Organize Photos Easily With Zoner Photo Studio’s Catalog

Real organization for your photos, and a quick way to find them? It’s not just a dream! You only need the right tools.

And Zoner Photo Studio’s Catalog has them. Learn to use it right, and your photo management will be easy.

Zoner Photo Studio works with your actual photo files on disk, which is one of its greatest strengths. Among its other strong points is the Catalog, which simplifies work with your photo collection. Once you learn how to work effectively with this “card catalog,” you won’t have to spend ages clicking your way down to your photos or waiting for the thumbnails for your large photo files to finally display.

What is the Catalog?

The Catalog is a “card catalog for your photos.” It constantly monitors folders of your choice and stores information about the photos inside them. Then when you browse or search for photos in those folders, Zoner Photo Studio doesn’t need to load in the photos themselves—it can quickly check the Catalog.

Photos are “cataloged” if they are in a cataloged folder—a folder that’s been added to the Catalog. (Note that one folder is added for you automatically: the Windows “Pictures” folder.) Cataloging a folder also catalogs its subfolders—the folders inside it.

To browse the Catalog’s pictures, use Zoner Photo Studio’s left-hand panel—the Navigator.

To browse the Catalog, use the left-hand panel—the Navigator.

To browse the Catalog, use the left-hand panel—the Navigator.

The Catalog offers both a Folder View and three other ways to browse your photos: Calendar View, Keyword View, and Location View. You’ll likely spend the most time working in Folder View. But the other views are great for searches and other organizing tasks.

  • Calendar View lists pictures by the dates when they were taken, which can really help when you’re seeking a specific photo but you only know its date.
  • Keyword View is both a way to browse pictures by keywords and a way to keyword-tag your photos.
  • Location View lists your GPS-tagged pictures by the places where they were taken—a great way to quickly find e.g. all the photos from one trip.
Calendar View lists pictures by when they were taken.

Calendar View lists pictures by when they were taken.

Fine Tuning Your Catalog

To add folders to the Catalog, click the “folder with a +” icon aligned with the word “Catalog” on the left. As mentioned above, your Pictures folder is added automatically, but you might want to add other folders—maybe even on different drives.

Click this icon to add a new folder to the Catalog.

Click this icon to add a new folder to the Catalog.

Then just choose which folder you want to add. ZPS takes care of the rest—it indexes this folder and all its subfolders. After choosing the folder, you arrive in the Catalog section of the Preferences window. To add more folders, use Add Folder… in this same window. To “uncatalog” folders, use Remove Folder.

You might notice the checkboxes here. These checkboxes do not set whether or not a folder is cataloged. Instead, they set whether or not ZPS stores large previews for the pictures in that folder. This option is useful when you’re cataloging USB disks and other locations that aren’t hooked up to your computer nonstop.

Once you’re back in the Manager, take a look at the Catalog on the left. You’ll notice a blue triangle in the Folder View for folders that are still being indexed, instead of the usual gray triangle. Once cataloging is done, this triangle turns gray again.

Use the “Add Folder” and “Remove Folder” windows to change what folders are cataloged.

Use the “Add Folder” and “Remove Folder” windows to change what folders are cataloged.

Visit the Catalog preferences to adjust the maximum size of the thumbnails in the Manager.

Visit the Catalog preferences to adjust the maximum size of the thumbnails in the Manager.

You can also change the maximum available size of the thumbnails shown in the Browser. (That’s the big middle area full of thumbnails in the Manager.) To do this, move the Maximum Thumbnail Size slider. To actually change the Browser’s current thumbnail size, use the slider in the top middle above it.

You can change the thumbnail size as needed while working in the Browser.

You can change the thumbnail size as needed while working in the Browser.

Sometimes you need more thumbnails at once; sometimes you need bigger thumbnails.

Sometimes you need more thumbnails at once; sometimes you need bigger thumbnails.

Tag Your Photos to Get More From the Catalog

The Catalog is especially helpful for photo organizing when you’ve tagged your pictures with labels, ratings, and keywords.

You can find and sort photos in the Browser using for example ratings (stars), colored labels, or keywords.

