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Is it possible to merge catalogs?


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I have a directory with about 9000 photos. There is a local catalog, and a shared server catalog each with a partial set of tags.

I would like to add all of the tags that are in the local catalog to the server version without "replacing" the existing sever version tags.

A large number of the photos are RAW .ndx files, so the tags written to file are .xmp  sidecars.

If this has already been dealt with, a link to the previous posts would be helpful.

Thanks, Peter


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Hello lintujuh;

There is one set of photos in a single directory. Both catalogs are for the full set of photos.

I had originally created a local catalog, and tagged many of the photos. Some time later, I created a Server catalog, and somehow managed not to import all of the tags from the local catalog.  I am guessing that I ADDED the photos thinking that all tags had been written to file.  I then added tags to the Server catalog set.

I now have one set of photos, with two catalogs, and two partial, and quite different, sets of tags.

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One solution that comes into my mind is to create a third catalog and import the images there. This catalog will contain the tags that are written into the files, note that there is (has been?) an issue with the updated EXIF tags (e.g. Creation Datetime) that the changes are written into the .xmp file, but at import the original file has the priority. Then select all images and select Item > Export > Export to CSV. Repeat this in the other catalogs. The result from the new catalog and your server catalog should match, unless you have been making changes through the local catalog. Now you can compare the files and see how big issue you have. If there are only few discrepancies then the simplest thing is to manually fix those. Use the new catalog you created, because that is based on the tags that actually are in the files.

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what happens if you run the "Rescan Folders" action over all photos in the shared catalog? For tags that do not allow multiple content, e.g. title, caption, there should be no deviations, because if you have changed something in either the local or shared catalog, this change is in the file through the synch process. I.e. there is always the current, last entered value. For tags that allow multiple entries, e.g. keywords, all entries that were newly imported from the local catalog or were already in the shared catalog are then present. If you have already called the action "read tags from file" in the shared catalog, all tags should already be present in the shared catalog that were written to the file by both the local and the shared catalog. Regarding the Creation Date Time tag, it depends on how your settings are for RAW files: write only to sidecar or also to Exif. After that I would look at how e.g. the keyword tags look like and clean them up according to the tag hierarchy in the shared catalog.

regards, Uwe

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Thanks for the thoughtful suggestions gentlemen.

Uwe, I had done some experimenting with "Rescan Folders". It seems to me that the rescanned folder was overwriting the existing tags, so People names. Places etc that existed in the catalog before the rescan would get wiped out. This was a few weeks back, so I could not tell you exactly what I was doing at the time. I had one directory with two catalogs, and guessed that the tags from neither catalog were completely written to file, so I wanted to preserve all of the tags in both catalogs.

I followed up on the suggestion from lintujuh, and exported to CSV all the tags from both catalogs. I then opened the CSV files in a spreadsheet, and used lookups, and conditional formatting, to identify all of the differences. It was then fairly easy to edit the tags to get what I wanted. After saving my edited sheet back to CSV, I imported into a new catalog. Importing took about 12 hours, but it worked flawlessly.

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