Maintaining Tag structure on re-install

Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2022 Aug 05, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I have a large number of photos and I I have tagged them all with peoples names, events etc in the organiser. The Tags are arranged in a hierarchical structure to make them easy to locate. Previously when I have had to reinstall photoshop Elements using a back up because I have upgraded my OS or the HW I have lost the structure and when the tags are imported they are all under the "Other" tags label. Is there any way to maintain the structure?

TOPICS
How to , Import and export , Organizer

Views

48

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 05, 2022 Aug 05, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

quote

.......

Previously when I have had to reinstall photoshop Elements using a back up because I have upgraded my OS or the HW I have lost the structure and when the tags are imported they are all under the "Other" tags label. Is there any way to maintain the structure?


By @megagrumpyness

The recommended way to recover from a backup is to use the standard Organizer full backup and restore, as explained here:

https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/kb/backup-restore-move-catalog-photoshop.html

This is the best way to keep anything restored with the same structure.

 

If you have to re-import, you know that you will lose albums, stacks, version sets and other features like Face recognition and geotagging.

 

However, for the 'standard' keywords, there is a solution to save your tags hierarchical structure into a small text file which you restore into your catalog before importing the media.

With the 'keyword/info' panel open on the right, section keywords, look at the line Keywords. Click on the down icon on the right to open a drop-down menu including 'save keyword tags to files...'

The same drop-down menu allows you to Import keyword tags to file.

 

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2022 Aug 05, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thank you for your response. So it appears if you move the catalogue from one computer to another it is only the Keyword tags that you cam maintain the structure. I have arranged People Tags into families with the last name at one level and the first names at the next level down - ie indented. If I were to restore from a full back up those tags would appear as keywords in the other category with no structure. have I got that right?

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 05, 2022 Aug 05, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

quote

Thank you for your response. So it appears if you move the catalogue from one computer to another it is only the Keyword tags that you cam maintain the structure. I have arranged People Tags into families with the last name at one level and the first names at the next level down - ie indented. If I were to restore from a full back up those tags would appear as keywords in the other category with no structure. have I got that right?


By @megagrumpyness

 

No, a restore from a full backup recreates anything, including people tags in the original structure.

 

An import in a new empty catalog from a media backup created externally will recover the tags and captions stored in the files themselves and by default, you'll find the keywords in an 'imported keyword tags' category. If you want to get the keywords at import time in the same category/subcategory structure as the original, that is possible. You create the small text with the hierarchy in the original computer. Before importing the media files, you add that structure to your empty catalog so that the import uses the right hierarchy instead of the flat default 'imported keywords.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Aug 05, 2022 Aug 05, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I am sorry to be so dense but I cannot understand how to get all my tags in the correct structure. I can make a text file for the Keyword tags - that bit I understand. But I have other categories - People, Places, Events. There is no option to save these in a text file. I have a Catalog which I can save and transfer as well as the full back up. When I have tried to transfer to another computer sometime ago I attempted to do this by storing the catalog and using the same file structure when I restored from the back up. The back up asked if I wanted to import the tags and I clicked on Yea and all my tags ended up in the Keword category under others and I had to manually rebuild the catalog which took me a few weeks! I am obviousy doing something wrong here and there must be an easy way to do this.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2022 Aug 06, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

It seems you can't imagine another way of recovering your catalog and media files than importing.

A restore does not import.

A restore recreates ideally the same structure of the same data.

 

The simplest way used in restore methods is to copy the original data with its structure on a backup media (possibly zipped...) and from that external media, copy again to the new destination, following the structure information (the folders hierarchies among others).

 

That works without problems for the media files, but for the catalogs?  They contain all your special tagging, including what can't be stored in the metadata header of the media files. The big specificity is that they also contain links to the location of each meda file on a drive: drive identification and path.

It's easy to copy the whole catalog (the folder) anywhere else, the contents are not changed. You always can create a copy of a catalog or even move it. You can still use the catalog. At least, until the media files are no longer on the original media. Then, the catalog has still valid information for everything, including the structure, but it is not updated to the new location.

 

So, the job of a catalog restoration process is to create a catalog copy in which the location data of each item is updated

 

In parallel, the full backup folder of the organizer includes a table of all the previous locations (drive and path) as well as the media files structure on the disks. Each media is read from the backup and copied to the new location taking the desired destination drive and folder as the new location.

