (and richly-featured) Synchronize Folder replacement.

    Because files are not shuffled out of the watched folder, this scenario can become inefficient as the number of images in the watched folder becomes large. One does not generally want to apply this scenario to the entire Lightroom folder hierarchy, or any hierarchy with more than a few thousand photos, because the scan time could get inconveniently long.

  3. Feeding a Lightroom folder via Lightroom's tethering or auto-import features

    This scenario is similar to the second one in that the plugin watches a folder that Lightroom already knows about, but it differs from the other scenarios in that it can work with photos that are added to Lightroom via Lightroom's tethering or auto-import features. Normally, this plugin completely ignores any image that it doesn't add to Lightroom itself.

    This special scenario is available only when explicitly enabled via the option described in the section on tethering. In this scenario, files found during the scan to have been added to Lightroom (by something other than the plugin) since the plugin's scan started are not ignored, but instead get the after-import processing configured in the plugin.

    This can be useful with tethering to do additional processing that Lightroom's tethering doesn't allow, such as adding a photo to a collection or exporting via Publish.

    This scenario is more resource-intensive than the scenario above, so you probably don't want to apply it to a folder with more than a few thousand images (though trial and error will show you if/when things begin to bog down).

The three scenarios are not mutually exclusive... it's possible to have them all apply at the same time (though such a need would be quite esoteric, I'd think). Anyway, they're just common use cases; once you learn what the plugin can do, you can apply it to your needs as you see fit.

Note that regardless of the scenario, there's a special case built in to the scanning: any subfolder named picasaoriginals is ignored. Such folders are a byproduct of Google's old Picasa software.


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 )


Added some extra debug logging to try to track down a problem.

Dropped support for Lr2 and Lr3. Too much hassele. They're a decade old.


Updates for Lr8 (Lightroom Classic CC Version 8).

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

Added hierarchical options to the Keywords token.

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

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


Added a few more filename extensions to look for for whom support has been added to Lightroom since the last time I looked.


Added support for CR3 files.

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

Have the include/exclude pattern to apply to full paths (as opposed to just the leaf filename) if the pattern includes a slash.


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


Remove some debug logging that wasn't helping


Updated how the log is written, for better consistency.

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

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

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


Allow relative folders to be specified for watching (non-absolute paths are relative to the catalog)


Added the ability to execute a user script upon each import.

Re-fixed the "set star rating" stuff.

Revamped the UI.


Added the ability to have the plugin instigate a publish every scan, even if nothing new imported.

The "set star rating" stuff was unclear before.... the "none" meant "don't change" and not "no stars". Now things are clear whether you're changing nothing or setting zero stars.


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


Some more debug logging.


Added some debug logging to try to track down an error.

In the scan-status area, report on videos distinctly from images.


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.

Better handling when the plugin is reloaded in the middle of a session.


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.


Properly handle a raw+JPEG situation.

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.


It was difficult to enter multiple watched folders after having browsed for the first one. It should be easier now (so long as none of the folder paths have commas in them).


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

Updated the pre-import move/rename to not allow the result to land within a folder tree being watched.

Updated the {FolderName} token to allow {FolderName=1} (rather than requiring the plus as in {FolderName=+1})


Added "Ignore suspected duplicates" option.

Enhanced the FolderName token


Added an option to keep scanning even when a folder doesn't currently exist.

Added the Newline template token.


Quiet the "preset no longer exists" warning after being presented once.


Switch the log-sending mechanism to https.

Added the following tokens to the template tokens that my plugins understand: Artworks, ArtworkTitle, ArtworkCopyright, ArtworkSource, ArtworkCreator, ArtworkDateCreated, ArtworkInventoryNum, ISO8601Date


Added preset support.


Better support for network shares on Windows.

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

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

Try to avoid a race condition with how Lightroom starts up the plugin the very first time on a new install.

20160728.108 New graphics.
20160709.107 Maybe get around an issue with file-move specifications.
20160702.106 fixing a minor boo-boo introduced in the previous build

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


Reworked the auto-publish stuff.

Added the {FilenameNumber} token to the templates that my plugins understand.

Don't complain if a file disappears somewhere between when a scan starts and when the plugin gets around to trying to import it.

Respect the "exclude names matching pattern" setting when considering sidecar files.


Try to work around an issue when moving files prior to import.


Added recognition for a few more video file extensions that Lightroom seems to now support. Importing video via a plugin could potentially be iffy, though, since I'm not sure that Lightroom's plugin structure supports video import in the same full way that Lightroom itself does. Not sure.

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


Work around a bug in Lightroom on Windows that causes the Library Grid filter to be disabled when Folder Watch imports a photo. The plugin now grabs a copy of the filter settings just before import, then restores them just after.


