Using Comments And Icons To Annotate The Timeline

 

The digital asset management system IMatch includes a unique timeline feature which automatically arranges all your files along a time axis. Did you know that you can add your own comments and even custom icons to each node in the timeline to make it even more useful?

To add a comment or custom icon to a timeline node, make sure the properties panel is visible. Select the node for which you want to add a comment and/or icon and then enter text and pick an icon from the drop-down icon list.

The IMatch Timeline
The IMatch Timeline with several text annotations and icons. Click for a larger view.

Note: If comments are not shown, click on the Gear icon in the toolbar to open the configuration options. Then enable the Show Comments option.

Timeline Configuration

Using Comments And Icons To Annotate The Timeline Read More »

Configuring IMatch for High-DPI Screens and Easier Reading

 

If you are using IMatch on a high-resolution monitor (High-DPI) or your eyesight is not tack sharp anymore, you can customize IMatch easily to use larger fonts and icons.

IMatch automatically adapts to the default font sizes configured for your user profile in Windows. This means IMatch uses the system font sizes for menus and other screen elements (tree controls, panels etc.). If you configure Windows to use larger fonts, IMatch automatically adapts.

It does not increase the size of all screen elements automatically, however. IMatch gives you the choice to control if you just want to see ‘more’, or if you prefer bigger icons, fonts and menus in some or all areas.

Menus and Toolbars

Under Edit > Preferences > Application: User Interface you can switch the menu font size and toolbar icons between normal, larger and big. The big toolbar and menu size is good for even the most high-resolution screens:

Toolbar Sizes

Tree Icons

IMatch includes a second set of icons for all tree controls: Folders, Categories and Collections. This second uses 32 x 32 pixel icons and and looks good on displays with resolutions of 2000 pixels or more. You can enable this larger set under Edit > Preferences > Application: User Interface. New IMatch installations default to this larger set when a display with more than 2000 pixels (horizontal) is detected.

File Window Icons

The icons used in File Windows (rating stars, dots, pins, bookmarks…) also exist in two sizes. Choose the size you prefer via Edit > Preferences > Application. These larger icons are also used in the Filter Panel, the Viewer and wherever else collections and rating icons are displayed.

Panels

You can configure individual font sizes for the features and panels where you spent most time reading and editing text: the Metadata Panel, the Keyword Panel and the Attributes Panel. Use the Increase/Decrease Font Size commands available in the toolbars of these panels to change the font size to your liking. You can increase and decrease the font sizes in several steps up to about 300% of the standard font size.

Font size animation

The File Window

You can configure your file window layouts easily to use different font sizes for different elements:

File Window Layout and Font Sizes

The File Window Tip

This popup window is used in the File Window, the Viewer and the Stack and Version Panels to display details about the file under the mouse cursor. By default, this popup window uses the system default font size for most elements, and larger fonts for selected items.

You can change the data to display and the font sizes to use by editing the tip popup under Edit > Preferences > File Window Tip. See the IMatch help for details.

File Window Tip

Configuring IMatch for High-DPI Screens and Easier Reading Read More »

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Configuring Process Control for Slow Media (CD-ROM, DVD, NAS, …)

IMatch by default utilizes all available processors and disks when indexing files. It automatically adapts to your system configuration to balance and to overlap file system operations and in-memory computations for optimal performance.

Sometimes, if you plan to add large batches of files from slow media like CD-ROM or DVD, you can achieve a better performance by telling IMatch to use only one processing thread and not several in parallel. What gains a lot of performance for hard disks and fast network storage can actually be much slower for slow media like DVD or CD-ROM.

To change how many parallel processes IMatch uses to index files, go to Edit > Preferences > Application: Process Control. To limit both reading and writing to one parallel process, set both values to 1 (one).

Process Control Settings

After you have indexed your CD-ROM and DVD collection, revert both values back to the default value of 0 (zero) for optimal performance when indexing files on hard disks and similar storage media. 0 means: Automatically adapt to the available number of processors and overall system performance.

Network Storage

If you manage files on network storage, you can also change these values to try out which values give the fastest throughput. The best value cannot be determined automatically, it all depends on your network connection speed and the server or NAS system you are connecting to.

