Making folder structure the same as album structure

Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Hiya,

I am using version 2020 and am wondering if it is somehow possible to help with my problem. 

I've started going through my pictures of which there are ca. 100k and they are in folders simply called jpg-a, jpg-b etc....

I have just started to use the album function and want to create a similar structure for my folders on my hard drive. 

If I were to create a folder with the same name as the album is there a way to move the actual files from the old folder to the new folder based on the album selection? 

In essence I would like the same folder structure as album structure at the end of it. 

Many thanks

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How to, Organizer, Windows

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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From the manual "Elements Organizer Reference" pdf I found these two suggestions:

 

1.  Instead of manually selecting photos for including in an album, you can create Saved Searches with criteria for selecting photos. Each Saved Search is an album that dynamically collects photos that match the criteria specified for the Saved Search. For example, if the criterion for a Saved Search is to collect photos with the keyword tag ‘Chiara”, you can open the Saved Search to view all photos with the keyword tag ‘Chiara”.

 

 

2.  Create instant albums using folder names

You can automatically create an instant album with the same name as a folder on your hard disk. Creating instant albums this way is useful when you’ve used descriptive folder names to organize the media files on your hard disk. It also helps to quickly add your managed media files with those same folder names.

  1. 1  In the Media view, choose the folder from My Folders list in the Albums panel.

  2. 2  In the folder tree/managed folder on the left, select the folder containing the media files you want to tag. Thumbnails

    of the managed media files in that folder appear in the Media grid.

  3. 3  Right-click the folder and select Create An Instant Album.

    A new album is created in the Albums panel bearing the name of the folder.

  4. 4  (Optional) To customize the properties of the newly created album, right-click/control-click the album name, and select Edit.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Dear Monte,

thank you very much for replying. The option "Create instant albums using folder names" is what I want but the other way around, ie. create folder names using albums. I have googled this but haven't been able to find anything.

 

Thanks Antje

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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quote

Hiya,

 

In essence I would like the same folder structure as album structure at the end of it. 

Many thanks


By @antjem94375137

 

An album is not a folder and an album structure is not a folder structure.

The files displayed in an album are stored on real folders, and the albums are only 'playlists' that is lists of files in your catalog. You can have the same file present in different albums at the same time. What happens if you select all the files in an album and move them to a new folder?  The files are indeed moved from their respective folders to the newly created one. What happens if you move the contents of another album containing some items already moved?

The 'playlists' in each album are lists of links to the internal (hidden) identifier. The first move to another folder has the result of updating the location/path field in the file record. The identifier itself is not changed. Before you start the second album move, you can verify that the files in both albums have been updated. The second album still finds those duplicate links (not files) in the correct location showing the first move. Then the second move will move the files in the second new folder. That same file will still be found from the first album in the second folder, that is in another folder than the first move.

So, you have to be sure not to have duplicate links in different albums.

If you rename a file in the first album, you'll find it renamed in the second album. (From memory) if you delete a file in an album, you'll be warned that it also exists in another one.

If you change the 'top of stack/version' of a stack or version, you'll realize that what you are seeing in an album is always a link to the top of stacks: albums are indeed playlists of stacks or version sets, not of individual members of those groups.

Now, album structures are a way of presenting a hierarchy of sub-albums. Nothing special. So, if you are aware of the above restrictions, you can select all the files of an album and move them to a new empty folder;  that's the same as reorganizing your physical folder structure (no automatic solution). The risks are the same: error messages for refused moves due to existing file names or folders in some cases.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Hi Michel,

thank you very much for responding. I understand that there is a difference in concept between folders and albums. I was thinking that in the beginning I will not have a sub folder structure or sub-albums. For example, there will only be one folder called YYYY - wedding and I want to move all the pictures from the album YYYY - wedding into this folder and remove them from the current folder. Once I have completed the folder structure I will move it to my cloud and then I thought I could just remove photoshop elements and reinstall it and then import them by the new folder structure?

Kind Regards 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Hi Michel,

thank you very much for responding. I understand that there is a difference in concept between folders and albums. I was thinking that in the beginning I will not have a sub folder structure or sub-albums. For example, there will only be one folder called YYYY - wedding and I want to move all the pictures from the album YYYY - wedding into this folder and remove them from the current folder. Once I have completed the folder structure I will move it to my cloud and then I thought I could just remove photoshop elements and reinstall it and then import them by the new folder structure?

Kind Regards 


By @antjem94375137

You can create the folder structure step by step and enrich and modify it if you want.

When you want to move all the files in an album to a new empty folder, you only select all files in the album and move them to the new empty folder by the menu move or by drag and drop to the destination folder. Whichever folders those files were is indifferent. The files will be physically moved to the new destination.

I am not sure I understand your other question, maybe because I have the case of Dropbox or OneDrive in mind.

If I reshape my folder structure in my computer as described above, those Cloud solutions will 'sync' that structure to the Cloud automatically. I'll have nothing more to do and my reshaped master library will stay on my computer.

With those Cloud solutions, all I have to do is to create my new folder hierarchy within the 'system' folders managed by DropBox or OneDrive. The advantage is that I can create the new structure step by step. For instance I select 20 albums to move directly in those created subfolders in the synced folders. They are immediately available from the Cloud. You see that it's necessarily a duplication of what is in the computer to the Cloud. That's not a solution to recover space on your disks.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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For the reasons explained by Michel as to how Albums and folders work together, I have to ask you why you want to undertake this reorganization work.  The whole point of working with the Organizer is that you don't have to worry where the files are stored on your computer.  The Organizer will keep track of them no matter how disorganized or non-descriptive your folder structure is. 

