Choosing a Source Location
Along the left side of the expanded dialog (seen Figure 2), we have a Source panel that allows us to access all currently installed or connected hard drives and their folder structures. To open a drive, click on the small triangle next to the drive’s name, and you will be greeted not with a list of Users folders. To view the contents of a specific folder, click on it and a grey arrow is overlaid on your folder’s icon and name, pointing the way to thumbnails for all of the photos Lightroom found there. You can see this intuitive setup in Figure 2.
Another handy part of the Source panel is the ability to include the photographic content of subfolders in the thumbnail viewer. For example, if you have three folders of images inside another folder, you can select on the top-most folder in the hierarchy to see all of the photos contained in the other three. To do this, click the Include Subfolders check-box (also seen in Figure 2), and you’re ready!
Figure 2 Navigating your drive’s folder structure is simple in Lightroom 3 Beta, allowing you to find the right locations quickly and see what’s inside.
Notice at the top of the Import dialog, there’s a Drive icon with the word “From” next to it, along with the name of that drive and the folder path you are currently viewing. This whole area is actually one big button, and is most useful when working in the Compact mode, though it is visible in either mode. Clicking on it allows you to choose common folder locations and recently used locations. The default look for this function is seen in Figure 3, prior to any imports. You would use this when you’re not interested in viewing the thumbnails of the photos you’re importing, knowing that you just want to import everything in a given folder as quickly as possible.
Figure 3 You can access commonly used source folders by clicking the “From” drive icon in either expanded or compact mode. The latter option is seen here.