I would like to be able to tag media with categories similarly as with most digital photo programs. To be able to create categorizes such as Census, Birth Certificate, Photo, etc, check box them, and then to be able to query and run reports based on those tags would be be very useful.
Posted 01 January 2019 - 02:26 PM
Other software offerings do provide the adding of categories to media files and perhaps this will come in Rootsmagic, I can tell you it has been wished for before.
However any such categories would only exist within the Rootsmagic Media Gallery and not elsewhere. What I started to do years ago was to append the file name with -(gedcom tag) where -(birt) would be a birth record and -(cens) would be a census record. Two advantages I find to this is; one I can search and filter records within Windows Explorer and two I can filter within the present Rootsmagic version Media Gallery by searching for (cens) etc.
“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” -Bill Gates
User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.5.8, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5 (in order of preference)
Posted 02 January 2019 - 08:17 AM
What I started to do years ago was to append the file name with -(gedcom tag) where -(birt) would be a birth record and -(cens) would be a census record. Two advantages I find to this is; one I can search and filter records within Windows Explorer and two I can filter within the present Rootsmagic version Media Gallery by searching for (cens) etc.
I think what you are talking about here is naming conventions for your media files. I have a naming convention that differs in some details from yours but which is almost identical in concept. For example, I might have doe_john_andrew_birth_index_jpg or doe_john_andrew_birth_certificate.jpg. I think most experienced RM users eventually come to use such a system. It's hard to see how you can really function otherwise.
My use of such a system is why I so dislike the way TreeShare manages media files that it brings in from ancestry where the files have meaningless names. It is therefore worth it to me to take the extra time to bring in media files from ancestry manually and to give them meaningful names.
I obviously also use Windows File Explorer to filter file lists and to find files. But even more than Windows File Explorer, I use a free disk manager called Agent Ransack to filter file lists and to find files. Agent Ransack is generally faster than Windows File Explorer, it supports Boolean logic and regular expressions if you choose to use then, and most importantly is supports one search criterion for the file name and a different search criterion for the content of the file. It also has excellent date filtering tools. Windows File Explorer used to have all these features. But through the years, Microsoft removed these features in order to make Windows File Explorer easier to use. As a result, for some purposes Windows File Explorer is so easy to use that it's almost useless.
Posted 02 January 2019 - 10:32 AM
Agent Ransack is generally faster than Windows File Explorer, it supports Boolean logic and regular expressions if you choose to use then, and most importantly is supports one search criterion for the file name and a different search criterion for the content of the file. It also has excellent date filtering tools. Windows File Explorer used to have all these features. But through the years, Microsoft removed these features in order to make Windows File Explorer easier to use. As a result, for some purposes Windows File Explorer is so easy to use that it's almost useless.
In defence of Windows File Explorer, here is a search criterion that is Boolean, looking for content match in a document-type file name having a different match for a file modified date within a range:
orilla OR james file:holden datemodified:01/01/2016 .. 28/12/2018 kind:=document
You can build that by any combination of typing into the search box or using the dropdown menu. It doesn't support REGEX.
I should add that this link about Advanced Query Syntax appears to be applicable even though it is for an obsolete product. I haven't found the equivalent for the current Windows Search.
Edited by TomH, 02 January 2019 - 10:48 AM.
Posted 02 January 2019 - 04:20 PM
In defence of Windows File Explorer,
Interesting. I learn something new every day. Windows Explorer seems to have much more capability than I had realized.
One difference about Windows Explorer is that it used to have different search boxes for different items, such as a box for file name and a box for contents and and a box for dates. It doesn't anymore. You have to use the Advanced Query Syntax instead, which is not as easy as filling in boxes but it's good to know the capability exists, and I didn't know that. But I still can't find the dropdown menu you reference. I'm probably overlooking something that is obvious. I'm on Windows 10, and the best I recall Windows Explorer began it's steep decline (or decline, as it seems to me) after Windows/XP.
