Elements Organizer: Folder Location view does not display contents of sub-folders

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  • (Edited)
In PSE9 Folders view does not reduce down the folders list to just show folders associted with media when specific Tag is selected for view as it does it PSE4.

So in the Folders View, when viewing media for selected Tags in PSE9 only media in a specific folder are displayed...but in PSE4 ALL media for the selected Tags are displayed and the Folders view only shows folders used by the media.

So the bug is that PSE9 does not display media correctly in Folders view.
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Peter Borthwick

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Posted 7 years ago

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Brett N, Official Rep

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Much has changed between Photoshop Elements 4 and Photoshop Elements 9, especially in the realm of the Organizer.

One of these changes was a conscious decision on how the Folder Location view behaves. Previously there was a preference option on whether or not to display the contents of Sub-Folders. This was purposely removed because the the Folder Location view is designed to work like Windows Explorer or Mac Finder. When you go to (My) Computer on a Windows system, you only see the contents of the current folder. Thus the same is true of the Folder Location view in Elements Organizer.

I suggest you create a new topic as an "Idea" to bring this feature (or at least the option to choose) back.
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Phillip Ling

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I'm sorry but in Windows Explorer there is an option called 'Search Sub-Folders' which you can select, it's permantly selected on my computer simply because if you are looking for something, you must have temporarily mislayed it, so the chances are it's not going to be right under your nose in the folder you are working in, it's more likly to be in a sub-folder, if its not then what have you lost, you will still find it in the folder you are in. So if you have removed the search 'sub-folder' option to better emulate Windows Explorer search function then sorry but I think you will find you are wrong.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Philip, you make a very excellent point. I'll make sure this get brought to our engineers attention, as even searching acts as a filter to only show results for the currently selected folder, not pulling anything from sub-folders.
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Michael Rubin

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This is VERY disappointing, if I wanted to work in window live as an organizer I'ld get them all? but then why would I spend good money on PSE10? Reduce the price give me just the editor and I'll use zoom browser from canon or windows live as an organizer.
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Gary Buelow

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It seems that the Organizer has been going backwards in its ease of use. I have spent more hours that I can count tagging pictures in it (so I'm hesitant to stop using it), and it was one of the main reasons I've been buying PSE, however I now have to use my older version 6 because of things like the folder view problems with the newer versions. I will definitely not purchase another version until they can at least put a fuctional folder view back in it. It's hard to believe they have spent so much effort putting things in like the auto analyzer which puts smart tags on pictures, and ignored the basics because it might be difficult.
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Phillip Ling

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Don't give up on PSE Organizer completely, there is a 'work round', just go too the 'Display' button, (top right of window) and hit 'Thumbnail View', (this shows your whole catologue in date order), then select the tag for the photos you are wanting to view and they will all appear. You will of course have to go back too the 'Display' button and select 'Folder Location' afterwards to get back too the view you, (and I) like to work with, its all a bit clunky I'm afraid but it does work. I'm not sure what if anything Adobe are doing about this problem perhaps if the Adobe official rep is still moderating this thread they could give us an update?
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Gary Buelow

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Thanks Phillip
I am aware of that procedure, but there are a number of problems which have already been state but will list some of them anyway,

1. While in thumbnail view the order of pictures is by date. This is a problem for me because most of the photos I work with are scanned, and I have given them dates when I know the year, other wise they have the scanned date. Some tags have over 500 hundred photos attached to it, and the thumbnail view makes it very hard to make connections to photos in the same folder, as the photos get shuffled so to speak.

2. It also will lump photos with different formats and resolutions, etc. together that I have separated by folder, for different reasons. Then you have several thousand photos all lumped together in the thumbnail view.

3. The folder view now also has the problem not showing that there are even photos in a folder if they are in a sub folder. All in all the folder view is very limited now. It is very time consuming trying to navigate in it having to click on every folder you want to look in, expanding folders to see if any photos are in them, when before it was so easy to scroll.

4. On the positive side at least the folders don't collapse when going from folder - thumbnail and back to folder view like they used to.

I haven't given up on the Organizer, because I have too much time invested in it, but I'll be dammed if I pay for another version until they correct this, and hopefully make some improvements that I've been hoping for years. I know most users are more interested in the Editor, but for me working on family photos the Organizer has been very important, and I believe the old version 6 is superior (for this purpose) to any of the newer versions I've tried. I did buy version 9, which is good because of content aware editing. Adobe lets you try out new versions, which I am thankful for as I tried version 10, and saw there was no improvement in the Organizer, so avoided wasting anymore money.
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Phillip Ling

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Hello Gary
Well yes, you definetly have what could be classed as a bit of a problem there.

