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As your collection of digital photos, videos and audio grows, you'll find that you just can't keep all those files on your computer, because you are going to run out of room on your hard drive. The solution might be to store or archive your photos and other media files on DVDs or external hard drives, so that you can free up some space on your computer, but then the difficulty is finding a particular photo or other file among a tall pile of DVDs or a growing collection of external hard drives. Elements Organizer can solve that problem for you by keeping track of your offline media as well as files that are on your computer.
I've inserted a DVD of photos to show you how that works. Inserting that DVD causes Windows Autoplay dialog box to pop-up. Windows recognizes that I have Elements Organizer open, because here among the options for what to do with the photos on this DVD, Windows offers that I can organize and edit the photos using Adobe Elements Organizer 8.0. So that would be one way to go. I could click this option, but I'm not going to, because I want to show you an alternative that you can use to work with offline media in Elements, whether those files are on a DVD or on an external hard drive.
So I'm going to close the Autoplay dialog box by clicking this red X and instead I'm going to go over to the File menu at the top of Elements Organizer, and I'm going to choose from there Get Photos And Videos from files and folders. In this Get Photos And Videos from Files And Folders window, I'm going to navigate to my computer and then I'm going to double-click on my DVD drive, so that I can see the contents of that drive. I have five photos on this DVD. From here, I can select those that I'd like to index in Elements.
I'll choose a few of those, I'll click on one, and then I'll hold down the Ctrl key, and click on a couple of others to select all three. Notice that there are a couple that I haven't selected. Those are just photos that I don't really care for, and so I don't want to index those in Elements. Next I'm going to go down to the command, Copy Files on Import. I want to uncheck that command, because the whole point is that I want to leave the full resolution photos on the DVD rather than have this on my computer, so that I'm freeing up space on my computer. But I do want to leave Generate Previews checked, because that will cause Elements Organizer to display a low- resolution thumbnail or preview of each of the selected photos that are on the external DVD.
I am going to leave everything else at its defaults, and go over to Get Media button, and click to index the selected files in my Organizer catalog. When Elements has finished doing that, I see this message that the only items in the main window, meaning this window here, are those that I just imported, rather than all of the photos that are in my catalog. I'm going to click OK, and I can see thumbnails of those three images right here in Elements Organizer. Remember these aren't the photos themselves; they are just small previews of the photos that are on the DVD.
Now, I'm going to eject the DVD, and notice that when the DVD is not in the computer, there is a little symbol at the top-left of each one of these thumbnail previews, indicating that this is a preview of an offline file. Now, let's say that a little bit of time passes and I decide that I'd like to open one of these files into Elements Editor, so that I can work on it here on my computer. One way to open a file from the preview in the Organizer into the Editor is to right-click the file and choose Edit With Photoshop Elements.
When I do that, I immediately see this message telling me that this particular file is located on a removable volume, by that means the DVD that's not in the computer, but the really great part is that Elements remembers the name of that DVD, and it shows it here in the Volume List column. I had named that DVD JFK photos, when I burned and created the DVD. So if I've labeled my DVDs properly in my physical collection of DVDs, I'll be to go find that DVD and put it into my computer.
And I'm going to do that now. That invokes the Autoplay dialog box again and I'm going to close the dialog box by clicking the red X. Then I'm going to click OK here in this dialog and Elements loads or launches the Editor part of the program with the full resolution version of the image that's on the DVD. I can edit it here and then I can save it with my edits to my hard drive. So, the thing to remember is that Elements can remember your files, whether they live on your hard drive or whether they're on external media like a DVD or an external drive.
What a convenient way to keep track of and quickly find your offline photos!
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