Adjusting the process control values is not required if you just want to add a few hundred files. But if you plan to index 10,000  or even 100,000 files, you can skim off a few hours by testing which values work best.

Write-back

On some configurations, the defaults selected by IMatch may not work best. This is sometimes the case for NAS devices in combination with slow networks (Wi-Fi!) or on some notebooks which reduce CPU speed to compensate for additional heat caused by prolonged disk activity (e.g. while writing back hundreds of files). If you experience this, you can limit the number of parallel write-back threads to 2, to see if this improves overall throughput.

The Info & Activity Panel and the Progress Overlay show you how IMatch is performing and you can use these elements to judge which settings work best for your system and environment.

Configuring Process Control for Slow Media (CD-ROM, DVD, NAS, …) Read More »

Using the Copy Data App with Your Office Application

 

Exchanging data with other applications is one of the key features for an digital asset management system like IMatch.

If you want to transfer data from IMatch to your Office application, e.g., Microsoft® Excel, you can use the  Text Export Module to output the data to a file on disk. See the IMatch help on the Text Export module for detailed information.

An alternative is to use the neat Copy Data App. This App allows you to quickly copy arbitrary formatted data into the Windows clipboard and then you can insert it into your Office or other application. For this know-how article we use Microsoft Excel as the receiving application.

The Copy Data App in IMatch. Three files are selected in a File Window.
The Copy Data App in IMatch. This App comes pre-installed and with full source code.
(Click for a larger view)

Open an App Panel if none is visible: View menu > Panels > App Panel or press <F9>,<1>.

What to Copy?

The Copy Data App uses a mix of free text and IMatch variables to specify which data to copy. This makes it easy to produce exactly the format you want to use in your other application. The special [tab] token can be used to insert a tabulator character (09hex) and by pressing <Enter> you start a new line.

For this example, we want to copy the fully qualified file name, the file date in DD.MM.YYYY format, the XMP headline and the XMP description. Since we want to copy into Microsoft Excel, we separate each variable with a [tab]. This ensures that Excel automatically arranges the four values into separate columns.

We are using a free mix of text and variables to specify what to copy.
We are using a free mix of text and variables to specify what to copy.

Copy the text from below into the Copy Data App input field if you want to try this yourself:

{File.FullName}[tab]{File.DateTime|format:DD.MM.YYYY}[tab]
{File.MD.XMP::photoshop\Headline\Headline\0}[tab]
{File.MD.XMP::dc\description\Description\0}

Copy the Data

When we now click on the Copy button in the App, IMatch copies the requested data for all selected files into the Windows clipboard. From there we can insert it into the receiving application.

The data in Microsoft Excel
The data in Microsoft Excel. Click for a larger view.

Using the Copy Data App with Your Office Application Read More »

Migrating XMP Rating and Label from IMatch 3 to IMatch 5 without processing pending updates…

In order to import XMP metadata into your IMatch 5 database, the XMP data has to exist in the image file or a corresponding sidecar file. IMatch 5 cannot import XMP metadata directly from the IMatch 3 database for technical reasons.

If you have never written back XMP metadata to your image files in IMatch 3, you may be faced with tens of thousands of files which have no up-to-date XMP metadata. Updating the XMP in all these files can take a very long time.

Note: This only affects XMP metadata. When you have updated classic IPTC or EXIF data in IMatch 3, this data has been written to the image file immediately and is thus always up-to-date.

The Trick

If the only XMP data you have used/updated in IMatch 3 are ratings and labels, you can use a trick to avoid having to write XMP data to all your files before importing them into IMatch 5.

You perform the trick before you migrate your existing IMatch 3 database into IMatch 5 with the Database Converter. The trick consists of three easy steps:

  1. Create a data-driven category for Rating and Label in.
    This step creates one category for each rating and label you have used and assigns the corresponding files to that category.
  2. Convert the data-driven categories into regular categories.
    This ensures that IMatch 5 imports the rating and label categories automatically.
  3. In IMatch 5, assign ratings and labels using these categories.