You can find and sort photos in the Browser using for example ratings (stars), colored labels, or keywords.

Keywords are a great aid when you need to quickly find a specific photo—maybe showing your grandparents or your trip to the mountains—but you can’t remember when it was taken or what folder it’s in. If you use keywords, then you can later reach that photo quickly using the Catalog’s Keyword View, in the left panel.

To quickly keyword-tag your photos, use the right-hand Side Panel, or drag the keywords from the Keyword View onto your picture. (Or drag pictures onto a keyword—that works too!)

To organize your keywords into categories, drag and drop them onto each other in the Keyword View.

Add keywords to your photos. Then find them fast in Quick Search or Keyword View.

Add keywords to your photos. Then find them fast in Quick Search or Keyword View.

The Catalog lets you browse your photos by keyword. Just click the keyword “Trails” in Keyword View, for example, and ZPS immediately shows all the cataloged photos that contain that keyword. You can also group your keywords into categories for better organization.

The Catalog lets you browse your photos by keyword. Just click the keyword “Trails” in Keyword View, for example, and ZPS immediately shows all the cataloged photos that contain that keyword. You can also group your keywords into categories for better organization.

Quick Searches

Quick Search can show you precisely the pictures that you need right now. You can search all your cataloged folders to find, for example, every photo rated above three stars, or every photo with a certain label. You can also search by filename and path, or by GPS location.

To search in your photos, use the Ctrl+F keyboard shortcut or click in the search box. That’s the box with the magnifying glass near the top left corner.

Click the magnifying glass to show the search controls. Use those controls to set where to search and what kinds of information to search in: text, ratings (stars), colored labels, GPS coordinates, and/or keywords. Then just click OK.

Click the magnifying glass to show the search controls. Use those controls to set where to search and what kinds of information to search in: text, ratings (stars), colored labels, GPS coordinates, and/or keywords. Then just click OK.

Since all this information has already been cataloged for your photos, ZPS doesn’t have to look it up again, so searching goes fast. But don’t take our word for it—try it yourself. Use the 30-day trial of Zoner Photo Studio if you need to. You’ll discover that the Catalog makes work with your photos easy.

Last updated 13. April 2017

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Author: Zoner

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Comments

  • Lennard Gill

    Sorry but just does not work on 17 or 18 got best results on V14 but only found some and not all search.???

  • Yankee

    Searching by keywords is much, much better and faster in Zoner 17 than in Zoner X. I would say it is brilliant, but Bridge is quicker like a bolt during searching with keywords.
    Managing keywords in Zoner X is also terribly painful or just impossible, when one has to create category (try to go back :) ) or find a photo using few keywords without going to Filter/Search menu.
    Try to find photos with two or more persons using only Keywords Panel. No chance.
    Go back with keywords module to Zoner 17 and improve its speed, please.
    I have also noticed that Zoner X gets slower and slower and slower in time. Its ZPSCache.dat folder takes over 8 GB, while in Zoner 17 the same folder occupies only 425 MB. Both results with the same collection of photos.

    • Zoner

      Hello,

      Thank you for your feedback! The new keyword system introduced in version 18 and kept in version X is quite different from version 17’s, but it is designed to be superior once you are accustomed to working in it.

      Here are some clarifications on some of the matters you bring up.

      It seems that you may not know how to create a category in ZPS X. To do so, drag one keyword onto another one in the list. The dragged keyword becomes a “child” of the other keyword, which then becomes a category if it was not already a category.

      This is generally fairly easy to do – if it is complicated for you – what is the most complicated / least convenient aspect of it for you?

      You mention having trouble with finding a photo using a few keywords without going to the Filter/Search menu. Here I am not clear on how version 17 is more advantageous – generally version X should lose nothing here, while gaining the advantage of being able to browse by keyword. And meanwhile, the Quick Search pane is only a Ctrl+F away. So this is one case where we are the ones who will need a clarification. :-)

      Regarding the speed issues and cache-size issues you mention, these are not the usual behavior of ZPS X; there must be a special circumstance involved. We will be happy to take a look at them together with you via the support line, which is more appropriate for investigating complex technical issues.