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If you want to use the organizer to view, find, and organize your photos, you'll need to use the import function to include those photos in your organizer catalog. In this movie, I'll show you how to do that with photos that you already have on your computer's internal drive, or maybe on an external hard drive. In the next movie, I'll show you how to do the same thing with new photos straight from your digital camera or card reader. By the way, there are no exercise files for this movie. I'm going to be using my personal files and you can use your own practice files to follow along with me.
Now before I import photos that are already on an internal or external drive, I take the time to organize them into folders outside of Elements. That way they'll be easier to manage here in the organizer's My Folders panel after I've imported them into Elements. Notice that in the My Folders panel I've already imported into this catalogue the sub folder of photos from Ansouis France, and the sub folder of photos from Lourmarin France. But I have yet another sub folder of France photos, those that I took in Annecy, so I am going to import those by going up to the Import>Import From Files and Folders.
Because this photos are ready in folders on one of my hard drives. Now by the way, if you're on the Mac, you'll see some slightly different choices in this menu but you will have the option to import from files and folders. So that's the one to choose when you're importing existing photos. Choosing from files and folders opens this window. If you're on a Mac you'll see a similar window but it will be organized slightly differently, but you will have all of the important fields. What I'm going to do here is navigate to my France folder.
It's in my pictures folder. Here's the France folder. I'll select it. I don't have to go inside the France folder and start trying to pick out individual files. All I have to do is make sure that Get Photos From Sub-folders is checked, so that the sub-folders inside the France folder are imported into my catalog. I'll leave all these other options unchecked for now, and I'll come down and click the Get Media button. And that begins the import into the organizer. Now what is this window about? Well, you remember that I had already imported some of the photos from my France folder into this catalog and Elements is smart enough to know that those photos are already in the catalog and so it doesn't duplicate them which is a really good thing.
So, here it's telling me that 12 of the files in the France folder were not imported because they're already in this catalog and only four of those files were imported this time. So I'll click OK. And now I can see the four photos that I took in Annecy here in the media browser, in the organizer and over in the My Folders panel, notice that the sub-folder for Annecy is listed there. Right now the organizer is just showing the photos that I last imported. If I want to go back and see all the photos in this catalog, I'll click the Back button.
I want to remind you that importing existing photos this way doesn't move those photos, or copy them, or somehow put them inside a container called Elements. Instead, all it does is create a record of those photos in my organizer catalog. Why is that important? Because that means that it would be a bad idea to go out to the hard drive and delete the original photos thinking that they were somehow here in Elements. They're not. These are just small thumbnail copies of each photo. For display purposes in the organizer. It's also not a good idea to move photos around in your operating system outside of Elements, once you've imported them into the organizer.
Because that will break the link between the photos and the organizer. And then in that case, you would have to re-establish the link to those missing files. I'll show you how to do that, later in the course. But the thing to remember is that, once your photos are imported you want to do all your work on them here in Elements. So, that's how to get existing photos, photos that are already on one of your hard drives, into an organizer catalog. Next I'm going to show you how to do the same thing with new photos from your digital camera.
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