Totaly agree, Adobe have made a complete mess of the folder view and why when it used to work properly in PSE6 can they not just reinstate that function?

Like you I also make exstensive use of the organiser, utilising the tagging, star ratings and album functions to refine down my selections for printing and exhibition, it works a treat but please Adobe give us back the old folder function.
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Ryan Gibson

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Just upgraded from PE8 to PE12, and VERY frustrated with the organizer! Adobe, PLEASE allow us to view sub-folders like we used to be able to do! At least make it an option in the preferences menu!

I have images sorted by date in folder and sub folder (year / month / event), I do not want Elements to sort them for me. As a previous poster mentioned, some photos were scanned, or are located in a completely different folder but added at the same time...now they are all jumbled together! Grrr!

...also, I have sub-folders that I do NOT want to watch. However, PE12 seems to lack the ability to IGNORE sub-folders.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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I'm not sure what is being asked here. This post is about being able to click a parent folder and seeing the contents of not only that folder, but also all of the contents of any child (sub) folders that are in that parent folder that you have also imported files from.

The Folder panel on the left of the Elements 12 Organizer will list each individual folder that you have imported files from, regardless of the hierarchy on the hard drive (sub-folders display the same as parent folders). If you click the icon next to the "My Folders" header, this will display all folders on your hard drive in the hierarchy listing. This I assume is what you refer to as being able to see your sub-folders.

When you click a folder in the left Folders panel, you should only see the files in that folder, with no jumbling. However, if you are not clicking a folder in the left panel, then you are simply seeing all of the images you have imported in the sort order you have selected. If you only one to see a single folder's worth of contents, click that folder in the Folders panel.

The Organizer only pays attention to the folders and sub-folders that you have told it to import files from. If you don't want to see the images from a specific folder, simply right-click on that folder in the Folders panel and choose Delete Folder. This will remove the folder from the Organizer. You have the extra option to remove that folder from the hard drive as well, but you do not have to (and this option is always off by default to prevent accidental removal).
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Ryan Gibson

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...PSE is not in front of me at the moment, so I will have to play around with it when I get home. It sounds like a couple of my issues may be mute.

As for the multiple folder thing, let me try to explain better:

I have my photos organized in a directory tree, consisting of Year > Month > Event(s). There may or may not be any photos in the Year or Month folders, but there are always photos in the Event folders. The photos may be imported directly from a camera and contain valid "created on" dates, while other photos may be scanned images of old photographs, or for some other reason contain "invalid" "creation" dates, due to being scanned literally years or decades later than the actual photos were taken.

From what I recall, the "normal" view in PSE12 is something like all photos, sorted chronologically, in a grid. Due to all of the "invalid" dates imbedded in my photos, this does not work very well, causing many photos to appear out of order.

Also, when I am looking for a particular photo, I usually want to see plus and minus a month or two, as I may not remember exactly when a particular photo was taken. In PSE8, this was a no-brainer. I could simply click on a specific year and month, and I could easily scroll up and down to see all of the photos that were taken NEAR the date that I thought they were taken. A "folder break" (including folder name) was also visible in the thumbnail view, indicating where folders began and ended.

In PSE12, I am forced to click on each folder individually, in order to see what is inside. Yes, this is like Windows Explorer...but that's not always what I want...if I wanted Explorer, I would use explorer...and for some things I do...but for browsing through my album, I much prefer the way PSE8 did it.

Also, as I indicated above, it would also be nice if there were a way to set the default folder view in the preferences menu. I prefer to default to "tree" mode...others may not...but I don't see why that can't still be an option. Why do we have to default to "flat" view? Who decides what "default" is, and why?

...it just seems like if these feature once existed, it should be easy enough to add it back in as preference options.
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Ryan Gibson

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After playing with it for a bit, I did verify that the "delete folder" right click option does work...albeit unintuitively. I think this command should be labeled something different, like "remove from album" or something. I would not have even tried that option based on the name!

Also, while the folder can be removed without removing the files from the hard drive, if the folder is nested within a directory tree of watched folders, you will apparently be repeatedly asked to add the files in that directory back into your album every time it detects that new files were added to that "deleted" folder, because it's parent folder is being watched...

