Archiving images on CD or moving complete directory
structures onto a different PC, changing the directory structure
because of a change in the operating system used - these
seem to be natural and everyday actions performed regularly on
systems running ThumbsPlus to categorize and track images.
However there is no internal procedure available to move images
onto a CD while keeping track of the associated database information.
This is because neither ThumbsPlus is a CD writing software
nor is this operation transparently supported by any Windows platform.
Another - less complicated - way would require
you to have a packet CD writing software like DirectCD. With this
kind of software it is possible to use a CD writer as a regular
exchangeable media with read and write capabilities. This means
you can copy/move/delete files as if the CD-R or CD-RW in the
drive is a giant floppy disk. Until recently, reading such a CD
later required a special "UDF" driver to be installed on the client's
system - however the newer versions of this kind of software seem
to allow the user to finally modify the media and make it compatible
to standard CD-ROM drives and systems. CD-RW media might still
not be read without problems in older systems due to their different
kind of layer structure.
In a very few words, the thing to do is to steel
away the images without telling ThumbsPlus what you are
doing. This will result in orphans in the database structure which
then can be re-associated with the image file at its new location.
First you have to make certain that some program
options are set correctly for ThumbsPlus not to interfere
with this procedure. Showing the orphan thumbnails is not necessary
for this procedure, but it helps to illustrate the process on
this page and certainly helps you to keep track with your images.
In any case you must prevent ThumbsPlus from automatically
remove your orphans from the database, because for a short time
before the images on the CD or any other new location are re-associated
with their database entries, these entries will be orphans fromThumbsPlus'
point of view!
OK, we start from a database with a collection of
image files on a local hard disk. The images are associated to thumbnails
and database information like user fields, keywords and annotations
in a ThumbsPlus .td4 database file:
After having done necessary image operations like
rotating portrait-type digital camera images into the upright position,
removing color casts or creating downscale versions for different
purposes, you might want to permanently secure your images on a
CD-R and add them to your collection of image CDs. So you burn your
images onto a CD using any brand of CD writer software available.
(The image shows the German user interface of
WinOnCDTM, which is not in any
way related to ThumbsPlus, Cerious or the author)
When you are frequently writing subsequent sessions
onto a single multi-session CD, you should make sure to set the
ThumbsPlus options to ignore the CD-ROMs' serial numbers.
While it is easy to preserve the CD's name when writing subsequent
sessions, the serial number normally is changed by the writer software.
Setting the ThumbsPlus option to ignore the serial number
will force ThumbsPlus to identify offline CDs by their name
After having double checked that all images were
correctly written onto the CD-R it is time for you to delete the
image directory structure on your hard disk. This has to be done
from outside ThumbsPlus in order to conserve the database information
associated to the images originally contained in these directories.
The easiest way of course would be to use the Windows explorer.
Directory structure before deleting the
original image directories.
Directory structure after deleting the original
Back to ThumbsPlus you might need to refresh
the directory tree display in order to show the changes in its structure,
namely the deleted original directories and the inserted newly written
CD-R media. The images in the directories on the CD-R should still
appear as red crosses, indicating the lack of thumbnail and database
information. The preview window should correctly display the image
as it appears on the CD.
If you chose to display orphaned thumbnails, the
images still appear in the now deleted directories. The images should
show the (-) indicator marking an orphan as well as the directory
icons should appear in gray.
Now the final step is to reassociate the image files
on the CD with their database information and thumbnails still linked
to the old position on the hard disk. This is not more complicated
than simply dragging the gray folders in the directory tree to their
corresponding location on the CD. ThumbsPlus will then automatically
adapt the database links to the location of the image files on the
By the way it is not necessary that the directories on the CD and
the original directories on the hard disk share the same name. ThumbsPlus
only uses the images contained in these directories. Thus it is
possible to move the images of more than one original directory
into one directory of the CD or even the CD's root directory. However
you only have one shot per original directory!
Dragging the original directory entries in the
ThumbsPlus folder tree onto their new location re-associates
the orphaned database links with the new location of the images.
Finally the image on the CD and the database information,
keywords and thumbnail are reunited in the ThumbsPlus database.
Now the CD with all the images it contains is also listed under
"offline CDs" and as such its information is available for search
and thumbnail preview any time you want without it even being near
images on this page are © Uwe Zimmermann.
Cerious Software Inc. is free to use and modify its contents.
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