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The Organizer's third take on searching for visually similar photos is the Duplicate Photo Search. There are a couple of practical uses for this command. You could use it to find and delete unneeded duplicate photos in a catalog, to clean up your catalog, or you can use it to stack together near duplicates, like photos that you took in quick succession in multi-burst mode, or bracketed shots that you want to keep together. You can run Duplicate Photo Search on your entire catalog in Thumbnail view or you can limit it to a folder, as I'm doing here in Folder Location view.
So with no photo selected in this folder, I've clicked the arrow to the right of the Search box, and I'll choose Duplicate Photo Search. Elements quickly evaluated all the photos in the folder and it's grouped them into these suggested groups of visually similar photos. And I think it did a pretty good job in this case. It's not always this perfect. The first group here actually does contain duplicates of the same photo. Now you want to be careful about deleting duplicates because you can't see the names of the photos here, unless you move your mouse over a photo and wait a second for the tooltip.
After you've done that, if you are sure that one or more of these is a photo that you don't need, you can select it by clicking on it. I'll actually select two of these because I only need one, and then I'll go down to the Remove from Catalog button and click there. As it says here, that will delete these two photos from the catalog, but unless I check Also delete selected item(s) from the hard disk, they will still be on my hard drive, and if I have a change of heart, I can re-import them back into the Organizer. So I hardly ever check this unless I'm absolutely sure I don't need those photos for anything. So I'll click OK.
And now those two disappear from the catalog. The next three suggested groups here aren't actually duplicates, but they're very close. They are each in series of similar shots taken in rapid succession. They're good candidates for stacking, to keep them together. I covered stacking in detail in an earlier movie in this course. There is nothing different than that about a stack that I might create in the course of the Duplicate Photo Search, except that Elements has helped me out by taking a good guess at which photos to stack together. So to stack the photos together, I'll go up to the row that contains the photos and over to the right, I'll click the Stack button. And that creates a stack, just like the ones that I covered in detail earlier.
I can click this arrow to expand the stack and click again to collapse it. One way you might think of stacks is just like a deck of cards. They are either spread over the table or they are all stacked one on top of the other, saving space and keeping things neat. You don't have to accept Elements' grouping suggestions, and they're not always perfectly correct. So for example here, three of these photos do belong together, but this photo over here is really different. It was taken in approximately the same place, but it's not part of the same group.
What I can do is just select the photos that I do want to stack and then go over and click the Stack button for this row, and that creates a stack, but it leaves that one photo out of the stack. So here I'll expand the stack and I'll collapse it again. If you want to zoom in for a closer look, you can use the Zoom slider down here at the bottom of this window. I can see that this is a unique photo. It's got this bee coming into the flower. So I'd like to remove this from the stack. To do that, I'll expand the stack by clicking this arrow, and then I'll right-click on the bee photo and I'll choose Remove Photo from Stack. And then I'll collapse the stack.
So I've got a stack of two photos and I have got my bee photos separate from the stack. I'm going to zoom back out using the Zoom slider. And I want to remind you not to forget about the Unique Photos section down here at the very bottom of this window. I'll click the arrow to the left of Unique Photos, and here I can see the photos that Elements decided were not similar enough to other photos to include in the suggested group. I can move any photo out of the Unique Photos area and drop it into a group. For example, if this photo goes with this group up here, I'll just take it from Unique Photos and drop it up here.
When I'm all done in this window, I'll click Done to close the window and that takes me back to my Organizer. Here in the Media Browser, you can see the stacks that were created in that window. Here's one here. If I click the arrow to its right, it expands. Here's another one. And these stacks are just like stacks that I would create myself out here in the Media Browser. You can learn more about those stacks by listening to the earlier movie in the course on stacking. What I've shown you here is a practical use of the technology that underlies all three of the visual similarity searches that I've covered so far in this chapter: Duplicate Search, Object Search, and Visual Similarity Search.
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