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How to: Import files by Date Taken (or other EXIF metadata)?

PostPosted: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:03 pm
by Axel
FastPictureViewer Professional has a very powerful File Utilities plug-in (press F key) which is a rule-based batch file processor. Rules can be created to perform various kinds of operations on files, such as copy, move, delete or export for web, either on all files in the current image list, or on a subset matching a certain number of conditions.

To import files and copy them in "date" folders, such as "2010-07-31", simply do the following:

Start FastPictureViewer and open the folder containing the images, either a disk folder, or your USB card reader (or the camera itself if it connects in "mass storage" USB mode, i.e. appears like an external drive such as G:\ to the operating system).

  • Open the File Utilities Plug-In by pressing the F key.
  • Click the "New..." button (top-right part of the window) to create a new rule.
  • Leave the upper section alone and, in the middle section, select the "Copy it to the selected folder" action.
    (you should see "Accept any file then copy it to the specified folder" In the "Review rule" section of the window)
  • Click the word "specified" to open the action parameter's window.
  • Paste the following path in the "destination folder" field:
    Code: Select all
    (edit the beginning of the path (the C:\Pictures\Import part) to wherever you want to copy the files and click OK to close the window.
  • Give the rule a meaningful name, for example "Import by date taken", optionally give it a description then click OK to close the rule editor.
  • Make sure any other existing rule(s) are unchecked (the batch processor executes all checked rules in turn).
  • Click "Apply to all images" at the lower-left of the window, and finally click the "Apply Now" button.
The batch processor remembers all settings so your rule will be there intact the next time around: just press F, check that the rule is enabled (checked) and click Apply Now to quickly batch-import files and dispatch them to separate folders according to the EXIF date contained in the image’s metadata, all in 1 keystroke and 1 click.

Of course, for this to work, your camera must have written the date and time within the files (most cameras do). If you prefer to use the current date (i.e. the “import date”) instead of the EXIF date taken, simply (but carefully!) replace “DateTaken” by “Now” in the destination path. The plug-in will then use the current date instead.

The main thing to learn here is that you can use “macros” to create the destination path according to “variables” like the EXIF date or current date.

In fact there are dozens of macros that you can use, for example the file’s date, most of the EXIF information such as shutter speed or aperture and many more, so, as silly as it sounds, if would be very easy to create an “f8” folder and copy all images taken at f/8 in there: just use C:\Pictures\Import\f{FNumber} instead.

If you right-click within the “destination folder” field in the action parameter editor where you pasted the destination folder name, the program will display an additional option, “Insert substitution variable” in the standard edit-box context menu. This menu contains 4 sub-menus, namely Image Info, File Info, Counters and Miscellaneous, which contains all the available “variables” that you can use.example rename _ABC1234.jpg to ABC_1234.jpg or even more complex name surgery (try this with any batch renaming that you know of). In fact the sample regular expression in the “Miscellaneous” submenu does just that.

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