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The Lightroom 4 Beta is out and I want to try but it is Beta, so potentially not working so great. So what happens if Lightroom 4 gets installed to my existing Lightroom?

Think it is possible to install to different folders but that is not my worry. Most worry is if uses my current catalog and does something to it that Lightroom 3.6 no longer understands? Kind of like upgrading browsers than downgrade is impossible.

Otherwise I need to try on new catalog but then my collections will be broken and finding things hard, so not my favorite choice.

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Yes Lightroom 4 beta coexists with previous versions of Lightroom

As explained in the Lightroom 4 Beta Release notes:

Lightroom 4 beta will not upgrade Lightroom 1.x, Lightroom 2.x or Lightroom 3.x catalogs. The beta is intended to be used for testing and feedback purposes. Lightroom 1.x, 2.x, 3.x and 4 beta libraries will be able to be migrated to the finished version of Lightroom 4.

In other words, your current catalog will be left untouched.

Lightroom 4 beta will not overwrite or interfere with a machine that currently has Lightroom 1, Lightroom 2 or Lightroom 3 installed.

As you assumed, it will automatically be installed to a new folder.

You don't need to worry, it is beta software and they limit you on purpose. You can download, install, and use it to test out the software, but you won't be moving over your main catalog and relying on Lightroom 4 quite yet as beta software.

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It not allows to open the Lightroom 3.6 catalog or opens without writing? –  Zak Jan 19 '12 at 3:59
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You cannot open a 3.6 catalog. You'll have to create a brand-new catalog for the beta. When they release 4.0, I believe it'll be able to upgrade 3.6 catalogs, but the beta doesn't do this. –  D. Lambert Jan 19 '12 at 4:08
    
OK. Guess I'll wait for the release. Thanks! –  Zak Jan 20 '12 at 2:15

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