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Photos - How to name them

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#1 jimwest

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:12 AM

I'm new to Roots Magic. Wondering if there is a preferred method to identify attached photos.

Should just the name be used - last name first, or the number assigned by RM ? Just getting ready to begin and have hundreds of photos, so would like to do it right the first time.

I understand RM will probably work with either, but is there a best way for me ?

#2 R Steven

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 09:27 AM

For photos of people I just label them with the name and the birth year. I don't assign the RM number to them since RM keeps track of the connections for me once I link the photo to the person. When the image is a document like a census, I add a little more information to the title.

In the description of the photos I include additional information: source of photo, location, year taken, and anything else I know about it.

#3 Vyger

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:32 AM

I would just say bear in mind that RM currently uses the file name as one of it's sort options. Also having thousands of images I did run into trouble years ago with endless duplication and difficulty finding files, myself and two other researchers agreed on a file naming convention.

doe-john,1901-jan-12-(b) simple birth copy
doe-john,1901-jan-12-(d) same but death copy
doe-john,smith-maggie,1901-mar-31-dunnyvannen-ballymena-antrim-(cens) think you should have the idea now.

Just agree a format that suits you and stick to it, if all else fails and the image is not linked to RM I can easily find it in Windows.

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#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:11 PM

I'm really just adding onto and reinforcing other excellent ideas that have already been suggested.
  • Keep in mind that you are likely to have more than one image per person, so a person's name and birthdate is probably not sufficient to create a unique media file name.
  • Keep in mind that some of the image files will be photos, but that some if them will also probably be documents - birth certificates, death certificates, wills, tax records, census records, family bibles, and the like. Your media file names need to accomodate this variety.
  • Keep in mind that one media file (whether a photo or a document) may include more than one person.
  • The files are not really in RM but are in Windows instead (and this is a really good thing), so think more about how the media file names are organized in Windows than RM. If they are well organized and make sense and are easy to find in Windows, then that will carry over just fine into RM.
  • Keep in mind that RM defines a file uniquely by its file name without regard to its folder path, so don't have two media file names the same in Windows, even if they are in different folders in Windows.
  • Beg, borrow, and steal good ideas from other, but in the end be sure that what you use is something that you yourself are happy with and understand.
Jerry

#5 APerson

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:42 PM

I use the name of the document or item, followed by a colon and then the name of the person of family it belongs to. For example:

Gravestone: George Riegle

1850 U.S. Census: Joseph Steigerwalt Family


Hope that helps.

#6 KimMC

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:55 PM

For a vital cert I would use the year, month, day, country, state, type of record then the name. So for example a birth record could be 1890MAY12 USA MA B John Doe.
I use B for birth, BA for baptism, M for marriage and D for death, B for burial.
For census I use the year, country and persons name. So 1881 Canada Census John Doe.
For personal photos I just use the persons name and a number after it. So if I have 3 photos for John Doe the next photo would be John Doe 4.

I keep photos sorted into folders by family.

#7 TomH

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:17 AM

I use the name of the document or item, followed by a colon and then the name of the person of family it belongs to. For example:

Gravestone: George Riegle

1850 U.S. Census: Joseph Steigerwalt Family


Hope that helps.

Not in Windows. Colons are disallowed in file names. Do you mean Description or Caption in RM?

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#8 APerson

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:24 PM

Not in Windows. Colons are disallowed in file names. Do you mean Description or Caption in RM?


It works just fine in Windows. As the OP stated, "Wondering if there is a preferred method to identify attached photos" she was not referring to file names but the label attached to them in RM..

#9 TomH

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:11 PM

It works just fine in Windows. As the OP stated, "Wondering if there is a preferred method to identify attached photos" she was not referring to file names but the label attached to them in RM..

What "works fine in Windows"? Definitely not colons in file names. You inferred she was not referring to file names but the majority of respondents inferred otherwise, as did I, which is why I sought clarification of your message.

What do you mean by the "label attached to them in RM"? That's not a RM term - there are file names, Captions and Descriptions. Under the thumbnail, either the file name or the caption is displayed; nowhere in RM parlance is that called a "label". Even if it were, then its duality should be recognised.

Most of the respondents answered that they use a structured format. I would suggest that structuring is vital to file naming but optional for Captions. I use captions as creatively as I can for presentation in Scrapbooks, the new website, and, hopefully, in narrative reports, relying on the file name to convey to me the basic facts about the item for management. RM keeps track of where I have tagged the photo; the Sorted:filename view of the Media Gallery, whether by thumbnail or list, reflects the structure I have imposed on file paths and file names (which would be much improved with a directory style hierarchical listing); Windows Explorer best presents the structure. So I have no need to structure captions and would not have expected anyone else to, either.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
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#10 Alfred

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:00 PM

Nearly anything is better than the way I have my photo files names.
I named most of them back in the DOS days when we were limited to the eight point three character names.
Now I have forgotten what those names mean. I can usually figure them out by the person to whom they are linked.

Now, from experimenting just now I think you can use 243 characters before the dot in the filename.
That can be pretty descriptive, although there won't be room to show it all in a lot of places.
For instance, the filename of my signature photo is: "AL_Olds.JPG"
It could now be something like: " Alfred @4yrs by father's Olds at Eller Homstead.jpg"
BUT, it is a lot of work to change them all.
Alfred

#11 APerson

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

What "works fine in Windows"? Definitely not colons in file names. You inferred she was not referring to file names but the majority of respondents inferred otherwise, as did I, which is why I sought clarification of your message


She never asked about file naming conventions, she asked about how to label attached photos. Furthermore, I never mentioned naming files either and clarified that in my response. Too bad you didn't read the question.

