Is there an up to date user manual ? Categories empty

Frequently Asked Questions regarding XnView (including Answers)

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ruskin
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 4:45 am

Is there an up to date user manual ? Categories empty

Post by ruskin »

I have read the 2017 manual and watched videos and perused the forum and everybody is way advanced. I am a brand new mac user on version (Version 1.0 64bits (Apr 28 2022) libformat version 7.110 user).

Categories sounds like a great idea! Hypothetically you could tag photos (not to be confused with 'tags', which is confusing... not sure of the distinction) with common categories, (things like I find under rating : 'personal', 'work' - confused again.). But if I try to use categories by right clicking on a photo in the Browser, selecting Category, there is nothing in the menu.

If I go down to the categories pane it is empty and right clicking in it does nothing. If I go to the Category Sets it shows Assigned, History, Suggested... all empty. Clicking hither and thither does not seem to give me any options. I found one place where I could import a category file, but no idea what format it should be in.

Is there a user manual that explains how categories work in the new version? Right on the main page of xnViewMP it has no clues. I realize you guys spend lifetimes writing all this code. Would be marvelous if it could be documented a little.

Thanks.
zarlan
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Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by zarlan »

XnViews use of the word tag, is very, and completely needlessly, confusing and misleading. (it should really use a different word… you "tag" some images, and then you can get a view of just those files. A useful feature …but a very wrong name for it)

…and categories are what everyone else calls tags, but they are specifically tags that aren't embedded in the files or in sidecars, but kept in a central XnView database. (which is excellent! Some people prefer tags embedded in the files, but others, like me, abhor those and prefer an external database, as is used with XnViews categories …though XnView is fully able to use embedded tags, as well, and also transferring tags between them)
ruskin wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 5:01 amBut if I try to use categories by right clicking on a photo in the Browser, selecting Category, there is nothing in the menu.
Well, you just have to create categories.
I find it strange, that you didn't have a couple of default categories, though.
I did …but the first thing I did, was to delete them, so that I could make my own, to my own liking, mind you. I have quite a lot of them now, in a big category tree. (which is a work in progress)
If I go down to the categories pane it is empty and right clicking in it does nothing. If I go to the Category Sets it shows Assigned, History, Suggested... all empty.
In either pane, there is a black bar at the top that you can click, to write in.
There you can write the name of a category to create, press enter, and you'll get a category creation dialogue.

Or right click on a category in the Categories pane, and choose "New category" (making a new one, at the root-level of the category tree) or "New subcategory" (making it a subcategory of the clicked category) …but that seems to only work, when right-clicking on a category? (even for "New category", which makes no sense)

Also, right-clicking in the Categories filter pane, gives you the option of "New category", and if you do so on an existing one, the new category will be a subcategory of that one.
Clicking hither and thither does not seem to give me any options. I found one place where I could import a category file, but no idea what format it should be in.
Those are ones made by exporting categories from an existing XnView installation, so…
Is there a user manual that explains how categories work in the new version?
Not really.
As a relatively new user, myself, I have (even before installing it, and indeed also to find out if it was worth installing) searched high and low, and there is only a very tiny bit of documentation, with none of it going into that much depth.
A proper manual, as well as a proper help, would be great.
Heck, it doesn't even have a proper list of features!
Indeed, when asking questions of the creators, I've found that they/he is sometimes unaware of how things work, and what features are present, with the answers coming later…
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michel038
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Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by michel038 »

I wrote my own manuals... You can paste the link below in Google Translate. (French > Your language )
And you must first select a picture, to be able to work in categories pane.
ruskin
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 4:45 am

Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by ruskin »

Thank you kindly for the reply.
The only place I can get anywhere close to creating a category is when I somehow manage to get the Category Filter tab to show. In that pane it shows all the other weird things that I guess are not actual categories like Rating, Colour Label, People (this would be great, but it is inactive), and Special Items (?) and Album (another thing that might be great...?) and finally Categories!
If I right-click on Categories it displays a menu with 'New Category'! Great! But nothing happens if I select it. It also displays 'rename' and 'delete' greyed out.

I am baffled. Amazing how many people seem to be on here and making good use of the app, it just goes to show that there is a demand for this kind of thing. All these people and all these great features. I feel kind of left out :(

All I really want to do is tag my images with keywords so that I can search by keyword.

I found that Davinci Resolve, the video editing app, which is free, has a pretty decent ability to do this for images, video and audio. So I am most likely going to bail on this program.

