The Category Tree

What are Categories

Whilst the tree view makes them seem similar in appearance to file system folders (directories), categories are very different. If a category were simply a location in which to place an image (as would be the case with a file system folder), and image would only be able to have one category associated with it. In fact images can and typically should have multiple categories associated with them, allowing you to use the category tree to select for viewing only those images that have your chosen categories. Careful organisation of this category tree will allow you to easily and efficiently find images in your collection.

The Category Tree Window and Displaying Categories

The Category Tree is displayed in the left pane of the program window. It is organised in much the same way as a directory (folder) tree provided by programs like Windows Explorer. Each Category may have sub-categories which can be expanded or contracted by clicking the small box containing a '+' or '-'.

You can either left or right click the yellow check boxes. The unchecked state means that category will be ignored. A left click will select the ticked state meaning that all images associated with this category will be included. A right click will select the crossed state meaning that all images not associated with this category will be included. If an unchecked category has checked children it will have a black box , This will be visible even when the checked child in hidden (contracted).

However if multiple categories are selected the images displayed will depend on whether AND or OR has been selected. If AND has been selected with ticks then only images that have all the ticked categories will be selected. If AND has been selected with crosses then only images that have none of the crossed categories will be selected. If OR has been selected with ticks then all images that have any one or more of the ticked categories will be included. If OR has been selected with crosses then all images that do not have the crossed categories will be selected.

The crossed state ("not") is generally somewhat more confusing to use and somewhat less useful. Initially it is probably easiest to stick to just using the ticked state. Also the AND association is generally more useful than the OR association.

See below for two examples:

In the example above, with the AND association, only those image that have both the categories 'Ski Touring' AND 'Norway' will be displayed. If OR has been selected then all images that have either 'Ski Touring' or 'Norway' will be displayed. The most convenient mode to use will generally be 'AND'.

In the example above, with the AND association, only those image that have the category 'Ski Touring' AND not the category 'Norway' will be displayed. IE all images of ski touring not in Norway. If OR has been selected then all images that have either 'Ski Touring' or not 'Norway' will be displayed. This latter example (with OR) would probably not be very useful!

Note: the category selection can be inactivated without losing your current selection of categories using Categories - Category Selection. In this case no category filtering is done and all images will be displayed (depending upon any search criterion).

Manipulating Categories

The Categories may be manipulated by selecting Categories - Organise Categories. This will display a dialog box allowing the categories to be renamed, deleted added to or moved. Categories can also be added or removed when setting the properties for individual images. The organisation of your category tree is fundamental to how easily you will be able to access your images, some careful thought should be given to it before you start. Although it can be modified and reorganised at a later date this will always be more of a nuisance than getting it right first time! You may wish to examine the category tree of the provided sample database called sample.idb to give you some ideas. Note that a category is identified both by its actual name and by its location in the tree, this means that it is perfectly reasonable to have two categories with the same name in different places in the tree. Whilst this does possibly suggest redundancy in your tree organisation it can be useful for generating a web site as HTML does not offer the ability to combine multiple selections to choose a thumbnail page.

Tip: it can be useful to have a "temp" category. By selecting a number of images and adding this temp category to them you can then easily view just those images (maybe you want to do some further categorisation on just those images). When finished with you just select the temp category and no others, then Select All and remove the temp category from them. This can all be easily achieved using Categories - Add/Remove Category to/from Images.

 

2004 Focus Software Solutions www.focussoftware.co.uk