{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Hans Fremuth October 21, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Great post, I personally think that the mix of a hierarchical storage plus tagging is the winner. I store my images in folders named by date (year, month) and sometimes event (if there are many pictures for a single event). Anything else goes into metadata fields (people, event, location, date etc.).


vlad October 27, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I agree Hans…many times people dismiss folders for exclusive use of tags and the other way around…some people use only folders. But both methods have strengths and weaknesses and if used together they can create a very useful and efficient organization structure for pictures.


lmunck April 3, 2016 at 1:27 pm

I use the exact same, but what software do you use for that. I have been using Picasa and Lightroom, but it seems there should be some software that could create such a folder-structure automatically based on EXIF data.


Vlad April 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Imunck…I do the folder naming manually. There is no software for that. You actually do not want to do this automatically because you would end up with very long folder names. I only use place and a short description based on two or three tags the most.

mahdi November 7, 2009 at 4:46 pm


i have a folder of pictures which every file has its own tags.

i am using Bridge CS4, how can i add a “2009” tag for example to all files so that their own tags will not be deleted ?

if you don’t know how to do in Bridge but know another program for doing so, just tell me.

Thanks for your help.
will appreciate it if you answer me via my email. (i am subscribed to this post’s comments also)


vlad November 7, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Mahdi…good question. I hope I understood the question rightly. Normally your software should not overwrite existing tags, but only add to them.

I don’t use Bridge CS4 but here is what I would try first:
I would try the simple approach first. Make a copy of the images you want to do this for so you don’t mess up the originals…you can copy only a few in another folder. Then, in Bridge CS4 select the images you copied in this new folder and apply the “2009” keyword to them. This should not erase the existing keywords, but rather add “2009” to the existing ones, unless there is some setting in Bridge that will force it to erase the existing keywords. I know you can do this in Adobe Lightroom. If the simple approach doesn’t work try this one.

Most other image viewers/managers will be using IPTC/IIM to save keywords to your files…this means they’re not using XMP like Bridge. So, you might not even see the existing tags that you have. So, you can try XnView or Picasa, they are free. I use Picasa to apply keywords to my images. With Picasa it’s pretty simple to add keywords, you select the pictures and hit the Tags button on the lower right corner and then add your tags. Again, you’ll be adding IPTC tags and not XMP. Then you can open the pictures in Bridge and see if you see the new tags, Bridge should be able to read both XMP and IPTC.

Also, try this link: http://www.photometadata.org/META-Tutorials-Adobe-Bridge

I hope this helps.


mahdi November 7, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Thanks vlad,
i must try Picasa for this purpose.
i myself just use the IPTC core field of bridge.

P.S: the subscription to comments via email is working !


mahdi November 7, 2009 at 7:02 pm

i tried the Picasa and it did great to add a tag to multi selection files.

but then Bridge is not showing the newly added keywords, though i see them in windows explorer’s file properties dialog box.

P.S: picasa 3.5 is just a piece of great software !


vlad November 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm

Mahdi…let me know how things are going. As I was explaining earlier, Bridge is using XMP while Picasa is using IPTC as far as I know. Bridge is supposed to be able to use the IPTC keywords though…so, I’m not sure why you don’t see them. Glad you like Picasa…it’s been getting much better lately.


mahdi November 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Nice to hear from you vlad.

the only thing which i don’t know in picasa is that whether i can change the other IPTC settings such as source, provider, city , location … . and if i can how i can ?
is it just user friendly as editing tags?


vlad November 11, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Unfortunately Picasa only supports IPTC keywords. This is a new feature in Picasa…since 3.4 I believe. I think they’ll be adding more support but for now you can only add keywords. XnView will allow you to edit pretty much all the IPTC fields…and it’s free as well.


Max September 5, 2015 at 8:33 am

Thought this might be the tip I was looking for but found a glaring problem with it. Itunes won’t allow you to select a subfolder specifically, only the parent. I pointed the sync entry to My Pictures on my pc and then scrolled thru the list to select folders I wanted. Discovered it only shows the primary folders under the root path and wont’ let you click into a folder to select just the subfolder under it. Weak. Very Weak Itunes.


Vlad September 5, 2015 at 4:13 pm

Max…not really sure what you were trying to accomplish, but iTunes will probably not work for your well organized photo library. Try something like Google Drive or Microsoft One Drive.


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