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You can use it to load files visually, sort and select sets of image files, specify thumbnailing sizes and much more.
The Image File Manager can even be used to load the timeline with selected files for brush, target and source image streams, which is a very powerful and flexible way to specify timeline image streams. For one thing, this gets around the approximately 120 file limitation imposed by Microsoft's "Explorer" file dialogs - you can load any number of files using the file manager. Another important feature is the ability to sort the images by date, name or size, forwards or backwards, and then be able to select a set of images using a set of wildcards that can select precisely the files you want, which are then fed to the timeline.
The image file manager even addresses your security needs by being able to utterly destroy, in place on the storage device, image files such that they are absolutely unrecoverable even by high-technology methods.
These context menus provide the primary interface for you to work with the IFM.
These context menus provide capabilities based upon thumbnails being available or not, and whether you are clicking directly upon one of the thumbnails when there are thumbnails available, as follows:
No Thumbnails Available
In this case, you have the options of setting the image file manager's preferences, generating thumbnails for any images in the directory, or canceling the menu. You can also change the Filter state; the filter capabiliity allows you to select which files you wish to view.
Thumbnails available, but none are selected
This adds choices to sort the images in various ways, select them using a pattern or all at once, or find a particular image file by name. Sorting is very useful, because when the IFM is used to select images for the timeline, sorting them can place them into an order that makes it easy (or at least, easier) to select the set you want. In fact, if you combine sorting with the filter capability, you'll find that you can easily limit the display to just the files you want.
Thumbnails available, one or more selected
This adds choices for all selected images to load into WinImages F/x, re-thumb, delete, destroy, copy or move to a new location.
For individual images only (for the most recently selected image if more than one is selected), you are offered the ability to copy the image itself, the text full path of the image, or just the image's name to the clipboard, cut the image itself to the clipboard, view the properties of the image, rename the image or print the image.
You also get choices to deselect all, or invert the selection.
|Page Up||Previous page of thumbnails|
|Page Down||Next page of thumbnails|
|Home||First page of thumbnails|
|End||Last page of thumbnails|
|Up Arrow||Up one row of thumbnails|
|Down Arrow||Down one row of thumbnails|
|F or Ctrl-F||Find a particular image file|
|S or Ctrl-S||Select image file(s)|
|F3||Find Next matching file|
|SHIFT-F3||Find Previous matching file|
|Enter||Load selected file(s)|
|Del||Delete selected file(s)|
You can single-left-click on any image. This will select that image, and de-select any other images that were previously selected.
You can double-left-click on any image. This will immediately load the image into WinImages F/x and deselect any other images that were previously selected.
You can single-left-click on an image, then press and hold SHIFT and then single-left-click on another image, and all of the images between them as well as the two you clicked on will be selected. This is a range selection.
You can press and hold control and then single-left-click on images; clicking on unselected images will select them, and clicking on selected images will de-select them.
You may select images using a powerful method of filename wildcards and pattern control.
This tool is available using either the context menus, or by pressing the S key.
The dialog provides a guide to the selection syntax.
If files are selected, the display will move to the first image in the selection. Images that are not displayed may also be selected.
By selecting Filter from the context menu, you can choose what files are to be displayed in the thumbnail pane. This can make it easier to select files, and it can also help you deal with very large directories or folders. Filtering is "sticky", that is, WinImages F/x saves the settings between uses.
You can select a reasonable range of files very easily. Imagine you have files 100.jpg through 900.jpg, plus a whole bunch of other randomly named files in the same directory, and you wish to work with the files 250.jpg through 299.jpg
This pattern would limit the display to just that:
...that pattern says that the first character must be a 2, the second character may be any character between, and including, 5 and 9, and that the third character may be any number, and finally, that the file must end with a .jpg extension. This will match any file name between 250.jpg and 299.jpg perfectly, and it won't match anything else at all.
There are cases that are not perfectly matchable with a simple filter string; for instance, you can't select filenames from 250 through 350 this way, but you can select them using multiple terms separated with vertical bars, like this:
This tool uses the same pattern system as does the selection tool. But instead of selecting all the images, this will cause the thumbnail window to move to the first image that matches the pattern. Press F3 to move to the next matching image, or SHIFT-F3 to move to the previous matching image.
If you select Search Backwards in the Find dialog, next will move backwards and previous will move forwards.
The currently found image will automatically be selected.
This takes a little getting used to, because you have to set up the selection before you press the "Specify Image File" button in the timeline dialogs, however, the advantages are significant:
The Destroy function permanently and utterly eliminates the selected files and their thumbnails. Destroy operates exactly like delete from the user's perspective, except that it takes longer. What WinImages F/x does is actually locates the file's position on the writable storage medium (typically a disk drive) and rewrites the data stored in that position with complex iterations of random nonsense. Only then is the file actually "deleted."
A file that has been treated in this manner is unrecoverable by any method. Use this feature to prevent knowledge of the image data you handle from becoming available to hostile entities via low- or high-technology recovery methods.
Caveat: If you move files or re-save them using any method (Windows explorer, for instance) you may leave behind a "ghost" file that can be recovered. In order to ensure the security of a file, it should never be edited or moved once placed on disk. Otherwise, the entire disk will have to be hard-formatted and re-written in order to remove the data.
This allows you to move all selected files to the chosen directory. The thumbnails are moved as well. If there isn't a standard WinImages F/x thumbnail directory, one is created to contain the thumbnails.
Both the image and the thumbnail are renamed.
When you re-size the IFM, it stops drawing thumbnails for performance reasons. During the resize operation (while you're dragging the window to a new size), it will display the number of rows and columns of thumbnails in the current thumbnail display size that will fit in the thumbnail window. Use this to easily size the window to just the number of rows and columns you desire.
You may configure all items in the preferences dialog to your taste, and WinImages F/x will save them between uses.
For the highest quality thumbnails, we suggest that you use the Ultra size setting (or a custom setting higer then 256) for both create and display, select the AA setting, and set Sharpen to 20. A Quality setting of 75 is generally sufficient, though a higher setting will resolve colored details better. The quality setting interacts with the Settings menu, JPEG Chroma Subsampling command setting. For better thumbnails, make sure the Quality setting here is higher than the JPEG Chroma Subsampling setting.
The Delete=Destroy setting forces the Image Manager to completely write over the filesystem storage location where the image was stored with random numbers prior to deleting it, even if you select Delete, rather than Destroy. This safety measure protects you from any known image recovery technique, as long as the image was only copied to your computer's hard drive one time.
The following image properties are determined and shown to you:
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|WinImages F/x Manual Version 7, Revision 5, Level B|