Thanks again for your help.
ruskin
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Joined: Fri May 27, 2022 4:45 am

Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by ruskin »

michel038 wrote: Fri May 27, 2022 5:28 pm I wrote my own manuals... You can paste the link below in Google Translate. (French > Your language )
And you must first select a picture, to be able to work in categories pane.
Thank you. I checked out the manual and translated it to English. The dialogs are in French and it is pretty confusing as I don't understand where you are getting the 'keywords' concept from. Are categories and keywords the same thing?

Anyway, I simply have no categories. I checked all the boxes you checked in the metadata preferences. It simply gives me no option to create categories. It displays no categories. I am baffled.

Maybe the version I installed is broken. It is Version 1.0 no longer in beta! Yippeeee!
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michel038
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Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by michel038 »

Sometimes Windows locks some folders where categories are stored and managed...
You can try to use a Zip version of Xnviewmp, unzip and store it in a free place (not program files)

"Categories" is a tool to manage a database.
If "export" option is set, corresponding iptc or xmp keywords will be added in jpg photos when a category is checked.
(Settings, Metadata, Export...)
These keywords are in standardized format and can be read by other softwares. It,'s a safe way to backup your work.
Last edited by michel038 on Sat May 28, 2022 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
zarlan
Posts: 86
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2022 10:33 am

Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by zarlan »

ruskin wrote: Sat May 28, 2022 6:13 amThe only place I can get anywhere close to creating a category is when I somehow manage to get the Category Filter tab to show.
Huh?
You should have gotten just as close to creating a category, in the other places…
Here is a picture with screenshots of both the category and category set panes, with the bar I speak of, ringed in red.
Screenshot_2022-05-28_11-09-55.png
Surely you should be able to click on the bar, and write in it …though, given what you describe happening in the categories filter pane, I'd guess that nothing would happen.
If I right-click on Categories it displays a menu with 'New Category'! Great! But nothing happens if I select it. It also displays 'rename' and 'delete' greyed out.
Nothing happens? Weird.
I guess maybe michel038's suggestion that it could be Windows having locked the folder with the database, would sound right …except that you said you're on Mac. Maybe Mac does the same?
…or maybe some other weird thing?
If the folder is locked, his suggestion of using the ZIP-version would certainly work, but you can also change the folder where the database is stored, in the settings (under Settings - Integration - Paths), which should work just as well.

Edit: Your issues sound kinda like the catalog is unreachable, or not there …which made me think of something:
I have just checked something on my Linux computer, where I have disabled the catalog (as I don't use it, waiting for some ability to regularly transferring the database to and from my Windows computer, rather than duplicating my strenuous categorising efforts), and there I am completely unable to select the bars in the categories and category sets panes, and right-clicking in the categories filter pane, gives the exact same result that you describe
…which is all as it should be, if the catalog is disabled. (except that "New Category" should also be greyed out, along with "rename" and "delete")

Thus I suggest you check Settings - Catalog, and see if the "Enable Catalog" option is checked. If that box is unchecked, then that is the answer to your problems. If so, just check it, and things should work properly, with no need for changing the folder where the database is stored, or using the ZIP-version.
(if it still doesn't work, then the previously mentioned stuff above applies)

…and speaking of Settings - Catalog, make sure the Base Path is "/" …unless you have a single folder, where (and in its subfolders) the images you want to catalog are, and you want to be able to transfer the catalog between multiple computers, in which case you can set that folders path. In any other case: Make sure it's "/"
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ruskin
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Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by ruskin »

Hallelujah! Without your persistent assistance I would have never looked back, but I did something in the settings (preferences on mac) under Browser/Catalogue that caused it to work. I now have predefined categories and am able to define my own as well.

I think it was changing the catalog root from '/' to the actual place where most of my photos are. I don't see any new file in there (a catalog file?) but now when I tag a photo (my terminology) with a category I can see the directory of the tagged files in a list back under settings/catalog. Such a strange tangle of procedures with very little documentation is a wonder and I have to say it is hard to trust an app that is so arcane. There are so many many many settings in the preferences that I have NO IDEA (and perhaps nobody has any idea) what they do.....

But, it seems to do what I want and you seem to like it, as do a lot of others, so I will continue to get familiar with it and see how it goes.

Thanks again!
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XnTriq
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Re: Is there an up to date user manual ? CATEGORIES EMPTY

Post by XnTriq »

@zarlan: Good job :-D

@ruskin: Please keep in mind that all “Xn” software is the work of one developer. You'll find links to a few tutorials in the official XnView wiki.