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Need help understanding duplicate function

Explorer ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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I have done a search in this forum and haven't had success in finding what I need.

 

I am not looking, at this point, to review my entire catalog for duplicates, only one folder with maybe 150 pictures. When I click on Find/ Duplicates, what I would *expect is that it would go through the 150 and, where there are duplicates, place them side by side so I could review and determine which one to keep and which to delete. (From other discussions in this forum, I imagine someone is going to ask why I want to do that. The answer is, the duplicates are not only in the catalog (where they could be -- I think the term is -- "stacked" and thus out of mind) but they are also in the folder on the hard disk where I keep these photos. I want to identify them and delete them there, too.)

 

Now, back to my question: when I click on Find/Duplicates, *nothing like what I expect appears. In fact, it is very confusing. Is there guidance someone can point me to that would show how to accomplish this?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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Here is a HelpX article about what Find>By Visual Searches>Duplicate Photos does.  This only finds files by their visual similarity.  In theory, the Organizer does not import duplicate files in the sense you mean.  I believe it is for that reason that the Organizer does not have any tools to search for true duplicates.

 

And just so you are clear, the Organizer does not store copies of your files.  It only provides a catalog or database of the files stored on your computer.  You can delete files from the catalog, and when you do, you are also given the option to delete the file from your hard drive.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 11, 2021 Feb 11, 2021

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Tips:

- If you enter the first letters of "dupl......." in the text search line of the welcome screen, a full question is completed: "Duplicate image search" and you can launch the search which provides the help doc for "Duplicate photo search".

So, the welcome screen is the fastest way to find help docs.

- if you use a search engine like Google or Bing, enter also the word 'helpx' in the text search. That will restrict the search to Adobe docs.

- Similar discussions will be found on the right of the screen when you are reading your post. In the case of duplicates, there are many discussions, some very detailed.

 

Of course, continue to ask in this forum, we are glad if we can help you.

 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Here is what happens when I ask PSE to find duplicates. As I say, what I would *expect to happen is that photo X would be displayed next to (real or possible) duplicates of photo X, and so on.

 

That is not what happens. The results are all over the map.

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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So, as I evidently should have been more explicit in my last message, *how* should one find duplicates that way? It does not seem at all obvious to me. Thanks.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Here is another old faq from John R Ellis:

https://johnrellis.com/psedbtool/photoshop-elements-faq.htm#_Find_and_delete

 

The visual search for duplicates may be very disappointing as shown in your screenshot.

My suggestion would be to prepare you job by using the catalog manager to do a 'repair' of the catalog. At the end of the process, even if you don't have to repair, there is an option to 'reindex visual similarity'. That takes time (several hours for a big library).

As you can see from the workflow suggested above, you'll have a lot of manual work to select and trim each stack, select the 'top of stack' to keep. So, that gives you an idea of what you can expect the visual search do to help you.

Remember that the process totally ignores duplicates not in the catalog.

You might want to use an external softwore dedicated to duplicate removal. They may be powerful and even free (with a lot of adware...), but the problem is that they are working outside of the catalog and their result will be to delete a lot of files which will be 'disconnected' and you'll need to delete them from catalog.

 

Note about the visual search: the option to 'automatically suggest photo stacks' is very efficient in some cases. An example: you have lost a catalog including many version sets. You reimport those files in a new catalog. The stacks and version sets (as well as albums) are unrecoverable. Then the above process will be able to replace the version sets or stacks with stacks.

 

 

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Wow. Read the Ellis FAQ. That doesn't seem simple, but thanks for sharing. You are probably right, another program might be the solution. A friend sold me on PSE by saying it can find duplicates easily. I'll have to have a word. 😀

 

To recap, I was only looking to find duplicates *in one folder*, not the entire library. And if by doing so I end up with a handful of broken links, I can fix that in seconds.

 

I am not a big fan of stacks -- at the moment they seem an unnecessary complication -- but maybe that will change with time. For now I just want to put my pictures in order. Thank you for getting back to me.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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When you say you have duplicate files in a single folder, do you mean exact duplicates?  If that is the case, the files will have different names because the OS wouldn't have it any other way. If you indeed have imported files to the same folder they will probably have a numeric suffix for each duplicate e.g. img0001.jpg, img0001-1, etc.  If that is the case, you can do a search for the files with a suffix by going to Find>By Filename (Shift+Ctrl+K) and entering a hyphen (-) in the search box.  That will at least make it easier to find any folders with such suffix names.

