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As your collection of digital photos grows, you'll find that you can't keep them all on your computer. There is just no room. Your solution might be to store your photos on CDs, DVDs or external hard drives, so that you can free up some space on your computer. The difficulty is finding a particular photo among a tall pile of CDs or growing collection of external hard drives. Elements' Organizer can solve that problem for you by keeping track of your off line photos, as well as those that are on your computer. I have inserted a CD of images to show you how that works. That causes Windows dialog to pop up, asking, what I want to do with the pictures on the CD? One of the choices is to organize and edit them using Adobe Photoshop Element 7. I could click that, or let me show you an alternative.
I'm going to close this Windows dialog box, and instead we go up to the File menu at the top of the Elements Organizer and choose Get Photos and Videos, and I'm going to choose From Files and Folders. In this Get photos from Files and Folders dialog box, I'm going to click Computer and then I'll click on my DVD RW drive twice. And then I'm going to brow down into the Files and Folders on this particular CD to find a couple of photographs that I want to index.
Here is one, I'm holding the Control key as I click on the second file, and now I'm going down to the bottom left where it says, Copy files on Import. I'm going to click to uncheck that option, because I don't want to bring these photos into my computer; I just want Elements to index them for me. I'm going to leave Generate Previews checked and then I'm going to go over and click the Get Photos button. Now it will index those two files for me without bringing them into my computer. As usual I get a message that the only items I can see in this window are those that I've just imported, rather than all the files in this catalog, and I'll just click OK.
I'm going to go ahead and eject my CD, and you can see that when I do, each of these files acquires this little red symbol on the top left, indicating that this is an offline file. Let's see a little bit of time passes, and you decide that you want to open one of these files. The way to open a file from the Organizer is to select it and then to go to the Editor menu at the top right of the screen and choose the flavor of edit that you want. I'm going to choose Full Edit and you immediately see a message telling you that this particular file is located on a removable volume. In other words, it is not on your computer, but it's on some external media, in this case a CD.
The best part is down here under Volume List, Elements tells you the exact name of the CD on which this particular file is stored. So if you have labeled your CDs properly, you can just go and get the CD, put it in, and proceed to open the file. What a convenient way to keep track of and quickly find your offline photos.
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