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How to Back up Your Catalog with Photoshop Elements 12

You can save yourself any aggravation right now, before you spend any more time editing your photos in Photoshop Elements. Computer users often learn the hard way about the importance of backing up a hard drive and the precious data they spent time creating and editing.

Authors are so paranoid when they’re writing a book that they back up their chapters on multiple drives, CDs, and DVDs when they finish them. The standard rule is that if you spend sufficient time working on a project and it gets to the point where redoing your work would be a major aggravation, then it’s time to back up files.

When organizing your files, adding keyword tags, creating albums, and creating stacks and version sets, you want to back up the catalog file in case it becomes corrupted. Fortunately, backing up catalogs is available to both Windows and Mac users; however, backing up to a CD or DVD from within Elements is available only on Windows.

Here’s how you can use Elements to create a backup of your catalog:

  1. Choose File→Backup Catalog to open the Backup Catalog Wizard.

    This wizard has two panes that Elements walks you through to painlessly create a backup of your files.

  2. Select the source to back up.

    The first pane in the Backup Catalog to CD, DVD, or Hard Drive Wizard offers two options:

    • Full Backup: Select this radio button to perform your first backup or write files to a new media source.

    • Incremental Backup: Select this radio button if you’ve already performed at least one backup and you want to update the backed-up files.

  3. Click Next and select a target location for your backed-up files, as shown in the figure.

    Active drives, including CD/DVD drives (on Windows) attached to your computer or mounted network drives available to your computer, appear in the Select Destination Drive list. Select a drive, and Elements automatically assesses the write speed and identifies a previous backup file if one was created.

    The total size of the files to copy is reported in the wizard. This information is helpful so that you know whether more than one CD or DVD is needed to complete the backup (on Windows) or a backup drive has enough space to complete the backup.

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  4. If you intend to copy files to your hard drive or to another hard drive attached to your computer, click the Browse button and identify the path. If you use a media source, such as a CD or DVD (Windows only), Elements prompts you to insert a disc and readies the media for writing.

  5. Click Done, and the backup commences.

    Be certain to not interrupt the backup. It might take some time, so just let Elements work away until you’re notified that the backup is complete.

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