Saturday, February 23, 2008

ShoeString Genealogy

ShoeString Genealogy: "# Friday, 22-Feb-08, GENTREK presented
Arranging and Archiving Photos and Scans.

What are you going to do with all of those pictures and scans? Not the first twenty-five or fifty, but the first 200, and those that follow. They add up fast. You should master several tasks related to organizing your pictures. Don't fret, it isn't that difficult. Join us at 4 pm EST, or 9 pm British, in the AOL Genealogy Chatroom—UK."


It was the first day of census, and all through the land;
The pollster was ready ... a black book in hand.
He mounted his horse for a long dusty ride;
His book and some quills were tucked close by his side."

from my email which UKLeaderLeafy kindly sent to me:-

Arranging and Archiving Your Photos and Scans

COPYRIGHT By Dae Powell [
Presented by Jayne McCormick []
Let's discuss what you're going to do with all of those pictures and scans. Not the first twenty-five or fifty, but the first 200, and those that follow. They add up fast. You should master several tasks related to organizing your pictures. Don’t fret, it isn’t that difficult. The pictures you use most often should be the most readily available. Other pictures should be organized according to topic, date, or any other system that enables you to locate them with just a few clicks. Finally, those pictures that you no longer need immediate access to should be archived, grouped in a way that saves the disk space for more urgent files. They need to be set aside but still be available when you need them.
First, we'll discuss the need for a plan that states how to begin organizing your files, before so many are accumulated that the task becomes too daunting. Then, you'll learn about thumbnail systems for viewing all of your images quickly, no matter where they are located. You'll learn about programs such as
that store your files in as small a size as possible, ready to be retrieved later, when you need them. Finally, we'll talk about how to arrange your files for immediate accessibility.
Planning for Accessibility

The best way to organize your files is to think in terms of broad categories first, such as types of files or types of projects, and then get more specific as you create folders beneath those main categories. That way, at the top level of the system, you may see only two or three folders, while at lower levels, the images are stored in subfolders. Don't get too carried away creating deeper levels, however, because each level means more mouseclicks are required to locate an image. Unless you have many different types of images or projects that you need to organize, you'll find that one or two levels of subcategories are enough.
Planning for Growth
An important part of your plan is knowing how to expand it. If images do not fit into one of the categories, what criteria do you use to create a new one? Do you create new folders based on the date, type of image, project, or subjects being photographed? And how would the new category fit in with the others? Should you create a new category entirely or just a new subcategory beneath one of the main groups? However you decide to organize your images, use a branching system that will make sense later, when you have only a short time to retrieve an image.
Organizing and Accessing Your Images with Thumbnails
Let's address the need for quick identification of your files. If you have more than a handful of images in a folder, it's hard to locate a particular picture by its name only. Even if you try to name pictures in a way that jogs your memory ("Sam wins last fall's pumpkin carving contest"), you'll notice that the desktop doesn't display the entire name unless you are viewing your icons in Windows' Detail mode. Too many long filenames can be cumbersome. (To view more information about each file in a folder, select

To make locating images easy, you need to be able to see the pictures before opening them. This requires a thumbnail system, which enables you to view a "sheet" of small representations of your pictures, usually fifteen to twenty at a time. Rather than wait for you to open a picture, as soon as you access a folder with pictures in it, the thumbnail program displays all the pictures in.the folder, without even being prompted.
Using a Thumbnail System

Thumbnails are usually 1x1.5-inch representations of an image, a size that is big enough to be recognizable, yet small enough to fit a few rows of images on the screen, as in the example shown in Figure 15.2. As part of the setup process, thumbnail viewers ask you to assign a program for each image type. That way, you can double-click a thumbnail, and the image will open in the program you have already specified.
How Thumbnails Work
Thumbnail programs allow you to open an image by dragging a thumbnail onto an already-open program. That way, you can have
Paint Shop Pro open, for example, taking up perhaps half of your screen, while next to it, your thumbnail program can be displaying perhaps five or six rows of images. Drag a thumbnail onto the empty Paint Shop Pro screen (or onto the program's own icon on the taskbar), and the full image will open.

Still, the ability to look at all images in a folder is only half an answer. What happens if you need quick access to images that are not all in the same place? You may want to group images by project or date, and not necessarily by file location.

