I’m still in the process of moving my archives over to Aperture. I’m taking my time, pre-organizing and story-boarding my collection to maximize efficiency. I love that I can create a new folder in Aperture and under File Menu > Import> “Folders Into Project”, (which maintains the folder hierarchy) import images into new Aperture Projects, Folders and Albums.
There is no limit to the size of an Aperture Library, but projects are limited to 10,000 images. However, the bigger the library, the more it might bog down if it gets too big–so multiple libraries are common among Aperture users, and how big is too big –is still open for debate, depending on your hardware.
You can’t contain Mother Nature but you can keep your digital assets safe in Aperture. Photos Copyright Steve Simon
I keep waffling between referenced and managed libraries. Though I love the idea of taking my referenced library and it’s large JPEG Previews with me everywhere, there is the seduction of easy back up using the vault system. And I can still export projects to take with me to work on while on the road.
With managed libraries, Aperture takes care of everything. I’m choosing to keep it simple and safe by with managed libraries in Aperture and backing them up using the vault system. The beauty is I can move back to a referenced system or combination of referenced and managed at any time if I so choose.
With multiple libraries, it makes sense to rename them for easy recognition. For instance, I have a “Aperture Personal Projects” Library and an “Aperture Commercial Library” on my external drive. You can only have one Aperture library open at a time, so when switching libraries I just quit out of one and double click on the other to open it up.
If there is one library you use most, make that the default library in the preferences panel, so when you click on the Aperture Icon in your dock, that is the library that opens.
A shortcut for Preferences Panel is Command > Comma, which lets you choose which Aperture library will open by default, and can be changed at any time in seconds.
Also in the Preferences Panel, you can choose your external editor, set copyright and email size and decide if you want new projects to automatically generate previews.
When I first got Aperture, I allowed Aperture to automatically generate previews, but I have since decided it is more efficient for me to only generate previews for my three-star “good” to five-star portfolio images; keeping the size big and the quality at maximum which makes these previews usable for everything from slideshows and web galleries to publication.
As you no doubt know, it takes a while for Aperture to generate previews and I don’t need previews of everything I ingest, but I can always change my mind, and generate previews of any image(s) at any time. Just choose the images you want previews for, and go to Images > Update Previews. To delete unwanted previews select those images and go to Images > Delete Preview.