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Aperture Library Exports And Imports For On-The-Go Workflows

I'm gearing up for a trip at the end of the week. An important part of my trip prep rituals is getting my Aperture libraries in order. This past weekend I merged my on-the-go libraries into the master library on the studio system. 

My workflow is very on-the-go oriented. New projects begin on my MacBook more than 90% of the time. As I dart about through the week, my laptop goes with me and I'm able to work on photos away from the studio. Ultimately, all projects are integrated into a single master library on my studio system, a MacPro.

Aperture's export, import and merge tools make this workflow very manageable. The premise is simple. Any project, collection of projects, or album can be exported as a new library. The exported library is self contained. You can copy it to another system, make modifications to it, and merge in the changes.

There's also merge conflict detection. If a conflict is detected, you get to choose which library takes precedence during a merge. Although personally, I don't tempt fate and only work on a project on one system at a time. A little discipline goes a long way here.

Taking portions of your Aperture library on-the-go is just one workflow example where import and export is useful. Collaborative work or outsourcing to an assistant or 3rd party are some other examples. There are more details on library export and import in an earlier blog post. And there's extremely detailed setup steps, and a video tutorial, in my Effective Aperture Workflow book.