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Windows users, this is a lesson just for you. If you are on Windows, you can designate one or more folders on your hard drives to be Watch folders. When new photos or other media files are brought into a Watch folder out on your hard drive, then the Organizer will notify you and ask if you want those files automatically imported to your Organizer catalog. Or, depending on how you set up a Watch folder, those files would be automatically imported to your Catalog without bothering you with any notification. A Watch folder is identified in the Folders panel with a tiny binoculars, like the one that you see here to the left of My Pictures folder.
The My Pictures folder is a Watch folder by default. If you've noticed that everytime you put a photo into your My Pictures folder or a subfolder there, you get a notification in Elements Organizer. And if that's bothering you, and you really don't like that behavior, you can remove your Pictures folder from the Watch folders, by just right-clicking it here in the Folders panel and choosing Remove From Watch Folders. So how do you designate a folder as a Watch folder? You can do that from either of the two Folders views, this Hierarchy view, or the Folders List view.
But in the Folders List view, you have access only to Managed Folders--those folders that have a little scene icon on them, like this. If you want to designate a Non-managed folder as a Watch folder-- In other words, a folder that contains none of the items that are in your Catalog already--then you'll have to switch over to this Folder Hierarchy view. Where you can see, Non- managed as well as Managed folders. So, my Pictures folder is currently a non-managed folder. It doesn't have that little scene icon on it.
I want to designate this as a Watch folder, and there are two ways to do that. The quick way is to just right-click on the folder and choose Add to Watch Folders. But I'd like more options. So instead of that, I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose Watch Folders. That opens the Watch Folders dialog box. I want to make sure that this check box is checked to enable Watch folders, and then I can add to a list of folders to watch. I'll start by adding My Pictures folder, clicking the Add button, and navigating to My Pictures folder and clicking okay. And that adds that to this list.
If I wanted to add more folders as Watch folders, I would click the Add button again. Down here, I can choose what will happen when a new file is put into My Pictures folder, or one of its subfolders out on my hard drive. Now let's say I have a moblie device that always downloads photos to the same location, then I might choose to automatically add those files to my Elements Organizer. But usually, I like to be notified before adding files to my Organizer so I'll leave Notify Me selected here and I'll click okay. Now you can see the little binoculars icon on the my pictures folder again, indicating that it is a Watch folder.
So now, I'm going to go out to my hard drive and put some new photos in that Watch folder, so we can see what happens inside of the Organizer. Out in my Operating System I've navigated to My Pictures folder, I have a couple of subfolders there. I'm going to take these two photos that are my Desktop and drag them into My Pictures folder; or I could put them in one of those subfolders and the same thing would happen. I'll select these two and drag them over and now, I'll go back to my Organizer. And here is the notification that you get when you have a Watch folder.
It tells me that new files have been found in the Watch folder, and asks if I want to add those new files to the Media Browser, or to my Organizer. I'll click Yes and then I get this dialog box, where I can choose among those files the ones that I want to bring into my organizer. If I want to bring them both, I'll do nothing but click okay. If I want just this one on the right, I'll uncheck the one on the left, and then I'll click okay. And that imports that photo to my Organizer. I'm going to click the Back button to go back to see all the files in this Catalog.
And now, if I come up to My Pictures folder, notice that it has not only the Watch folder binoculars icon, but also the scene icon that indicates that it now contains at least one item that's been imported to this Catalog. And if I click on My Pictures folder, there is that item here in my Organizer catalog. Now if you think that Watch folders will save you time in your workflow, do give them a try. Or if you're bothered by the default Watch folders notification from your Pictures folder, now you know how to turn that off.
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