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Best Practices for Managing and Organizing Digital Images

Using IrfanView for archival pictures

IrfanView is an image management tool available for Windows. It is an image viewer and manipulator. It has less features than digiKam but is easily downloadable for windows and very fast.

View photos in IrfanView

Before using IrfanView, set up a working folder on your computer (different than your camera). IrfanView will work on the photos from that folder.

Open IrfanView and click on the folder at the top left corner of the screen. Find your folder and open it. You may decide to keep or delete some photos which you will do at this point.

Adding IPTC information using IrfanView.

IPTC stands for "International Press Telecommunications Council" which developed a standard for information that can be embedded into a digital photo. Entering IPTC information can be tedious but it worth your while as it will enter tags into the meta-data of your photo files, so that they will retain that information and be searchable.

Press the “T” key.  This will bring up a new window showing thumbnails of all the photos in your designated folder.


Batch write IPTC:

Select a series of images and right click on any thumbnail and select “JPG lossless operations” and then “Set IPTC data to selected files”.  This opens the IPTC editor.  You may want to fill in copyright information to protect the photographer’s rights.  If you fill in the caption window and upload the photo later to a photo sharing site, like Flickr, that caption will show as a title for the photo. 

To tag the photo click on the “Keyword” tab in the IPTC editor.  Enter a keyword and press the “Enter” button.  Enter another tag on that new line, then press the “Enter” button.  Keep entering new tags, each on its own line. Do not separate tags by commas or semicolons.

You may also want to use the “Origin” tab. If your camera reports GPS, you will be able to enter the GPS coordinates in the “sublocation” window under the “Origin” tab.





When you have finished entering all the IPTC info you desire, click on the “Save” button.  This will save your IPTC entries to all the files which were included in your batch.

If you wish to write IPTC information for a single image, open that image in the full view mode and under the “Image” menu select “Information” and then click on the “IPTC info” button.  This opens the IPTC editor to operate on just that one photo.  When you have finished your IPTC entries, click on the “Write” button. 




Export your photos

IrfanView has fewer options than DigiKam for exporting and is generally weaker on exporting photos compared to the straightforward ease of DigiKam.

You may only export your photos to a web server or to an email message.

Web server : Select the photos you wish to send in the thumbnails view. Right click on any thumbnail in the batch and select “Transfer selected files by FTP” and then fill in the FTP information to complete the connection. 

Email: Select the photos you wish to send in the thumbnails view. Right click on any photo in the batch and select “send selected files by email.” The email service requires a designated email application on your computer.