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Organizing files in projects

Overview

Projects are custom collections of files from different physical locations. Learn how to make them and what to use them for.

About projects

In simple terms, projects are collections of files from different physical locations. You can create projects that contain files from different folders on your disk or network and make them appear as a single collection of files. Adding a file to a project will not move it from its original location; in reality the project is a list of files and their paths, a custom collection if you like.

Depending on your version of FotoStation, you will have access to local projects, server projects or both. FotoStation Standalone allows you to make File System Projects that can be stored on a local disk or a shared network volume for multi-user access. File system projects are not cross-platform compatible between Windows/Macintosh.

FotoStation Client also supports server projects, which are stored in a database and are compatible across Windows and Macintosh. The project server is installed alongside the Index Manager server and uses a database to keep track of the projects. 

Accessing projects

Projects are accessed and maintained in Projects side panels. By default, one such panel is pre-configured when you start using FotoStation. The location of the project files is set by changing the Project side panel’s properties in the configuration. It can also be accessed by right-clicking on the project side panel’s tab and choosing Properties. If you like you can create several project panels, for example one that contains your personal projects and another one that contains the projects in your network workgroup.

By default, a project tab contains only a folder view with no contents inside the top level folder. Now you can start adding subfolders if you like and create new, empty projects inside them. (You can also create projects directly in the top folder to make a flat project structure.)

Tip: Right-click a project and choose Open in new window to display the content of your project in a separate window. Then add files to the project by dragging them from the main window into the project window!

Creating a new project

To create a new project, right-click the folder in which you would like to create a project, then choose New Project from the context menu. To create a subfolder within the top level folder to organize your projects further, choose Create folder from the context menu. This way you can create a hierarchy of folders and projects, and you can drag and drop folders and projects as you like inside the tree.

Adding files to a project

To add files to a project, you can for example open an archive on your Archives side panel, make a selection and drag the files to the project in question. If the projects side panel isn’t open, simply drag the files to the projects side panel’s label to display the side panel. Then drop the files on the project. A project can contain files from many different folders.

Rearranging the order of files in a project

To rearrange the order of files in a project, for example to set the order of slides in a slide show, click on the Sorting button at the top right of the program window and choose User defined. This sorting method is only available when you work with projects. Then drag thumbnails in the order you would like them to appear. Rearranging files like this can be done in both thumbnail and list view, provided that user defined sorting is selected. Since the order of files can be arranged and rearranged any way you like simply by dragging and dropping the files in the preferred order, projects provide a great basis for setting up a custom slide show. Simply arrange the files in the order you prefer, select them and start a slideshow.

Removing files from a project

When deleting files from a project, FotoStation will display a confirmation dialog box. Click Yes to remove the file from the project or No to cancel the operation. Removing a file from the project will not remove it from its original location, however. If you also want to delete the original file, select the Delete files permanently checkbox in the confirmation dialog.

Renaming projects

Right-click a project and choose Rename in the context menu to rename it.

Setting project status

Right-click a project and point at Status in the context menu to bring up a submenu where you can choose a status for your project. The status has no direct implication for the files in the project, it merely acts as a visual aid. You will see that the project’s icon changes depending on your choice of status.

Working with centralized server projects

Server projects are controlled by a database and allow files to be shared between FotoStation on Windows and Mac. More information about how to configure FotoStation to use a project server is available in the configuration section of this documentation. See the related articles section above right for a link.

When you access a side panel with server projects, it looks very much like a regular collection of projects. However, apart from the cross-platform support of server projects, these projects have one major advantage over regular file system projects: the possibility to add metadata to the projects themselves. This way, you can add descriptive information to your projects and make them searchable without making any changes to the actual files that are part of that project.

By right-clicking a server project and choosing Add Metadata you can add as much descriptive text as you like to the project. This text is searchable using the search field that is located above the list of projects (see above screenshot). Simply type in your search words there followed by Enter, and the projects that are found will be listed below. Clicking on the in the search fields returns you to the complete list of projects.

Note that when connecting to a server project, you will need to supply access credentials in the form of a user name and password. You will need to use a valid Windows or Active Directory account to validate the user.