 

Now, I'm not saying there are no good reasons for keeping your folders better organized or named.  But if you let us know what your reasons are, we may be able to find a better solution for you.  (A couple have been pointed out by Monte307.)

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Hello Greg, Thank you for replying. The reason for this is that eventually I want to move the folder structure into my private cloud so that I can access it from anywhere, and where I don't have the photoshop albums available and having the file structure the same will help in locating particular photos a bit easier. 

Right now it is near impossible to find an image easily. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Hello Greg, Thank you for replying. The reason for this is that eventually I want to move the folder structure into my private cloud so that I can access it from anywhere, and where I don't have the photoshop albums available and having the file structure the same will help in locating particular photos a bit easier. 

Right now it is near impossible to find an image easily. 


By @antjem94375137

 

In other words, you need to replace the virtual organization of the catalog by a folder structure to be able to find files on a different system. That's the problem of all those using Cloud solutions like Dropbox or OneDrive. No way to use the catalogs directly on the Cloud library.

With the restrictions I already stated, you'll have reorganize your folder structure. You can use albums and move them individually, probably a realistic solution, knowing that you'll have difficulties to rearrange your whole library but you'll get what is already virtually structured progressively.

However the suggestions by @Monte307 are to get an album structure from an existing folder structure, not the other way round?

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Hi Michel, currently the folder structure is like this: 

antjem94375137_0-1634585128449.png

and the files inside are totally random. For example you can find wedding pictures in each of them. Total nightmare. That is why I thought if I create an album called wedding and put all pictures related in there. Then I can then create a new folder called wedding and select all pictures from the wedding album and move them in there? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Since your folder structure is totally 'undescriptive' (if the word exists...), you'll have to find way to find and group files under 'albums'. Or you can assign common keywords.

You should first take advantage at anything that is descriptive in the present state, keywords for instance.

I agree that creating albums first is the best step after that.

Just a note that if you don't have already many keywords, it would be worth using the smart tagging feature of the organizer to group main categories automatically and from those groups creating albums. Maybe Greg will have ideas on that topic?

What also seems to be missing in your current folder names is the date. Did you consider a structure based on dates?

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Hi Michel, some files have a creation date tag, however a fair few have lost theirs because I had to recover files and they were copied and pasted or cut and moved from place to place. I really just want to get a system in place so I can easily access the files before its too late. 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2021 Oct 18, 2021

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Thank you very much for responding. I will have a go at creating different albums and then move the files into a new folder structure based on the albums. 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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As Michel says, Smart Tags are available in Elements 2020 and take most of the work out of the process of finding files.  For example, as I understand it, you have wedding photos in multiple different folders and need to browse through multiple folders to see those wedding photos.  If you are not aware of the power of Smart Tags, I suggest you click on the Search button in the top right of the Organizer grid.  This opens a Search page with tabs that you can use to filter your search.  The top tab has a listing of smart tags that have been applied through AI media analysis.

 

Snap_2021.10.19_1h9m5s_006.png

Unfortunately, these are displayed by the number of photos that have been smart-tagged.  So, as you see in my screenshot, my catalog has more nature and family smart tags than any other.  You could scroll through the thumbnails to find one for weddings, but you can also type wedding into the Search text box, and you may be surprised by how accurate the results are.  You may see a lot of false positives, but at least it will give you a start on sorting your photos.  And although you may have wedding photos in multiple folders, I presume that the photos are not stored in a total random fashion.  So, once you have found one wedding photo, you can use the Folder panel to display all other photos in the folder where you found the wedding photo.  You can then tag the photos with a wedding keyword tag, or create an Album for those wedding photos.

 

I am also a big fan of the face recognition technology.  (Michel is not.)  It is a great aid for me in keeping my photos organized and being able to find a particular photo of a person in seconds. 

 

Since your need for organizing your photos into new folders is govenred by your use of a private cloud account, may I ask which one you use?  Some cloud services provide features that may also avoid your need to move folders around. 

 

I think both Michel and I use a folder structure based on dates.  Michel is probably more organized than I am, but when I import files from my camera, using the Adobe Photo Downloader, I use the program to automatically create sub-folders (under a My Pictures main folder) named for the date the photo was taken.  This has left me with a long list of dated folders and at some point I will move the sub-folders into yearly or even monthly parent folders.  But as Michel has explained, I will do all of the folder/photo movement in the Organizer, using the Folder panel.  You mention that you have lost some of the date information from your photos.  Unless you are talking about scanned photos, the dates of the photos should be available in the metadata of the files and can be read (and searched) in the Organizer.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2021 Oct 19, 2021

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Hi Greg,

Many thanks for your great help.

quote

I am also a big fan of the face recognition technology. (Michel is not.) It is a great aid for me in keeping my photos organized and being able to find a particular photo of a person in seconds.


By @Greg_S.

@antjem94375137 
Don't follow me for face recognition, Greg is absolutely right when you have a relatively big library with no people tagging at all. In my case, I have been tagging people manually as soon as they were imported in catalogs. Also, I am not using a powerful hardware and I prefer not to use background automatic processes if possible.

 

For dates, the usual limitation with organizing in a hierarchical folder structure is that you can't have at the same time a tree of years, a tree of events, a tree of people, a tree on places or topic.

If I had to search myself in a folder tree structure of someone in my family, I'd suggest a primary master folder by years with events subfolder, then a secondary master folder with other topics like places or people. The problem with folder organization solutions is that you need some duplication, for instance a person is in an event, or an event is associated to a place.

 

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