Working with Library Files

Aperture exports projects, albums, and folders as a library file. You can transfer the library file from one Aperture system to another and then merge the transferred library file into the library file on that system. All links between versions and their masters are maintained when library items are transferred. This is particularly useful if you use a portable computer when on location or away from your studio, and a workstation at your studio. Any work done in the field can be exported from your portable computer as a library file and then merged with the library file on the workstation at your studio.

You can work with as many libraries as necessary and switch between them without having to quit and reopen Aperture. If your workflow calls for several unique libraries, you can switch between them on the fly. You can also check the contents of a library prior to importing it into the library that’s currently open.

When the library file becomes large and requires more disk space than is available in its current location, you can move it to a hard disk with greater storage capacity. To change the location of the library, you move the library file to a new location and then double-click it to open it in Aperture.

Tip: To maximize performance, place the library file on an internal hard disk.

Creating New Libraries

If the Aperture library becomes large, you can create additional, separate library files to hold more images. You can create additional library files in different locations on your internal hard disk or on different hard disks. You can also rename library files as needed. Thus, you might have multiple library files with different names in the same location, with Aperture set to access the library file you want.

To create a new, empty library file in a new location
  1. Choose File > Switch to Library > Other.

  2. In the dialog that appears, click Create New.

    Figure. Controls in the Choose an Aperture Library dialog.
  3. In the next dialog, enter a name for the Library in the Save As field, choose a location, then click Create.

Aperture creates the new library in the location you chose. To open the new library, see Viewing Other Libraries.

Viewing Other Libraries

When you have multiple library files accessible to your Aperture system, you can switch between them and view their contents.

To access a different Aperture library
  1. Choose File > Switch to Library > [library filename].

  2. If the library you are looking for doesn’t appear in the Switch to Library submenu, choose Other.

  3. In the dialog that appears, select the library you want to open from the list, then click Choose.

    Figure. Controls in the Choose an Aperture Library dialog.

Aperture opens the library you selected.

You can also choose which library file to use when you open Aperture.

To choose which library to use while opening Aperture
  1. Hold down the Option key while opening Aperture.

    The Choose an Aperture Library dialog appears.

    Figure. Controls in the Choose an Aperture Library dialog.
  2. Do one of the following:

    • To open an Aperture library file shown in the Choose an Aperture Library dialog: Select the library file, then click Choose.

      Aperture opens the selected library file.

    • To open an Aperture library file not shown in the Choose an Aperture Library dialog: Click the Other Library button, locate the library file in the dialog that appears, then click Select.

      Aperture opens the selected library file.

    • To open a new, empty library: Click the Create New button, give the library a name in the Save As field, select a location for the library, then click Create.

      Aperture creates a new, empty library file and opens it.

Merging Libraries

If you work with several computers, or work on projects with other people, you may find it necessary to transfer projects and albums from one Aperture system to another. Transferring projects and albums is a simple export and import process. The items you export are consolidated into a miniature library. When you import the library into the second Aperture system, you can add files, delete files, modify metadata, and make adjustments. When you’re ready to return the contents of the modified library to the original computer, Aperture merges the two libraries together.

To transfer projects and albums from one computer to another
  1. In the Library inspector, select the items you want to transfer, then choose File > Export > Items as New Library.

    Note: If you have a single item selected in the Library inspector, such as a project, the menu command displays File > Export > Project.

  2. Enter a name and choose a location for the exported library.

  3. Do any of the following:

    • If your project contains referenced images and you want the master files available to the new Aperture system: Select the “Consolidate masters into exported project” checkbox to copy the original master image files into the new library file.
    • If you want to copy the previews into the new library so that you don’t have to rebuild them on the new Aperture system: Select the “Include Previews in exported library” checkbox.
    • If you want Aperture to alert you when it finishes building the new library: Select the “Show alert when finished” checkbox.
  4. Click Export.

    Aperture consolidates the selected items into a library, and the library file is exported to the location you chose.

  5. Connect or network the two computers together, and copy the exported library file to the second computer.

    For more information, see the documentation that came with the computers.

  6. Open Aperture on the second computer, and choose File > Switch to Library > [library filename].

You can now work with the exported library from the first computer on the second computer.

When you’re ready to merge the modified library on the second computer into the library on the first computer, import it into the open library on the first computer.

To merge the modified library from the second computer into the library of the first computer
  1. Follow the steps in the previous task to transfer the modified library on the second computer to the first computer.

  2. On the first computer, choose File > Import > Library/Project, locate the modified library file from the second computer, then click Import.

    A dialog appears that gives you the option to merge or add the contents of the imported library file to the library file that’s currently open on your Aperture system.

  3. Click Merge.

  4. A dialog appears, asking you to choose which library to use to resolve potential conflicts caused by the differences between the libraries. Given that you made changes to the library on the second computer, and it is those changes that you want to import into the library on your first computer, choose the library from the second computer.

Aperture imports the modified library from the second computer, merging the changes made to the projects and albums on the second computer into the same projects and albums on the first computer. Any files that were deleted on the second computer, or for some other reason no longer exist in the library file of the second computer, are moved to the Aperture Trash in the library of the first computer.

If you don’t want to overwrite the original projects and albums you exported from the first computer to the second computer with the projects and albums you modified on the second computer, you can add the modified projects and albums to the library on the first computer as unique items.

To add the contents of the library from the second computer without overwriting the contents of the library on the first computer
  1. Transfer the modified library from the second computer to the first computer.

  2. On the first computer, choose File > Import > Library/Project, locate the modified library file from the second computer, then click Import.

    A dialog appears that gives you the option to merge or add the contents of the imported library file to the library file that’s currently open on your Aperture system.

  3. Click Add.

Aperture imports the contents of the modified library from the second computer into the library of the first computer. Instead of overwriting the files that changed, Aperture adds the changed files as additional items. The items in the Library inspector imported from the second computer that have the same names are appended with (1).