Author Topic: Sorting into different folders by date  (Read 417 times)

Offline stevierose

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Sorting into different folders by date
« on: April 20, 2022, 07:07:24 PM »
Hello--I am in the process of learning PM6+. I have lots of image files in unorganized folders on my hard drives. I am creating a folder structure to import them into that has the year at top level, and then within each year another folder for each month (January, February) etc.. On import I plan to rename each file with the date and file number. I would like PM to then look at the date and sort them into the proper folders as I have described. After that all files dated 202201xx will go into the January 2022 file, etc.. How do I configure PM6 to do this? I think this is probably an easy answer, but I can't figure it out. Thanks for any help!

Offline Mick O (Camera Bits)

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Re: Sorting into different folders by date
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2022, 08:49:32 AM »
Hello.  You can use Variables in the Destination section of the Copy/Move dialog to do this.   

1. Select the images you want to move
2. Call up the Copy/Move Photos dialog  (macOS: Cmd-y / Windows: Ctrl-y)
3. In the Destination pane, specify a root folder and then you can have PM move photos into new folders based on variables {year4} and {monthname}.

In this example (see attached screenshot), I chose my root folder as "/users/micko/Pictures/Demo/CopyMoveDemo"  and then I added "{year4}/{monthname}"

Photo Mechanic copied the photos to a new folder structure [...]/CopyMoveDemo/2021/April. etc etc.

Some important things to keep in mind:

1. There is no "undo" on copy/move actions, so try it on a small number of files first to make sure you are getting the results you expect.
2. The dialog will Copy the files, unless you check the box for "Move (delete originals)"
3. If the folders do not already exist, Photo Mechanic will create them on the fly. This is good for speed because you don't need to muck about creating a whole folder structure first, but if you mess up your destination to something you don't expect or commit a typo, PM won't warn you, it will just create new folders. So, see #1
4. Variables will work the same way in the Ingest dialog, so if you are moving files around that way, you can still use the variables in those folder fields.
5. This depends on the files having correct capture time dates in their metadata. If you have images without correct dates, you might run into unexpected results. You can set new Capture Dates on files with the Adjust Capture Dates and Time tool under the Tools menu. 
 
 
More documentation on Copy/Move Photos:
https://docs.camerabits.com/support/solutions/articles/48000223598-copying-photos

More on Variables (There are different variables that will fill in "January" or "Jan" or "01"  depending on how you want it to end up.
https://docs.camerabits.com/support/solutions/articles/48000207639-introduction-to-photo-mechanic-variables

Adjust Capture Dates and Times:
https://docs.camerabits.com/support/solutions/articles/48001200335-adjust-capture-dates-and-times

Hopefully this points you in the right direction!


Mick
« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 09:07:11 AM by Mick O (Camera Bits) »
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Offline Mick O (Camera Bits)

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Re: Sorting into different folders by date
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2022, 09:03:21 AM »
One other tip that may help you: Once you get good at mastering the Copy/Move with Variables,  you can run a Copy/Move action on files from a large group of folders all at once.

For example. If I had a Pictures folder with all sorts of messy subfolders with unhelpful names, I could open up all the subfolders within Pictures into a single contact sheet (Right-click a folder in the Navigator (See attached), select all the images (macOS: Cmd-a / Win Ctrl-a) and then run the Copy/Move steps as above and have everything sorted in just a few minutes.  (Just be extra sure you have everything set up right with no typos)

Note that if you have tens of thousands of images in the Pictures folder, it might take some time to get them open in a single Contact Sheet and your system could get sluggish, but you'd only be doing it once so maybe that's ok? All depends on your system.

Mick

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Offline stevierose

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Re: Sorting into different folders by date
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2022, 10:06:13 AM »
Thanks so much! To be clear if I set up a master folder structure by Name and subfolders by month (see attached), and I set up my file names like this as an example: 20201221Rosenblum_(file number).tiff  these functions you have outlined will be able to move the files into the right year and month based on the file name? Or do I have to label the subfolders as "01, 02, 03" etc. instead of January, February, etc.? 

Offline ahoward

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Re: Sorting into different folders by date
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2022, 10:19:04 AM »
Thanks so much! To be clear if I set up a master folder structure by Name and subfolders by month (see attached), and I set up my file names like this as an example: 20201221Rosenblum_(file number).tiff  these functions you have outlined will be able to move the files into the right year and month based on the file name? Or do I have to label the subfolders as "01, 02, 03" etc. instead of January, February, etc.?

Not based on the filename, based on the metadata of the image.

With Mick's settings on the Copy/Move window: If an image has a capture date of May 19, 2018

The string of {year4}/{monthname}

will put the image inside a folder called May, which will be inside of a Folder called 2018, which will be inside the folder selected next to "This folder"

If year or month folder doesn't already exist, it will create it, if it does already exist, the matching one will be used.

Personally, I would recommend using:

{year4}/{month0} - {monthname} so that your month folders have a number to be sorted by, otherwise April will be the first month when you view the folders in alphabetical order.

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Sorting into different folders by date
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2022, 10:24:57 AM »
The process outlined by Mick will create the folder structure for you, moving the images into the appropriate folders, based on the metadata (Capture Date if available, or file creation time if available, or finally the modification time of the image).

-Kirk