For a good many years I was using Photoshop Elements 8 on my Windows 7 computer. It seemed to do all I needed, but in July 2018 I updated and purchased PE 2018. I was able to import my catalogue(s) into 2018 and everything seemed to work. However, I preferred the way Version 8 Organizer worked and thus used that until my computer crashed in December 2019. I have a new Windows 10 computer.
I have reinstalled PE 2018. One of the very few things that I lost in the crash of my previous computer were the 2018 catalogues. But no problem, I have the Ver 8 catalogues. I imported them into 2018 again. But although all the thumbnails are there, the ancillary information (metadata, captions, notes, etc) are not. Nor is the information on location present. I can search, but it is only because I have a heirachical system for filing my photos that I can locate them.
At one stage I went through a lot of one catalogue (I have many thousands of photos, which I use for various purposes), and restablished the links to location. Next time I opened the program all my work on this had disappeared.
Any help appreciated. I had thought that the Organizer was the most useful feature of all. Now it is useless to me, unfortunately.
Ruth, we need some more details about your situation and how you got there. But here are a couple of observations.
You say that you lost your 2018 catalog on your old machine but still have the version 8 catalogs. Do you have any explanation of how that happened? Were they stored on different drives? Are you sure the old 2018 catalog was lost? This may not matter but it may be helpful to know more about what happened.
But no problem, I have the Ver 8 catalogues. I imported them into 2018 again. But although all the thumbnails are there, the ancillary information (metadata, captions, notes, etc) are not. Nor is the information on location present. I can search, but it is only because I have a heirachical system for filing my photos that I can locate them.
Please explain how you imported your version 8 catalogue that was originally on your old machine to version 2018 on your new machine? Did you do a backup and restore, using the Organizer? Or did you copy the catalog folder from the old machine to the new one and open the catalog using the Catalog Mananger? Or did you Convert the catalog using the Catalog Manager? Or did you simply Import from Files and Folders or via Bulk Import all the photos that you copied to your new machine. Are you sure you were working with the correct version 8 catalogue instead of the old version 2018 catalogue which probably did not have all of the tag information that you entered while still working on your version 8 Organizer.
Yes, I imported the catalogue using the Catalogue manager. I actually have developed several Catalogues as the system allows as I have family and private photographs as well as the horticultural ones that are my main interest. The 2018 catalogue was lost from the old machine because it was indeed on a different drive - the drive that actually died. I never bothered, I am afraid, to move it to the location of all my photos and my other catalogues so they would be regularly backed up. The reason - well, I wasn't using that version. Easy to be wise now.
I am having more success in reconnecting the files now. I was dissapointed the first time I did this to find that the result just disappeared. I seem to be on the way now. Thank you for your help.
There is no mystery in the way catalogs are working. Basically, it's just like a paper catalog or the equivalent managed in Word, Excel or similar.
The best comparison is the catalog for a paintings museum. It's a booklet containing all the information about each paining:
- where it is situated in the museum
- all the needed information about the painting: author, date, subject, canvas size...
- a small image of the painting for visual search
- many alphabetical indexes to find by painter, subjects etc.
A catalog like in the organizer or in Lightroom is similar:
- links to where media files are stored in your drives (drive and path)
- exif data written by your camera: date_taken, shutter speed, apeerture, GPS, ISO etc.
- your own organization input like tags, captions, albums, notes, stacks, version sets
- Small thumbnails for visual search
1 - a catalog only contains links, no image file
2 - If you have different catalogs (made by another person or created at different times or for different needs) they completely ignore what is done in other ones. However there are tools to 'convert' old catalogs.
3 - Some of the information in catalogs like tags, captions, ratings can be 'written' to the metadataheader of the file themselves. That's not automatic, you have to do it yourself. A huge part of the organization, the way images are grouped into albums, stacks, version sets or projects, can't be written to files.
This means that to keep all the information in a catalog when restoring after a crash or migrating to a new computer, you NEVER import again the files in a new catalog. You CONVERT the old catalog or you use the BACKUP and RESTORE from the organizer.
About storing files in hierarchical folder structures:
That's a very limited way of organizing. You rely heavily on your memory. You can't use two types of hierarchies at the same time (date vs events or people). You are inclined to create a lot of duplicates. Other readers won't understand your own logic. Do you believe any warehouse management system implies storing the palettes alphabetacally? No they are stored automatically in empty spaces and managed by a management system like a catalog.
This also means that if you want to use catalogs and take advantage of their strengths, you'll have to prefer the logical organization with tags, albums, stacks, version sets rather than the physical storing organization.
You can completely reorganize your media files library without moving any file in your drive. You don't need to create duplicates for different purposes. Most of the time, you don't need to create multiple catalogs, a single one is much more efficient. You can use many types of searches, including the advanced search which works similar to a Google search, combining keywords, captions or parts of captions, people and places.
Don't work against your catalog (it's your own personal organization). Don't use multiple catalogs. Don't re-import, losing the best of your organization. Work with your catalog using conversion or backup and restore.
Thank you so much for that thorough set of information re catalogues. I must admit that the search facility and the tags are my lifeline in many cases.
The other catalogues I maintain are for other purposes.
In my case the heirarchical folder system I use does not involve duplication. It is for flowers only and, naturally, one flower does only belong in one genus. Works OK. But the wonderful notes and captions that can be added in the catalogue are so useful.
I seem to be having some luck getting the catalogue together now. I think perhaps some problems occurred when the new drives were installed. No idea as I know nothing about hardware.
Once again, thank you for your advice.