 

Result:

You have a new catalog with all the location data updated, the rest unchanged (your precious tags)

You are working the same as before with all your files which are now, let's say, on Y drive instea of previousl X.

 

So, what happens if you don't use the full backup and restore process?

Many ways and softwares to backup your media and to copy the catalog folders.

The result is nearly good... except that all the links to the new location in the catalog are not updated.

So you'll have to 'reconnect' missing files, which works well with a few subfolders, but which is awful for a big library.

 

 

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Aug 06, 2022 Aug 06, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

My apologies - I was using Import when I should have been using the word Restore. I think I have also been getting confused with the difference between the Catalog - which i think is just a database file - which I have in the same directory structure as the photos and the Catalog when it is backed up using the Backup Catalog feature. From what you are saying this does not just backup the catalog but also backs up the photographs and maintains the file structure and all the tag information. So when you restore the catalog you have to do it to an empty area not one that is already populated with the photo files. Am I understanding this correctly? 

 

So a restore from a full catalog backup should look exactly the same as it looked prior to the backup. Is this correct?

 

Once again sorry to be so dense but the previous time when my PC crashed I think I may have tried to restore the catalog by downloading all the photos and the catalog from OneDrive rather than restore from the PSE Backup.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 06, 2022 Aug 06, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

quote

My apologies - I was using Import when I should have been using the word Restore. I think I have also been getting confused with the difference between the Catalog - which i think is just a database file - which I have in the same directory structure as the photos and the Catalog when it is backed up using the Backup Catalog feature.


By @megagrumpyness

 

We are now on the right track! 'Import' or 'Restore', that's not only a matter of words, that's two existing functions of the organizer. Let's start with precisions about 'catalogs', 'catalog structure' and what I personnally call 'the library'.

- The 'catalog'.
Originally (up to PSE5) it was indeed a simple database file. From PSE6 on, it's now a distinct 'catalog folder' containing the primary database plus a number of other items managed by the catalog, like the thumbnail cache et the face recognition items.

- The Library: that's what I call the folder(s) tree(s) containing your media file.

 

The first confusion comes when Adobe speaks about 'catalog backups'.

For the organizer backups, what Adobe calls 'Catalog backup' is a special folder containing both the contents of the catalog folder, the library PLUS the necessary backup.tly file which keeps all the information about the folder structure of the library to reconstruct it in the same way from the restore destination you choose for the master folder.

So, that 'catalog backup' is a special package, not a working copy of your library. It can be moved or copied. It can be used only to 'restore' the library with the catalog and updated links (Not to be used as a second instance).

 

So, the 'backup folder' contains everything to restore. It's big, It's slow to backup, slow to restore, but fully flexible and adequate for non pros. You can choose where to restore (to migrate to a new computer for instance) and even restore on the original location if files or catalog have been corrupted in between.

 

The second confusion comes when things are changing. Most users also use external backup solutions, excellent for the library itself, fast and flexible, but inadequate for keeping the links in the catalog if the files are restored elsewhere. At the same time, Lightroom users are offered another solution skipping the backup of the library which the user has to manage on his own responsibility. The good news is that Lightroom offers a powerful and relatively simple reconnection tool to update the links in the database.

So, Adobe also starts to offer a 'catalog structure' backup solution, skipping the backup of the files of the library themselves. Imagine a simple copy of the 'catalog folder' without the thumbnail.cache which can be rebuilt automatically.

You can be prompted to do that backup at the end of your editing session. It's fast and protects you against dangers to the catalog itself. The 'reconnection' function is not there if you have to restore the library to a new drive from an external backup tool. So a good additional safety which does not completely replaces the classical Organizer 'catalog backup' including the library.

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Explorer ,
Aug 07, 2022 Aug 07, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Thanks for the clear response. I think my next action is to test the restore process by trying to restore my catalog to a different drive. This may take me a while as i am not sure that I have enough disk space available. Will post an update when I have done this. Thanks once again for your patience and willingness to provide such detailed and clear responses.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Adobe Community Professional ,
10 hours ago 10 hours ago

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

The backup folders size is the size of your catalog folder plus the size of your media files, plus the very small backup.tly files.

In the backup process, you choose the destinatination drive and master folder. Don't restore on the root folder, create rather a new folder just under the root letter. Once chosen, the process calculates the total size needed and checks it with your available space there.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines