Adding a note to a File Name?


F

Freckles

Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that file's
name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to this
file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles
 
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P

Paul in Houston TX

Freckles said:
Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that
file's name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to
this file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles
No way that I know of. However you can make a short cut to
that file and name it what ever you want.
If it's an individual photo, you may be able to embed
IPTC info.
 
P

Paul

Freckles said:
Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that
file's name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to
this file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles
Sometimes, the OS adds information, by keeping an XML file
somewhere in the appropriate "library". Every OS will
keep modifying the approach, and what can be stored. The
info may be kept in a centralized place, rather than putting
one XML file next to each picture. I think for movies, they
may have done something different (perhaps media center ?
separate folder for each movie and XML file ?)

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/tag-pictures-so-theyre-easier-to-find

In general terms, you can annotate in several different ways -

1) Within the picture file itself. Schemes like EXIF, use
a separate 4CC code and description. Viewer software is
supposed to ignore 4CC codes they don't recognize. But
this area is complicated, in terms of what works, doesn't work,
what changes might bust some tool and so on. So if you use
EXIF or IPTC or <<four_letter_acronym_of_the_week>> the onus
is on the user to determine whether it's safe, transparent,
or whatever.

2) Alternate streams method. This method started with MacOS, which
kept a data fork and resource fork, for each file in the file
system. The resource fork provided a means to store separate info
from the data section.

The NTFS file system, uses "alternate streams" for this, so if
an application developer wanted, they could transparently add
descriptions to things. Kaspersky for example, in one release
of their AV software, kept track of whether a file had been scanned,
using an alternate stream.

To detect the presence of Alternate Streams, try this app.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897440

Since regular applications don't go looking for Alternate
Streams, this might be less dangerous than (1). Alternate
Streams only work on NTFS, and copying to FAT32, would lose
the Alternate Stream (a form of laundering, if you will).

3) A function added by means of libraries. What that means in
practice is, the OS recognizes certain folders or collections
of folders, need "features" added to them. For example, a
central XML file could keep comments for each picture, and
they would provide some means, on a per-picture basis, for a
user to add to the info. In the case of Media Center and movies,
it seemed to involve keeping a folder per movie, and then adding
a file next to the movie to describe it. These would be examples
of schemes that only exist inside the library, and not at some
arbitrary storage location (like, right underneath C:).

The information is lost in that case, if the file is transferred
to a foreign system.

The scheme in (1) is the most robust, in that copying the file
to a BeOS computer, your added info would not get lost. But on
the other hand, any changes made to the file, might have undesired
side effects that you can't predict in advance. (Like, copying the
file back to the camera, and having it barf.) Any other schemes which
store the info outside the file, have the exposure that the
annotation gets lost, if you transfer the file in certain ways
(to foreign computers, devices, or file systems).

So while I like the other Paul's suggestion, the onus is on the
user to do the research when using these.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPTC_Information_Interchange_Model
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exchangeable_image_file_format

As far as I know, this could be one of the first tools, to allow
adding annotations internally to the files. (Unlike the MacOS
generalized scheme, that used things like Resource Fork and only
worked for as long as you didn't carelessly lose the fork.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExifTool

*******

A forum used by photographers, may have more info on the side
effects of some of this stuff.

http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?37781-EXIF-Reader-gt-Focus-Distance-Info

In your search engine, try...

site:dcresource.com exif

as a search. You can do site specific searches to find stuff.

HTH,
Paul
 
J

John Williamson

Freckles said:
Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that
file's name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to
this file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."
If you're talking about jpeg or other image files, then you can add tags
to the metadata already stored in the image files by using most image
editing programs.

If you just want a note in a folder about the contents of that folder,
then create a file called "info.txt" in Notepad and save it in the folder.
 
P

Paul

Freckles said:
Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that
file's name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to
this file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles
As an experiment, I tried:

1) Start up Win7 SP1 laptop.
2) Place photo from Canon digital camera in Pictures library.
I actually dropped a folder of files in there (which would be
copied to the default location, whatever that is). All the files
were JPG.
3) Selected a photo in that folder. Since it's inside a Pictures
library, it would be subject to any special treatment afforded Pictures.
4) Did Properties on the file (right-click).
5) In Properties, I can see
Title:
Subject:
6) Entered information in the fields.

