13 Replies Latest reply: Apr 28, 2012 2:32 PM by DiploStrat
hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1

i am about to set down to try and finalize an aperture database sort that involved a large amount of images coming from windows in a very disorganized manner. this has involved my importing my images (basically in bulk into one folder) and then manually sorting these by /moving/ them to an appropriately named folder.


this means that they are basically organized by folder by "keyword" - except that there is no keyword associated with the images yet. i have also taken a good deal of time to organize published ALBUMS in an organization that I need to retain. i am hoping to do two things at this point:


1. I would like to bulk rename important images so that they have a name that is associated with a project when this is information that i plan to use a lot moving forward. the advantage here is that when i need to export it to work on it or send it to someone it will be named something that makes sense instead of something that does not make sense. also, when a lot of different kinds of naming systems are in the same folder or album this makes things tricky for me to understand coherently.


2. I would like to finally organize this database "By Shoot" so that the images with Keywords can still be found as a group but so that when I look at images BY Date there is a kind of parent hierarchy of my images that starts at By Shoot/By Date.


i realize all of this is non-standard but i am wondering if someone can give me some steps that would help me do this, assuming that i do it deliberately and thoughtfully over the course of a weekend.


for instance, is it possible that I could (FOLDER BY FOLDER):

1. TAG the images in a FOLDER with a KEYWORD according to the FOLDER NAME

2. EXPORT these images to the DESKTOP.

3. DELETE the folder from Aperture.

4. RENAME the images using NAME MANGLER, and

5. RE - IMPORT the images



6. Finalize this "Export-Delete-Reimport" renaming, then

7. Go into Photos > List View > Sort By Date and MANUALLY move the images with a similar date to a NEW FOLDER with this DATE (and perhaps a SHOOT NAME)

8. Complete this process and then go into all the OLD FOLDERS, verify that there are no images remaining in these folders and then DELETE THESE OLD FOLDERS?


is it possible to find out from some of the more expert users as to whether this makes sense or if there are big alligators to watch out for in this process? i would very much like to complete this and begin to sort my data in a more rational way as it comes in.



MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 10.6.8 with 64 bit Win7 Parallels
Reply by Kirby Krieger on Apr 27, 2012 7:19 PM Helpful






All replies

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2

    I'll take a swing at this. First of all, read and understand this: http://photo.rwboyer.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Aperture3Organization.pdf


    You may find it helpful. Some further thoughts:


    -- Decide what your smallest element will be, a "Shoot" for example. Perhaps something like: 20120427 - Day at the Beach. Then Import the correct images, Project by Project. Aperture will happily rename your files as you import.


    -- You probably don't want Keywords to track Projects (or Folders). Better to use Keywords to populate Smart Albums which you use for cross cutting themes, e.g., family, animals, pets, cars, etc.


    -- Why would you go to all of the effort to Import/Export and then use another tool? Between rename on Import and Batch Change with Aperture itself, you should be able to do all you want very easily and with minimal effort.


    (Unless, of course, I have completely misunderstood what you want to do. And this is always possible.)


    Start small and relax - if you get something wrong, you can always rearrange it.


    Best wishes!



  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1

    hi kirby,


    would you give me the courtesy of allowing me to have an off forum conversation with you?


    I am finding your posts to my threads to be harassing and somewhat stalking in character and it is preventing me from getting work done and using the forum productively. i am not posting in this manner to your posts or threads (i.e. in a harassing and /very/ negative way) and I would like to ask you to ONLY post to my threads with FACTUAL information about Aperture.


    surely you understand the difference here?


    if you don't and you intend on posting in this manner i need to discuss this with you off list and will provide you with an email address.





  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6






  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1



    i have archived all of these solely negative posts that you have been harassing my threads with over the past year and a half and and if you do it again i am reporting you to the forum moderators.


    i do not have this problem on any other section of the boards and i have been invited by mac for special participation.


    if you cannot post in a factual and productive manner i do not want to hear it any more.


    this is harassment and I am requesting that it stop.



  • CalxOddity Level 3 Level 3


           Your characterisation of Kirby is incorrect and churlish.  I have followed and indeed participated in several of your convoluted threads and thought processes in an attempt to help you - and am fully aware of your track record.  If you wish to single out Kirby because you don't like his advice, be sure to also include all *your* posts in the complaint.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1

    Hi DS.


    Thank you very much for this. Also a big thanks to Robert for his manual. It is extremely helpful and very clear. I will be re-reading it here very shortly and I can see how it will be useful for items such as Stacks and more advanced topics that I have not been able to work with yet. Very helpful advice and /very/ practical.


    Can I please follow up with you on a couple of things? (As Robert notes) the Help Documentation can be a little unclear and in trying to finally sort this I am finding the need to get some further assistance.


    For instance, to just clear up a couple of items. I am actually not talking about IMPORTING any further images yet. Part of the issue that I am trying to resolve is actually to finalize the organization of images in the database that I transferred from windows but with an eye toward how future importing would be most efficient. Right now I need some help on this.


    Also, thanks for the mention of the BATCH CHANGE. This may help me greatly in re-thinking the need to export and then re-import images. Can I just confirm with you that Batch Change will rename the Masters? Ideally I need the Master to be renamed which I think is possible and would be a great help.




    What I am struggling with at the moment is trying to figure out how to finalize the organization of my Masters. I need to do this in order to /pivot/ this organization so that it will work for the future in terms of a base level of organization so that I can go ahead and IMPORT NEW IMAGES presumably by naming them with the upon IMPORT and putting them into a PROJECT BY SHOOT.


    But right now these images came in completely disorganized with not even really a /folder/ type organization (a term from Robert's Manual which I take to mean they are organized effectively your needs at the moment and is basically what happens when you are in windows and not using a database manager such as Aperture). And I had to spend time organizing the Masters in Aperture in Projects "by folder" (for lack of a better term). Meaning these are now organized into Folders such as Architecture, Sculpture, Book, Construction, Personal etc and then there are PROJECTS in each of these FOLDERS that relate to specific JOBS or specific TRIPS or specific SCULPTURES or BOOKS or various imagery related to a speciifc TOPIC or whatever. And from here I have been able to get some work done which involves creating slideshows and published albums.


    But this organization is only temporary and does not seem to make sense long term. Right now in terms of moving forward there is no clear way to incorporate NEW images into this organization unless I drag and drop /every/ Incoming Image into a new Project based upon it's "folder organization". I need to re-organize these in a sensible way - does that make sense?


    What I am trying to figure out is how to retain this "Folder organization" if I decide to re-organize my folders to sort IMAGES by SHOOT. Re-organizing the Images by Shoot seems like it would be easy enough and I can see how having images organized by shoot will be good for my OLD IMAGES and will allow my NEW IMAGES to come in organized in a similar manner.


    But without proposing suggestions myself - can I just ask you how you might imagine my doing this first part? For instance, I have attached Metadata to some of the online published Albums and the Keywords in here are going to be different for the Keywords I would use to populate SMART ALBUMS. Would you suggest simply tagging the IMAGES that are currently in the PROJECTS which are now sorted "by folder" (for instance "Construction Project #1" or "Sculpture #2" - so that I can RETAIN THIS ORGANIZATION - and then simply create a Smart Folder with these keywords IN PLACE OF the existing folder that needs to be deleted?


    Do you follow? For instance in this image in each folder I have 1 to 20  PROJECTS that contain images that were placed there dependent effecitvely upon a TOPIC ("Folder Organization") and I would like to re-organize this so that I still have the ability to call up this organization but so that the images in the final set of PROJECTS has been sorted (I will do this manually) into PROJECTS by SHOOT.


    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/15285654/Screen%20shot%202012-04-28%20at%2012.37.25%20PM .png


    Then moving forward I have to be able to manage /incoming/ images so that they follow some similar organization which I presume means I will be importing each imcoming image with an appropriate bulk name as Project by Shoot and then tagging each (?) incoming image with a Keyword so that it also shows up in the appropriate Smart Albums.