Added the ability to use the photo-capture time when moving/renaming a file prior to import.


If there's an error in trying to import an image (e.g. because it's corrupt), you now have the option to pause processing and see the error, simply log the error, or ignore all import errors.

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.


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.


Allow the "Frequency to check" and "File unmodified for" values to be as low as 0.1 seconds. Not recommend for most folks, but might be useful for special needs.


Collections with very long names could cause the dialog to overflow the space Adobe allots for it.


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


When moving/renaming image files prior to import, look for sidecar files (e.g. XMP, audio, etc..., anything with the same filename except the extension) and move/rename them in parallel.

Added *.FFF files to the list that the plugin recognizes as image files.

Added the ability to keep a log of moved/imported files.


Allow folders with commas in their names to be watched.

Give the UI some love on Windows.


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.


Offer the ability to abort a scan if a file can't be imported.

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

Plugin could crash when first launched after a Lightroom upgrade.

20141220.90 Fixed a boo-boo introduced in the previous build
20141219.89 Registration was broken on Lr2
20141019.88 Windows Only: Add a one-time check for the POODLE security vulnerability, and alert the user if it exists.
20140923.87 Added the LrMD5, LrLocalization, LrSystemInfo, and LrMath packages to the {LUA} template token.
20140902.86 New build system
20140731.84 Registration fix for Lr5.6
20140729.83 Previous updates broke support on Lightroom 2

Note: if upgrading from a previous version, you may have to restart Lightroom to enable plugin the first time after the upgrade.

New support to process items already imported into Lightroom, to allow automatic processing/export of images brought in via Lightroom's built-in tethering.

Various bug fixes and lots of UI enhancements.


Add the ability to add to any collection upon import.

More Creative-Cloud support.

20140718.80 Using a {LUA} token in the file-renaming template caused a crash.

When moving an image from a watched folder, you can now preserve the name of the watched folder in the move destination, and also preserve in the move destination any folder structure that had been in the target folder hierarchy.

Plugin wasn't recognizing the existence of a re-created "folders to watch" target if the name didn't change.

Fixed an issue with Creative-Cloud revalidation.


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

20140710.77 Sigh, had a bug in the Creative-Cloud support.

Now supports Lr5.5+ Creative-Cloud Installs.

20140704.75 Sigh, introduced an error for some folks with the rebuild the other day.
20140630.74 Build-system update

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


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

20140423.71 Fix a location-related template-token bug introduced in a recent build.

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


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

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


Enabled the ability to import only files marked readonly in the file system, to target images that have been "locked/saved" in camera.

Enabled the ability to include/exclude specific filename patterns.


Disable the "enable" checkbox if a folder to scan hasn't yet been selected.


Fixed an "invalid option '%_' to 'format'" crash.

Turned off most debug logging if the "enhanced debug logging" option in the Plugin Manager is not enabled.


While writing the docs for the new file move/rename feature, I came up with a great(?) way to automatically do sequences. You can now rename to something like "photo-###" to have a sequence number filled in (in this case, a three-digit sequence number).


Fix a bug that would cause certain folder trees to be ignored in certain situations on OSX(!)

Added a move/rename feature.

Moved the status text next to the "enable" checkbox, and made the status text more clear and verbose. Added a countdown timer for the next scan.

20140121.63 Added more debug logging to track down why some scans don't seem to be happening.

Ignore corrupt develop presets instead of crashing due to them.


On OSX, don't consider files/folders whose name begins with a dot (which is the traditional Unix way to mark certain kinds of system-support files that should normally be hidden).

Wasn't properly skipping the "picasaoriginals" folder; is now.

20131112.60 Bumped up the maximum file size to import to 20 gig.

Fixed that plugin could fail to work when Lightroom started in "Select Catalog" mode.

UI was a bit cramped on Lr4 and earlier.

Add a warning note if a file is skipped because it's too new or dated in the future, just to alert you in case you didn't know. Could be useful if clocks are not synchronized between computers and/or cameras. Adjusted logic for determining these things.

20130926.58 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 the ability to use template tokens when specifying a a title to apply to an imported image, and also added the ability to set the caption in the same way.


Added the ability to add imported photos to a Publish collection.

Added the ability to have a specific keyword added to imported photos. Might be useful for creating smart collections.

Added the ability, upon new import, to launch a Publish operation on a specific publish collection or service.

Rejiggered the UI.

20130901.54 Added the ability to automatically build a Smart Preview upon import.
20130614.53 Added a bunch more debug logging to try to track down a problem
20130613.52 Better support for plugin revalidation.
20130611.51 Yet another Lr5 update
20130524.50 Apparently, a recent change broke things on Lr2, which some folks apparently still use.
20130501.49 Update for Lr5
20130416.48 Watch for PNG as well (Lr5+)
20130412.47 Build system update.
20130328.46 Fix for the registration system.
20130306.45 More tweaks
20130304.44 Tweaks for per-catalog setting handling.
20130303.43 In Lr4, the "restart on launch" setting is saved per catalog.
20130209.42 More build-system maintenance
20130206.41 Tweak for my registration system

Added the ability to apply Develop and Metadata presets upon import.

Now can have imported photos added to an “Imported by jf Folder Watch Plugin” collection.

Dialog was getting crowded, so split the watch control from the plugin info.

20120913.38 Fixed a end-of-scan "bad argument #2" bug.

The plugin normally won't try to import a file that has been modified in the last five seconds, but now that five-second threshold is exposed as a setting. Also, on Windows, it won't try to import a file it can't read (because a file being filled by another process disallows us to read it.)


Added min/max filesize settings, so that files outside that range are simply ignored.


Ignore any folder with "picasaoriginals" in it.

Added the ability (in Lr3+) to switch directly to an image when it's imported.

20120608.34 Fix an "attempt to perform arithmetic on field" error.

Update to handle the Mac App Store version of Lightroom.

Don't try to re-import master images that Lightroom has a problem with (because they are corrupt, for example) unless the file actually changes. Upon error, report the full path along with the error.


Better report fundamental master-image-file errors that Lightroom encounters.

Tweak for Lr4.1RC2.

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.

20120330.31 Update to handle 4.1RC
20120309.30 Had broken registrations in Lr2; Update to the debug logging to better track down timing issues that might arise.
20120304.29 More prep for Lr4.
20120216.28 Added some extra debug logging, and more work for Lr4. Also end a current scan early if "watch" is disabled.

More on the march toward Lr4, including upheaval in the code to handle Lightroom APIs being discontinued in Lr4.

20120114.26 More tweaks for Lr4b

Update for Lr4 beta: explain in the plugin manager that the plugin can't be registered in the beta.


Had issues with the registration button sometimes not showing.

When doing a plugin upgrade, offer the ability to flush all the old copies of the plugin.

Added a system-clock check and reports to the user if the system clock is more than a minute out of date. An incorrect system clock can cause problems with various kinds of communication and authentication with some of my plugins, so I've just gone ahead and added this to every plugin.

20111020.23 Now imports video as well (ones that Lightroom supports), and tidied up the list of image file extensions to try to import to better match what Lightroom understands.
20110714.22 The remote-filesystem-time-is-off detection wasn't working when there were multiple folders to scan.
20110525.21 Some windows folders couldn't be scanned... think I've got it fixed now.
20110520.20 You can now select multiple folders to scan.
20101017.19 The whole display was getting cut off at the right sometimes.
20100829.18 Made the revalidation process much simpler, doing away with the silly need for a revalidation file.
20100820.17 Discovered a bug in my plugin build system that caused horribly difficult-to-track-down errors in one plugin, so am pushing out rebuilt versions of all plugins just in case.

Added all kinds of enhanced folder-scan logging when Enhanced Logging is turned on, to try to track down some issues.

The plugin now tries to detect and adjust for a remote file system having a different clock than the host system.

Added code to allow plugin revalidation after having been locked due to a bad Lightroom serial number.

20100625.15 Yikes, shaking out some more build issues.
20100624.14 Discovered a nasty build bug; pushing a new version in case it affects this plugin.

This version can be registered in Lightroom 3. It can run in Lightroom 2 or Lightroom 3; it does not work in the Lr3 betas.

It uses my new registration system when run on Lightroom 3, which avoids some of the silly issues of the old one. Please take care to note the details on the registration page: use of this version (or later) of the plugin in Lightroom 3 requires a new registration code, even if you had registered some older version of the plugin.

20100516.12 Update for the Lr3 beta.

Completely changed how the one-click upgrade applies the newly-downloaded zip file, in the hopes that it'll work for more people. Rather than unzipping over the old copy, it now unzips to a temporary folder, then moves the old folder out of the way and the new folder into place. Prior versions' folders are now maintained (with the version number in the folder) in case you want to revert a version; you may want to clear them out from time to time. Of course, it won't take affect until you try to upgrade after having upgraded to or beyond this version.

Wholesale changes that attempt to honor the user's locale settings for numeric display (e.g. Europeans writing 3,14156 for pi). I've probably missed some spots, so let me know if you find some.

