Monday, October 20, 2014

Tag Your Files

Ever download a bunch of kits and file them away, only to lose them? You are doing a layout and you know you have that perfect kit, but where did it go?? Well, something can be done to find them if you don't remember the name of the kit or where you put it.  Folder names are only so helpful and many operating systems don't allow for mile long descriptive filenames (my OCD dislikes it as well).

This tip also will help speed up the process of locating what you need without having to really search "manually".  Even though I know where many of my things are, it's easier for me to just type in "chrome" and "alpha" if I'm looking for a silver alphabet. All will come up, as I have them in kits and in a folder of alphas.

That brings me to another tip: As you should already know, kits from different designers often are complimentary. Some will use only one kit to create a layout and won't add from another, but the lot of us will grab from everywhere. Using a tag such as "snowman" will bring forward everything you need from all of your downloads to create the best snowman themed layout ever.

As a designer:
Tag your images with keywords.  Use an abundance of keys like stripes, red, pastel, boy, dolls, trees, valentines, grunge, background, etc.  Use enough so when the user is looking for something specific, they'll find what they are looking for. It is unknown what keytag they'll use in a search, so tag with all that apply. This will help you as well, especially if you want to snag a piece from one kit to add to another or you are scrapping with your own designs.

As a scrapbooker:
Every time you download a new set of goodies, see if they are tagged. If they are not, now is the time to tag them, just after unzipping and before you file it away. If you're like me, busy with a ton of projects, you may just have a folder marked "October2014" with a bunch of hodge podge inside. If you never get around to organizing them, the tags will allow you to find them regardless. If the files are already tagged, look at them. Are they enough? Do they have key words that you'd use to identify this download? If not, then add as needed.

The link below will show you the basics of tagging if you don't know already.  I don't know how to do tagging on a mac, so you'll have to google. I know some image viewers have tagging tools, but it's best to stick with your operating system for tagging since these tags are more likely to stick with the image instead of being proprietary with the program only.

You can tag your photographs the same way too. I know that after you tag, if you upload them to a site like Flickr, the tags will be extracted. Makes it easy when you share with family and they are looking for a certain photo of yours. (I should note that when you upload to Flickr, you can edit the tags from the site, so if you don't want a tag to show, it won't.)

Like everything else, it's a habit to get used to and a large endeavor if you go back to old files and add tags, but in the long run it makes life easier, especially since we cannot write on the back of a digital photograph.

What was that? Oh, I have a few photo albums that aren't labeled either. And slides, thousands of them where I was too little to know where we were. Yeah. Don't shoot the messenger. Really. I'm only trying to help, not bog you down with yet another thing to do. ;)

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