    THANKS for any help,



  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1

    I don't know what to tell you except that I have found your help to be very valuable in the past and would really welcome any of your help that you are able to offer in the future. This is not a very straightforward set of issues that I am attempting to resolve, I am doing it in relatively powerful software, and the documentation (and in some cases the UI) can be very confusing. If you read the documentation in the link provided he states all of this explicitly and the documentation he provides is incredibly useful in ways the software and the help is not.


    It is even possible that you don't quite yet understand how complicated the issues are that I am dealing with or perhaps you don't even realize, in reality, how efficiently I am dealing with them, isn't it?


    Why you feel compelled to characterize me as "churlish" or my posts as "convoluted" or characterize my attempt to resolve an issue with this other poster as "incorrect" seems to me to be very off topic for the forums. Why do you need to get involved? This seems to complicate things greatly. You are triangulating a problem that is complicated enough as it is.


    Can't you simply help the post with factual, productive information if you are willing - and then ask me kindly and straightforwardly if you need anything from me - and leave it at that?


    I mean, I assume you are not saying that I have not been exceedingly thankful for your help. And I have to assume you are not saying that I am not intelligent or not dealing with my practical needs on this section of the forum in a practical way. Right? I also have to assume you are not saying that I don't have a right to post as much as necessary in order to get this set of issues resolved.


    You are saying that you have a "personality conflict" with my postings? Seriously, if that is the case and you cannot deal with it in a way that you don't name call or you cannot deal with it to the extent that you cannot help with the practical issues involved why bother posting to the thread? This input is unwanted. The post is about my needing to RECONFIGURE MY APERTURE DATABASE. I mean, I /sincerely/ hope you can continue posting to my threads and posts productively - because you help has in part helped me to get the mess sorted to an extent that I can see the finish line - but if you can't i don't need the off topic input.


    If you stick to *FACTS* about Aperture this is a good way to know if you are going to be on target. And if any of that is offensive in any way let me know and we can clear it up off line preferably.



  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1

    let's see if i can summarize this down a little:


    i have images in aperture that have been imported and then sorted so that they are in a "Project by Topic" or "Project by Project" organization. they are not in a "Project by Shoot" organization since they all came from Windows folders and this organization of images by shoot never existed. 


    so /now/ they are sorted in Aperture in a rational way that basically involves each Project being created according to a specific "topic" or a specific "project". for instance a project could represent stages of construction on a particular home (which may span across years) but these Project could I suppose still in a sense be "by shoot" (since all of the images may be from one day of photography) or there might be Projects which contain images from hundreds of "shoots" that will be organized in this manner for a book or which may be organized in this manner as creative imagery for architecture projects of for sculpture projects. so /these/ Projects effectively have a single image from a day of photography or they have four or five images from a day of photography or they may also have twenty or thirty images from a single "shoot" in them.


    i am looking for confirmation that I am using a method to RETAIN this organization before moving all the images into new Projects which organize them "By Shoot"- and I need to do because then I will delete the /existing/ Projects (which won't have any images left in them) and possibly lose almost a year of effort in trying to get this data modestly organized.


    helpful suggestions and/or advice are really welcome!

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2



    Nothing that you want to do is very hard to do; in fact, it is all very easy. If I may, I would submit that part of your difficulty lies in taking too literally the terms:


    -- Project

    -- Folder

    -- Album

    -- Smart Album

    -- Master

    -- Version


    Forget the literal meaning of these terms outside of Aperture, all you care about it their very specific meaning within the context of Aperture. (For example, both iPhoto and Lightroom have similar oganizational elements, but call them different things.) Kirby and Sierra Dragon have published some good threads on this, but basically:


    -- A Project is the smallest container in the Aperture data base. It is the only place where an image physically exists. For best performance, Projects should not contain more than 10,000 images. I think of projects like rolls of film. Other logical metaphors might be all of the images you take on a day, a weekend, or a short trip. For a longer trip, you might use a project for each week, city, or country. Most of my Projects contain under 200 images. A Project isn't really an organizational element, merely a box.