The file in question, has an EXIF tag near the beginning of the
file. I didn't have a hex editor handy, but did manage to dump
strings of text in the file, and could see the EXIF tag. So it
had a storage area already present.

Information entered in the "Title" field, ended up stored inside the
file. That means, if I copy the file to a foreign computer, the
information stored in "Title" is carried with the file.

Subject, on the other hand, didn't get stored in the file.
It was also not in the .library-ms file.

I can't figure out where that one is being stored.

So if I was in a hurry, and didn't wish to do any more
research, I'd just load up the Title: field with info.
It should be subject to any string length limits as
defined in whatever passes for an EXIF spec. You probably
won't have room in that field, for your "life story".

Paul
 
M

mick

Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that file's
name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to this
file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles
In windows explorer, view in details mode, this will show folders/files
by name, date, size, type, etc. in columns. If the tag column is not
showing, right click one of the existing column names and choose
more...
then tick the Tags box.
Click on a file or choose a group of files.
In the bottom bar, click on Add a tag and enter what text you want,
click on save.
 
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S

SC Tom

Freckles said:
Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that file's
name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to this
file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles
If it's a photograph, right-click on it and pick Properties. Go to the
Details tab, and enter your description in the Title box. Apply and OK out.
Now, when you hover your mouse over it, that will show in the pop-up box.
You can also add the Title column in Explorer, if you're using the Details
view (as previously posted).

Some other file types will also allow you to change that info directly from
within Properties, while others will have to have it changed through
whatever program is used to open/edit them. Seems like a lot of work if
there are a number of files you want to change. I do as John suggested and
create a folder called Mountain Vacation 2013 and save all apropos files
there :) I have been doing it that way for Disney and tennis vacations for
well over a decade now, and it works just fine.
 
E

Ed Cryer

SC said:
If it's a photograph, right-click on it and pick Properties. Go to the
Details tab, and enter your description in the Title box. Apply and OK
out. Now, when you hover your mouse over it, that will show in the
pop-up box. You can also add the Title column in Explorer, if you're
using the Details view (as previously posted).

Some other file types will also allow you to change that info directly
from within Properties, while others will have to have it changed
through whatever program is used to open/edit them. Seems like a lot of
work if there are a number of files you want to change. I do as John
suggested and create a folder called Mountain Vacation 2013 and save all
apropos files there :) I have been doing it that way for Disney and
tennis vacations for well over a decade now, and it works just fine.
I do the same.
Put them in suitable folders instead of adding a comment to each
individual one. I have folders like "Rome 2007", "Athens 2011" and
"Collages".

Ed
 
T

Tim Slattery

Freckles said:
Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that file's
name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to this
file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."
This is exactly what you used to be able to do in WinXP. You would
right-click a file, choose "Properties", and one of the options would
be to add data like this.

For some file types - Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, image files - it
would write to the appropriate place in the file itself. For others,
it would create an alternate data stream* (ADS) and put the data in
there.

For Word and Excel files and images, it still works. The appropriate
software is invoked (as defined in the Registry), and the data stored
in the right place in the file. For other file types - you're out of
luck.

So why did they drop that? Only thing I can come up with is that ADSs
exist only in NTFS, so if you burned the file to a CD or DVD or copied
it to a thumb drive formatted in FAT32, you would lose that data.


*If you don't know what an ADS is, I don't blame you. They are
explained here:
http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/windows-ntfs-alternate-data-streams
 
G

G. Ross

Freckles said:
Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that file's
name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to this
file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles
I have what you want. It is a tiny program called Annotsx. I have
been using it for years and it works even on Win 7 64 bit.
Once installed, you can right click on any file, click properties, and
in the choices you will see "Annotation". click on that and a window
opens and you can type in whatever description you want. Then any
time you do this it will show what you wrote. It is particularly
useful on installation files when it is hard to remember just what
that file installs. The annotation is NOT added to the file itself
but kept in a separate place, so the notation is not transportable to
another computer.

