What is a catalog?

A catalog is a database of your photos and other media that can span multiple drives and folders. Catalogs can also contain offline media - images on hard drives or disks that are not currently mounted on your computer. 

Note: offline media cannot currently sync metadata changes. 

To see your catalogs switch from the Navigator to the Organizer. 

How to create a catalog

Photo Mechanic Plus comes with a default catalog ready to use. However, you can create new catalogs as well. 

Navigate to Catalog> Catalog Management...

Select New Catalog…

You’ll be prompted to name your new catalog and specify a location for storing it. Note: this will not physically move your photos. The catalog is a database with information about your photos. 

Note: the Add/Modify checkbox is what allows you to add, remove, and edit items within a catalog.  

Adding images to a catalog

There are multiple ways to add images to a catalog. This tutorial will explore a few of them.

Scan to Catalog

Scan to Catalog may be the easiest option as you get started with Photo Mechanic Plus. You can add large and nested groups of photos from folders on your hard drives. 

Go to Catalog> Scan to Catalog

In addition to including folders, you may want to exclude folders, and you may want to exclude some file extensions, for example, BMP files.

Once a scan starts, you can start browsing right away, but only indexed photos will be available in searches. The number of photos visible will automatically increase as the indexing completes. 

Note: You won’t be able to scan items to a catalog if the Add checkmark is not selected. The items will be added to all catalogs with the Add checkmark selected. 

Add to catalog from contact sheets

You can add items from any open contact sheet by selecting items and right-clicking or by using the menu Catalog>Include items in Catalog

Ingest to Catalog

Select the Auto Catalog option to add all ingested items to a catalog.

Removing images from a catalog

Remove images from catalogs by selecting the image, right-clicking and choosing Remove from Catalog or by navigating to Catalog>Remove from Catalog.

How to delete a catalog

To delete a catalog: 

  1. Navigate to Catalog>Catalog Management...

  2. Select the arrow next to the catalog to expand the menu

  3. Select Delete

Deleting a catalog is permanent. You cannot undo it. This will delete the catalog database. However, it will not delete your photos.
Forget Catalogs

If you don’t want to permanently delete a catalog but you do want to remove it from your list of active catalogs, you can choose to “forget” the catalog. Use the “Locate Existing Catalog…” button to bring it back.

Catalog maintenance

Because the catalog is a database, you may occasionally need some advanced options to maintain or restore your catalog database.

  1. Navigate to Catalog>Catalog Management...

  2. Select the triangle next to a listed catalog 

  3. Select the triangle next to Maintenance

Re-index Catalog

Very occasionally a Photo Mechanic Plus software update will require you to reindex your catalogs. This process can take a long time, so we advise only doing this when you see an alert box from Photo Mechanic advising you to do so.