    -- A Folder is really the basic organizational element. As I noted, I nest Folders by Country inside Continents.


    -- Albums are merely (data base) pointers back to images. They don't actually contain images, but, if you access an image inside an Album, you can Adjust it. So if my physical images are arranged by country, then I use Albums for themes, such as: Cars, People, etc. I do this by dragging the image from a Project to an Album. (It can then be "seen" in both places.)


    -- Smart Albums are simply a way to populate an Album by the use of Keywords. So, for example, I can go through my Library and Keyword every image that has a picture of a pretty girl with "Chick" and every image of a car with "Car." When I create the Smart Albums "Chix" and "Cars" and set the rules properly, they will be populated instantly. Aperture comes with several preset Smart Albums, including dates. So the conventional desire to group images by date is not really necessary as long as your camera dates your images.


    If you think about it for a moment, the whole point of Aperture is that you don't have to worry that much about the physical layout of your Library; you can change it at will and, by using Albums, view your images many different ways.


    -- Master images are simply the images that come out of your camera. They are written once and never moved or changed.


    -- Versions are what you actually "see" in Aperture. All of your edits, called Adjustments, are physically written in the Version files. So when you first Import an image into Aperture, you "see" the Master through an empty Version. When you crop, change exposure, etc., the image appears to change because you view it through the revised Version. Versions are tiny little text files, so one Master can spawn any number of Versions, for example, different crops, a B&W conversion, etc.


    Final note, file names for individual images are not usually that important; I never bother to rename files. I do rename the copies that I Export to send to someone, but, within Aperture itself, I don't bother.


    I would urge you to reread the materials and threads that you have been given and to set up a small, experimental Aperture Library first. All of this becomes clear when you actually do it for yourself. It is really much, much easier than what you were doing on a PC. And you don't have to get it all right the first time; it is easy to change things.


    Best wishes,



  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2

    Looking at the Library layout that you posted, I would offer this observation:


    "Published" might be a classic use for an Album. I don't know what you do for a living or hobby, but let us suppose that it has to do with construction or architecture.


    You take pictures of a building under construction. So the top folder might be something like "New City Library Building." Under that, you might have Folders like: Foundation, Walls, Roof, Systems, etc. Within each of those you might have Projects, Named something like: Site Visit Date, or Foundation Date, etc. If you looked at several systems on a given day, you might spread the images from your camera across several Projects.


    Now you use Albums to group images from this archive for specific purposes, like "Client Review Date" or "Submitted to Architectural Digest" or whatever. Those Albums would provide easy groupings as well as a record of what you had submitted. And, of course, it is very easy to then Export all of the images in an Album to actually print or send to someone.


    Nice thing about an Album is that when you no longer need it, deleting it does not have any effect on the original images.



  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1

    hi DS.


    thank you! can i please follow up with you here on some specifics? that link was really great. it really should be some kind of sticky for the forum. very, very helpful. hopefully someone else on the list will contribute if they can help as well.


    > "I think of projects like rolls of film. Other logical metaphors might be all of the images you take on a day, a weekend, or a short trip. For a longer trip, you might use a project for each week, city, or country. Most of my Projects contain under 200 images. A Project isn't really an organizational element, merely a box."


    OK. yes, the problem i am having right now is that my Projects are /not/ organized like this. my projects right now are organized - in a sense - as a /hybrid/ between Projects and Albums. my Projects basically have images sorted THEMATICALLY. i have images from 2007 and 2008 and 2009 and 2010 and 2011 in /one/ album because i needed to get "like with like" and moving them physically with 50 - 60,000 images was the easiest for me at that point.