Note: I have never used Windows Explorer, but use Nico's Commander, so
can't tell you how to use it in explorer.

--
 GW Ross 

 Never start a project until you've 
 picked out someone to blame. --The 
 Wizard of Id 
 
W

Wolf K

On 2013-08-15 6:29 AM, Paul wrote:
[...]
2) Place photo from Canon digital camera in Pictures library.
I actually dropped a folder of files in there (which would be
copied to the default location, whatever that is). All the files
were JPG.
[...]

Be careful when using "libraries". The "folders" do not contain copies
of any files. Libraries are complicated beasts, that do not behave as
you would guess or infer from their use of "folders", and the appearance
of files within the libraries themselves. See
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dd861346.aspx for a somewhat
useful introduction to this feature.

On
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ff934858.aspx, a
site for developers, the concept is explained like this:
"Files from many different locations can be accessed through a _single
logical location_ according to their type even though they are stored in
many different locations." (Emphasis added).

Later in the same article:
"Libraries are logical representations of user content. This means that
you store files in the folders that are part of the library and not in
the library itself."

IOW, the library is not a collection of copies of files, but of pointers
to those files.

And the crucial feature is this one:
"...actions that are performed on the library will be applied to all
folders in the library."

Inferring from pleas for help when files disappear, that "actions on a
folder" includes actions performed on items within a library "folder".
This means that if you delete a file in a library, you delete not only
the pointer to that file, but also that file from its actual location.
You are _not_ deleting a copy. There are no copies.

More and more programs are "library aware", ie, they save to a library
location by default. I always set a program to save to a location I
specify. If a program won't do this, I don't use it.

HTH
 
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C

choro

I do the same.
Put them in suitable folders instead of adding a comment to each
individual one. I have folders like "Rome 2007", "Athens 2011" and
"Collages".
Your solution is too simple for some of us. I mean why boil an egg on
the stove when you can go and buy a $100 contraption which does the same
thing but takes twice as long to do it? ;-)
 
Y

Yousuf Khan

Is there any way to append a note to a file without effecting that
file's name.
In other words if I have a file "PHOTOGRAPHS" How can I add a note to
this file such as "Vacation in the mountains 2013."

Thanks,

Freckles

There is a little known feature of the NTFS file system that is called
Alternate Data Streams (ADS), which does precisely this.

NTFS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS#Alternate_data_streams_.28ADS.29

ADS creates hidden properties of the files that are invisible to the end
user mostly. But utilities can be used to read them.

Yousuf Khan
 
S

Steve Hayes

There is a little known feature of the NTFS file system that is called
Alternate Data Streams (ADS), which does precisely this.

NTFS - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS#Alternate_data_streams_.28ADS.29

ADS creates hidden properties of the files that are invisible to the end
user mostly. But utilities can be used to read them.
Is that what the default Windows photo viewer does?

It lets me write tags and a date for the photo, but when I look at them in
Irfanview, I can't see that information.
 
G

G. Ross

Steve said:
Is that what the default Windows photo viewer does?

It lets me write tags and a date for the photo, but when I look at them in
Irfanview, I can't see that information.
Did you look under "Image>information"?

--
 GW Ross 

 Never start a project until you've 
 picked out someone to blame. --The 
 Wizard of Id 
 
P

Paul

Steve said:
Is that what the default Windows photo viewer does?

It lets me write tags and a date for the photo, but when I look at them in
Irfanview, I can't see that information.
To confirm the tag is in the actual file, you can look with a
hex editor. Look just after you see "EXIF", as the tag area
is going to be right after that. When I gave my photo a
"Title", it was stored in the EXIF tag area.

The idea is, for ancient software, they're supposed to ignore
4CC codes they don't recognize. So if an image viewer doesn't
have EXIF display capability, the viewer should just step
over the EXIF tag area and move on to the image data area.

Paul
 
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J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

[/QUOTE]

That's not a file, that's a directory (folder).

I presume there is some reason you don't want to just rename the folder
(or create a new folder and just move the relevant files into it).
[]
As some others have said, this may or may not get transferred with the
file if you copy/move it.

