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New: IMatch 2021.16.4

We’re happy to announce the release of IMatch 2021.16.4 and a compatibility update for our IMatch Anywhere product line. See the detailed release notes for an overview of all new features, changes and bug fixes.

This version is a re-update of the version released last week. An issue was reported that could cause IMatch to display the wrong number of files for categories with the option direct assignments only enabled.

This version introduces the mod operator for the match Variable formatting function.
This operator can be very useful, for example when you work with the duration function or other calculations.

For all other changes and new features, please see the detailed release notes.

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New: IMatch 2021.16.2

We’re happy to announce the release of IMatch 2021.16.2 and a compatibility update for our IMatch Anywhere product line.
See the detailed release notes for an overview of all new features, changes and bug fixes.

Highlights in this New Release

There are the most important enhancements and new features in the new edition of the digital asset management system IMatch from

Favorite Enhancements

  1. Alt + left-click now triggers the “Goto” command, where available (folders, categories, collections, events, people).
  2. Event Favorites now have a primary action (add to Event) and secondary action (remove from Event). This only works if the Favorite was created for a file-based event.
  3. People Favorites now have a primary action (link to Person) and secondary action (un-link from Person).

Content-aware (Smart) Cropping for Design & Print

When you set the Batch Processor or Design & Print to fit an image into a specific size or container (e.g., fitting an image into a square container), cropping the image vertically or horizontally is usually required.

Both features offer multiple ways to align the image and to control where to crop, e.g. top/left or bottom/right.
This version of IMatch introduces a new Smart mode which tries to prevent relevant portions of the image from being cropped.

Consider the following example: Left side: Fill and Center. Right side: the new Fill Smart mode:

The image is automatically horizontally shifted to prevent the faces from being cropped.
This new option will be useful for situations where you process images with different arrangements and sizes in an automatic fashion.

Collection Performance

Performance improvements for collections when adding / removing files to/from collections, e.g. setting, removing or toggling a rating.
Under some conditions (and for larger databases), changing a collection by adding/removing files could take several hundred milliseconds (up to half a second), which could impact user’s workflows.

Map Panel – Support for Drag and Drop

You can now assign GPS coordinates to files by simply dragging the files from a File Window into the Map Panel.

LibRaw Update to support Olympus OM1 Raw Variant

Yes. Olympus introduced yet another proprietary RAW variant with their OM1 model.
And they don’t provide a WIC codec for their cameras, which means that WIC will support this camera only when Microsoft updates their WIC codecs…

LibRaw thankfully supports this new format in their latest version (not in their official snapshot release). We’ve decided to integrate this version into IMatch for timely support for the OM1 variant.

ExifTool and the new IPTC Mapping Guidelines

Updated ExifTool to version 12.41, released on April 7. 2022. Read the ExifTool release notes here.

IMatch and ExifTool now implement the IPTC Photometadata Mapping Guidelines version 2202.1.
See for more information.

New duration Variable formatting function

The new duration function calculates the difference between two timestamps in units and outputs the result. For example:

{File.DateTime|format:YYYY:MM:DD hh:mm:ss;duration:now,years,one year,$ years,less than a year}

This variable calculates the difference between the File.DateTime and the current date and time, and outputs:
one year, if the difference is more than 0 but less than 2 years,
n years, if the difference is equal or greater than 2 years, where n is the number of years, and
less than a year, when the difference is less than a year.

This variable can be used for a multitude of purposes, e.g. showing a “How long ago did I create this image?” in File Windows, Design & Print or other features.

New Workflow Categories

We have added two new categories to the IMatch Workflow Categories:
No Author (with the formula "@MetadataTag[creator,novalue]") and
No Headline (with the formula "@MetadataTag[headline,novalue]").

See the detailed release notes for an overview of all new features, changes and bug fixes.

A screen shot of the comprehensive IMatch Help System.

The IMatch Help System

The comprehensive IMatch Help System is available online. It is constantly enhanced and updated.