Fixed up some UI confusion that happened sometimes if the plugin was not enabled and there was no valid folder to scan. A few other small UI cleanups, and a fix that caused the plugin to abort sometimes in LR3b

20100111.10 Re-import a scanned file if it has changed (size or create/modification date). Thus, if you move a file out of the scanned tree from within Lightroom and later add another file with the same name, it'll get imported. I also now report only the number of files scanned each time; folders are not included in the scan count.
20091221.9 Added some heuristics to avoid importing a file that's still being written to disk. Modification times reported to the plugin are a bit imprecise, but if an image file seems to be less than a second old, it is not imported.
20091205.8 Minor internal debugging tweaks.
20091022.7 Added a first draft of some rudimentary support for Lightroom 3 Beta. See this important note about plugin support in Lightroom 3 Beta and Lightroom 3, including future plans for features and my registration system.

Enhanced the one-click upgrade stuff quite a bit, now detecting ahead of time when it will fail because the plugin is installed where Lightroom can't write (if Lightroom can't write to it, it can't update itself). I also added a progress bar, and now download in smaller chunks to avoid 'out of memory' errors on the larger plugins. Do remember that this new functionality becomes available after you upgrade to or past this version, when you then upgrade with it.

20090521.5 Fixed a "loadstring" error some users got.
20090511.4 Now it quietly ignores images that Lightroom can't process. The failure is noted in the plugin log. (It's on the to-do list to expose an "activity log" where this event might be more readily accessible.)
20090510.3 Added a link in the Plugin Manager to the plugin's update-log RSS feed.

Added a "show splash dialog" option to the "upon import of a new image..." configuration, so that you can be informed when the plugin imports a new image in the background for you. You can configure whether the splash is shown, and if so, for how long before it automatically disappears. I've not tested this too much, so I don't know what problems it might cause having a background task (the folder watch plugin) throw up a splash dialog. It seems to work okay, except...

.. if a splash dialog pops up while you're painting local corrections, it'll do bad things to the current brush stroke, such that after dismissing the splash dialog, you'll have to undo the brush stroke you were working on and redo it.

I also realized one other caution: when the plugin imports a photo for you, that import action is added to the undo stack. This happens whether the import is accompanied by a splash dialog, or if it's totally silent in the background. The worry this creates is that if the import happens just before you do a bunch of undos, you may unwittingly undo back past the import and not even notice. The only option I see around this problem is even worse: having the import pop up a warning dialog that it's about to clear the undo stack, and then actually have it clear the undo stack. So, if this is a practical worry for you, enable the splash screen.

I also fixed the home-page url, and the folder-to-watch edit box, which would sometimes show only a partial folder path on a OSX. The report of overall session imports is now red when something's been imported this session.

It also turns out that if you reload the plugin, Lightroom doesn't completely do away with the previous instance, so it was possible to have multiple versions of the plugin running and not even know it. It's a big hairy mess, but I think I've worked around it in this version. The plugin also refuses to scan if it's not enabled.

I also added an option to restart the watch when Lightroom is started, so that you can have it running all the time. Along with that is an option to throw up a splash screen during Launch if the plugin has been set to scan at launch. You can use this to remind yourself that the thing is running.


First public version. Pretty rough at this point. Currently, everything is controlled from the Plugin Manager, which is probably not the best UI. Pick your folder to watch, the frequency with which to check, then click the "watch!" checkbox to turn it on. You can then leave the Plugin Manager and, most likely, open the target folder in Grid Mode (perhaps sorting to most-recent first).

Some random notes:

  • The plugin infrastructure does not allow plugins to do anything with develop or metadata presets, so the imports are plain vanilla.
  • You almost certainly never want to point this at a slow disk, or if you do, have it check very infrequently. Lightroom can seem to lock up momentarily when attempting to access some disks.
  • In the Plugin Manager, while a folder is being watched, keep an eye on the time reported in the "Scan Status". It's okay if the first scan takes a while, but if subsequent scans take a long time, you'll want to scale back the check frequency. How long is "a long time" depends on your overall machine load and personal preferences.
  • Conversion to DNG not yet supported; I hope to add it soon.
  • A Lightroom plugin has only a limited ability to set image metadata, some of which I've incorporated (rating, label, and title). You may want to make use of a Smart Collection that keys off one of these. For example, have the plugin set the title of auto-imported images to "autoloaded", with a Smart Collection of all images with a title of "autoloaded". This way, you can change the title to something else once you've address a particular image. (It would make the most sense to use a special keyword for this, but Lightroom does not allow a plugin to set image keywords.). Note, though, that a Smart Collection can lag behind reality for a few seconds, so if you're interested in seeing the images ASAP, you'll want to leave the target folder open in Grid Mode.
  • The plugin does not yet ensure that an image file is complete before attempting to auto-import it. This means that images that are written slowly by less-than-smart applications may not be properly imported. (They won't be corrupted, just not imported properly the first time.) Please let me know if you run into problems along these lines.