In IrfanView, when you have a JPEG image open:

just typing i will give _some_ info; if there's an EXIF box next to the
OK button when you type the i, you can see the date the picture was
taken in there. I don't _think_ IV yet has EXIF date editing ability,
but there are a few utilities out there that do.

You can get at several places to store text (like the date, these are
actually stored in the file, so always travel with it if it is moved).
Typing i (as above) then another i gets you into the IPTC area, which
includes a "Caption" box; i then c gets into the comment area. I use
this latter, because IrfanView has a setting where, when viewed full
screen, whatever you put in there is shown across the top of the image
(or middle, bottom - any of 9 positions). [I had a feeling it could add
such comments to a group of files, but I can't see it now; if you do
find it, obviously do the group comment first, then individual files to
add further comments.]
To confirm the tag is in the actual file, you can look with a
hex editor. Look just after you see "EXIF", as the tag area
is going to be right after that. When I gave my photo a
"Title", it was stored in the EXIF tag area.
Not always: some places for the text are at the end of the header. I
think some may even add at the end of the file, though that might be
..mp3 files, I can't remember.
[]
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <TYSU7nV4ZcDSFwJc@soft255.demon.co.uk>, "J. P. Gilliver
[]
I forgot to say: I'd use "2013 vacation in the mountains". Putting the
year first helps with sorting/finding.
 
P

Paul

J. P. Gilliver (John) said:
To confirm the tag is in the actual file, you can look with a
hex editor. Look just after you see "EXIF", as the tag area
is going to be right after that. When I gave my photo a
"Title", it was stored in the EXIF tag area.
Not always: some places for the text are at the end of the header. I
think some may even add at the end of the file, though that might be
.mp3 files, I can't remember.
[]
I'm reporting the results of an experiment, to show it
can be done. It's not an attempt to survey all image
or video file formats.

The interesting parts were:

1) No third party software. Doing properties on my JPEG
file, revealed a place to type a value for "Title".
From within the Windows 7 file explorer interface.
2) Title string was stored in EXIF storage area of JPEG.
The Canon camera put some info as well (which may be important,
from the perspective of having a slot to put the string).
If a JPEG has no EXIF, I don't know what happens.
3) Since the file now contains the Title string, copying the
file does not lose the information. Not like attempting to
copy an Alternate Data Stream file from NTFS, to a FAT32 file
system (like on a large USB stick). FAT32 doesn't have alternate
streams, so if an annotation were to be stored that way, it can
get lost. It would also likely get lost during an FTP transfer.
Apple solved this problem, for their "dual stream" file system,
by coming up with a container format for moving files to
foreign systems. Windows doesn't have that. As far as Microsoft
is concerned now, everything a user could want, is handled by
their NTFS. Even though plenty of third-party hardware is still
using portions of FAT32 (whatever isn't patented).

I've read somewhere, that in the Video library, the annotation
method consisted of storing a movie within a folder, and placing
an annotation file next to it. Which is, in a sense, portable,
as you could copy the folder to a foreign computer system. No
alternate streams to make it harder. I can't remember if that
is within Media Center, or happens for ordinary video. That
may be an example, of what happens when there is no guarantee
of an internal method of annotation.

And one of the problems with some of these methods, is
the possibility of your annotations being corrupted. So if
you do become enamored with some Windows internal method,
you should at least plan ahead for the inevitable day when
all the annotations disappear. That probably won't happen
to the EXIF method, but some of the ones that rely on
separate files, some bug could wipe those out. And I
didn't just imagine this, as I've read of some horror
story, where a person annotated their movie collection,
only to lose all of their hard work. So if the annotation
took you hundreds of hours, back it up!

Paul
 
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G

Gene E. Bloch

I forgot to say: I'd use "2013 vacation in the mountains". Putting the
year first helps with sorting/finding.
Let me add to this. I like to use 20130816 (month before day, unlike the
European style), when I want a full date that sorts correctly.

Although lately I've been writing it 2013-08-16. That's so that *I* can
see it better; the computer couldn't care less :)
 

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