24. About Organizing Items
18 Sort Items
27 Attach a Marker to an Item
34 Find Items with the Same Marker
38 Find Items with the Same Date
39 Find Items Within a Date Range
The Organizer provides many different ways to sort, display, and categorize the items in your catalog. For example, in 18 Sort Items, you learned how to change the view in the photo well so that items are sorted in the order in which you want them to appear, such as grouped by import batch. You can also use this method to sort and group items by file date or their location on a hard disk, CD-ROM, or DVD. The advantage of this method of organization is that you don't have to do anything to an item (other than import it) to have that item appear in the proper sort order within the catalog.
Although you can also use the technique explained in 18 Sort Items to arrange items by file date, you might prefer a method that actually limits the display so that only those items created on a particular day or within a particular range of dates appear in the photo well. One way to do this is to use Date View, as described in 38 Find Items with the Same Date. With Date View, you use a calendar format to quickly view all the images and other items created on a particular day (all items with the same file date). If you were looking for a photo taken at the state fair last year, you could display the month the fair was held, use the daily thumbnails to quickly locate the exact day you want, and then browse through the state fair images taken that day until you locate the one you want to use.
Items located in the same folder can be grouped together in the photo well.
The Date View limits the number of items displayed to a particular date.
In Date View, you can review the photos taken on any one particular day. When you want to see photos shot over a range of days, Photo Browser view includes a Timeline, which works almost like a slide rule. You could limit the display of media files in the photo well to, for example, images taken between June and October 2003 simply by dragging the end markers on the Timeline. You can also use the Timeline to quickly scroll to a particular set of media files without limiting the display of items at all. For example, you might click a bar on the Timeline at April 2004 to jump directly to the images taken on your birthday, plus any items you might have created that day. (As does the Date View, the Timeline looks for items with the same file date.) You'll learn more about using the Timeline in 39 Find Items Within a Date Range.
Use the Timeline to scroll within the catalog or to limit the display.
Although the Date View and the Timeline in Photo Browser view are useful tools, they depend on an item's file date being correct. As discussed in 23 Change Image Date and Time, an image's file date might be set to the date you scanned it in rather than the actual date the image was taken. So, relying on the Date View and Timeline to help you organize images and other items in the catalog is not enough. And searching for an image based on its filename (see 36 Find Items with Similar Filenames) might not help because digital images often use generic filenames such as DSC00203.TIF. The simplest and easiest method to organize your growing pile of images and other catalog items is to apply tags and collection markers, which just happen to be the subject of this chapter.
How Markers Work
With tags and collection markers, you can group similar items together quickly and easily. Tags are typically used to identify items with similar contentfor instance, the same people. Dad and Joan would make great candidates for tags. Collections are used to group together photos that might contain a variety of people or different types of subjects, but are important for their collective context or purposefor instance, the time in which they took place or a project you want to use them in. For example, you might create a collection called Reunion and use it to group the various images, movies, and audio files you're gathering for a family history CD, regardless of which particular family member is in each image, movie, or audio recording. (If you wanted to, you could use various family member tags to identify the content of each item in the Reunion collection.) Think of a tag as identifying the who or what of a photo, and a collection as identifying the where or why.
Another reason to create a collection is to group images you intend to use in a particular project, such as a photo quilt, scrapbook, or T-shirt with photos of each of the grandkids for Grandma and Granddad. In other words, you could create a T-Shirt collection marker and use it to mark all the images you intend to put on Granddad's t-shirt, regardless of who's in the photo. Another thing that sets collection markers apart from tags is your ability to display the items in a collection in any order, regardless of their file dates, folder locations, or import batch. In other words, after displaying the items in a collection, you can rearrange them in any order you choose by simply dragging and dropping them onscreen. For example, you might place the T-Shirt collection images in the order in which you intend to place them on the t-shirt. Similarly, you could rearrange images in the Calendar collection by months, making it easier for you to assemble the calendar when you're done. The freedom to rearrange items in a collection is especially helpful if it happens to turn out that the best image for July is one taken at a picnic in August.
Items that share the same context or purpose can be quickly displayed on screen, in any order you choose, using collection markers.
Markers assigned to an item appear as small icons beneath an item's thumbnail in the catalog. To identify the tag or collection a particular image belongs to, hover the mouse pointer over that icon and a description appears. In Single Photo view, you'll see not only the marker icons, but the marker description as well.
Now, if you were to create a Joan tag and assign it to several images, you could quickly display just the images that contain Joan (maybe alone, maybe with other people) using the steps shown in 34 Find Items with the Same Marker. Being able to control the catalog display is one of the powerful results of using tags and collections to organize your catalog items.