Most thumbnail programs provide several ways of grouping and retrieving images, regardless of where they are found on your hard drive. Here are two ways this is done:
...... Galleries-

Most thumbnail programs let you create galleries, collections of images that you select from any location you like. You simply name a gallery and then begin searching your hard drive for pictures to include in it. Populate your gallery by dragging the images onto the gallery screen with your mouse. You are not moving the images to a new location, however. You're merely telling the thumbnail program to create thumbnails. You can gather images into groups and save the Gallery under any name you wish, such as Death Certificates, Family Reunions, or the name of an ancestor. The thumbnails are grouped in this gallery, like Windows shortcuts. The images themselves are not moved.


Some thumbnail programs let you assign keywords to images. Later, you can retrieve any image by typing the keyword into a thumbnail search menu. You'll see thumbnails of any and all images associated with that keyword, no matter where they are located. These keywords enable you to group images according to any criteria that makes sense to you (for example, Birth Certificates, Berkeley Castle, or Grandpa Gene).
Cerious Software's ThumbsPlus
Cerious Software's
ThumbsPlus (available from is a sophisticated and easy-to-use thumbnail program that's been around for many years.
The left side of its screen shows an Explorer-like tree of all the folders on your computer. Click a folder, and the images found inside it will display in thumbnail form on the right. Just like Explorer, click a plus sign next to a folder, and subfolders are revealed. Click a subfolder to see the images inside.
ThumbsPlus lets you view all the images in subfolders. This is a nice benefit, because you can open and view many more images without having t6 "drill down" to that specific folder. To view the images in all folders beneath the one you are currently clicking, right-click the folder and select Show Child Folders
The right side of the screen shows thumbnails of the images in the selected folder. Click a thumbnail, and it opens in the picture's native application. Right-click the thumbnail, and you see a menu that enables you to cut or copy the picture to a new location, view all the full-sized pictures as a slideshow, or even rename or view the file's properties.
Editing Files Globally

The purpose of a thumbnail program is to let you manipulate the image as much as possible without necessarily opening the picture in an image editing program. You can perform tasks such as moving many pictures simultaneously, organizing pictures in galleries, changing the way the pictures are configured in their native application, and even viewing the file full-sized without opening another program to do so..

A thumbnail program recognizes the fact that many graphics-related chores are done globally, meaning that you want to do them to many pictures simultaneously. For example, if you decide to move all of your images that have to do with Ben and Eileen Dover’s family into one specific folder,
ThumbsPlus enables you to view multiple folders simultaneously and then select only the images of interest to you. Then, you can move all of those images related to Ben & Eileen into.a new folder.
Here are examples of tasks that can be done simultaneously. These are called "batched" tasks, and a good thumbnail program allows you to see the files you want to manipulate as a group, making many jobs much easier.
_ Changing the file formats of a group of files
_ Moving a group of files to a new location
_ Resizing a group of files
_ Deleting a group of files
_ Duplicating a group of files as a back-up
Moving Files with ThumbsPlus

To move multiple images to a new folder, even if they originate in different folders, do the following:
1. On the left side of the
ThumbsPlus screen, click a folder.
2. If the folder has subfolders beneath it, right-click that same folder and choose
Show Child Folders
3. Choose
Edit>Select All
4. Choose
Thumbnail>Make Selected. ThumbsPlus
will create thumbnails for all images in every folder at, and below, the level you clicked.
Drag the scroll bar located toward the center of the screen, so that the folder comes into view where you want to send all these images to. Do not click the folder
-just make sure you can see it.
6. While pressing the Ctrl button, click each thumbnail you want to move to a new location. Use the scroll bar to view all the available thumbnails. Keep clicking until all the pictures you want to move are selected.
7. While still depressing the Ctrl button, drag the thumbnails from the right side of the screen, across to the destination folder on the left. The images (not the thumbnails) will now be moved to that new location.
Creating a Gallery with ThumbsPlus

To create a gallery in
ThumbsPlus, do the following:
1. Click the Galleries icon on the Folders side of the screen (scroll down near the bottom to locate the icon). You'll be prompted to name your gallery.
2. An icon for the gallery you just created appears below the Galleries icon.
3. You can now drag any thumbnails you want to that gallery. Use the techniques previously described for viewing folders with images and then dragging them to the gallery.
4. Alternately, you can select all the images you want to display in a gallery and then right-click and choose Add to Gallery.
NOTE: When you add thumbnails to a Gallery, the pictures themselves remain in their location. You are merely creating a new thumbnail in that gallery. Thumbnails in a gallery make it easy to edit, view, print, and change the properties of any grouping of images you so desire. Remember that the images in a Gallery can be amassed from all over your system, even though they appear to be in one place.
Creating a Slideshow