#12 APerson

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:11 PM

Not in Windows. Colons are disallowed in file names. Do you mean Description or Caption in RM?


Too bad you didn't read what I very clearly stated, again,

". . . she was not referring to file names but the label attached to them in RM."

In other words, the caption. However, the OP also did not mention descriptions either and, as she was discussing photos and not documents, which would comprise the bulk of most documentary evidence, it's too bad you didn't ask the OP what he/she means.

#13 TomH

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:30 PM

Jim, setting aside the semantic debate (and my apology for carrying forward APerson's gender assumption if that is incorrect), do think about what you expect in the way of captions on the various outputs. For Scrapbooks, currently you can output Caption or Caption + Description. Problem is, there is very little space so long captions get truncated. Also, Scrapbooks are about a Person, a Family, a Place, ... and the name thereof can be included in the title of the Scrapbook. Thus it's redundant and wasteful of space to include the name in the caption. I would hope that the inclusion of non-primary photos in narratives will come in time with captions and that placement in the report will also effectively provide the name to which the photos relate. If not, it should be a trivial thing for the program to output the name + caption as the output caption.

For websites, I forget what the old Create HTML pages does with images but the new one does include captions that overwrite the image from the bottom, suggesting some constraint on the length of the caption. The website design may evolve quickly but currently, a Person's collection of personal and personal event photos can be outputted, maybe more - I haven't explored all of what it does.

I choose to output Caption only, thus allowing Description to be as long as I need. Still working out some concepts, such as storing the transcript of a census image in the metadata of the image in the image file as well as the RM Description. I had previously explored copying between RM and image metadata: Media Metadata, Read, Write, Compare ...

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#14 JPCarolus

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:33 PM

I use persons name, last name first, (if married, I hyphenate) followed by birth year-death year and then in parentheses, the document or photo name. That way, they are all grouped together by the person's name and with the dates, I can easily find the person in the sidebar of my RM to find the correct person to attach to. (EX: Keefe-Reardon, Nora 1908-1975 (death cert) for a document, or Keefe-Reardon, Nora 1908-1975 (gravestone) for a photo. Now, if I had her birth certificate, I would only use Reardon, Nora 1908-1975 (birth cert). Marriage certificate, I use couple's names, last name and first initial, and year of marriage. Ex; Keefe, J and Reardon, N 1928 (marriage cert) or Keefe, J and Reardon, N 1928 (wedding couple). This works well for me, and I think whoever else I would give the file too could also easily figure out what I am referring to.
Now that I read this, I suppose the hyphenating of the name for the married woman, with married name first then maiden name, could get confusing to others. It might be more meaningful to have the maiden name in parentheses. I will have to think about that.
(And I am referring to naming photo or document files for Windows.)

#15 TomH

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:33 PM

Nearly anything is better than the way I have my photo files names.
I named most of them back in the DOS days when we were limited to the eight point three character names.
Now I have forgotten what those names mean. I can usually figure them out by the person to whom they are linked.

Now, from experimenting just now I think you can use 243 characters before the dot in the filename.
That can be pretty descriptive, although there won't be room to show it all in a lot of places.
For instance, the filename of my signature photo is: "AL_Olds.JPG"
It could now be something like: " Alfred @4yrs by father's Olds at Eller Homstead.jpg"
BUT, it is a lot of work to change them all.

Alfred, if you have captioned your photos and would like to use the caption as the filename, I could come up with a way to change your database to the new filenames and provide you with a batch file to rename them or copy them to new filenames.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#16 Alfred

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

Thank you, but I don't think I need to do that, I haven't captioned many of them anyway.
I think I am the only one in my family that has any interest in this so I only play around with it to help those people online.

I do keep the media files in personal folders in a pedigree tree type of arrangement.

I thought everyone on this thread was talking about file names until APerson decided to add a colon.
I still think they were. Oh well, it isn't my first mistake.
Alfred

#17 Bill Peacock

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:29 AM

This is the system I use to come up with the file name for my photos. I have over 10,000 attached to my roots magic database.

first I have a folder for each of my family groups, one for my dad, one for each of my grandparents, one for my wife's dad, and one for each of her grandparents, etc.

I then take my lead from the D'Abovlle numbering system.
In my dads folder he would have the number 1.0 (also my mom, and there family photos)
there first child would have the # 1.1
there first child's # would be 1.1.1
Etc
after the # I put the persons name (the one they were using when the picture was taken), the date the picture was taken (I estimate the date if unknown) using the format YYYY-MM-DD, I then enter any other info I have for the photo.

It looks something like this

1.0 Dad Peacock 1905-05-12
1.0 Dad Peacock 1944 Abt
1.0 Dad Peacock Family 1935-10-12 Dad and Mom Wedding Day
1.0 Dad Peacock Family 1938-05-06 Son, daughter, son2, son3 at family reunion
1.0 Mom Eastwood 1910
1.0 Mom Peacock 1939
1.1 Son Peacock 1937-10-25
1.1 wife Brown 1944 abt
1.1.1 grandsoon1 1960
1.1.2 grandson2 1963
1.1.3 grandson3 1964-05-06
1.1.2 daughter Peacock 1940
1.1.2 daughter Jones family 1966 daughter, husband in new car
Etc

using this system the photos sort in family order and then by the date the picture was taken so it shows how they changed over the years.

its also easy to add the photos to RM as the information for the caption, description and date fields are in the file name.

Bill