Author Topic: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet  (Read 8771 times)

Offline drjay32

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Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« on: November 14, 2009, 06:20:29 AM »
Maybe I'm missing something, but navigation through nested folders would seem easier to me if there were folder icons in the contact sheet view.

-Jason
Jason P. Odell
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www.luminescentphoto.com

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 12:20:31 PM »
Jason,

What do you mean by this? Where should this icon be, and what should it show? Do you mean e.g. the full path upon hovering your mouse over it, or am I misunderstanding you completely?

Cheers,
    Hayo
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline drjay32

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2009, 05:00:23 PM »
Hayo-
I mean there should be a folder icon in the contact sheet window just like in the finder.  If I have a folder, the subdirectories are only accessible via the navigator window, not the contact sheet.  Even View NX shows folders in the preview window.

-Jason
Jason P. Odell
Photographer and author in Colorado, USA
www.luminescentphoto.com

Offline Ben Curtis

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 04:34:45 AM »
Agree that would be quite nice....

Offline Pavel

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2009, 08:43:33 AM »
I disagree.  I don't see how hard it is  to navigate via the split pane and each of these seemingly good ideas brings clutter.  I like PM because it is so fast and streamlined.  A thousand buttons and extraneous things will make it where it falls down by the weight of all these features.  Put in a gazilion non-essential features ... and we will need a library for new users in how to get by.  I think that would backfire. :)

Offline drjay32

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2010, 01:46:31 PM »
I store my folders in a nested hierarchy.  The list view gets incredibly long.  If I double-click on the root folder, the contact sheet view is empty.  I'd like the contact sheet to work just like a finder window and display sub-folders.

Most browsers do this.

-Jason
Jason P. Odell
Photographer and author in Colorado, USA
www.luminescentphoto.com

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2010, 03:13:50 AM »
I feel a bit stupid now; at first I really did not understand what Jason was after, but now I do and wholeheartedly agree that this is very useful.

I too have nested folders and it would make navigation a lot simpler if you could just choose a folder in the current contact sheet. If I may, I'd suggest an option (modifier key?) to open the folder in the same or another sheet. Hmm, it would be extremely nice when folders that are already open in the contact sheet have a visual identification to this fact.

Happy 2010!
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2010, 08:20:33 AM »
Hayo, Jason,

I feel a bit stupid now; at first I really did not understand what Jason was after, but now I do and wholeheartedly agree that this is very useful.

I too have nested folders and it would make navigation a lot simpler if you could just choose a folder in the current contact sheet. If I may, I'd suggest an option (modifier key?) to open the folder in the same or another sheet. Hmm, it would be extremely nice when folders that are already open in the contact sheet have a visual identification to this fact.

Happy 2010!

OK, I understand why people would want such things, but is this request just to be able to drill down through a hierarchy, or does there need to be a user interface to allow a 'browser history' so that one can go back up if one decides that their new folder isn't where they want to be?  Also, what happens when you've opened multiple folders into a single contact sheet tab?  Does it show all of the available sub-folders even though they may be on different hard drives?  What happens when you drill down and then want to go back 'up'?

Things can get complicated really fast.  Most other browsers and the Finder or Windows Explorer don't allow you to view files from multiple folders in one window like Photo Mechanic does.

-Kirk

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2010, 10:01:45 AM »
Hi Kirk,

Speaking only for myself, I would be happy if PM just showed the folder icons allowing you to double click them to have their folder content added to the current contact sheet.

Enhancements to this feature would be:
  • Preference option to show folder icons or not.
  • Visible marking of the folder icons that are already open in the current contact sheet (e.g., greying them out or something similar).
  • Option (modifier key?) to open folder not in current contact sheet but in new contact sheet.

I do not really see the need for any history or whatever, this would overcomplicate things I think.

Cheers,
    Hayo
Hayo Baan - Photography
Web: www.hayobaan.nl

Offline bazography

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2010, 12:58:42 AM »
A navigator is for navigating, and a contact sheet is for viewing images. This is completely logical and intuitive. In fact, putting folder icons in the same place as image thumbnails actually seems less logical.