You can reach it from inside IMatch by pressing the F1 key or clicking the Help button available in IMatch dialog boxes.
This is context-sensitive, IMatch opens the best matching topic from the Help System for the current situation.

You can bookmark the Help System entry page or create a couple of bookmarks in your web browser for topics you want to access quickly.

If English is not your native language, your web browser can automatically translate the content of the Help System into your language. See the documentation of your browser for more information.

The built-in printing or Print to PDF function in your browser allows you to download or print selected pages for quick reference.

A screen shot of the comprehensive IMatch Help System.

The 'Did You Know`?' App Screen Shot

The ‘Did You Know? App

The Did you Know? app included with IMatch contains a large number of helpful topics, highlighting certain features or options.
The app to be used while you work with IMatch, reminding you of rarely used features or giving you tips for how to work more efficiently.

You can open it from the Help menu or from the App Manager.

New topics are added frequently, often based on questions asked in the IMatch user community.

The 'Did You Know`?' App Screen Shot

Quick Tip: Opening Selected Files in a Result Window

An often overlooked but useful feature in the File Window is to open the selected files in a new result window.

This feature allows you to work on a subset of the images in the current scope, which may provide a better overview in some situations.

Or you use the File Window Search Bar or the Filter Panel to find files in the current scope. Then select these files and open them in a result window, for further searching or filtering. This creates an easy drill-down workflow.

To open all selected files in a new result window, press Ctrl + G , R

The App Panel at different scales

App Panel Scaling

IMatch apps are designed to be responsive and adapt to the current screen resolution. But sometimes this may not be enough, for example, when you want to use very small App Panels to maximize the screen estate available for other panels or the file window. Or when you use IMatch on a small tablet or notebook while on-location.


Under Edit > Preferences > Application: User Interface you can control the global scale for information rendered in App Panels. You can reduce or increase the scale in 16 steps between -8 (smaller) and +8 (larger).

App Panel Scaling Control

Using the Apply button allows you to see the change in all open App Panels immediately. The App Panel on the left uses a scale factor of 0 (default). As you can see, the buttons in the panel need to wrap because the panel width is too small to display them in one row. By reducing the scale factor to -3, the data and control elements fit neatly in the available panel.

The App Panel at different scales


The global scaling for App Panels enables you to size the contents precisely to your requirements and liking.

See also the related article Configuring IMatch for High-DPI Screens and Easier Reading.

IMatch Logo with Cloud

IMatch and Cloud Storage

IMatch Logo with Cloud

Services like Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and others make it very easy to backup files into the cloud. This is often used as a second or third tier backup strategy. In addition to local backups of all your important files for easy and quick recovery.

This know-how article explains how your can integrate cloud storage with IMatch.


Keep It Local

All of the above cloud providers allow you to use a mode where you keep a local copy of all the files managed in the cloud. This makes these files accessible for all applications on your computer — without any special software and also very fast. If you change a file in one of the cloud backed folders, it is automatically synchronized with the cloud storage. If you change files on another computer which is synchronized with your cloud, the changed files are automatically downloaded to all your other computers.

Integrate with IMatch

This is exactly the way to do it when you want to manage your files in IMatch and use the cloud to store your files.

Image of Dropbox folder in Windows Explorer

You just include the folders in the local copy of your cloud storage (e.g., the Photos sub-folder in the Dropbox folder) in your IMatch database.

This way you can manage the files in IMatch, search, view, edit metadata etc.

Whenever you change a file in IMatch, the file is synchronized back into the cloud automatically. And when you change files on other systems and the cloud synchronizes your local copy with the cloud afterwards, IMatch detects the new and updated files and updates the database.

This gives you the best of both worlds. IMatch and integrated cloud storage.



IMatch Databases in Cloud Storage

As a backup, great. Just copy your IMatch database(s) into your cloud folders at regular intervals or let Windows do it with a scheduled task. Keeping a live database in cloud storage, however, can be problematic and sometimes even dangerous.

