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Can you install a smaller sized (referenced?) version of your photo library on another computer #1
SteveR's picture
by SteveR
August 5, 2014 - 12:10pm

I purchased a new 512GB MacBook Pro and would love to view all of my Aperture photo library on the computer, but there is no way I want to load all 172GB of the library on to the new computer (Forgive me in advance for asking such elementary questions).

First Question: I have heard that you can view your entire photo library on to another computer, but by taking only a fraction of the space by transferring only small thumbnail images, not the entire full-size images. How does one do this?

Second Question: After moving my library with small thumbnails on my MacBook Pro, how are you able to go about making edits to the smaller images which will affect the original files. 

Any suggestions.

Thank you.


Simon's picture
by Simon
August 12, 2014 - 9:09pm

Hmmm - a “Referenced” library is what you are referring to. However assuming your existing library is “Managed” (i.e. the original images exist within the Aperture library file), I think you will need to convert it to “referenced” first, then your second/new machine can also create a Referenced library when it has the same folder structure with your images available to it.

I don’t think one Referenced library can use originals that are in another Aperture Managed library.

Good news is that you can test this quite easily:

On your Mac with the existing library, connect an external USB drive or memory stick and create a folder in that drive titled “TestRefs” or something. 

Select a suitable test image from your library and select File then Relocate Original, navigate to the TestRefs folder and click on Relocate Originals.

Go to the new machine, create a new library in Aperture, connect the USB drive and select Import in Aperture - but when you do change the Store Files drop down on the right from “in the Aperture library” to “in their current location. When imported unmount and disconnect the USB drive. Now on this machine you can explore Aperture and see what features and functions are available without the full original files attached.

To return the original library to normal connect the usb drive, select the same files in Aperture and select File then Consolidate Files - and the test image originals will be put back into the Aperture managed library.

You could also do this by creating a Referenced library file structure on your original machine and sharing the drive out on your home network so that your new machine can access it that way, the steps above will still work.

Another method would be to split your existing Aperture managed library and mover duplicate a split section of it to your new machine….


Regards, Simon

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
August 15, 2014 - 12:11pm

You could export your entire library into a new library, and tell Aperture to not include the previews. That would deliver a second copy of your library without the previews, making it much smaller. Alternatively, you can copy your managed library to the second computer, then open the copy of the library on the second computer and tell Aperture to remove all of the previews. You can then configure Aperture on the second computer to use smaller previews, and to not auto-generate previews. That should keep the library smaller.

It will not enable you to keep them in sync easily if you plan to make changes on both libraries and keep them synchronized.

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