Why can't I sort on a column in Plain View??

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dsperber
Posts: 148
Joined: 28.03.2010, 00:35

Why can't I sort on a column in Plain View??

#1 Post by dsperber » 20.02.2016, 08:08

I'm researching a possible solution for someone, and thought Free Commander XE could do it for me. But I'm having a problem.

The issue is that a collection of source folders contains lots of image files (e.g. JPG), a number of which represent pictures which were taken by a phone camera. The objective is to copy ALL of those phone camera pictures to another location, while ignoring all the other pictures in these source folders which were not taken by the phone camera.

The phone camera has a value of "SCH-I545" in "camera model" of the EXIF data, which is the identify of the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone. And FCXE allows me to add "camera model" as an additional column of information to be displayed. And that works just fine, with "SCH-I545" appearing for all of those JPG's taken by the phone camera.

I then select the high-level parent folder (under which all of the lower level source folders exist which contain all of these phone camera pictures), and then I select View -> Plain View files. And sure enough, all of the files contained in all of the lower level sub-folders are now presented as one big list of files. And my additional added column for "Camera model" shows "SCH-I545" for each of the JPG's listed which came from that phone camera. All exactly as I expected. Works perfectly.

Say I have 1000 files listed, of which 750 are from the phone camera. What I now want is an easy way to select just that subset of 750 which have "SCH-I545" in the "Camera model" column. So either some way to "filter" based on a value in a column is needed, or what I thought would be the easiest approach is simply to click on the "Camera model" column heading to sort the list of 1000 files by the value in that column. All 750 with "SCH-I545" should then be consecutive, and I could then easily select them all (CTRL+SHIFT and click on first and last) and then right-click to copy them all in one operation to the target location.

Well, it doesn't work. Clicking on the "Camera model" column heading DOES NOT SORT ALL FILES INTO ONE GROUP (i.e. which had "SCH-I545" in that colum). Some type of sorting is taking place, which reverses (I guess) if I click on the "Camera model" column heading repeatedly, but I don't know what's actually happening. It definitely is not a simply "flat file list sort" which is what I was looking for, which will end up with all 750 files together consecutively. There are inexplicable gaps, suggesting that somehow this "plain view files" is really NOT just a flat file list after all.

So, I'm looking for help. Is this a bug in FCXE? Should that "plain view files" really be able to sort any column heading, even on an added column like "camera model"? Is my expectation reasonable? Is the program malfunctioning, which needs to be fixed? Am I correct here, that this sort SHOULD BE WORKING but isn't??

And second, is there already a better or alternative way to accomplish what I want to accomplish? I'm looking for a "search" which looks through EXIF metadata in JPG pictures (which is nothing more than a specific value in an additional column offered to be displayed by FCXE), so that I can find all files which have this particular metadata column value.

Here's an example of the "before sort", showing the additional "Camera model" column in Plain view files.

Image

And here's what it looks like "after sort". Note that the expected collection of all rows with "SCH-I545" together does not occur.

Image

joby_toss
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Re: Why can't I sort on a column in Plain View??

#2 Post by joby_toss » 20.02.2016, 08:57

Yes, you're right, it doesn't work as expected. It does sort the list, but it does it folder by folder (as if it's not in plain view mode), so it's no use...

Workaround: use an image manager like XNView (free, portable); you can select all found files and copy them anywhere.

Image

Wish FC XE could do a search by EXIF and TAG metadata fields (Multirename can already use those), or Filter working on those columns also...

Edit: it appears that you're using ACDSee already (scroll down) - http://tutorials.acdsee.com/tag/exif/

dsperber
Posts: 148
Joined: 28.03.2010, 00:35

Re: Why can't I sort on a column in Plain View??

#3 Post by dsperber » 20.02.2016, 20:12

joby_toss wrote:Yes, you're right, it doesn't work as expected. It does sort the list, but it does it folder by folder (as if it's not in plain view mode), so it's no use...
Yes, that was my speculation.

Clearly I expected "plain view files" to be a "flattening" of a parent folder, with all of the subordinate files in all sub-folders to simply be placed in one simple list, as if none of the folder structure existed.

Note that this "flattened" view (with all sub-folders eliminated and all imbedded files treated as if they were instead all in one single large folder) is available with Beyond Compare, as it's clearly sometimes useful presentation option no matter what you're doing. Unfortunately Beyond Compare deals with file names, dates, sizes, types, etc., for its A/B comparisons and is unfortunately not concerned with imbedded data such as EXIF fields for camera pictures. So this alternative approach unfortunately didn't pan out.

Workaround: use an image manager like XNView (free, portable); you can select all found files and copy them anywhere.

Image
Yes, I'm sure. Perfectly sensible feature, especially for an image manager.

Wish FC XE could do a search by EXIF and TAG metadata fields (Multirename can already use those), or Filter working on those columns also...
Exactly. A simple "filter" with FCXE is precisely what I was hoping to find.

==> A generalized search/find/filter capability that can specify ANY VALUE(s) from ANY COLUMN HEADING(s) is exactly what is desired.

And of course, once the "hit list" is presented in standard Explorer presentation, selecting one or more from the "hit list" would be possible and then standard right-click options of MOVE, COPY, RENAME, DELETE, etc., would be available.

This is EXACTLY the feature I was hoping to find in FCXE. Unfortunately it's not yet present.

Edit: it appears that you're using ACDSee already (scroll down) - http://tutorials.acdsee.com/tag/exif/
Yep, I already knew that. I use ACDSee Pro 8 which has this capability. In fact in my response to the OP on the other SevenForums thread I had already described the use of ACDSee's "search" capability which provides EXACTLY THIS FUNCTIONALITY as it relates to all imbedded metadata and image/file fields (i.e. not just "camera model", and not just EXIF fields).

Unfortunately ACDSee Pro 8 is not free. I happen to be a longtime ACDSee user going back to early versions from 20 years ago, but not everybody is. I still use ACDSee 4 as my "default image viewer" on all of my own machines, laptop and desktop, because it is simply the "best" (i.e. leanest and fastest) image viewer/browser and provider of basic functions (e.g. lossless JPG rotation) if that's all or most of the functionality you require. And I also have ACDSee Pro 8 available for other more sophisticated image browsing and other needs, as well as Adobe Photoshop CS6 for high-quality image processing, cropping and re-sizing primarily.

I will post in the other FC sub-forums here, to identify (a) the bug in Plain View Files mal-sorting on a column heading, and (b) the desire/need for a generalized filter/search/view for any value(s) in any column(s).

Thanks.

dsperber
Posts: 148
Joined: 28.03.2010, 00:35

Re: Why can't I sort on a column in Plain View??

#4 Post by dsperber » 26.02.2016, 00:05

Now fixed in latest donor download build 717.

Now works as expected.

Marek, many thanks again.

MateuszJakubowski
Posts: 3
Joined: 19.12.2019, 12:19

Re: Why can't I sort on a column in Plain View??

#5 Post by MateuszJakubowski » 29.04.2020, 09:21

==> A generalized search/find/filter capability that can specify ANY VALUE(s) from ANY COLUMN HEADING(s) is exactly what is desired.
Any update or future considerations about this feature? It would be very useful.

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