6 Replies Latest reply on Feb 23, 2011 10:19 AM by LanR

    How best to insert thousands of photos



      How best to insert thousands of photos


      My present database project has 3 container fields on what will be around 9,000 records. Most records will have an image for all three containers, some only 1 or 2. I'm storing only a link to the images.

      I've searched this forum and read the suggestions on inserting photos, and read the Adobe Help, but really don't see an efficient way to do this. I fail to understand how the method using a script and url/data path works. That is either for one image or I'm failing to understand its use in inserting many images in many records.

      Insert Picture takes too long especially because each time it is neccessary to scroll down the directory window to get to the next image in the list because it always reopens the picture directory window at the start. 

      I thought of importing the main image and automatically create the record, which would make 1/3 of the process automatic. This would be a big help, I could remove the secondary photos, insert the main photos, then put the secondary photos back in the folder and use Insert Picture to get them.

      With only a link to the photo, it is of course necessary to re-link the photos if they are moved, unlike in Adobe InDesign where when you show it where one of the moved images is located, it finds and relinks with the remainder in that same new folder location. Is there a re-link method I haven't found yet in FMP?

      Thank you for suggestions and help.


        • 1. Re: How best to insert thousands of photos

          Have you checked out Import Records | Folder?

          That's an option for importing large numbers of photos into your database in a single operation. Since you can also import the file name into a separate field at the same time, you may be able to figure out a way to use that filename to link up the imported images with existing records in another table in your database.

          It is possible to create a script that uses the file path of an inserted by reference file to update the filepath's of other container fields that should point to other files in the same folder. It's not a trivial thing to set and and it gets more complicated if you have both mac and windows users, but it can be done. Thus, you could update one picture's reference by using Insert Picture and then you could click a button to run such a script to update the container fields that point to other pictures in the same location--provided the file names have not been changed.

          There are also file plug ins you can purchase for your database that may give you more direct ways to control the location and names of your files and their enclosing folders.

          • 2. Re: How best to insert thousands of photos

            Thank you Phil,

            Import Records - Folder is what I meant in my fourth paragraph. It is useful and will cut the time down by about 1/3, but I don't see how to use it for all the photos for each record. The photos are in folders by alphabet, but in each folder are all the photos with the name that starts with the given letter. It's not simple, for with each name, there are from one to at least 16 separate "primary images" and each one of them needs its own record. Then accompanying it are one or two secondary images and all of them start with the same name with other words or numbers to designate the specific picture.

            What I did, was by hand pull out all the secondary images and put them in a separate folder. Impart the folder with the main images putting the name and picture in the proper field. This is a big savings in that it creates the record and I don't have to type in the name and it inserts the main photo. I don't see anyway then to insert automatically the correct secondary one or two photos with each reach. I thought of switching my design some and put the secondary photos in related tables, except each photo image has nothing associated with it to index it to the correct main record. The name won't work, each one has extra words or numbers than just the name. Adding a special number would be about as much work as inserting by hand.


            • 3. Re: How best to insert thousands of photos

              The name won't work, each one has extra words or numbers than just the name. Adding a special number would be about as much work as inserting by hand.

              Once you have the image imported, a text calculation might be able to extract just the name without the 'added words or numbers'. If so, then you still might be able to get this to work. Much depends on whether a consistent pattern was used to name these additional images.

              • 4. Re: How best to insert thousands of photos

                Thanks again Phil,

                However, I don't think there is any way a calculation will work because even though each photo has the name followed by a number (the name the same for a group of records and the number unique for each record), then characters unique for each picture, these are of particular information so that a certain one of the pictures needs to go in container 2 and a certain one in container three, but there is nothing about the unique characters in the name that is consistent to use to make the distinction automatically.

                There isn't some method to drag a picture into a container is there?


                • 5. Re: How best to insert thousands of photos

                  I can drag and drop files into Filemaker containers on my windows system, but then they are inserted as objects--not as pictures and thus don't display their contents in the field, just the file name.

                  You may want to investigate third party tools for this. SuperContainer is one such. I'm not fully familiar with all it's features but it might have what you are looking for here.

                  • 6. Re: How best to insert thousands of photos

                    I'll check into SuperContainer, and anything similar.

                    Other than that, looks like this is just one of those issues without an easy solution. It seems odd that as mature as FMP is, there is no simple method to fill a container.

                    Thanks for your help Phil.