There are additional differences. One is that Agent Ransack has a nice, tight display for search responses that looks like an Excel spreadsheet - very easy to look at. I find the Windows Explorer windows much harder to look at - much less information on the screen and with a much busier and hard to look at "look and feel". I suspect that reasonable people can disagree about such things, and I'm sure Microsoft had numerous human factors and ergonomic experts concluding that the current Windows look and feel is the best. I personally think it's pretty bad, but I recognize that I am a sample size of 1.
Another difference is that Windows Explorer refreshes automatically when files are created, deleted, or renamed and Agent Ransack does not. To refresh an Agent Ransack screen when its contents have changed, you have to rerun the query. On its face, this sound like a big win for Windows Explorer over Agent Ransack. And in some ways it is. But in practice, I find that Windows Explorer screens are sometimes all jumpy around because of the automatic refresh, and most of the time (but not all the time) I prefer the Agent Ransack approach.
Another difference is after Agent Ransack creates a list of files based on the filter you give it, there is a right click option to put the complete file path for a file onto the WIndows Clipboard. I find this invaluable, for example, when linking media files into RM, because the complete file string can be pasted into RM's File>Open dialog thereby completely avoiding any clicking and navigation from within RM to get to the desired file.
Another difference is that Agent Ransack can search just one folder or else a folder and all its subfolders. Can Windows Explorer do that? I don't know, and it always seems to do subfolders when I do a search. And absent the Advanced Query Syntax which I didn't know about, it always seems to search both file names and file contents for my search string, which is what seems to make it so slow.
I guess it's what you get used to, and Agent Ransack would probably seem strange and foreign if you are most comfortable with Windows Explorer. But when Microsoft removed all the various search boxes from Windows Explorer - the one for file names, the one for file contents, the one for date, etc. - I went looking for an alternative, found Agent Ransack, and have never looked back.
Posted 02 January 2019 - 04:51 PM
To each his own... Yes, MS loses people when it changed the UI ostensibly for the better. Have a look at this tutorial. The search box can be filled either by typing (fine for text but not for remembering all the filter tags) or by selecting things from the Search toolbar (which knows the tags, common ones at least).
And Copy Path can be added to the Context Menu so that it can be used anywhere you right-click on a file to get its properties and from the toolbar on the Home screen of Explorer..
Edited by TomH, 02 January 2019 - 04:53 PM.
Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:27 AM
,Since no two people think alike, to each their own way of doing things. I do not use File Explorer, for a neater and quicker way I have for many years used Power Desk now version 9 software for Disk Management. I have always used PowerDesk with dual screens to sync and also can view/look at the documents while in the software.
I use Agent Ransack also for searching and PowerDesk has a good search engine. Both software allow me to make a copy of my search list, so I can put it in Excel or Word to keep track/analysis what dups/files I have etc....
Also as Jerry and others say, set up your own naming convention for all files. Mine is a lot simpler than Jerry's,
my files are surname names by short version [3 or 4 alpha letters] of surname, with year for census/will/other type [since fed census is even year, state or other census are not] always even year or every 10 years], state [2 digit], county, [short verson], given name,type.
- example: Fair1860KYJohnAaron.jpg for Fairchild
- or Fair1825VAAugMosesWill.jpg
- or McS1858VAAugMosesLand.jpg for McSpadden
- or McS1999VAAugMosesemail.txt [year is for date email was written]
For many years, there has been recommended no spaces in names of files. I would recomend it also.
Good Luck, organizing your files, it will save you time.
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
Using FO and RM since FO2.0
Posted 03 January 2019 - 12:33 PM
This has been an interesting discussion from which I have learned some useful things looking into the negative comments about Windows File Explorer:
- Windows File Explorer is as powerful or even more so than it was before its GUI was radically redesigned.
- Its Advanced Query Syntax capability was/is only partially exposed by the GUI and is fully usable through the search box.
- Click on the Search box to open the Search ribbon of tools for GUI AQS. Clicking an item in the ribbon adds to the Search box.