This could be fixed by adding an "ignore" option in the "watched folders" window.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Ryan, I am in complete agreement with you on some points. I liked when the Organizer had the sub-folder viewing option. You could turn it on or off, it was your choice whether you wanted the Organizer to behave more or less like Finder/Explorer. And really, what is the point of the Organizer if it's just going to behave like Finder/Explorer? I didn't want the feature removed, but I need to bring a strong case to the engineering team to have it brought back. Having support on this post is key.

Adding features into an application is not as easy as flipping a light switch. It's more like adding a light switch in a room. All we see is that surface plate and switch, but behind the scenes a whole like of wire had to be positioned and twisted together. Since these features have never existed in the current incarnation of the Organizer (which with version 11 had a complete overhaul), they are a little harder to add.

The best I can offer for now is an alternative: go to Find > Find by Details (Metadata). You can then set the criteria to Capture Date or Catalog date. Set the filter for "is after" and choose the earliest date you'd like to view. Add a second criteria for the same with the filter set to "is before" and choose the latest date you'd like to view. Make sure the "Search for files which match" is set to All of the following search criteria. You can then save this search as a Smart Album, so in the future if you've scanned images or otherwise add images that fall in this date range, they will automatically be added to the search results.

The Folder view switching back to My Folders from Hierarchy view on restart seems like a bug to me, as settings like this should be remembered. I'll report this and see if we can't get it repaired.
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Albums and Folders are two different things. A folder is what you have on your hard drive to organize files. An Album is basically a virtual folder within the Organizer. Your folders are not with the Albums, so "Remove from Album" would be incorrect. Perhaps you mean "Remove from Catalog"?

It sounds like you are asking for a pretty complex setup for how Watch Folders works. Are you suggesting to have one list of folders that are watched and then a separate list of folders that are specifically ignored because they fall within the folders being watched but we don't want to have the files they contain in the Organizer? Hmmm, that is an interesting request. I'd suggest making a new post for that.
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Phillip Ling

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Where oh where is an official response from Adobe to this problem, (of their own making), this has been going on for over two years now. We had a response from an official Adobe rep a year ago, during that time I have upgraded to PSE11 thinking that this fault would have been rectified and had they? No they had not, in fact they had made it worse by taking away the, (normal Windows), function of displaying files within a folder by 'File Number' order, now you can only display by Newest, Oldest or Batch, (the chronological order in which you loaded them onto your computer)....WHY? So if you number your files in a numeric file sequence that suits your requirements, (sort of like normal filing systems are supposed to work), the Organiser will helpfully go and muddle them all up for you....!!! So you have to go back into Windows Explorer to view your files presented in file order, (the order you want), great. So it appears from Ryan Gibsons comment that this farcical "Organiser" arrangement has now been carried forward into PSE12, for goodness sake what are Adobe thinking of, they have after all been told about this? As an Adobe customer of long standing, I am getting really quite annoyed, I feel like I/We are being totally ignored by Adobe, I really am not happy about this. Come on Adobe please tell us what are you going to do about this? What is the point of running this 'Community-powered support for Photoshop Family' site if you are only going to ignore the comments/complaints posted?
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Brett N, Official Rep

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No, alpha-numeric works in whatever view you may be in.

If Elements Organizer and Lightroom had the same functions, they would be the same application. While there are a number of overlapping features between the two, there are also a fair number of differences, including this one.

Different people have different ways of using applications. While having alpha-numeric sorting is a requirement for some, such as yourself, it isn't used at all by others. I, for one, do not use it for my own files. I haven't the foggiest clue what any of my file names are (whatever the camera gave it), nor do I even know what folders they reside in. My sorting is done entirely by date, keywords, and albums. The option in question wasn't removed to make things more difficult, but to reduce the number of options and thus remove complication. But the voice of the customer was heard and we put it back in.

Adobe makes many products that provide many different functions and are built for different audiences. While it would be nice to have all of the applications work in similar fashion so you could easily transition from one to another, problems arise when you consider those who have been using the products for years. You have to change one to match the other, thus alienating that past audience. This, of course, is what happened with the sub-folder viewing. We tried to make the Organizer more like Explorer/Finder to make working in both more seamless, thus alienating those who have used older versions in which it was available. For those new to the product, this wouldn't be a loss. But it's a tricky balance to find out which features are important to everyone who has been using the product but to make the changes that will simplify, streamline, and increase the speed at which the application performs and the workflows customers use while also making it friendly to those just getting started.