The 30 most-recent comments (out of 136; see all), most recent last...

Hi Jeffrey!

Great plug-in, thanks for your hard work, I appreciate it fully.
I have a question about adding multiple folders, which is not working for me, could you provide an example on how I get it to work on Windows 7.

I tried the following:
E:\Pictures\Photoshop\Exports,E:\Pictures\Premiere Pro\Exports

I’m probably doing it all wrong, but as I understood each folder should be seperated by a comma from the next (I also tried with or without space)

Thanks a lot in advance!

Sorry for the long delay… I’ve just fixed this. I had built something to handle when a browsed folder name had a comma in it, but it turns out that made it difficult to hand-edit another folder path. Try re-entering from scratch in the new version and it should work. Sorry for the hassles. —Jeffrey

— comment by sltyrol on January 7th, 2017 at 4:16am JST (1 year, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeff,

I just got this plug in but can’t figure out the “automatic export” you referred to. I want the image to be automatically exported with the “Presents” applied as a jpeg. Maybe I misunderstood what you meant as I’m new to Lightroom.


Unrelated to this plugin, set up a Publish Service that does the kind of export you want. Then in this plugin, have the imported photo added to a collection in that Publish Service and then have that Publish Service published. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on March 9th, 2017 at 8:12am JST (1 year, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey.

Feature suggestion: do not abort the scan if the watched folder goes missing.
(Some sort of error silent dismissal?)

Use case:
I set my SD card as watched folder.
When I have a shoot session, I can pop the card in every couple minutes to get the newest shots in without having to restart the scanning every time (which kind of defeats the purpose of the workflow; to automate import.)

Keep up the AMAZING work.

Writing from Switzerland.

Seems reasonable… I’ve added it to the most-recent version. —Jeffrey

— comment by Filip on May 13th, 2017 at 3:45am JST (1 year, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hey Jeffrey,

I’m just continuing on working out the workflow that is best for my needs.
Folder Publisher is a great help there and I got all problems fixed.
Folder Watcher would be another great thing to use, but the renaming feature kills my hope somewhat.
My folder structure looks something like:

—-Date Event
—Date Event

Here is what I plan to do:
Files get dropped inside the “Import” Folder Structure. With the help of folder watcher, they shall be moved to “Working” structure AND renamed. In the conventional way I used the “Photo session” field to rename them to “Act – Date Event – Sequence – Camera – My Name”. You see, the “Act” “Date Event” -Structure can be found in the folder Hierarchy as well.
In this place it would be really really helpful to be able to use the “FolderName” and “FolderName=-1”-Token in the rename field! 🙂

Thanks alot and appreciate your work!

I’ve just pushed a version that lets you use FolderName. —Jeffrey

— comment by Leonhard Kreissig on June 17th, 2017 at 2:06am JST (1 year, 5 months ago) comment permalink

THANK YOU! You are great!

— comment by Leonhard Kreissig on July 2nd, 2017 at 4:35am JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, loving the latest update which adds a silently retry option if the watched folder is unavailable, brilliant!
Another thing that I would love would be if it will publish the chosen selection when it checks for new images, regardless of whether it imports any.
That way I can essentially schedule my publishing. This shouldn’t inconvenience anyone, but you could make it a checkbox.
Please let me know!
All the best,

It took a while, sorry, but I’ve added it. —Jeffrey

— comment by Daniel on July 7th, 2017 at 12:04pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Another idea: Use of import presets and or autmatic preview generation. Would that be possible?

Sadly, no, not possible… Lightroom doesn’t allow it (except for smart-preview generation, which the plugin already supports). —Jeffrey

— comment by Leonhard Kreissig on July 15th, 2017 at 11:42pm JST (1 year, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, greetings from New Zealand 🙂

Is it possible to put folder watch on a schedule?

I currently have two editing workstations that both archive jobs periodically (folders that are moved to a NAS). When a job is archived on one workstation, the changes are not reflected in the other so I would like to use your plugin to keep the folder structure in both catalogs up to date. My concern is that with a large archive (~4tb) the frequent checks might slow down the workstations during the work day, if possible I would like them to only run at night.


No, sorry, there’s no timer built in. The plugin is meant to watch a folder for new files, such as when you’re tethering. It’s not really meant for what you describe. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dan Trotter on August 11th, 2017 at 11:06am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi again Jeff!

You fixed issues related to sidecar files that I brought up last year, and for that I want to express my sincere appreciation! The ability to create Presets has also come in indispensable for our operations, a feature we didn’t know we couldn’t live without! Keep up the amazing work.