- A Copy Path function can be added to Windows File Explorer accessible both via its toolbar>Home menu and by right-click > Properties on the filename|con|thumbnail
- Copy Path can copy the full path for a single file to the Windows Clipboard for pasting into RM's Add/Change Media dialogue and it can copy same for a set of selected files for pasting into a spreadsheet et al.
- File Explorer search depth can be restricted to a folder or can include all sub-folders.
- Agent Ransack is attractive to me for its support of Regular Expression (regex) search which supports the finding of more complex patterns than can File Explorer. That said, my need for regex in searches has been mainly for content search and replacement, sometimes across multiple files or a whole folder, not simply for filename searching and that need has been met by a couple of other products, e.g., NotePad++. Nonetheless, Ransack's 5-star reviews on C-NET and small footprint sold me on installing it.
- Power Desk by Avanquest has much poorer reviews (2.5 stars) and a large footprint so I'm not drawn to it.
Posted 03 January 2019 - 02:26 PM
I also found this discussion extremely useful. As often happens, I was inspired by a message from Tom to investigate further a subject about which I thought myself pretty knowledgeable, only to discover that there was much more to learn.
I discovered that Windows File Explorer is much more powerful than I realized, if less intuitive to use than you might hope. Even so, I found that it can be extremely slow on what otherwise is a pretty fast machine (16GB memory, four processor cores, etc.) Even on this "pretty fast" machine, I from time to time see slow downs caused by mysterious background Windows processes that cause excessive disk access. The problem was intermittent enough that I hadn't really pursued.
However, I knew that any time I simply started Windows File Explorer from Windows that this excessive disk access began. It didn't happen when I started Windows File Explorer from Agent Ransack. For example, if Agent Ransack finds a folder of interest, I can simply double click the folder in Agent Ransack and Windows File Explorer will open to that folder. Or if Agent Ransack finds a file of interest, in addition to opening the file from Agent Ransack I can instead open the file's containing folder which again will cause Windows File Explorer to open to that folder. Going from Agent Ransack to Windows File Explorer in this fashion does not cause excessive disk access to begin. It's only when I open Windows File Explorer from Windows that I see the excessive disk access and the slowdown of my computer.
A little investigating with the Windows Task Manager and with Google suggested that the problem was being caused by Windows indexing my hard disk, a process which is supposed to speed up subsequent use of Windows File Explorer. So I turned off Windows Indexing of my hard disk and Windows File Explorer is now fast again and these intermittent slow downs are no longer happening. There is a deep irony here because Windows indexing of my hard disk is supposed to speed the machine up, not slow it down.
I still prefer Agent Ransack to Windows File Explorer for many disk management activities. But Tom's research into Windows File Explorer makes it clear that not all of my criticism of Windows was warranted and the feature is much more useful than I thought. And I will use it more in the future than I have been doing. But there are still little peccadilloes. For example, if I start Windows File Explorer from Windows, it always goes first to an item called *Quick Access which used to be called Favorites. But the left panel is scrolled all the way down to the bottom of a long list so that you can't see the favorites without first scrolling all the way back to the top of the list. Surely Microsoft can do better than that. At the same time, there are numerous similar quirks in RM that have been there forever that can drive you crazy and which should be easy for the developers to fix. Oh, well.
I realize this thread had turned away from RM itself more to disk management. But I suspect that many RM users have more trouble with disk management issues that surround RM than they do with using RM itself - managing media files and RM databases and RM backup files, etc.. I don't know of a good way to make disk management easier, but more information about disk management can never hurt.
Posted 03 January 2019 - 03:17 PM
For file management during backups, I use a text-based program called ZtreeWin. Being text-based, it doesn't use a lot of graphic resources to display file information.
Most importantly, it makes incremental backups much more efficient. I can open side-by-side windows [F8] of a source and destination directory (which can be on separate drives - ie: internal and USB) then compare the two directories [Alt-C] to generate a list of unique/changed files, display that list [Ctrl-S], and then copy files & duplicate folders [Alt-C]. The file copy process is much shorter than a full copy via File Explorer, because it only addresses the unique/changed files - not the entire contents of the source directory.
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