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You've probably got lots of digital photos already on your computer or on external drives. This movie covers how to bring your existing personal photos in into Elements Organizer. There are no exercise files for this movie; instead, work with a few of your own photos to get a sense of what I'm doing with mine. The good news is that Elements can manage photos on external media, as well as those on your computer. So you can leave your existing photos wherever you currently keep them; on your computer, on external hard drives, or even on DVDs.
You probably already have some sort of hierarchy of folders set up to organize your photos, and you don't have to change that either. The Organizer will keep track of your photos inside whatever folders and subfolders you normally use. But I do recommend that you take some time before bringing existing photos into the Organizer to just tidy up your folder system. So I'm here in My Pictures folder, where I've got some loose photos to do just that. I've been meaning to put these loose photos into folders, and to give those folders meaningful names.
So I've got a folder here for 2011 photos. I will just select all these photos and drag them in. The reason I'm showing you this is to make the point that after you bring photos into the Organizer, it is not a good idea to move photos around in your operating system the way I just did. If you do that, the Organizer can lose track of those photos, and they'll have to be reconnected, which is not always easy. Once you've tidied up your photo folders, go ahead and bring your photos into the Organizer. When you're importing your own photos to the Organizer, you'll probably be in the default Thumbnail View, so I am going to switch there by going to the Display menu and choosing Thumbnail View.
Then I will go to the File menu at the top of the Organizer, choose Get Photos and Videos, and slide down to From Files and Folders. I will navigate to the folder where I'm storing the photos I want to bring in, my 2011 photos, and I will make sure Get Photos from Subfolders is checked in case I have any subfolders in there. I'll leave all the other options here unchecked. I will leave the File Type menu, or the Enable menu on a Mac, set to its default of Media Files, and I will click Get Media.
I don't want to bring in any keyword tags with these photos, so I will click OK. I am going to move this message out of the way, so that you can see the thumbnails of the photos that I just brought in from my computer to the Organizer. Keep in mind that these are just display copies of my actual photos. As I've said before in this course, bringing photos into the Organizer doesn't move them on my drive. What I've brought into the Organizer is just a link to each photo wherever I keep it, along with information about, and a thumbnail copy of, each photo. By the way, this message is telling me, as always, that the only items I can see right now are those I've just imported.
When I'm ready to see the rest of the items in the catalog, I will click OK to dismiss this, and I will go up here and click Show All. Now, if I scroll down, you can see the photos that I just brought in arranged according to the date they were shot among all the other photos in this catalog. Now that you've got your photos inside your Organizer, if you want to move them, it's important to do it from inside of the Organizer, not out in your operating system. Let me show you what happens if you move or rename a file that you've brought into the Organizer out in your operating system.
Out in my operating system, I am going into my photos folder, and I'm going to take this photo and drag it from there onto my Desktop. No, I'll go back into the Organizer. Now if I do something to this photo that I moved, like select it and then go up and adjust the size of the thumbnails, you can see this there is a question mark at the top-left corner of this photo. That means that the Organizer doesn't know where it is. If I double-click that question mark, the Organizer tries to go out and find it. If it's not having any luck, as it isn't, then I have to go into the File menu, and to Reconnect, and go out and find the file myself, and that isn't always easy.
So let me show you the better way to move or rename photos once they're in the Organizer. First, I'll switch to Folder Location view from the Display menu at the top-right of the Organizer. In the Folders panel, I will navigate to a folder that contains a photo I want to use. I am going to navigate to my Desktop where I've put this photo. To move this photo, I will just click on it and I will drag it where I want it to be. I will put it back in my 2011 photos folder. Now, when I click on that folder, and move the size thumbnail back to the left so you can see all the photos in that folder, there's the photo that I just moved back from inside of the Organizer, and there is no question mark on it, meaning that the Organizer knows where it is.
So that moved the actual photo on my hard drive, and helped the Organizer keep track of it. So that's how to bring your existing photos into the Organizer, and how to help the Organizer keep track of photos that are there. As you shoot more photos, you'll want to bring those new photos into the Organizer too, as I'll show you how to do in the next movie about importing photos from your digital camera to the Organizer.
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