There is one issue we’ve been encountering lately, however. It has to do with the auto-publish capabilities. For some reason, when Folder Watch triggers an auto-publish, the latest frames(s) will publish as expected, but then immediately after being published, they will suddenly become marked as “Modified Photos to RePublish”. I’ve taken a video exhibiting the behavior:

Upon taking another picture, Lightroom will first republish the “modified” photo before getting to the new once, making the publishing process take twice as long.

Any ideas? If there’s anything I can provide to help you get to the bottom of the problem, please let me know.

Many thanks!

Sadly, this is a known bug with Lightroom. —Jeffrey

— comment by Adam on August 24th, 2017 at 6:56am JST (1 year, 3 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I’m having a small issue with this plugin. My Fujifilm camera is setup to create JPG and RAF files. I transfer the files from the SD card to a monitored folder, and your plugin then moves them into the Lightroom Library and does the import. The move works for both files, but for some reason it only imports the JPG. I played around with the “Ignore suspected duplicates” setting but get the same behaviour. From the log file (if it helps):

2017-09-18 10:01:59 Move /Users/XXXXXX/Dropbox/Camera Uploads/2017-09-18 09.52.58.raf to /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/XXXXXX/Pictures/Photo Library/_Inbox/2017-09-18 09.52.58.raf
2017-09-18 10:02:00 Move /Users/XXXXXX/Dropbox/Camera Uploads/2017-09-18 09.52.58.jpg to /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/XXXXXX/Pictures/Photo Library/_Inbox/2017-09-18 09.52.58.jpg
2017-09-18 10:02:00 Import /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/XXXXXX/Pictures/Photo Library/_Inbox/2017-09-18 09.52.58.jpg

Both files get imported if the filenames differ, so I suspect it has something to do with the duplicate logic.

I appreciate your help and these great plugins!

Would you mind sending the full log through the plugin’s submit feature next time you encounter the problem? Thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by Christopher Meyer on September 18th, 2017 at 5:09pm JST (1 year, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hey Jeffery,

Would it be possible to create a script or possible plug-in to do the following:

When choosing the “Import from another catalog” process

Having the ability to pick and choose what develop settings, attributes, crops, etc. to import? Similar to a menu when syncing Develop settings.

Here is a real world scenario for us:

Catalog A has cropping and color labels only – all Develop other settings reset,

Catalog B has no cropping or color labels, but have been fully edited in the Develop Module

– How can I combine these catalogs to not overwrite Develop settings, but just bring in crops and color labels.

Same goes for only bringing in Camera profiles from catalog B into catalog A without wiping/overwriting everything else.

I look forward to your reply — any advise would be most beneficial!


This is not outside the range of possibility, but it would require a lot of custom programming. I don’t think anyone would build a general tool like this, so if you really really want it, you’d probably have to write it yourself. —Jeffrey

— comment by Dustin Lucas on October 3rd, 2017 at 5:57am JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey!

The new Version of LR CC “classic” doesn’t support the Folder watch Plug-In. Unfortunately I’d need to use the plug-in in a live shooting situation for auto export.
Hope there is some solution for this issue.

Andy from Austria

The venerable desktop app that Adobe just rebranded as “Lightroom Classic” (A.K.A “Lr7”) supports all my plugins… just make sure that you have the most-recent version. —Jeffrey

— comment by Andy on October 19th, 2017 at 7:04am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Just had to re-register my plugins after the latest Lightroom Classic CC upgrade – so thought I’d take the chance to ask a question…
Do you know of a way to incorporate a crop to a specific aspect ratio upon import?
Seems simple enough – but its not something that can bet set within LR itself….

Anyway – thanks for your hard work…

I can’t think of any way to do this in Lightroom… even if you manually add crop settings to a develop preset, Lightroom ignores it. )-: —Jeffrey

— comment by JD Stewart on October 20th, 2017 at 4:21am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Just spotted/found, “Folder Watch” Lightroom Plugin”.
I still have to install it, but from what I have read that’s making life easy!
And what a terrible shame for adobe that they don’t even come up with this sort of build-in solutions. A big company with plenty of resources can not compete?

I even more appreciated you’re hard work.

Keep up the good work!

— comment by Mark on November 6th, 2017 at 12:24am JST (1 year ago) comment permalink

Hi, is there a way this plugin (via a configuration file, or the tokens) could be set to use relative pathing as the source for watching and importing files? If I wanted to set up a new project with a new catalog, could I configure it to look for photos in an adjacent folder, relative to the catalog? This way I could reuse a catalog template for multiple different projects.

Seems reasonable… I just added it. Non-absolute paths are relative to the catalog folder. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on November 22nd, 2017 at 1:12am JST (11 months, 23 days ago) comment permalink

Since the last update when I twant to scan a folder I often get the message: BASE:931:attempt to index field ‘?’ (a nil value). What can I do about that? Never had this problem before.