So, if sub-folder viewing is really important to many Elements users, we can bring it back, but we need to be told. Have your friends and colleagues who also support this idea give a +1.
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Ryan Gibson

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...yeah, that's easier said than done. I don't hang out at the local coffee shop every other Saturday with 50 other people and talk about sorting my photos. THIS is the forum for getting those votes, and if this thread gets buried amongst the other thousands of topics, it's essentially worthless.

That of course doesn't mean that there aren't hundreds of people that would rather see these features come back...it just means that they don't even know this topic exists. It's the same problem with Nielsen ratings for TV shows. Just because the ratings are low, doesn't mean there aren't a LOT of people that like something.

My problem now is that I've purchased PSE12, and since it's "software" I can't return it and get my money back, or exchange it for another product like Lightroom. Adobe does a great job of showing what features have been ADDED to newer versions of software, but they sure did a poor job of comparing features that were REMOVED. I certainly wouldn't have "upgraded" if I had known these features had been removed!
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Brett N, Official Rep

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That's all very true and part of the trouble with rallying others to a cause for change. However, you could lend your voice to social media to point others back to this page.

The sub-folder viewing option was removed quite awhile back. Alpha-numeric sorting was added back in with version 12. Are
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Ryan Gibson

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Brett...looks like your comment got chopped off...?
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Brett N, Official Rep

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Weird... I don't remember exactly where I was going from there (I'm currently bouncing around this and other forums)...
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Ryan Gibson

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If I don't get some sort of positive feedback from Adobe in the next week or so on this issue, I think I'm going to see if I can return PE12 and look into other software packages. I opted for an Amazon download...so not sure how a return would work...hopefully that wasn't a poor choice...

While the PE8 editor worked pretty well, the PE8 organizer was buggy, which was the main reason I upgraded...but if the primary organizer functionality that I want has been removed, I might as well just go back to using Windows Explorer for organizing my photos, and find a better editing program. I have used Nikon Capture NX2 in the past, and recall actually liking it better than PE8 editor...so I might go back to that...
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Brett N, Official Rep

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If by "positive feedback" you mean that we have current plans to add the sub-folder function back into the application, then I'm afraid we cannot oblige. As I told Phillip above, only 3 people have liked this feature request. Without more support we cannot make promises to change the application in this fashion.
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dancingbeader

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You can make that 4 at least! I'm very dissatisfied with a backward step in Elements 12. It's messed up all my filing system.
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dancingbeader

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Next time I need to upgrade I will be getting different software, unless Adobe offer an update dealing with this very irritating problem. It' said backward step.
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Ryan Gibson

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Please be sure to click the "LIKE" icon at the top of this thread...otherwise your vote won't be counted. Encourage anyone else you know that uses this software to do the same!
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dancingbeader

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I don't think I can 'like' as I don't use Facebook, Ryan
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dancingbeader

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Being dumb! Just seen where to 'like' so have done!
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Ryan Gibson

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;)
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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I don't use a folder structure organization system at all since the organizer offers everything for advanced management via categories, keywords, albums etc.
I don't miss either the ability to display the contents of subfolders like the folder organization fans.

But I must say that I often need to SELECT all files in a folder and its subfolders, for instance to assign a common keyword to a pre-existing folder structure. PSE12 has introduced the ability to search by folder/subfolder name in the 'search by detail / metadata' menu. For instance, you can select all pictures in 'February' subfolders wherever they are in the structure, but you can't select files in subfolders of the 'February' ones... Implementing an option to SELECT the contents of subfolders would make DISPLAYING those contents possible.

So, even if I am not a folder organization fan, I'll add my vote to that request.
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dancingbeader

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I posted a question regarding folders and subfolders on Adobe Forums and got a reply telling me it is possible. Click Ctrl and T and you are back where you want to be. Also found out that you can dock the panels as you could in !0. In Editor click on the arrow at side of More (bottom right of screen) and select Custom. Drag the layer palette out of side bin, open up required panels via Window and drag on top of layer, then drag back to side bin.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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If you click Ctrl T or use the small yellow icon on the right of 'My folders' title, you'll switch to the 'Folders' hierarchical view, which is what most users want.
The purpose of the original request is different. In older versions of Elements (I don't know which exactly, it was present in PSE6 and absent in PSE10) you had an option to DISPLAY all the contents of a folder AND the contents of its subfolders.
I suppose that the fact that the 'My folders' view is the default one instead of the 'Folders' one is the real problem for a vast majority of new PSE11 / PSE12 users; but other users feel that displaying the content of subfolders is critical with their workflow. Even if I believe they are not many, their request is interesting in my perspective, which is to enable an easy migration from a folder based organization to a database one. For instance, the new 'My folders' view as well as the new option to search by folder/subfolder names are excellent tools.
Ideally, we could hope for searches including the contents of sub-folders or searches for multiple selected subfolders in the 'Folders' panel, by Ctrl clicking on several subfolders...
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Ryan Gibson