One of the comments above said it should be "just like a finder window". Well, if you click to open a folder in the navigator it opens to reveal the subfolder, and if you open a sub-folder it reveals the next level of subfolders. Sounds exactly like a finder window to me: list view in OSX. There are 4 types of finder windows available in OSX alone, plus whatever is happening in the PC world these days, and everybody will have their personal preference. But creating multiple views so everyone can have their favourite is going way beyond the "lean and mean" philosophy we all know and love about Photo Mechanic.

Sorry, but I honestly can't imagine what would be gained by this idea, and as Kirk mentioned, it would just complicate things. I for one love it the way it is and would not want to see it changed.

Offline drjay32

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 08:00:28 PM »
Because how many times do you open a folder only to discover that it has no image files, only subfolders?  I don't need a browser history, just want to see subfolders in the contact sheet, just like Bridge and Nikon View NX.
Jason P. Odell
Photographer and author in Colorado, USA
www.luminescentphoto.com

Offline John Hawkinson

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 12:09:28 PM »
Hi guys. I'm relatively new to PM, and I posted some UI concerns over in another thread, PM's learning curve, and this was one of the items on my list.

I think the real reason that having sub-folders visible in the Contact Sheet is this: it is much too easy to end up opening a folder in a Contact Sheet and wishing you had opened a child folder, and not seeing an easy way to get there. The current behavior surprises and confuses new users ("Where are my files? Where are my folders?"). Experienced users can easily learn to work around it ("Don't do that!"), but for new users, the damage is already done ("PhotoMechanic is hard to use! I have to navigate its arcane system...").

Additionally, sometimes I know "The photos I want are in /Path/to/my/place" but I don't know if they are directly in place/ or in some subdirectory (subfolder) like place/red, place/blue, or even place/color/blue. PM's interface to folder browsing assumes I know in advance, but I don't. So it can be frustrating.

It might be instructive to look through the ways I could solve my problem using PM right now, and what this feature might add to the picture.
This is maybe a bit too Mac-centric, but I suspect there are parallel issues under Windows.
Our workflow involves a single machine where a bunch of photographers dump their photos. Let's say I put my photos in Desktop:Photographers:jhawk:2010.05.26.project, and so I want to navigate there in PM. Let's say there are 100 other photographers with folders in the Photographers folder, which has some implications for navigation (scrolling, etc.)

Case 1: File -> Open
I hit Cmd-O or File -> Open: the standard file dialog box opens.
I hit Cmd-shift-D to navigate to the Desktop.
I double-click on Photographers. (maybe I used a Finder shortcut to get there instead).
I have to find the 'jhawk' folder. Scrolling is bad.
  The list of folders here is long and annoying to page through.
So I type "jhawk<RET>".
  BAM!
  Oops, the jhawk folder opens in an empty contact-sheet, there's no easy way to recover. I'd love to see a list of folders and then just click on 2010.05.26.project, but I can't.
Instead I could have typed "jhawk<Cmd-DOWN>".
  But that's nonintuitive.
  Nobody remembers to type Cmd-DOWN in the standard file open dialog box.
  We're so used to either double-clicking (which works great when scrolling, but not when typing a folder name with the mouse), or hitting RET.
Alternatively, I could have typed Cmd-shift-G (Go To Folder) and then
  typed in "~/Desktop/Photographers/jhawk/2010.05.26.project"
  but absolutely nobody's going to do that!

Conclusion: Either I learn to remember Cmd-DOWN;
I am forced to use the mouse in uncomfortable ways;
I have to do a lot of typing;
or I should not use File -> Open.
Or the contact sheet could show me folders and then I'd be golden.

