Re-Organize MacOS file system for use with PhotoLab as my main editor

My filing system for many years was simple - my only editor was Lightroom, and I created a top level folder named lightroom with all my folders and images filed away in an organized file system.

When I switched to PL3, then PL4, I started a new folder system, sorted by camera type, then date, then image folders and sub-folders. I usually used PhotoMechanic to rename files and folders, and import my images from memory cards. Those images were always edited in PhotoLab. I had separate folders for Raw Therapy, Darktable, Photomatix, and Luminar.

I realized this was too confusing, so several months ago I created a folder named “2021” and had a single filing system for all my digital images, regardless of which camera they came from.

I would like to re-organize my non-Lightroom files and folders into an new system with top level folders for each year.

I have already created a 2021 folder, where I have been using for my digital images. I had created a “Vuescan” folder for my scanned images, which I will move underneath this 2021 folder.

My question is about PhotoLab. After this re-organization, when I click on PhotoLibrary, will it show the old filing organization with lots of question marks, or will it show the newly revised system, or ?

In the Windows version PhotoLibrary uses a simple file manager. Unlike Lightroom there is no import requirement. PhotoLab displays whatever folder names you create or change. You can create or change folders names inside or outside of PhotoLab. The result is the same. Folders will be sorted and displayed in numerical and alphabetical order only. There are no other sort options available. I am not sure if the Mac version differs. If the Mac version is similar use a folder naming convention that will display the folders in the order you want to see them.

I use YYYY-MM-DD shoot name.. Example: 2015-08-04 USNA Preble Hall Museum

Mark .

That’s good news. I will make a small change in Finder, and see if PL4 recognizes it.

Yes, I use the same file convention when I’m importing with Photo Mechanic. I haven’t been using it yet for scanning.

Hi Mike,

Every change made in Finder will be visible directly in PhotoLab.

Just take care that if you reorganize folders which have been already processed in PhotoLab, you may loose corrections if you’ve not managed to get the .dop files created.
And you may have to reindex if you use this feature too.



Thank you - I’ll start with small changes, and make sure I’m not creating issues.

As far as I know, PL4 always created and updates the “.dop” files.

I don’t plan to move individual images - I do play to re-organize the image folders. If I understand things correctly, this should not be an issue.

Only if you specify it in the preferences - which I do.

It can be an issue but, because I rely entirely on DOP files, I just delete the database after I move stuff.

Oops - I assumed that PL4 always created *.dop files, as that’s what I always get. I had no idea it was an option I could set in “preferences”. You and others here have taught me that the ONLY things I need are the original image file as uploaded, and the *.dop file which contains everything I did to the photo in editing.

What I can empty out at some point is my “export” files, where I’ve exported my finished images. Six months from now, most of them could be deleted, as I can always recreate them.

I guess I should go through the “preferences” again.

Joanna - quick question for you - using your “Workspace” I now have the French words for many groups of settings. Can I switch that back to English in preferences, without disturbing any of the work you’ve done? I forgot all about the “preferences” until just now.

No. That was an oversight on my part when I sent you the workspace file. If you would post the workspace file here, I will pick it up and edit it for you.

Here ya go… (2.2 KB)

…I think I did this correctly - I needed to put it in a folder, then compress the folder, which is what I’m sending you.

Actually, you didn’t need the folder but it didn’t matter.

The workspace you sent me wasn’t mine and the titles were in German, not French :wink:

Anyway, here’s the translated version. (1,9 Ko)

The old file is renamed - will delete it as soon as the new file is working. New file is now in place. Maybe by the end of the day PL4 will accept it. :slight_smile:

Your workspace has been very easy to use! I’ve been enjoying it. Everything is there, even my watermark.

That is interesting. PhotoLab seems to export workspace settings in the language that was used while exporting? I’ll have to check that. I expected that workspace definitions were multilingual.

BTW, the All-In workspace is the one I used for testing and that I’ve grown accustomed to, so I use it as my regular workspace.

@mikemyers, please note that the workspace needs to be changed when PhotoLab is updated and contains new tools.

Yes, it surprised me that it created them with the palette titles in only the user’s language. Maybe they didn’t think that they would be shared?

Indeed. Always resave the workspace under the same name if you change the layout.

Looked through what DPL does when a workspace is saved. This is what I did and found

Workspace without palettes

  • Set workspace to “DxO Standard” and removed all palettes
  • Saved the palette-free workspace as “none from standard”
  • Set workspace to “DxO Advanced” and removed all palettes
  • Saved the palette-free workspace as “none from advanced”
  • Set workspace to “DxO What’s New” and removed all palettes
  • Saved the palette-free workspace as “none from whatsnew”
  • Comparing the resulting .dopworkspace files, I found that
    a) the originating workspace carries over to the “none…” workspace
    b) the language with which DPL is used carries over to saved workspace files too

Workspace with palettes

  • the same thing happens as mentioned above

Click here and add your vote to further advance DxO PhotoLab. Thank you.

I wasn’t expecting that… makes sense though. So if I update to PL5, I’ll be back to PhotoLab’s default Workspace? Apparently, I need to learn how to set up future workspaces to be similar to the ones I’m now using, if I want to take advantage of any new improvements.

I may have sent Joanna the wrong workspace, but the workspace I’m using is the one named “Mike” which Joanna sent me, and I renamed it “Joanna” instead of Mike, so I’d supposedly remember which it was in the future. I will try out your “All-in” workspace later this week.

Are you suggesting that I use PL4’s default workspace, make changes to it, then save it under the original name, so that when PL5 comes out my “changes” will be reflected in the new Workspace? Or did I mis-understand what you wrote?

No. You don’t need to do anything with the default workspaces and I’m not even sure you can, or would want to overwrite them. When PL5 comes out, you workspaces will normally be automatically migrated.

What I’m saying is, assuming you are currently working in your favourite workspace, whatever that may be, if you wanted to change what is included or not in it, to it’s layout, don’t forget to save it again under the same name, otherwise any changes you made will be lost.

Understood. The only change I wanted to make, adding watermarks, you did for me and sent me a new workspace. Maybe eventually I will want to re-organize something, or add something, and I will remember to save it (probably under a temporary name) so I don’t lose anything. After that, I will rename the previous workspace as something-old, and will save the new version as what the original one used to be. (This way, if I mess up, I always have the previous version to go back to.). None of this would be necessary if I understood things better, but for now it’s “safer” to keep a backup.)

Well this is yes and no or perhaps sometimes situation: I find that PhotoLab does not always keep track of the files for example if I use the Finder to duplicate a raw file the duplicate does not get shown. Also if files are renamed the renamed images are normally displayed in the file section but if the image is a member of a project then it will be shown as a question mark and is lost to the project.

It is a great pity the DxO do not expose the file renaming to external tools to overcome the limitation described above. For example the image editor Exposure 6 is capable of processing formatted text files to aid the management of images.