Since Lightroom 3 was announced last week, I’ve seen a bunch of questions around how to get the work you’ve done in the Lightroom 3 Beta into the full version of Lightroom 3. So here’s a quick tutorial:
Step 1: Open Lightroom 3 (the new full version, not the beta). If you’ve upgraded a Lightroom 2 catalog then great. If not, you can also start from a fresh new catalog if you’d like.
Step 2: Now go to File > Import From Catalog. Navigate to where your Lightroom 3 Beta catalog was stored and choose the .LRCAT file.
Step 3: Lightroom will think for a couple of minutes and compare everything from your beta catalog to what exists in the new Lightroom 3 catalog (if anything). When it’s done, it’ll show you a dialog similar to the one below which lists all of the folders and contents of the beta catalog.
Step 4: The best options here are to leave the defaults. Under File Handling, choose Add the new photos without moving them and click Import. After a few minutes your new Lightroom 3 catalog will look just like your beta catalog did with all of the changes you’d made to your photos.
Hopefully this clears up a few things for you if you’re making the switch from the beta to the full version. Thanks!