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Catalog - how do I start over from scratch?

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  • Catalog - how do I start over from scratch?

    I absolutely love ACDSee. I have gone through quite a few other photo management programs, and this one works like I think. My catalog was terribly messy and I'm in the process of cleaning it up. This means renaming tons of photos, moving photos from one folder to another and then another, and deleting tens of thousands of dupes. I'm almost done, with just a few thousand dupes and a few thousand more to rename, but now the ACDSee database is beyond repair. I've tried eliminating orphans with Tools/Database/OptimizeDatabase, but apparently my database is too far gone, because I still have about 20K orphans in the catalog, which messes up my catalog searches. Is there any way to wipe the slate clean and start over with a brand new catalog? Is it as simple as deleting all files in C:\Windows\Users\egan8\AppData\ACDSystems\Catalogs \260Home\Default (Windows10 machine; egan8 is the only user on the computer and 260Home is the newest folder under Catalogs) and then running Tools/Database/CatalogFiles in ACDSee? I don't care if it takes hours to rebuild.

  • #2

    It is not a good idea to burn bridges before you cross them . I would NOT delete the current database at this stage.

    The best way forward depends on whether you have embedded the ACDSee metadata in all your images. That is NOT done automatically by default, you have to specifically opt to do it. If you have been doing that on a regular basis, then it becomes a relatively simple task to create a brand new database, (File\Database\New) and have ACDSee read back the metadata from the images into the new database (Tools\Database\Catalog Files).

    If you haven't been embedding the metadata in your images, then your options are limited.
    (a) You could restore from a database backup IF you have a recent one. (Tools\Database\Restore Database). The downside of that is the backup will possibly contain the same problems as the current database.

    (b) You could just start a new database (File\Database\New), but if the metadata isn't embedded in the images, you would need to create and assign all your ACDSee keywords, categories, collections, captions, ratings etc again from scratch.

    (c) You could first go through the process of embedding the metadata in your images, and then create a new database and catalog the images into it. That would be my "Plan A".

    In Manage mode, go to the Tools menu and select Metadata\Embed ACDSee Metadata\Embed in all files.
    In the dialog that opens, make sure to tick both boxes in the Embed section, and at least the box for "Write sidecar files for formats that do not support embedded XMP.
    Whether you need to tick the other two boxes for Network drives and OneDrive will depend on your setup.

    Click image for larger version

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    The Embed ACDSee Metadata dialog will display the number of files that have Embed Metadata Pending status (that have metadata that is in the database but not embedded in the images). If this is a large number, it will take some time to process. If your collection is on external drives, make sure they are connected before you start the embed process. There is a caveat here. If you have at any stage used the Clear Embed Pending Icon function, then there is no longer any guarantee that the number shown is actually all of the files that need to be processed. If you know that you haven't been embedding the metadata on a regular basis, and the number shown in the dialog is significantly less than the number of images and videos shown in the Dashboard\Database Tab, then you may have to individually select each of the folders in your collection, do a Ctrl + A to select the images in the folder and then use Tools\Metadata\Embed ACDSee Metadata\Embed in Selected files.

    Once you have embedded all the metadata, start a new database (File\Database\New), then go to Tools\Database\Catalog Files.
    Add in all of the folders that contain your collection, and make sure to tick all three boxes in the "Import from Cataloged Files".

    Hope that helps.


    • #3
      Thank you, Greyfox! That was a very thorough answer. My photo files are all in good shape, it's only the catalog (database? I use those interchangeably) that's a little wonky, and the only visible problem is that there are orphans that can't be removed, but all metadata appears to be good. All keywords and ratings have been applied with Embed Metadata. What you described is very reassuring. As soon as I finish cleaning up the remaining dupes and rename all files and get them where I want them, I'll create a new database as suggested. All the photos have been backed up multiple times on hard drives and flash drives, so there's no risk of losing anything. Your comments are so helpful!


      • #4
        Followup: all the photos were cleaned up, metadata embedded, and database backed up. Then I created a new database and viola, everything looks perfect. Thanks again, Greyfox!