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Just to re-iterate my point, for many years I have sorted images by date, in folder and sub folder (year / month / event). I like my system and I do not want Elements to sort them for me, and I don't want to have to go back and reassign database tags to everything that I've already sorted! Additionally, my biggest issue is that some of my photos were scanned, or for some reason they may have an invalid time-stamp...now they are all jumbled together!

For example, if I imported photos from my camera for my kid's birthday party last week, and then subsequently also scanned in photos of my wedding from 10 years ago, Elements would automatically place those two sets photos adjacent to each other in my organizer, even though the photos were taken at completely different times and events in my life. That is not a feature, it is a limitation that was introduced in later revisions of this software.

What we are asking for is for Adobe to ADD that feature BACK.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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You write:
"For example, if I imported photos from my camera for my kid's birthday party last week, and then subsequently also scanned in photos of my wedding from 10 years ago, Elements would automatically place those two sets photos adjacent to each other in my organizer, even though the photos were taken at completely different times and events in my life. "
Elements does not place files automatically. Even the default options offered to users in the preferences separate the default master folder for files imported from camera or card readers from the default master folder of scanned pictures. That is an independent question from displaying the contents of subfolders like in older versions. The new versions are not different in the way you can import your pictures into your own personal folder hierarchy, they are different because they can't DISPLAY the contents of subfolders when you select a folder in folders view.
That's what other users are asking in the present request.
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Ryan Gibson

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You are correct, Elements is not reorganizing my folder structure on the hard drive. My issue is that it is neither DISPLAYING nor ORGANIZING my folder structure correctly..

Since the whole POINT of Elements Organizer is to DISPLAY and ORGANIZE my photos, IMO, it is completely failing (for MY needs) in that regard. Elements Organizer 8, (which is what I just upgraded from) did this perfectly. They broke this feature. That's all I am saying. I still find Elements Editor fairly useful...but I have stopped using the organizer until either this issue gets resolved, or I find a better solution.
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Ryan Gibson

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Grrrrr!...this still makes me angry! I want to edit the IPTC Metadata in ALL photos within all sub-folders under one parent folder...but Elements won't let me do it! I found a video online that shows that Adobe Lightroom can do it. Older Elements programs can do it. Why would they break this feature in Elements?!

See here:
http://tv.adobe.com/watch/the-complet...

She explains nicely why a person may want the option of viewing all images in subfolders or not. Adobe, please port this feature from Lightroom to Elements!
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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" Why would they break this feature in Elements?"
Because the folder view in older versions was bug-ridden and it had to be completely re-written.

Several workarounds depending on your folder structure:
- If you have a small number or subfolders, just assign a common keyword successivelly to all members of each subfolders (or put them in a common album)
- There is a new option in the 'Find by detail' menu to select files having a common text string in the subfolder name. With luck, you can select all (that worked for me for subfolders beginning with 2014).
- My preferred one, with the following steps:
Organizer closed, I rename the master folder with a special suffix.
I open the organizer and run the search for missing files. I assign a common tag to all missing files. I quit, rename the master folder back and open organizer again. Et voilĂ , all your files have a common tag, and you can select them to use the new IPTC feature.
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Jack Klaber

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I too have abandoned Folder View in PE9 as it doesn't work like in PE4 or PE6.
The problem was that after switching to Folder View the displayed thumbnails had no relation to the selected folder in the left column.
Whatever folder you clicked, something different was displayed, but I never had the inclination to research what actually was displayed.
I just did not use Folder View anymore......
But as many have reported before, PE9 is not a good organizer to work with when a catalog has tens of thousands of images.

But I've found a work around that is reasonable to work with:
Hit the F11 button for Full screen view and then hit the F11 button again and everything is now as it should be!


Only the option to see all thumbnails as was available in PE6 and PE4 is missing.
You will only see the files in the selected folder and not as was an option, to scroll through all sub-directories.....