Need help organizing photos and text
August 22, 2010 12:11 PM   Subscribe

I have been the sole writer/editor for a small, free, newspaper for a couple of years. I have kept all original .doc files and published and unpublished photos. What I am looking for is software that will organize both pictures and text. It is easy to find organizing software for images, but not for photos and text. Does software like this even exist? Any help is appreciated.
posted by razorian to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Organize how?

If you want to provide searchability to both full-text and metadata (i.e., the caption and author of an image, for example), you look into something like Solr, which is based on the Lucene text indexing engine. I've used Lucene to build custom searchable document indices containing both images and (rich) text; this is not something you will be able to do without the help of a somewhat experienced programmer.
posted by axiom at 12:37 PM on August 22, 2010

Take a look at Evernote.
posted by dfriedman at 12:40 PM on August 22, 2010

2nding "organise how?". But... Google Desktop Search?
posted by Leon at 1:07 PM on August 22, 2010

What's the overriding problem you're trying to solve here?

I assume you're putting all the docs and photos for a single issue into one folder and dating it with the publication via Year-month-date i.e. 2010-08-22. Naturally you have many of these folders, perhaps organized in other folders (year? month? quarter?) So thus all your files are organized (with backups and backups of your backups, right?)

So what are you hoping software will do to help this?
posted by nomadicink at 1:23 PM on August 22, 2010

The publication I work for (which publishes two magazines and various monthly supplements) simply organizes this stuff into monthly folders for art (containing JPGs and TIFs), editorial (containing Word documents), and layout (containing InDesign/InCopy files). These folders live on a server and are archived both on that server and onto monthly DVDs after publication. All of the text within documents and file names is searchable via our office computers running Mac OS X.

In my opinion, it's better for all of these files to live on their own in a carefully organized set of folders than to all be locked into some sort of content management system. First of all, I can't think of a content management system that can access and organize all of those file types; second, even if such a system existed, keeping files within it would be a recipe for disaster. What if the program crashes or its database corrupts or your license expires or you upgrade to a new operating system at some point or you want to access this data with more than one operating system or you want to move to a new system later on or...? There are a million bad scenarios here. It's bad enough that each of the programs used to deal with the individual files (Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Word, perhaps a font management program) can experience all of those problems; add a content management system or proprietary file browser into the mix and you're just asking for trouble.

But that's just my take given the incomplete information in this post. If you could respond to let us know what functionality you're looking for (Do you want to be able to search your materials for certain text more easily? etc.), we could probably help you find a way to achieve it.
posted by limeonaire at 2:29 PM on August 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

Limeonaire there are actually pretty good content management systems that can do all this. Quark offer one, as do Adobe. There are also slightly more hinky ones, like Atex Prestige.

Journalists complain and moan about all the systems they use, but I've used installs of QuarkDispatch that have run for more than a decade without hitting any of your flaws.

The drawbacks? A) They need professional management and b) they cost a fortune.

I think it's b that rules such systems out for the OP. Unfortunately, because this is quite a hard problem, there are many licensing issues involved and a great deal of reward on offer, no-one has made an open-source version that's up to scratch.

Razorian: I agree with everyone else that you need to explain your goals more. Despite what I just said, there *are* tools that will let you get some of the way, especially if you work solo. Adobe Lightroom has picture-management tools that work beautifully for user, but are useless for workgroups. More info, please!
posted by bonaldi at 4:17 PM on August 22, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry I am bit late in responding. Thank you for all your suggestions. I'll try to clarify what I meant:
I wanted to organize the pictures based on metadata, and make the text searchable, and perhaps link the content together. So that I could go back and find a picture and find the story that is related to that image.
I have kept all content carefully organized into separate folders (issue, month year - sorted into years) on the server, but it is starting to get a bit ungainly.

Dfriedman: I use Evernote. But isn't that just a note taking application?
posted by razorian at 4:17 PM on August 22, 2010

Ah yes, forgot about K4 et al. But God that's expensive.
posted by limeonaire at 7:05 PM on August 22, 2010

You can import .doc and pictures into Evernote, tag them, and make the contents of same searchable.

It's likely less fancy than the various pieces of software mentioned here, but it's quick, free, requires little technical knowledge, and fast.
posted by dfriedman at 5:51 AM on August 23, 2010

« Older betrayed by the jumbotron   |   help identify the artist of this instrumental song Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.