You can run a slideshow of images in your gallery by clicking the Slide Show icon at the top of the screen. You can configure your show to let it run automatically, move to the next image when a key is pressed, or make each image fill the entire screen. To configure many
ThumbsPlus features, including the slideshow , select Options>Preferences.
Printing Thumbnails

You can print sheets of all the thumbnail images you like, either those found in a particular gallery or in a folder or group of folders. To do so, select
Image> Print Catalog. You can configure both how large the images should appear on each page (which limits how many can fit on a single piece of paper) and whether you want the filename and . path printed with your images. Printing thumbnail catalogs is a great way to avoid losing track of your scanned images.
Using Keywords with ThumbsPlus

When you assign a keyword to a thumbnail, you can retrieve that image no matter where it is located on your hard drive. Even if the picture is moved, you can still find it without a long, time-intensive search through folder after folder.
Keywords can help locate one single image or a group of like images. Here's how:
_ Assign a unique keyword to a thumbnail (Wedding Dress, for example), so that one very special picture will always be a click away, no matter where it is moved to.
_ Group similar images, making them all instantly accessible as a unit (such as Canrights, Powells, Kansas Pics. Please notice that a keyword need not be a single word.)
_ Assign multiple keywords to an image. For example, if a picture of Dorothy Canright also your Granpa Powell in it, you could assign the keywords Dorothy Canright and Granpa Powell. A search using the Dorothy Canright keyword would cause that image to display, as would a search using the keyword Granpa Powell.

If ThumbsPlus has generated a thumbnail of an image, you can assign a keyword to it regardless of where it is located on your hard drive. To assign a keyword to an image, do the following:
1. Right-click the thumbnail as it appears in the
ThumbsPlus catalog, and choose Assign Keyword>Other
2. Type a keyword for assignment.
3. Upon assigning a keyword, that image is now associated with it.
It's that simple. The image will be retrieved whenever you perform a database query with
. Also, that keyword you assigned will now appear in the Assign Keyword drop-down menu, along with all the other keywords, so that you can keep track of all existing keywords and assign those same words to other images.
Retrieving an Image via a Keyword

To locate an image or groups of images by keyword, do the following:
1. Select Find by Query from the Edit menu. The Find Files dialog box appears.
2. On the filename tab, restrict your search to the current folder, the entire
ThumbsPlus database, or the current tree, which includes the current folder and all of its subfolders. To make this choice, click the appropriate check box in the Restrict Search To data box.
3. On the Keyword tab, you'll notice two panels:
-One panel displays the Available Keywords, which are all the keywords that have been used anywhere in the
-The other panel displays the keywords that will be used in the current search. Assign keywords to this panel by clicking a word in the Available Keywords list and then clicking the right-facing arrow. The word assigned from the left side to the right side will now be used to search for images.
4. Add as many keywords to your search as you want, using the right facing arrow to assign them.
5. After you finish assigning keywords for searching, click OK.
6. After searching,
ThumbsPlus displays the images in a special folder accessed on the left side of the screen, called Found Files, identified by a binoculars. This folder's contents are displayed on the right, in the catalog area. These are all the files that match your keyword. You can now edit them and open them as you would any other ThumbsPlus
You've now learned how to organize, group, and retrieve images on your hard drive, but what about pictures stored on removable media, such as floppies, CD-ROMs, or Zip disks? That discussion is next.
Organizing Offline Images

ThumbsPlus keeps track of offline images as well. In this sense, "offline" means images stored on a CD-ROM, floppy, or Zip disk that is not currently in the drive. Seems like magic, huh? How can the program keep track of images that are not in their drive? By saving a thumbnail, and not the entire image. When ThumbsPlus searches a DVD, CD-ROM, Zip disk, floppy drive, or any type of external drive, it remembers the volume number of the media it searched. The thumbnails are saved. You can view them even after the drive is removed.