When IMatch has a database open, it creates temporary files, lock files and short-lived transaction journal files. These files come and go as needed by the database system. They enable IMatch to cleanly undo failed database operations, to recover from catastrophic events like power failures and to handle multi-user scenarios. And of course IMatch updates database file several times per second.

When IMatch closes a database, all temporary files are removed and only the .imd* database file remains. The database is then in a clean state and ready for backup.

Not Recommended for ‘Live’ Databases…

But when you keep your ‘working’ IMatch databases in the local Dropbox folder, this is what happens:

Dropbox recognizes that the database file has changed and that temporary files have been added, updated or removed. It then starts to synchronize these files into the cloud. While Dropbox is doing this, IMatch continues to update the database, creating and removing temporary files. Whatever ends up in the cloud is most likely outdated and inconsistent. Nothing you can rely on as a backup.

And there might be a performance penalty, too. If Dropbox is locking files while it processes them, IMatch may be slowed down or even run into timeouts.

For these reasons, it is not recommended to keep ‘live’ IMatch databases in Dropbox. You can copy a closed database into a Dropbox folder for backup purposes. But not while IMatch (or IMatch WebServices™) have the database open.

I used Dropbox as an example here, but the same behavior can also be found with Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive.


Find other interesting articles in the DAM Knowledge Base.


IMatch Keyword Panel

Free Controlled Vocabularies for IMatch

The IMatch Thesaurus is a very powerful tool for creating and managing controlled vocabularies  – not only for keywords!

What is a Controlled Vocabulary?

A controlled vocabulary (Wikipedia) is basically a list of hierarchical keywords and synonyms. Instead of manually entering keywords, you pick them from the thesaurus. This not only makes keywording (tagging) files much quicker, it also improves the quality and consistency.

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Importing Lightroom Keyword Lists

IMatch can fill the thesaurus from keywords already used in your files (see the IMatch help for details) and it can import thesaurus data in a variety of formats.

In this knowledge-base article I want to show you how you can easily import keyword lists in the popular Adobe Lightroom® text format.

To import a keyword text file designed for Lightroom, open the Thesaurus Manager in IMatch (toolbar button in either the Metadata or Keyword Panel). Click on the Import & Export toolbar button and select the Text format in the format selector box at the bottom.

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Now select the Lightroom keyword file you want to import and click on Open.

Groups and Synonyms

The IMatch thesaurus automatically detects groups and synonyms contained in the file and converts them to the corresponding IMatch Thesaurus objects. See the IMatch help system for more information about keyword groups and synonyms and how to use them in IMatch.


After a short while the Thesaurus Manager shows the results of the import. You can now review and edit the imported keywords as needed. Click OK to save the thesaurus to the database.

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IMatch Default Thesaurus

IMatch includes a default thesaurus with a set of universal hierarchical keywords. This thesaurus is automatically imported into new databases. If you have used IMatch 3 in the past, this keyword list was available as the Universal Catalog category set in that version.

If you already have created your database and you want to import the universal thesaurus, you can do this via the Import command in the Thesaurus Manager. The default thesaurus is named system-en.imths and contained in the C:\Program Data\\IMatch6\Presets folder.

Free Keyword Lists

In addition to creating your very own controlled vocabulary from scratch, you can start out by using one of the many free Lightroom keyword lists available on the web. Some examples:

Each of these lists has several thousand hierarchical keywords and should get you started just nicely. You can edit the keywords after importing them into IMatch to match your personal requirements and keywording habits. Maybe you export your modified thesaurus later to share it with others.

Commercial Controlled Vocabularies

A very good resource for both information about controlled vocabularies and high-quality commercial controlled vocabularies for many applications is the Controlled Vocabulary web site.

You might also want to check out Photo-Keywords (also has links to other paid and free keyword lists) or Keyword Catalog for additional paid lists of curated keywords.

Other Resources

There are many other lists out there as well. A good overview of commercial (paid) and free lists can be found here:

Find other interesting articles in the DAM Knowledge Base.