Case 2: File -> New Contact Sheet
I hit Cmd-N or File -> New or use an existing open contact sheet.
I go to either the Favorites pane or the Navigator pane.
My personal folder isn't in either,
  because there are 100 different people who might use the machine,
  and having 100 favorites would be unwieldy.
I double-click Photographers.
  Nothing seems to happen. Actually a tab appears showing there are no photos in Photographers,
  but since it is an empty tab it's not obvious what has happened.
  If I'm not used to PM, I'm confused and wonder what happened.
  If I saw folders in the Contact Sheet (CS), then it'd be obvious.
I click the triangle next to Photographers. It expands. Takes a moment to do so.
I scroll through the list of 100 photographers. This is mildly annoying because the window I'm working
  in is fairly small (narrow width pane on the left of the CS window), so it takes more time than
  it might.
  Also, there is a Fitts's Law (wikipedia, AskTog)
    component here. Fitts's Law says "The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target."
    Of course this applies to mouse motion. If the folder icons were large and in the big CS window, then it'd be faster
    and easier to click on them. (Also, the navigation pane is fairly unfamiliar. Most users don't have to navigate
    folder hierarchies that way, so they're not used to it. With practice, it becomes easier. Again, PM's interface
    favors the experienced user over the new one.
  Anyhow, I open the "jhawk" folder. Again, a delay while the triangle expands
  Perhaps I decide to use the keyboard. But then, when I finally land on the folder I want,
  Selecting "2010.05.26.project" and hitting <RET>, nothing happens. Nor Cmd-RET.
  I have to use the mouse and double-click.
 
Conclusion: Navigation interface works OK, but is unfamiliar and small, and thus less easy-to-use an efficient.
And there are still cases where I accidently open an empty Contact Sheet because I'm used to double-clicking
folders.

Case 3: Use the Finder
Yeah, I could navigate to the folder in the Finder, and then drag-and-drop it to PhotoMechanic.
That's OK as far as it goes, but it feels weird to do it. And if you're already in PM, having
to switch to the Finder just to open something feels...limiting.



OK, there we go. Maybe this helps to demonstrate why showing subfolders in a contact sheet would be useful. Basically it's because it's really easy to end up wishing they were there and it would make mouse-based navigation substantially faster and easier, and reduce the number of UI mis-steps.

Pavel asks about clutter. I think generally speaking if you have a lot of photos in a folder, you probably don't have many (or any!) subfolders. And if you have subfolders, you probably don't have images. So there's not much risk of clutter.

Offline manitou22

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 01:14:34 PM »
YES!  This is my most desired feature.  I want to have the option to see my folders on my contact sheet as well as in the navigator on the left.  I'm 100% with drjay32 on this one.

I'd also like the option to "save as" to two different folders with two different file types (for example one folder of low res jpegs and one of full-size tiffs). 

Cheers

Offline mbbphoto

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 02:04:38 PM »
I often hit command A to perform an action on (like label) or to copy a folder full of images.
If the folders show up I would need to deselect them (or not).
It could be a nice option.....
(BUT please don't be distracted from the catalog!)
Marc

Offline theim

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Re: Folder Icons in Contact Sheet
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2011, 05:26:49 PM »
Not meaning to hijack the thread, but I have a closely-related request.  I use both a Mac and PC and have PM running on both.  I really don't mind navigating via either Finder or Windows Explorer. then right-mouse clicking to open a selected image in PM.  I guess this is my way of agreeing with many of the posts in this thread, that while I like Navigator, I do agree it's sometimes cumbersome to drill down through a folder and its subfolders, never knowing the contents of the folders as I go.

I can certainly continue to make do with Mac Finder or Windows Explorer, but there is one important thing I'm missing.  Once I locate a folder of images I want to open (using Finder or Win Explorer) I select 'Browse With PhotoMechanic".  PM launches and displays the images (or just displays the images in a new contact sheet if already running).  Now if I want to move a few images to a different folder, open a contact sheet with images from a neighboring folder, etc.  I have to click away in Navigator to access the folder which is already open in the contact sheet I'm working on.  This takes a lot of clicking, especially if I'm not exactly certain where the folder resides.

I also frequently launch PM from Lightroom's grid view.  Same process - I right-click on an image and select 'Show in Finder', then open the image in PM from there.  In this case, I may have even less of an idea of the exact folder path.  But even if I did, there's still a lot of clicking just to get Navigator to the folder already open and active as a contact sheet.

So my request is to somehow give users a way of activating (and displaying) the folder for any image open in a contact sheet.  If possible, make it one of the right-click options.  Call it something like 'Show in Navigator'.
If that could be done, I'd be willing to forego the addition of folder icons in a contact sheet (leaving contact sheets for photos and Navigator panel for folders).  But i have nothing against going that route as well.

Thanks,
-Tom