I’d appreciate if you could send a log the next time you encounter an error like that. —Jeffrey

— comment by Peter Hegi on January 18th, 2018 at 1:19am JST (9 months, 28 days ago) comment permalink

Howdy Jeffrey! Writing you from the Dallas area. I’m on the verge of teaching a series of beginner to intermediate DSLR camera courses in photography at a local Photo center. I use a 5D mark iii, lightroom and EOS Utility on a Mac (to the dismay of my “boss” here). I just downloaded the Folder Watch plugin, HUGE thank you, so I can load photos from multiple readers. I’m having trouble while doing demos working between the EOS utility and LR. While tethered, LR won’t see the camera if EOS is open and vice versa. I like using EOS because you can see the settings and live-view it to the class. Any ideas or suggestions as to what I might try to fix this? Big Gracias

I don’t have much experience with tethering, and even less with Canon, but I expect that a camera can be connected/controlled by only one app at a time. Perhaps use the EOS app for live view and controlling, and leave Lightroom running with Folder Watch to have photos brought there. It won’t be as snappy a connection as tethering from Lightroom, though. —Jeffrey

— comment by Rebecca Flores on March 3rd, 2018 at 9:55pm JST (8 months, 12 days ago) comment permalink


I tried to upgrade but get the message “The plugin does not seem to be installed in a location where Lightroom can write to it” Which location is it supposed to go in please?

In a place where the plugin can write (that is, not a system folder, but one of your personal folders). See the install-instructions link in the corner above. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on March 7th, 2018 at 7:49am JST (8 months, 8 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey
My Name is Takashi Zamami.

I have just studied lightroom CC.
Is it a question?
Is The plug-in you developed “Folder Watch” Lightroom Plugin able to writing
picture Automatically?

I am hoping for a function to automatically correct photos and export them

I was disappointed in my poor English.


— comment by TAKASHI ZAMAMI on April 22nd, 2018 at 8:08pm JST (6 months, 23 days ago) comment permalink

Hey Jeffrey, it’s me once again,
I have another feature request:

My workflow includes marking all images with three stars and then decreasing or increasing the rating. For that, the “set rating” feature of Folder Watch is really great. Sometimes I decide to re-process a session and move the folder with all the (already processed) RAW files back into my WIP folder, on which Folder Watch is targeted.
In this case I don’t want Folder Watch to override my previous ratings and just import the images as-is. At the moment I have to temporarily deactivate the rating feature or temporarily stop Folder Watch and import that folder manually. It would be great to have a checkbox which just tells Folder Watch to not set any rating, if there is one already. It could be set on other features of Folder Watch as well
Would that be possible?

Actually, that’s what it used to do… the “none” mean’t “don’t set any rating”. I realize now that it was horribly unclear, and that there was no way to set a zero-stars rating. I’ve updated the plugin to remedy both. —Jeffrey

— comment by Leonhard Kreissig on April 26th, 2018 at 5:58am JST (6 months, 19 days ago) comment permalink

Thanks for your rapid response, but that wasn’t quite what I meant.
My idea was:
Set a rating of 3, except there is a existing rating.

It’s just as well… I’d goofed up that update. I’ve now fixed it properly, and added a new feature that allows a personalized script to be executed upon each import. In that feature’s documentation I give an example covering what you want to do, so just make sure that the plugin’s “set star rating” feature is set to “don’t change”, then copy the Lua script seen in the example to a “*.lua” file, and point the “Execute Lua script” option to that file. —Jeffrey

— comment by Leonhard Kreissig on April 28th, 2018 at 12:24am JST (6 months, 17 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,
Love your products and services and have been using the folder watch Plugin for a little over a year now on 10+ clients of ours with no issues. BUT recently while running the newest version of the folder watch plug in (only processing/exporting jpgs not raw files) on Mac OS 10.13.4 (sierra) we’ve consistently seen LR hang/freeze while processing images and indicate it doesn’t have enough memory to process images. The Mac has 8gb of ram and only chrome is also running- the activity monitor doesn’t indicate it’s even maxed out memory-wise. On other older machines we’re able to process thousands of images daily and are able to clear out all images every week or so (sometimes longer) without any memory or LR issues. Are there any known issues with your most recent folder watch plugin running on Mac OS 10.13.4? If so are there any work arounds/updates /reinstall etc you can suggest so we can continue using your invaluable plugin? Let me know if you would like me to enable debug mode and or send whatever logs I can send to help you help us- thanks!

