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I'm looking for a tool that makes it easy to view and browse batches of images and batch rename, index, organize into folders. I have a Epson SX600FW which can scan in 30 docs at a time to memory card or USB drive and afterwards I want to collate, organize, curate the results rather than leave the files named something like IMG0001, IMG0002 etc.

Considering a combination of:

Any better ideas?

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I also like and am a fan of Irfanview, it has a batch rename with clever replacing and inserting of image tags into the new filename, including EXIF tags and other camera-specific values.

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Didn't think of IrfanView, well it's a thought now! Thanks for the additional option, I will look further into it later with more time. Didn't know about this tagging feature in the EXIF, though my main need is for the file itself to have a meaningful name, e.g. Project - page 1 of 4.jpg, Project - page 2 of 4.jpg ... – therobyouknow Nov 5 '10 at 13:30

I have used two approaches

1) Write a perl script to rename, use Picasa to organise.

2) Stop worrying about filenames, use Picasa to organise into folders named by date

See also How do you manage your personal photos in Windows?


Here's why I thought Picasa might be useful.

  • Rename (documents scanned as) JPEG images : in Picasa, select a group of images and choose "Rename" from the "File menu". I havent used this, so I imagine it is less flexible than some other renaming tools.

  • Organise (documents scanned as) JPEG images : Picasa lets you attach tags to images, you can later select photos using these tags. The tag data is stored in the EXIF (I think) data in the JPEG file. You can also place images or groups of images into arbitrary folders. You can also create virtual folders (Picasa calls them albums) so that an image might appear in a "contracts" folder as well as a "Acme Inc" folder and a "Trunnion" folder.

  • View and Browse batches of images : If batches are placed in (say) a "recently scanned" folder, Picasa allows you to view and browse those images prior to reorganising them into other folders.

  • Batch rename : In Picasa select a group of images and press F2 (untried).

  • Index images : see tags above

  • Organise into folders : see above

  • Collate, Organise, Curate the results: see above for collating and organising. I am ignorant about curating - perhaps specialist software is needed.

  • Archival : you can export groups of images. I believe it can create CDs or DVDs optionally including viewer software (which doesn't stop you viewing folders of JPEGs using any other tool). Picasa does store some metatdata in picasa.ini files - but I think this is limited to image modifications (the original files is normally left unchanged). I believe the tag and some other metadata is stored in standard parts of the EXIF section in the JPEG image itself - so other applications can in principle retrieve it.

However I accept that Rob has more specialised needs.

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He's talking about documents, not photos. – Daniel Beck Nov 5 '10 at 10:56
@Daniel Beck, you are right, but he's talking about JPEG images of documents. Picasa can organise JPEG images, Picasa features like facial recognition may be of no use but the tagging and organising features might be useful. – RedGrittyBrick Nov 5 '10 at 11:17
I would strongly prefer the jpg file name to have a meaningful name. Organising by date is not useful for my case as the date will just be when the batches have been scanned in. I think date is more useful for photography where photos are taken on occasions, events etc, and over a long period of time. Picasa is very good at what it does but I would prefer something simpler using the filename and a folder structure - something which can be archived to optical disc e.g. DVD-ROM data disc. Something which is portable and which doesn't rely upon a particular application to read the metadata. – therobyouknow Nov 5 '10 at 11:24
@Rob I understand, Picasa is not the right tool for the job. The tools you listed seem pretty good, is there any specific reason you are looking for better ideas? – RedGrittyBrick Nov 5 '10 at 12:26
I use Picasa because it makes it so easy to rename the files. Same goes for folders, and moving images to other folders - a glorified thumbnail viewer. – invert Nov 5 '10 at 12:37

If these are scanned typed text documents, it would be a good idea to run them through OCR software, which will then make them into fully searchable PDF documents.

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I'd like to keep the original as a bitmap, not too fussed about making them searchable at the moment or using OCR. Some of the documents will be pictures or handwritten. – therobyouknow Nov 5 '10 at 13:31
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Answer is that I don't think that there is an overall tool that does all of the jobs, so I will stick to my suggestions by give a notable mention to picasa.

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