Now, for example, if you offload some of your scanned images onto a Zip disk, you can still use
to view1: thumbnails of those pictures even if the Zip disk is not currently in place. To view the actual image, though, you have to insert the Zip disk into the drive. This same principle applies to floppy disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and any other type of removable media.
This feature presents a great advantage to you. After you determine that you aren't going to use certain images for a while, you can offload them to alternative media, such as a recordable DVD, CD-ROM or Zip disk, yet still have access to the thumbnails. When suddenly need an offloaded image, you can locate its thumbnail, load the disk on which you saved it, and put it back in circulation. This certainly beats scratching your head thinking, "Where did I put that blasted photo?"
Compressing Image Files Using WinZip

When files are not in use, they can be made very small by using file compression, so that they take up only a tiny amount of hard drive space. As you know, images and sound files can get very large. If you have files that you know you won't be using any time soon, you can archive them. You can compress them to perhaps as little as one tenth of their current size.
This technology, employed in an application called
WinZip, can give you back huge chunks of disk space. Compressing files with WinZip takes between 10 seconds and five minutes, depending on the size of the file to be compressed. You can compress more than one file simultaneously. They can be decompressed, making them usable again, in a little less time than compression takes.
Using WinZip

The best use of
WinZip is to compress files that you may need in the future but don't want to offload entirely. Any type of file can be compressed with WinZip. Once decompressed, the file is unchanged. Program files, system files, data files, and graphics files can all be compressed freely. You can compress entire programs and then decompress them later. You can unzip a file or group of files onto another computer. Zipped files are totally independent of the computer you zipped them on. When using the WinZip program, there is no loss of graphic image data or quality loss whatsoever.
is downloadable as trialware from the Web ( The program installs in less than five minutes and, in a Windows 9x or NT system, integrates itself into file menus for easy use.
Zipping a File or Group of Files

After the program is installed, the
WinZip icon will appear on your desktop. You can zip multiple files simultaneously, including files found in subfolders of the current folder you have clicked. Note that you can zip entire folders and subfolders, not just individual files. Here's how to create a zipped archive and add files to it from many locations on your computer.
1. Double-click on the
icon, and an empty WinZip file interface appears.
2. Open My Computer, Windows Explorer, or any file folder on your computer, and drag a file to the empty
archive interface. You'll be prompted to name the zipped archive. This archive can contain many other files from any location on your hard drive. Your zipped archive will be saved in the default location, but the location can be changed by using the Browse menu to select a new one.
3. To add other files to your zipped archive, just drag them from any folder, and the file will appear in the archive.
You can also begin a zipped archive by selecting a single file and zipping it. The single file will constitute a zipped archive, although you can add other files to it if you wish.
1. Select one or more files to zip, as follows:
-To zip one file, right-click it.
-To zip multiple files, select all the files you want to compress, and then press Shift + Fl0.
2. From the shortcut menu that appears, select Add to Zip.
3. The Add menu appears. You can accept the default options or make adjustments. If you have selected folders and subfolders for zipping, or if you've selected files found in different folders and there may be duplicate files in your selection, place a check by both options in the Folders panel of the Add dialog box.
4. In the Add drop-down menu, select Add (and Replace) Files. If you want the files automatically erased after making zips of them, select Move Files. This option saves the zipped files and immediately erases the originals. The Add option leaves the original files intact.
5. After selecting any or all options, click the Add button.
compresses the file. A blue bar moves from left to right at the bottom of the screen, denoting zipping progress.
7. When the file is done zipping (compressing), you can close the Zip menu by clicking the X in the upper-right corner of the screen.
8. The zipped file now appears in the same folder where the original file was located. If you selected Add (and Replace) Files, then the originals are still where they were. If you selected Move Files, then the originals will be erased. Only the zipped files remain.
All files zipped from other folders will be found in this one big Zip file that you, just created. If you "group zipped" folders from several locations, you will not have lots of little zipped files in those other folders. Those files are now stored in this one large zipped file. If you placed a check by both options in the Folders panel, then when you unzip your files, they will all be returned to their original locations.

Unzipping Files

To restore a zipped file or files, right-click the Zip file and select the second Extract To option. This option restores the files to their original location. Selecting the first Extract To option lets you choose which folder to restore. This is helpful if your computer's configuration has changed and the folder that originally contained this file (or files) no longer exists. This option is also important if you are unzipping these files onto another computer.
We’ve mentioned 3 external products to help you organize your photo and image files.
Cerious Software's ThumbsPlus
is available from []
Paint Shop Pro
is available from []
is available from []



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Thank you for joining us this week.

and now you can see there is much more to AOL chatrooms than most people know


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