Author Topic: Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?  (Read 671 times)

Offline pm_newbie

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Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?
« on: October 14, 2020, 06:22:42 AM »
Five days ago, I downloaded and installed the trial version of Photo Mechanic Plus. Since then, I have tried to read the online documentation and play with the program. Yet, I am still puzzled by some of the features of the program. As a result, I have a few questions for which I would appreciate your input.

  • Should Contact Sheets be populated once opened? Every time I launch Photo Mechanic Plus, I am asked to select a folder to open as a contact sheet. When I do, I am left with an empty new tab. The new tab has the name of the folder that I had selected but it content is left blank. It is only when I select 'Open Folder and Subfolders replacing Contact Sheet' that my new tab get populated. Is this normal behavior?
  • Even though my contact sheet has been finally populated, when exiting and re-entering the program, its content if once again lost. Shouldn't the content have remained with the contact sheet or am I misunderstanding the purpose of a contact sheet?

Thanks for reading my post.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2020, 09:03:41 AM »
Five days ago, I downloaded and installed the trial version of Photo Mechanic Plus. Since then, I have tried to read the online documentation and play with the program. Yet, I am still puzzled by some of the features of the program. As a result, I have a few questions for which I would appreciate your input.

  • Should Contact Sheets be populated once opened? Every time I launch Photo Mechanic Plus, I am asked to select a folder to open as a contact sheet. When I do, I am left with an empty new tab. The new tab has the name of the folder that I had selected but it content is left blank. It is only when I select 'Open Folder and Subfolders replacing Contact Sheet' that my new tab get populated. Is this normal behavior?
  • Even though my contact sheet has been finally populated, when exiting and re-entering the program, its content if once again lost. Shouldn't the content have remained with the contact sheet or am I misunderstanding the purpose of a contact sheet?

Thanks for reading my post.

Take a look at the set of tools above the Contact Sheet tabs, particularly the right two controls.  They're filters.  If they are set to filter out color labels or stars, then you'll get fewer and possibly no images at all.  For instance if the Star Rating filter is set to not show only 5-star items and none of your images in the folder have 5-stars assigned to them then no images will appear.  The same goes for the Color Class filter, if it is set to show only 'Red' images and none of your images have been set to have a Red Color Class, then no images will appear.

There is also a popup menu to the left of the Star Rating filter that can also filter images by Tagged, Selected, etc.

I suspect that at some point in your use of Photo Mechanic Plus you used the filters and then set the state of that filter as default.  You can reset the filters to show everything and then make that the default (you do this by right-clicking on the filter and then choosing from the various options.)

HTH,

-Kirk

Offline pm_newbie

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Re: Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 07:20:38 AM »
Thanks Kirk for your suggestion regarding filters. I checked. They were not the culprit. It must be a misunderstanding of the program functionality on my part. Indeed, after trying to create populated contact sheets, I was finally able to get one populated. In order to do so, I had to select a folder containing images.

I have my images stored on my PC in a 'year' folder which holds 'dates' subfolders. If I select a 'year' folder, my contact sheet will be empty. If I select a 'date' subfolder, my contact sheet will be populated. Is this normal behavior?

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2020, 09:16:52 AM »
Thanks Kirk for your suggestion regarding filters. I checked. They were not the culprit. It must be a misunderstanding of the program functionality on my part. Indeed, after trying to create populated contact sheets, I was finally able to get one populated. In order to do so, I had to select a folder containing images.

I have my images stored on my PC in a 'year' folder which holds 'dates' subfolders. If I select a 'year' folder, my contact sheet will be empty. If I select a 'date' subfolder, my contact sheet will be populated. Is this normal behavior?

If a folder is opened non-recursively, then only the contents of that folder will be shown.  If you have a tree structure of folders that you want to view all of the images underneath then you'll have to open the folder and its sub-folders.  In the Favorites or Navigator, you can right-click on the top folder and choose one of the options to open the folder and its subfolders.  NOTE: If you open up the parent folder of your entire photo archive and it contains many thousands of images, Photo Mechanic will struggle.  If you want to browse your entire photo archive, you will have a much better experience if you use Photo Mechanic Plus and create a catalog of your images.  It can handle up to a million photos at once.

HTH,

-Kirk

Offline pm_newbie

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Re: Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2020, 07:41:56 AM »
Thanks for your very helpful answer.

In regards to catalogs, with the adding of catalogs to Photo Mechanic Plus, is there still a reason to use contact sheets?

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2020, 12:01:53 PM »
Thanks for your very helpful answer.

In regards to catalogs, with the adding of catalogs to Photo Mechanic Plus, is there still a reason to use contact sheets?

Every "thumbnail viewer" in Photo Mechanic is a Contact Sheet.  On Photo Mechanic 6 the Contact Sheets are usually folder-based.  On macOS another form of Contact Sheet is a Spotlight search.  On Photo Mechanic Plus, it offers those two types, plus search-based, browse-based, filter-based, and collection-based Contact Sheets.  It works better than it sounds.  ;)

Yes, you'll still want to use folder-based Contact Sheets whenever you want to browse a folder of images that aren't yet in your catalogs.  You may want to cull some of them before adding them to your catalog and using a folder-based Contact Sheet is great for that, prior to adding a selection of images or an entire folder to your catalog.

-Kirk

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Re: Why are my Contact Sheets empty at launch?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2020, 07:12:57 AM »
Thanks for a very helpful and thorough answer.