1. Create Data-driven Categories

Switch to the Category View in IMatch 3.
Select the @All category and press <Ins> to create a new child category. Name it Rating. Repeat these steps and create a category named Label:

Rating and Label Categories

Right-click on Label and choose Properties. In the Properties dialog box, enable the Auto-group images based on… option and either select the XMP field

http://ns.adobe.com/xap/1.0/xap:Label

from the drop-down list or use copy/paste to transfer the name from above:

Data-driven properties

Click OK to close the dialog box and answer Yes when asked whether you want to create the category. After a short time, IMatch has finished creating the data-driven category Label:

Label Category

For each label used in your database, IMatch has created one child category under Label. Each child category contains all files with that label.

Repeat these steps for the Rating category: Select the Rating category, right-click and choose Properties. In the dialog, enable the option to Auto-group images based on… and select the following XMP field from the drop-down list:

http://ns.adobe.com/xap/1.0/xap:Rating

or copy it from above. Press OK to close the dialog and then answer the prompt with Yes. IMatch creates child categories for each rating used in your database and assigns all files with that rating:

Rating Category

2. Convert the Data-driven Categories Into Regular Categories

Select the @All category and press <Ins> to create a new category. Name it Rating and Label.

Select the Rating category created above. Left-click and drag it to the Rating and Label category. Release the mouse button. In the dialog, set the options as follows:

Category Options

Click OK. IMatch now creates a copy of the entire Rating category (with child categories) under the Rating and Label category. The copy is a normal category, not a data-driven category – and this is exactly what we want.

Repeat these steps for the data-driven Label category. The end result will look similar to this:

The final rating and label category

3. Migrate Your Database

Close IMatch 3 and run the IMatch 5 Database Converter to convert your database. Follow the instructions in the Database Converter help for a quick and smooth transfer.

IMatch 5 automatically imports the Rating and Label category you have created. This transfers the information which files should have which rating and label from IMatch 3 to IMatch 5. And that’s the trick.

4. (Re-)Assign Ratings and Labels

Open your new database in IMatch 5. Switch to the Category View to see all categories imported from your IMatch 3 database. The Rating and Label category will be there:

Categories in IMatch 5

Now start assigning ratings and labels:

Note: For the following steps, you should disable background write-back under Edit > Preferences > Background Processing if you have it enabled. This way IMatch only updates the database but does not automatically write-back data to the files on disk. This improves the performance during the following procedure.

 

Select the Green category under Rating and Label > Label. This shows you all files which had a Green label assigned in IMatch 3 in the File Window.

Select all files in the File Window with <Ctrl>+<A>. Right-click to open the context menu and choose Green to assign all files a Green XMP label:

Assigning a Green Label

IMatch writes the Green label into the XMP record of each file and marks the files as pending because the metadata was changed. Repeat these steps for each Label and Rating category under Rating and Label. Then delete the Rating and Label category, it is no longer needed.

This trick takes quite a lot of text to explain, but in fact takes only a few minutes to execute. Much faster than writing back XMP data to thousands or even tens of thousands of files just to get the rating and label information imported into IMatch 5.

Migrating XMP Rating and Label from IMatch 3 to IMatch 5 without processing pending updates… Read More »

Using Large Icons for Toolbars in IMatch

 

If you work with a very large or high-resolution monitor, the size of the standard toolbar buttons may be too small for comfort. You can change the size in two steps to up to 32×32 pixels.

Open Edit > Preferences > Application: User Interface. There, change the toolbar size to your liking.

Application Settings

IMatch will restart to apply the new settings. If you use the largest setting, the toolbar buttons will be suitable even for very high-DPI screens. Here, for example, the toolbar in the Category Panel.

Big toolbar buttons

Other Settings

You can also control the font sizes used for the Metadata Panel, the Keyword Panel and the Attributes Panel individually. These are the panels where most of the text editing takes place, and using larger fonts causes less strain to the eye.

The rest of IMatch automatically adapts to the standard font sizes configured for Windows, e.g. for menus, tree controls, list boxes and other controls. If you switch to using larger fonts for Windows, IMatch adapts automatically.

Using Large Icons for Toolbars in IMatch Read More »

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Upgrading from IMatch 3 to IMatch 5

[notification type=”error”] This is archived information. No support is available anymore for IMatch 3. [/notification]

This article explains how to upgrade to the current version of IMatch from IMatch 3.5 or 3.6.
Upgrading from legacy versions of IMatch (IMatch 3.4 and older) is not supported. These versions are almost 10 years out of date.