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Explorer ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Ah, how I wish that were so. Since the introduction of digital cameras and phones, that is indeed the case. But my goal is to go WAY back and organize any old family photos I can find. I came across negatives of a size I had never seen before. Getting them properly scanned was going to cost $300 or more (and had I gone that route, there would not have been any duplicates). Instead, I found an app which, 7 times out of 10, scans and crops the negatives and does a very decent job. The problem comes with the other 3 out of 10, which I had to take several times to try to get the best shot. Then I loaded them into the computer (and PSE), thinking PSE would facilitate choosing the best and discarding the rest. Probably would have been better not to have imported into PSE until I had done the weeding myself. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Ah, how I wish that were so. Since the introduction of digital cameras and phones, that is indeed the case. But my goal is to go WAY back and organize any old family photos I can find. I came across negatives of a size I had never seen before. Getting them properly scanned was going to cost $300 or more (and had I gone that route, there would not have been any duplicates). Instead, I found an app which, 7 times out of 10, scans and crops the negatives and does a very decent job. The problem comes with the other 3 out of 10, which I had to take several times to try to get the best shot. Then I loaded them into the computer (and PSE), thinking PSE would facilitate choosing the best and discarding the rest. Probably would have been better not to have imported into PSE until I had done the weeding myself. 


By @Edison157F

 

Managing old B&W family scans is something I have done myself. Yes, I think that managing duplicate management before importing in PSE is also a valid option. In my case, it was a worse challenge: I got a number of scans from many other relatives and I had numerous scanning sessions at different times. Most of the time, the filenames did not help. So, having to search visual duplicates in the same folder was rare.

 

...thinking PSE would facilitate choosing the best and discarding the rest.

 

The wrong asumption here is that you can't achieve this result automatically in two of the workflow stages.

1 - the important stage before the final deletion is defining which file to keep in a group of duplicates. Only you can decide and there are many criteria for that: resolution, quality, richness of tags, captions, original date_taken estimate, ratings... Even if you have a sophisticated duplicate finder, the best you can do is to define preferences for that choice. I would not really trust the result to really delete files.

2 - Instead of deleting, I am positive that grouping your found duplicates by stacks is the only solution for me. My goal is not to have a 'tidy' library without duplicates, it's to work in the organizer by hiding the unwanted files. Disk space is not a concern. PSE can (and did) provide a useful way to suggest duplicates helped by a preselection of duplicate candidates working on tags or subfolders. Once grouped into stacks and marked with tags as explained by John R Ellis, I have already my catalog showing a clean view without the hidden duplicates under the top of stack. There is no hurry to jump to the last phases: selecting the top of file and checking its tags, date etc, followed by flattening the stack. I can do that just for files I have to print or to edit for a project.

 

I think that like me, you should be much happier with stacks, which can be suggested by PSE and show a clean catalog view, than with deleted duplicates (clean folder trees). No hurry to reach the final stage, better to take care of chosing the best item. And to get that result, you may prepare your work by tagging and/or organizing your scans in subfolders. With such a good start, you can already begin the process of creating stacks when you have time, by small batches. Flattening files will be the final bonus.

 

 

 

 

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Explorer ,
Jul 17, 2021 Jul 17, 2021

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Michael, Greg,

A question about a secondary problem related to duplicates.

Let's say I get stacks of images that are visually similar.  And I weed out those which I don't want to consider dupicates.  Then I pick the best image to be on top.  Now assume that at least some of the files had been tagged independently before they were found as duplicates.  (I can provide a scenario if that would be useful, but it is not hard to imagine). 

1. Is there a way to have Organizer 'collapse' all the tags in the entire stack onto one of the images (presumably the one on top)?  It would be really nice not to have to do that manually all over again.

2. Is there a way to copy a set of tags from one photo to another? (such as by dragging the various tag icons from one photo to another?  I've tried this thinking, "Wouldn't that be great", but alas, no).

Thanks,

  -ceej

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