    NOW, I want to imagine how to re-organize this partial effort into something more deliberate that will allow me to /also/ import future images as if they were rolls of film! So, what I am thinking is that I can add a KEYWORD to each image in a PROJECT and then physically move these images to a PROJECT where they are sorted like rolls of film (effectively manually moving them there by looking at the actual dates they were taken). THEN I would delete the old PROJECT and create a new SMART ALBUM that grabbed all images with that KEYWORD. This way I am imagining that I will have images sorted by roll (Projects) and I will have SMART ALBUMS that contain my THEMATIC SORTS.


    Does this make sense to you?


    > "You take pictures of a building under construction. So the top folder might be something like "New City Library Building." Under that, you might have Folders like: Foundation, Walls, Roof, Systems, etc. Within each of those you might have Projects, Named something like: Site Visit Date, or Foundation Date, etc. If you looked at several systems on a given day, you might spread the images from your camera across several Projects.


    Now you use Albums to group images from this archive for specific purposes, like "Client Review Date" or "Submitted to Architectural Digest" or whatever. Those Albums would provide easy groupings as well as a record of what you had submitted. And, of course, it is very easy to then Export all of the images in an Album to actually print or send to someone."


    OK. Yes. Again the link was really a great link. So, I am having a bit of a hard time with the following:


    Moving forward I am envisioning bringing my images into Aperture with each "shoot" or "roll" being a Project. And the problem I am having is that I sometimes may take one or two or five or ten or twenty images of "iconic items" (say in the morning if I am traveling) and then I may take 50 or 100 images of a building and when I get back from a trip i may have 25 "one shot" SINGLE images of an "iconic item" and these might individually get used for references for sculpture, or references for architecture, or images for a book, or images for a blog post, or maybe some are of family etc, etc.


    The issue for me at this point is that I NOW have Projects for each of these things (sculpture references, architecture references, book images, blog posts etc, etc) and /each/ of these is /currently/ a Project (created by just moving the one shot images or moving the 100 building images or whatever). And when I need an Album I just drag an image to an Album and I have what I need in the Albums very quickly. THERE ARE JUST TWO STEPS HERE. ONE SORT TO PROJECTS (move the masters) AND ONE SORT TO ALBUMS (versions).


    But these Projects are presumably about to become SMART ALBUMS based upon KEYWORDS that say "architecture references", "sculpture references", "book images", "blog posts" etcetera. And what I am trying to figure out is:


    #1 if the SMART ALBUM method is the best way to organize the OLD PROJECTS but /also/


    #2 if this re-organization will fit well with what I am describing here moving forward. I mean presumably moving forward I will NOW HAVE to ADD A KEYWORD for every image that I want to sort itself into a SMART ALBUM and this will be my macro organization and then at some point I will be creating ALBUMS from the data in the SMART ALBUMS?


    I MEAN - it seems like I am creating an extra step for myself by doing this. FIRST I have move the incoming project to an appropriate folder, then I have to add the Keyword to the images in the incoming Project (so they will organize themselves into an appropriate Smart Album) and then I have to drag the image from the Smart Album to a regular Album when I start to work on something. And right now I just Import the images as a bulk import and then physically move them to a Thematically Organized Project and move a version when i need it to an Album when I work on something.


    Does this sound correct to make this change in terms of existing organization or should I just keep things as they are perhaps??


    - Jon

  • DiploStrat Level 2 Level 2

    Dude, you're lucky I'm retired; I bill at about E 150 the hour!


    Seriously, you don't have a problem; Aperture can handle Libraries much larger than what you have, the kind of arrangement you want isn't really complex, and you don't have to do it all at once. (Just don't delete anything!) Your files were a mess yesterday, they will be a mess today, but tomorrow you will be making progress.


    Given our time zone, I'm off for an adult beverage. Your homework, should you choose to do it, is to lay out a map of the layout you would like to see, ideally in some format that can be posted. Then folks like Kirby, Allen, Léonie and I can take turns suggesting which Aperture elements might go where. (And Lónie can even do it auf Deutsche.)


    As they say in Sango, "Alla gue yeke, yeke!" (You go forward, bit by bit.) It took you a few years to make this mess, allow yourself a few weeks to clean it up.


    Will post more, later.