If you’re having the plugin look at a really huge folder tree, I suppose it could run into memory issues, since the plugin has to keep track of every file seen, but this doesn’t sound like your situation. There’s a log file that you could zip up and send, mentioned here. Normally I ask that they be sent via the plugin, but if Lightroom has frozen you won’t be able to do that, so identify the file location ahead of time, then after Lightroom hangs, zip it up and send it on in. There’s nothing particular about any recent changes to the plugin that might trigger this, so it’s a mystery. —Jeffrey

— comment by ben on May 28th, 2018 at 4:29am JST (5 months, 18 days ago) comment permalink

I’m trying your plugin, and it works great! Are you going to support also .mov file?

The plugins supports filenames with “.mov” at the end, in that it’ll tell Lightroom to try to import it, but whether Lightroom can actually import it depends, I guess, on what codecs you have installed. —Jeffrey

— comment by Riccardo on May 30th, 2018 at 3:18pm JST (5 months, 16 days ago) comment permalink

You’re a god

— comment by Leonhard Kreisdig on May 31st, 2018 at 8:31pm JST (5 months, 15 days ago) comment permalink

Unfortunately the plugin doesn’t work for me. After starting (scan the folder) I got this message:
“Folder Watch initplugin115 attempt to call a string value” in Lightroom.
What’s the problem?

The next time you encounter this, please send a plugin log. —Jeffrey

— comment by Felix on June 19th, 2018 at 5:52am JST (4 months, 26 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, another great plugin which I will put to much use. Thank you for your efforts.

In my workflow I get a bunch of images of various products on a weekly basis. I place these in the watch folder in their correct sub folders. The sub folders are never the same and will change on a weekly basis as I use brand and type info of the product when creating the new files.

I end up with a lot of empty sub folders in the watched folder which will not be used again. Is it possible to add an option to remove the folders if an file has been imported from the subfolder? Only the last ‘leaf’ folder has to be removed.

This seems a bit dangerous. After importing the first file, it might delete the folder before you take the next photo. (If you get the photo files as a one-time dump, then I’d think you’d just import them normally and not use Folder Watch?) If you’re on MacOS, it’s easy to create a little script to delete all empty folders in a certain tree (e.g. find path-to-root-folder -type d -empty -delete); it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s also possible under Windows. —Jeffrey

— comment by Robbert on July 7th, 2018 at 5:57am JST (4 months, 8 days ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, great plug-in and works well for certain scenarios. I use Dropbox Folders with my clients to share photos and have to constantly use the Synchronise Folders option in LR. Your Plug-in works well to bring in new images that have been added to shared Dropbox Folders so that at least means whenever I am in LR i know I have any new images automatically imported. However, it doesn’t remove and photos that have been deleted from a Dropbox Folder so I still have to do a manual Synchronise.

Would it be easy/possible to add a Synchronise option to ensure LR catalogue matched the Dropbox Folders changes?

Sorry, no, that’s beyond the plugin’s scope (and not possible for a plugin anyway). —Jeffrey

— comment by alan ranger on July 16th, 2018 at 7:38pm JST (3 months, 30 days ago) comment permalink

I am using the Folder Watch addon with much satisfaction to sync two locations. Works very well!

However I have a request: would it be possible to ignore an folder when “also watch sub sub folders” is activated?

I tried including the folder name in the “Exclude names matching pattern”, but that did not work.

Would it be possible to implement an feature so “Exclude names matching pattern” matches the full path?

In this case I would add /foldername/ to the exclusions. The slashes would indicate its an folder to avoid breaking backward compatibility. Making it possible to use a seperate function for folder comparison.

Sorry if I am asking a lot here.

Seems reasonable; I’ve added it as of version 20181004.131. —Jeffrey

— comment by Robbert on September 4th, 2018 at 5:50pm JST (2 months, 11 days ago) comment permalink

Hey Jeff,
I just stumbled on your plugin page and its awesome. I have a quick question, or maybe its a feature request.
Is there anyway to mark a subfolder as ignored in a scan. For example, say all my photos are under D:\pics
I have a sub folder called memes that shouldn’t be imported. But every other subfolder should. Is there a way to either put a file in the subfolder .ignore or something like that, or list the folder in options as an ignore.
Thanks again for the plug in.

As easy as that sounds to implement, it’s not, as the plugin uses a Lightroom API hook to walk the folder structure, and that API service gives no access to do this kind of short circuiting. Sorry. —Jeffrey

— comment by Jay on September 22nd, 2018 at 6:41am JST (1 month, 23 days ago) comment permalink

Does the “Folder Watch” Lightroom Plugin support CR3 files? I have “any importable filename” set, but it is not picking up CR3 files from my Canon M50. I am able to import the files using the Lightroom native “Import Photos and Videos” function.

Ah, I hadn’t noticed that Canon had a new filename extension. I’ve added support for it. —Jeffrey

— comment by David on October 4th, 2018 at 9:38am JST (1 month, 11 days ago) comment permalink
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