Even with Referenced Files, Use the Aperture Vault


At the start of 2010, I switched from the Managed File approach in Aperture to Referenced Files. I think both systems are good. It depends on your particular situation as to which is best for you.

But, regardless of your choice, be sure to use the wonderful incremental backup system built into Aperture called the Vault. It's a simple one-click tool that saves all of your work to a separate hard drive. If you're using the Managed File approach, the Vault backs up your masters too. Referenced File users must back up masters separately. Either way, one thing I've discovered is: the work that I do to organize, edit, and add metadata to my images is as valuable to me as the pictures themselves.

During my week of coping with my Drobo problems, the bright spot was how I had previously organized my files and having the Vault to put everything back together on a separate drive.

In short, I moved my 2010 Referenced File structure to a hard drive that had an up-to-date 2010 Vault on it. I enabled a Vault Recovery on the drive, and in just a few minutes, Aperture put everything back together for me. All of my work was there, all of the Referenced Files were reconnected, and I was back in business.

Moral of the story for me is: the Aperture Vault is invaluable, regardless of which library system I'm using.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture 3, check out my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Learning Center. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.

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Thanks you for the notes about back up. Can you tell me? Using Aperture's managed file approach, are both masters and versions backed up using Apple's Time Machine?

Using the managed file approach with Aperture, all of your work and master images are in one project container in your Pictures folder (unless you've selected another location). If Time Machine is backing up the folder that your project container is in, you should be in good shape.

So how exactly would I back up my aperture photographs and structure using the vault, if i'm using referenced files on an external hard drive? At present I am using a macbook (not pro but extra G etc, when i bought it i had the most put into it that i could), shoot in raw and have probably thirty thousand images, so it has to be a process my macbook can handle. Thanks, Virginia

virginia -- that is the question, obviously -- but too hard to answer, unfortunately.