Elements: People tags lost after editing a file

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  • Updated 5 months ago
  • (Edited)
When I edit a photo which has people tags attached and then save with a different name, the edited version has lost ALL of its people tags. I have to attach them again.I have version 15. I was told by customer care that this is a planned 'feature' of versions since version 13. This is so annoying and I can see no possible reason for not copying people tags. All other tags are copied to the edited version. I have been using Photoshop Elements for around 16 years, and am totally frustrated to learn that this 'bug' is not being addressed. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!
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mike.j.newman

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  • frustrated and very annoyed

Posted 5 months ago

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Jack Klaber

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Mike,
I have version 13 and can report that I could duplicate this problem.
More relevant, just "save as" (without touching the image) removes all tags!

If you checkmark the "save in Elements" then it will be "attached" to the original image and it should not be very time consuming to add the tags. It will for sure go much faster than the editing process....... 

But I agree with you that it would be better to preserve all tags, even people tags, although with cropping the square won't be at the same place in the image. It would be another nice feature if one "unlock" and move the square...

If you received information from customer care that your problem is considered a planned 'feature' then there is not much you can do except waiting...
(Edited)
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mike.j.newman

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Thank you SO MUCH for your reply Jack. I've been seeking help for this for months and yours is the first answer offering help. Why would you not expect people tags to be preserved? This was what happened for years (I have been a user for over 15 years). I never used version 13, but 14 and 15 both discard people tags. Version 12 and earlier always preserved people tags. It is much easier to remove a people tag that no longer applies than replace all of the people tags that were present before editing. At least half of my photos are family history documents and I use people tags to indicate which of my ancestors are referred to in the document. In this case it is almost never the case that I want to remove a people tag after editing. If it is a family photo with people in the photo tagged, it normally stays the same after editing, and, in the rare cases where someone has been edited out, I can easily remove their tag. For months after starting using version 14 I had made perhaps hundreds of edits before I noticed that people tags were no longer being preserved. Finding those photos which have lost their people tags is now a real problem. I have over 40,000 items in my catalogue.

My save options in the Editor are :-
include in Elements Organiser (ticked)
save in version set with original (not ticked)
save as a copy (not ticked)
colour ICC profile sRGB (ticked)
other: Thumbnail (ticked)

Do you know of a way I can choose to have people tags preserved as a default?

Thanks again for your kind reply.
Mike
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Mike,
I did read you question in the other forums, but I thought I could be of no help because I have decided to ignore the face tagging  feature introduced in PSE11.  That means I don't want to take the risk to explore your problem.
The reasons?
I am doing the same work as you with family history with a lot of persons to organize.
Face recognition is not only of no help for me, it is totally inefficient and a huge burden on my hardware.
- I don't need a special tag category for people: I still use the same standard subcategory used for the oldest organizer versions.
- I want to organize 'persons', not faces. I want to tag them in various ways, first name, second name, married name, nickname, family branches etc.
- I absolutely don't want to have all faces in my library tagged (most are of no interest)
- I use normal keywords to identify the most significant persons. I may not create a person tag if it's enough to mention him/her in a caption or a note with 50 other persons. The organizer will find the name in captions or notes very efficiently.
The result is perfect for me.

As I said, I have decided not to enable face recognition (an extremely heavy gadget for me). So, I can't test it now and I only have to imagine how it does work.
I would not expect the current implementation of  'people' to work like 'normal' keywords. It is my understanding that 'people' are managed in 'stacks' in the catalogs, a bit like albums. That kind of data is not specific to a single file and may be difficult to save in the metadata section of the file itself (like in albums).  Saving a file and keeping the information in the catalog may not be as simple as it seems, the face recognition location may be changed by cropping for instance.

Note that you don't save in version sets.
You should try that to see if that helps you. When you have version sets, any search query will result in showing the expected person, the original will be shown beside the new version. The new version will have a 'non matching' icon, but it will be found.
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Jack Klaber

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To answer you question if I know a way to have people tags preserved as a default, I can only advise to edit your images and rename them before starting to tag them and then only edit and save the images so you won't lose the tagging and album information.  

As I wrote before, as soon as you chose the "Save as", you lose all tagging and album information. Saving in version sets or copy therefore doesn't change anything in this respect.

I use face tagging for several reasons in "my family" catalog (almost 50,000 images). To have speedy response my catalog folder is located on the SSD system disk (500GB). I also use a fast i7 processor with 16GB RAM and a fast graphics card. I have hundreds of face tags, organized in a genealogical hierarchy. 

1. It's fast. In most images the faces are recognized automatically and I just have to OK the guess.
2. Face not recognized uniquely are shown with a few options and many times the right one is amongst them, so I just have to click on the correct one. This is only a fraction of a second slower than the first case.
3. Is the name not shown in the list, I can enter a few characters in the field above it and PSE immediately shows me a list of people having names beginning with that character.
4. If no face is recognized I click on the mark face button. I just have to move the rectangle to the face and OK the location, then type the first character of the name and again, I'm presented with a list of people with names that begin with that character 
5. In cases I can't remember the name, I can search in the hierarchical list of people and locate the name "manually".
6. New names are put on the top of the hierarchy tree and can thus easily be handled afterwards (edit name and move it with the mouse to its proper place in the hierarchy.

All in all, a nice and useful feature, this people tag...... 
(Edited)
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mike.j.newman

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Dear Michel

Thank you very much for responding to my post.

There seems to be a miss-understanding. I am NOT referring to 'face tagging'.

