How to Avoid Question Marks and Exclamation Points in Lightroom – Ask Andrew D Show #002


(upbeat music) – With a passion for photography and more than 20 years behind
the camera and computer screen I help people preserve,
process and print their images. This is Ask Andrew D about Lightroom. (upbeat drum music) Hello, hello and welcome back to Ask Andrew D about Lightroom. This is episode two. How To Avoid Question Marks
and Exclamation Points in Lightroom. Let’s get right to the question. This one is from Glenn from New Jersey. Glenn asks, “There are Question
Marks on a number of folders under the Folders Panel in Lightroom. Is that due to Lightroom
not knowing their location?” This is a very, very common question. And something that comes up all too often. So the short answer is, when
you first import something, Lightroom knows about it. It knows exactly where it came from. And if you brought in
a folder with pictures, that folder, when it first came in, did not have a question mark. At some point, it’s possible that it ended
up with a question mark, generally because that folder was either renamed or that folder was deleted. So those are two of the reasons why that folder might now
have a question mark. And in today’s screen-cast,
I’m going to actually show you how that happens and not
just the question mark side, but also exclamation points. So, without further ado,
let’s get into the screen-cast and I hope you enjoy it. I’m here in the library
module, you can see that. And you’ll notice on a picture like this, there is no exclamation point. But there is here. Now Glenn mentioned a question mark. And a question mark would show up potentially over here. You notice there is no question mark. So that pertains more to the folder. And let me explain this exclamation point. When I click on it, the
reason why it’s here, it said, “Photo is missing,”
and then this dialog came up. It says, “AndrewDarlow-8”
could not be used because the original
file could not be found. Would you like to locate it? So when we first imported into Lightroom, we had a specific file that came from a specific place and we imported it into Lightroom. But somehow, along the way, it lost the connection to that file. Now Lightroom gives us a clue. It was looking for it here,
under Users, Andrew Darlow, Dropbox, and in this folder. So, what I’m going to do is look for this file over here. It’s called “AndrewDarlow-8.jpg.” I’ll go to my Dropbox. And I’m going to… 2016, oh two, oh two, slideshow. And let’s see. You’ll notice that we have Andrew Darlow, oh three,
oh four, oh six, oh nine, but no oh eight, no eight. We have an 88, but not an eight. So, well, that’s not good. So, here’s how I usually do this, and this is very common. I go back and click on this again. So again, previous
location was in my Dropbox, but I can’t find it there. So I’m going to locate and then I’m going to do a search. And you can see here Locate “@AndrewDarlow-8” So why not put in copyright,
which is Option G, and AndrewDarlow dash eight, .jpg okay? Okay. There are… Let’s see here. I’ll just keep it as “AndrewDarlow-8.” And it just brought up these three. So that’s good. So, one of them is in one folder. You can see the folder
location one of them’s on the Desktop. And one of them is in another place. So we can see that, thanks to this thumbnail, it’s a match. And both of these were
modified on the same day. So we could technically use either one. Now, normally, we wouldn’t really want it on the Desktop. That’s where is right now. But I put it there just so that you could see how I find it. And if I wanted that, I wanted Lightroom to now point to the
picture on the Desktop, which is this one as you
can see it right here, then I would just click
on that and say Select. Now I’m not going to do that, because I don’t want to do that. But that’s what I would do. So Cancel. Now here’s another situation. This, let’s say, and
this is pretty common. Let’s say this file got changed. And we know it got changed. So we can just go to the folder. And so we know it’s in the same folder. So we right click, or Control + click and we Show in Finder. And then it says, “Could not be used
because the original file could not be found. “Would you like to locate it?” Okay, so same thing, Locate. And in this case, we’re going to go, we’re still in the Dropbox, and inside of the same folder. And, lo and behold, we
see something called -88. So somehow, the -8 file, which is right here, it got changed to -88. Now you might wonder,
“Well how do we know that?” You can check it in a few different ways. One way is, you can look at it in some of the
different ways of viewing. I like this way, it’s a three-column view. You can see it right here, and so it just gives you an idea of the file. There are other ways as well. You can go in there and you can actually open this file inside of Photoshop. And you can take a look at it and see that it has the same pixel count, which is just 1500 by 1000. So there’s a lot of
different ways you can tell that it’s the same file. Now if you want to change this, you have to actually go into this folder and change that name. Or, we could, what I mean by that is you can just change this back to -8 and then Lightroom will be happy. As long as it was the same
file that it brought in. Or… or, you could just take
this AndrewDarlow-8 and you can tell that it’s now going to become -88. So let’s select it. And then it says it “Has a different name “than the one you were trying to locate. “Are you sure that this
is the correct file?” So this is Lightroom trying to protect you from choosing the wrong file. But I know that it’s okay. Okay, we’ll do that. And now it’s switched to
88, and now it’s happy. There’s no exclamation points. Okay, one more thing. Now, remember, Glenn had
asked about the question mark. Well in this case, the
question mark wasn’t here. But, the way that would show up would be if this folder got moved somewhere. So, one way to go there
is you can right-click. There’s a “Go to Folder in Library.” But we don’t want that. That’ll just bring us over here. Where’s Show in Finder? So let’s Show in Finder. Then if you want to go up one step, we hold down the command
key, and we click over here, and you can see here it says Dropbox. And then we have our slideshow, which, I’m going to move this to the Desktop for now. I just slid it over into the Desktop now. Because that was not on an external drive, it actually moved it. It’s no longer in my Dropbox. So let’s see what Lightroom
thinks about that. Oh my goodness. That is a question mark. So, what do we do about that? Well… We could… See where it was. You can just hover over it and you’ll see, it was showing me exactly
where it was before. Or we can right-click and choose Find Missing Folder. And then we can go and we can tell it where the missing folder is. So in this case, I
moved it to the Desktop. Like so, choose, and now, it’s happy
again, no question marks. And, obviously we can move it back to where it was before in the Dropbox. Because I’ve dedicated this
show to answering your questions I invite you to send me questions
about Lightroom workflow, backup, or printing on the Mac platform. And I’ll do my best to
answer the questions that I think can help the
most amount of people. If for some reason I can’t
answer your question on the show, then I’ll do my best to
send you to another resource or I’ll answer your question privately. And the best place to ask
questions is AskAndrewD.com where you also see all the
shows and other goodies. I have some really interesting
things there for you. So, thank you so much for stopping by, for watching and listening. And I’ll be waiting for your questions, Bye-bye. (upbeat drum music)

Dereck Turner

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