1. Buy IMatch

Go to the shop page and follow the instructions given there. The purchase process is quick and safe. Our distributor myCommerce sends you an email with your license code immediately after your purchase has completed.

2. Install IMatch

Log into the customer portal using your email and license key and download the current version of IMatch. After the download has completed, double-click the installer executable to install IMatch on your computer. Follow the instructions given on screen for a clean install. See also the installation instructions page for more information.

If you want to install IMatch on the same computer as IMatch 3, make sure that you have IMatch 3.6.0.118 installed. You can download this version as usual via the photools.com customerWeb site.

3. First Steps

The IMatch Learning Center has free video tutorials for IMatch. The videos cover topics like installation, creating your first database and all major IMatch features.

The Quick Start Guide contains handy cheat sheets for all frequently used IMatch commands. You can open this PDF from the Help menu in IMatch.

The IMatch 5 Quick Start Guide
The IMatch Quick Start Guide contains useful information for first-time users. It also contains handy cheat sheets with all frequently used commands and their associated keyboard shortcuts.

Open the IMatch help system from the Help menu in IMatch or by pressing the <F1> key. The First Steps topic explains the general principles of IMatch and contains pointers to other topics helpful for first-time users. The special For IMatch 3 Users help topic covers the major differences between IMatch 3 and the current version of IMatch.

The IMatch 5 Help System
The extensive and complete Match 5 help system explains all IMatch functions and features.

The Visual Index in the help system shows all major IMatch features and contains links to the associated help topics. Great to see what’s included!

4. Convert Your Database

In2014 we introduced an improved database format for IMatch. To use your existing IMatch 3.x database with current versions of IMatch you have to convert it into the new database format. The 32-bit version of IMatch includes a Database Converter tool which performs this automatically. Note: No conversion is required for IMatch 5 databases.

[notification type=”warning”] The IMatch 3 database converter is only included in the 32-bit version of IMatch. Install the 32-bit version if you need to use the database converter. You can later replace it with the 64-bit version. Just download and install the 64-bit edition, it automatically replaces the 32-bit version. [/notification]

You can run this converter from the Database menu in IMatch, or via the IMatch program group in the Windows START menu. Click on the help button or press <F1> while in the Converter dialog to display step-by-step instructions.

4.1 Manual Category Transfer

Since IMatch 3 is now (2017) very old, the database converter is no longer actively maintained.

Some users have reported that the database converter fails to convert category assignments. The new IMatch database contains all categories, but they are empty. If you are affected by this, you can work around this problem by manually exporting and importing your categories. This is quick and easy.

  1. In IMatch 3, use the Database menu > Import & Export > Export Category Schema command.
    Make sure you enable the ‘with file links’ format in the export dialog. This exports the category schema and the file assignments.
    The result of this process is a file on your hard disk.
  2. In the current version of IMatch, open the Import & Export panel via View menu > Panels > Import & Export.
    Click on the Run button for the Category Import module. Select the file you have created in Step 1.
    This imports both the categories and re-assigns the files.

 

5. Help and Support

Give yourself a few days to become acquainted with IMatch. You will notice many similarities between IMatch 3 and the current IMatch version, but there are also many new features you might want to learn about and try out for yourself.

Start by creating a small test database and add copies of some of your files to it. This way you can try out everything without risking any important data. Read the introductory help topics in the IMatch help for guidance.

Visit the photools.communityThe premier place for IMatch support and know-how exchange is the free photools.community. Here you can search thousands of existing topics to find information and answers.

For other support options, see the Support & Contact section here on the web site.

Upgrading from IMatch 3 to IMatch 5 Read More »

How do I get support and help for IMatch?

The primary support forum for IMatch is the photools.community. In this community thousands of IMatch users from over 60 countries discuss all IMatch 5 and DAM related topics. If you cannot find an answer using the search function, post a question. Usually you’ll get a qualified response within a couple of hours.

You can also reach photools.com via Facebook, Twitter and email. Please see the Support & Contact section here on the web site for full details.

The IMatch FAQ

The IMatch FAQ, Workflow and Tutorials section in the photools.community holds many articles and know-how topics.

The IMatch Know-how Archive

Detailed articles about various aspects of image management and processing with IMatch can be found in the IMatch know-how archive.

How do I get support and help for IMatch? Read More »