Markers help you organize your images and display just those you want to work with.
Available tags are displayed on the Tags tab of the Organize Bin, located on the left side of the Organizer window. By default, tags consist of five main categories: Favorites, People, Events, Places, and Other. Under the People category, you'll find two subcategories waiting for youFamily and Friends. You can use these existing category (People) and subcategory tags (Family) to organize your media files by content, or you can create new subcategory tags and custom tags (such as Scott or Museum within an existing category or subcategory).
Collection markers are used to group items with the same purpose or context. The Organizer does not provide any default collection markers for you, so when you want to create a collection group, you'll have to create your own. For example, a Portfolio collection could be used to mark your best images, regardless of their content. Because the images are grouped in a collection, you could then arrange them in order from best-of-the-best to almost-the-best. Collection markers are displayed on the Collections tab of the Organize Bin.
When creating a new tag or collection marker, you can place it under any category or subcategoryfor example, you could create a tag marker for your son and place it in the People, Family subcategory. Because you start off without any collection markers, you can create categories as needed, or simply create a bunch of collection markers without categorizing them. For example, you could create a Scrapbook collection category and add collection markers under it for each child, such as Shakur and Samone. Then you could use the Scrapbook, Samone collection marker to group the best images of Samone through the years for a photo scrapbook you'll present to her on her 16th birthday.
Markers don't have to be specific (such as Places, Chicago); you can just as easily create a Places tag for Museums or Parks if you spend a lot of time in those kinds of places. Tags in the Events category can also be specific (Family Reunion 2004) or generic (Holidays). Just create tags and collection markers that relate in your own mind to a specific collection of media files. That way, you'll be able to later find any item or group of items by simply using the marker you created. As you can see, I created several tags for my catalogone for each member of my immediate family, organized under the Family category. I haven't added any specific friend markers; instead, if an image contains some of my friends, I simply mark it with the Friends subcategory tag.
I added several places we visit often to the Places category, such as amusement parks and the Monon Trail (a walking and riding trail that runs through my city). In the Event category, I've listed a few events that reoccur often in my life, such as Birthday Party, Picnic, Quilt Show, and Recital, although I'm sure I'll add more as I expand my collection. I found that I had a lot of holiday photos, so I created a Holiday subcategory under Events, with several custom tags (Christmas, Fourth of July, and so on). I've created a few collection markers as well: Calendar (which I use to group the images I've used in my annual calendars, so I don't reuse the same ones), Reunion (to group my growing collection of media files for an upcoming family reunion this year), Baby Album (to group images I'm collecting for a special photo album I'll present to my daughter on her 16th birthday), and Funny Moments (to group silly photos that make me smile).
You'll learn how to create categories, subcategories, and markers in 26 Create a Tag or Collection Marker. As I import images, I may invent new markers to help me organize the new files. As I work with the files in the catalog, I'll reorganize the markers as needed, eliminating those that just don't seem to work after all. One thing to keep in mind when creating markers: don't create a marker for every little thing. You should instead create several general markers, and then, by associating multiple markers with specific items, narrow down broad groups. For example, you might create a tag for your friend Juanita. If you also have a tag called Vacation, you could assign both the Juanita and Vacation tags to several images, and use them together to display photos of your friend and you on vacation together. You could also use the Vacation tag, however, to group photos of your family on vacation. By assigning the additional tag, Family, to those images, you could quickly display your family on vacation in Florida without wading through the additional photos of Juanita.
Changing the Organize Bin Display
To display the Organize Bin at any time, choose Window, Organize Bin from the menu or by clicking the Organize Bin button at the right-end of the Status bar. Then click either the Tags or Collections tab at the top of the bin to display those markers. If a tag or collection marker you want to use is out of view, use the scrollbar on the right side of the Organize Bin to scroll through the list. You can shorten the list by temporarily hiding particular categories. Just click the down arrow to the left of a category name to hide any subcategories and markers it contains. To expand a category and display its markers, click the right arrow to the left of the category name. You can quickly expand the entire listing by selecting either View, Expand All Tags or View, Expand All Collections from the menu. To collapse the listing and show only the main categories, select View, Collapse All Tags or View, Collapse All Collections. To make the Organize Bin wider (so that you can read a long marker name, perhaps), drag the bin's border to the left. To make the bin narrower so that the photo well is larger, drag the bin's border to the right.
Expand or collapse categories or groups to control the listing of markers.