Like you, I decided it was not for me. I always make sure it is disabled whenever I upgrade to a new version. I much prefer to put a people tag onto all people in my photos.

In my post I refer to "people tags". These are NOTHING to do with face recognition. They are a type of tag which, as far as I can remember back, have always been available in the Tags window. I have tags for the following:-

Keywords (preserved in edited copies)

People Tags (not preserved in edited copies)

Places Tags (preserved in edited copies)

Events Tags (preserved in edited copies).

I believe that these tags were provided in the earliest version of PSE. Certainly, I have been using them for many many years, probably for at least 15 years. I am now using version 15 and am able to continue to tag photos with my people tags and to retrieve all photos tagged with people tags.

Until recently (at least in version 12 and earlier), if I edited a photo with tags attached, and then saved the edited version with a different name, all of the tags, including people tags, were automatically transferred to the edited version. When I do this now, all tags except the people tags are transferred. People tags are missing from the edited version.

I see absolutely NO reason why this change has been introduced. It is most annoying. It means that I have to re-attach all of the people tags which were removed in the edited version. WHY would this be considered an improvement by the developers???

I can only assume that, following the introduction of face recognition, the developers believed that people tags were no longer important. This is clearly NOT the case. People tags are used to associate a photo with a named person (eg. family member, friend etc). The photo may not include that person's face (e.g. photo of an object belonging to that person). It may not include ANY faces (like my family history documents e.g. a death certificate).

I was told by Customer Care in a phone call that I could make these arguments using their "feature request/bug report form". As soon as I select Photoshop Elements in this form, I get transferred to the forum which contains the post you are replying to.

Can you tell me how to make sure that I can pass my comments on to the development team?

 Mike

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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Mike,
Thanks for clarifying.
What I can tell is that the new tabs: People, Places and Events have been introduced only in version 11 of PSE.
For me, the new tabs are not only of no interest (I already had those subcategories in the normal keyword view), but they introduced serious problems for people wanting to organize their subcategories freely in places and people. The feature was probably introduced to mimic other simple popular apps and to make easier integration with Google Maps geotagging and face recognition.
Since the problem you are having seems to be new,  once again, I can't test it myself, but I have noticed that there have been changes in the way people recognition has been implemented in the catalog and its databases. So, my guess is that those changes were made to solve bugs or limitations in the previous implementations (perhaps, maximum amount of files for face recognition) which in turn have created new issues.

From my long experience with Adobe, I am pretty sure that the development team is aware of all the feedback in this forum especially when it's reproducible. I also know that it's not likely that you will get an answer here. They rarely show the request as 'acknowledged' or tell if they are working on it. Especially with Elements, the best we can generally hope is to see the problem solved in the next version. Updates for a given version are rare and triggered by serious issues for most users.

So, let's hope that many other users vote 'me too' for your request. That gives higher priority to the issue.
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mike.j.newman

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Michel

Thanks for your additional post. I don't remember a version without people, place and event tabs.
Of course, I have therefore used them all extensively, and depend on them to locate relevant photos and other items. I would still argue that a feature like people tags that has been a feature long enough for people to have a substantial investment in years of work using them, should be maintained. Since it is still possible to create new people tags and to attach them to new photos, it doesn't seem to be a database problem preventing use of people tags. It just doesn't transfer them to an edited version like it does with places tags and events tags and keywords.

I am looking into 'version sets'. It could be that people tags are preserved when saving in a version set. I'll test this. I'm not sure whether to use version sets or not until I've looked into it more.

Mike
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Jack Klaber

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The version sets will not solve your problem! The only way to preserve tags and album information is to edit and use the “Save” option!
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Version sets:
Using version sets won't write the people tags, but if your original is tagged, it will be retrieved in a keyword search and the result of the query will display both the original and the other versions without the tag. They are displayed side by side, the non tagged versions are shown with the 'non matching' small icon.

I always use version sets, both with raw and jpegs. Using stacks would work the same.

Just another idea to test:
Would the people tags be missing in the following case:
- after tagging the original, write metadata to files (Ctl W)
- save as (with or without version set)?
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mike.j.newman

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Thanks for that Michel. I have done the experiment and as you say, the people tags are still lost even when I save as a version set. However, the two files are displayed together and it is easier for me to add the necessary tags to the edited copy. I will do that in future.
Mike
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Mike,
Your big problem is for your already edited files where the tags have been lost.
By the way, I just noticed in the suggested similar posts on the right of the page that the problem is far from new:
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/photoshop-elements-14-strips-people-tags-from...

Back to the version sets workaround. That would be useful in the future but what about your old edited files?
I would consider using 'stacks' instead of 'version sets'. The result is the same.
To stack edited photos with the originals, you might use the 'visual search' feature = automatically suggest photo stacks. Not a miracle but better than nothing.

Highlight a batch of files (an event for instance), right click for the stack option and select the above 'automatically suggest photo stacks'. Resized or slightly cropped versions are found. You have to validate each stack individually.
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mike.j.newman

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yes the problem was identified at least 2 years ago.
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mike.j.newman

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I've just discovered "Find Untagged Items" ctrl+shift+Q
That's very helpful for me to identify photos which have not had tags copied by edits! It's GREAT to read the reference manual occasionally! And I can arrange them in date order. Bad news is I've got 3,899 of them. Better news - most of them don't need tags, and the one's that do tend to stand out in media view.
(Edited)
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mike.j.newman

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I think I have managed to replace all of the tags lost when editing files.
In the future I shall try using Version Sets as that way, even though the people tags are not copied, I can view the old and new files side by side and see which tags I have to add to the edited file.
Mike