Work with referenced images

A referenced image is a photo whose original isn’t stored in the Aperture library. You create a referenced image by specifying a location outside of the library when you import the image. Aperture tracks the locations of referenced images and works with them in the same way as with images in the library, except that referenced originals are not backed up when you back up your library. You can identify referenced images in Aperture by turning on referenced image badge overlays.

A referenced image is online if Aperture can access its original. Referenced images remain online even if you rename them or move their originals to another location on the same hard disk or volume. If you disconnect the disk that holds a referenced original, move the original to the Finder Trash, or move the original to a different hard disk or volume, the referenced image becomes offline (unavailable). When an original is offline, Aperture draws the thumbnail image first, and then the preview if it exists. Because the preview is high quality, you can zoom and even use the Loupe. However, you can’t make adjustments until you either reconnect the disk that holds the original or use Aperture to reconnect to the original in its new location.

You can copy, move, delete, and search for referenced images in your Aperture projects using the same procedures you use for other Aperture versions and originals. When you copy a version of a referenced image in Aperture, a new version is created and tracked in the Aperture library. No new files are recorded on the hard disk in the location of the referenced image’s original. When you move a referenced image between projects on your Aperture system, the referenced original remains in its original location on your hard disk.

If you decide that it would be more convenient to store referenced originals in the Aperture library (for example, so that you can back them up to vaults), you can have Aperture move or copy the files to the library.

When you delete a referenced original from Aperture, you can specify whether the photo’s version is placed in the Aperture Trash. When you empty the Aperture Trash, the link to the original is deleted, but the original remains in its current location in the Finder.

Identify referenced images

After you import referenced images, you can identify them in the Browser by turning on referenced image badge overlays. Referenced images appear with badges that show whether their originals are currently online (available) or offline (unavailable).

Figure. Images in the Browser displaying badge overlays for online and offline referenced images.
  1. Choose Aperture > Preferences, or press Command-Comma (,).

  2. In the Preferences window, click Appearance and select the “Badge referenced items” checkbox.

See a list of referenced images in a selection

When working with a selection of photos in the Browser, you may need to determine which photos have originals that reside in the Aperture library and which are referenced images whose originals are located elsewhere on your hard disks. You can select a group of photos in the Browser and show a list of the referenced images within the selection, along with their locations.

  1. In the Browser, select a group of photos.

  2. Choose File > Locate Referenced Files.

    The Referenced Files In Selection dialog appears.

    Figure. Referenced Files In Selection dialog showing a list of referenced images in the selection and information about their masters.

Locate a referenced image’s original in the Finder

At times, you may need to quickly find a referenced image’s original on your hard disk to copy or move it, attach it to an email, or otherwise work with it outside of Aperture. You can select a photo in the Browser and display the location of the photo’s original in the Finder.

  1. Select a referenced image in the Browser.

  2. Choose File > Show in Finder.

A Finder window appears, displaying the file path for the referenced original.

Note: If you open a referenced image’s original from the Finder in another application, you won’t see the changes or adjustments you’ve made to the image in Aperture. Your changes appear in versions stored in the Aperture library, and the referenced image’s original is always left unchanged. To see the adjusted photo, you need to export a version of it.

Reconnect offline referenced images

If you disconnected a hard disk drive that holds referenced image’s originals, you can reconnect the drive to your computer, and Aperture automatically reconnects the originals.

If a photo is offline or modified in some way that makes it unrecognizable as the original referenced image, you can still select it and have Aperture reconnect the original.

  1. Reconnect the hard disk drive holding the referenced originals, or otherwise locate or make the files available to Aperture for reconnecting.

  2. Select the project that contains the offline photos you want to reconnect, or select the offline photos in the Browser.

  3. Choose File > Locate Referenced Files.

  4. If necessary, click the Show Reconnect Options button.

    Figure.  Referenced Files In Selection dialog showing reconnect options.
  5. At the top of the dialog, select the file path for the original that you want to reconnect.

    A thumbnail of the photo and some identifying metadata appear.

  6. In the bottom half of the dialog, navigate to the location of the referenced image’s original on the hard disk and select the original.

    You can follow the file path listed for a selected photo in the top of the dialog.

    When you select the file, a thumbnail of the photo and metadata appear, allowing you to compare them to the thumbnail and metadata in the upper part of the dialog to make sure you’ve selected the correct file.

  7. Click Reconnect to reconnect a specific photo, or click Reconnect All to reconnect all selected photos.

Move originals for referenced images to a new location

You can easily move referenced originals to new locations on the same hard disk or a different hard disk.

  1. In the Browser, select the referenced images whose originals you want to move.

  2. Choose File > Relocate Originals.

  3. Select a folder location in the dialog that appears.

  4. To specify that the files be stored as separate, individual files in the selected folder, choose None from the Subfolders pop-up menu.

    You can also specify that Aperture create a hierarchy of subfolders with specific folder names to store your files. For more information about creating folders to hold your imported image files, see Import originals for referenced images into folders.

  5. To specify how you want the originals named, choose a naming convention from the Name Format pop-up menu.

    For example, choose Original File Name from the Name Format pop-up menu to have your files stored using the original filenames from your camera or card. Choose a custom name format to have your originals stored using a specified name. If you choose a custom name format, enter the name you want in the Custom Name field. For more information about naming files, see Automatically name imported photos.

  6. Click Relocate Originals.

Move referenced originals to the Aperture library

If you have originals stored in different hard disk locations but want to work with them all stored in the Aperture library, you can select the referenced images in the Browser and move their originals to the library. Aperture manages all aspects of originals stored in the library, keeping them always available and allowing you to back them up in your vaults.

  1. In the Browser, select the referenced images whose originals you want to move to the library.

  2. Choose File > Consolidate Originals.

  3. Choose whether you want the image files moved or copied into the Aperture library by clicking the “Move files” or “Copy files” button.

  4. Click Continue.

Search for photos by file status

You can search for photos using their file status. For example, you can search for photos that are referenced images, managed images, and online or offline images.

  1. In the Library inspector, select an item you want to search.

  2. Show the Filter HUD by doing one of the following:

    • Choose Edit > Find (or press Command-F).

    • Click the Filter HUD button beside the search field in the Browser.

  3. In the Filter HUD, choose File Status from the Add Rule pop-up menu in the top-right corner, and select the “File status” checkbox.

  4. Deselect any checkboxes that aren’t part of your query, and choose a file status from the “File status” pop-up menu.

    Figure. Filter HUD showing the File status search options.
  5. Choose Any from the pop-up menu in the top-left corner.

The photos that match the search criteria appear in the Browser.