A few answers to your questions:
Q: When you import your kit items do you have LR move them, or do you leave them where they are? Because ACDSee was a catalog, it didn't care where the files resided, so my kits are loosely organized in folders by designers and my design tools (actions, templates, etc) are in folders by type.
A: This will be included in my upcoming class and more than worth the wait - I promise! What I will say now is that when I import into Lightroom, I generally have LR move the files to where I want them in a special folder structure. But more on that is coming! :)
Q: I routinely "embeded" ACDSee keyword data into my files, Do you know if LR will read that data when the files are imported? Since most of the files are pngs, I'm confused about LR's ability to read that information. I briefly looked for some way to view a file's existing metadate in LR and it wasn't obvious to me how to do so. It is even more confusing to me that when I look at my files in Bridge, some of the tagging from ACDSee is there and some is not.
A: First things first - PNG files are not made to store metadata - so pretty much any software you use to keyword them - you might be able to see the keywords in that software, but not other programs. So tagging PNG files is really a waste of time in the long rang scheme of things.
Lightroom doesn't recognize PNG files because you can't tag them or keyword them in a way that makes the metadata recognizable in other programs. Dealing with that issue and still using LR to organize your supplies is part of my upcoming class. :)
As for your non-PNG files, LR will read the same keyword data that Bridge sees. You may also only be seeing some of the tagging because of how ACDSee works with metadata. If you are working in Photo Manager, your categories won't come across (the last time I looked) because they are proprietary. My first idea to fix this was to gather all the items in one category - i.e. paper and then add that keyword in the metadata to all those items simultaneously in ACDSee like you can in other softwares - but in ACDSee Photo Manager you cannot do this - a bit frustrating to keyword them one at a time. However, you can do this in groups in another software program - the problem is you lose all the work you did in categories in ACDSee. An option I have not tested is to import your catalog to ACDSee Pro and see if you can do it from there as I have heard that ACDSee Pro does allow you to keyword to groups of images. :)
(3) As a designer, I'm very interested in the concept of writing metadata to my kit elements, but that leads to the same confusion about LR and png files. ACDSee would write "sidecar" files to PSD and other non-image formats, but I was never quite sure where I would find those xmp files or how I would include them in a kit. Since LR doesn't recognize pngs, am I running in circles???
A: I used to think it would be AWESOME if the designers pre-keyworded everything. However, after spending the summer organizing my supplies, I am backtracking - because everyone's keywording is going to be different.
Not only that, depending on the organization software, the keyword hierarchy is going to be different. For example, in iPhoto, keywords are just individual keywords unless you use a plug-in. In Lightroom, I can have a keyword that is paper with types of paper nested inside. In PSE Organizer, one can have a tag with nested keywords inside it. Whereas in ACDSee you have proprietary categories and keywords! So technically it might be even more messy if kits came pre-keyworded. However, that said, for people who don't want to tag anything and don't have their own system, it would probably be a great thing!
***One last item to clarify for all my readers. I have so many emails and comments from everyone wanting information on how I do this or how I do that in my Lightroom system - I understand that it can be frustrating to wait when I already have blogged a lot of the system and then removed it from the blog.
However, if you go back to this post, you will know that the content I am sharing on this blog is "personal projects I am working on - most aren't professional enough to qualify for real teaching..."
So this means that I had a crazy idea about organizing my supplies in Lightroom - I took a walk down that path where people thought I was crazy to go - and shared the journey in posts and videos here - not really sure if it would catch on or be something I would continue.
Fast forward a few months and the crazy thing is -my idea is catching on and now there is a demand. Which means I needed to pull it off my blog, refine it and make it better so it is professional enough to share with a large group of people.
So those of you who saw it all - thanks for being here - because you have the sneak peek and it is only going to get better... Although I will say that those of you who jumped on the bandwagon with me and have already started organizing might be a tad frustrated with the new developments in my class - but I promise they are worth it!
In a nutshell I'm done publicly answering emails and comments about organizing in Lightroom until my class comes out. I love you guys and you don't know how badly I would like to give you everything I have learned right now! But seriously, I need to get to work on finishing the class or I will spend all my time answering questions instead of getting things done.
However, feel free to continue to send me questions via email at thelegacylady at gmail.com - I will make sure the answers are in the class - and if I have a few moments to delve into unanswered emails, you will be hearing from me with all the help I can give - but if you don't hear from me - know it isn't because I am ignoring you or love you any less, I am just working hard to get the class done! :)
So I guess what I'm saying is I hope to see you all in class! I will keep you posted on the details here on this blog. :)
Happy Tuesday! :)