Organize better with Descriptive Tags

10 Dec

Descriptive tags are a great way to organize your pictures. Once tagged, they can easily be found again. For me, descriptive tags are a must. They help us get rid of those category-based folders so many of us have on our computer. We all have them! What are these category-based folders? They could really be anything – from sunsets to monkeys!

When we transfer our pictures from the camera to the computer we tend to put them into a folder based on the date/time they were taken. Say we just spent the day in St Thomas; a lot of people would create a new folder on their computer called “St Thomas” for the pictures from that day. But let’s say I also took a picture of the sunset as we sailed away. That sunset picture would be saved in the same folder as all the other St Thomas pictures. A lot of us would have also created a separate folder called “Sunsets” for our sunset pictures. In this case, a common thing would be to copy that sunset picture so you have it in both places, making it easier to find. I would be able to get it if I go to my “St Thomas” folder or the “Sunsets” folder.

The problem here is that the picture has now been duplicated and is taking up double the amount of space on your computer’s hard drive. For some people that picture may have even been placed in more than two folders depending on the other elements or subjects in the photo!

A very quick and easy way to eliminate the need for these category-based folders is by using descriptive tags.

Instead of copying a picture into a category-based folder, such as “Sunsets”, a descriptive tag of “Sunsets” can be applied to the photo. This descriptive tag is entirely digital and will not be displayed or superimposed on the photo in any way. At a later date I would be able to filter through my pictures by these descriptive tags or even search my computer for the word “Sunset” to find all the pictures with that “Sunsets” tag.

Wondering how this can be done? I like to use a free program called Windows Live Photo Gallery (this can be downloaded at The program will automatically show you all your pictures in the “My Pictures” folder on your computer!

ImageTo add a descriptive tag select the picture or pictures you want to apply the tag to, then choose “Descriptive Tag” from the ribbon at the top of the screen. This will pull up a panel on the right of the screen where you can type in the tag or tags you want. Be sure to click the enter key on the keyboard after you type in the tag; this will set it in place, which is shown by that tag being blue under where you just typed it.

A picture can have multiple descriptive tags, but you want to enter them all in separately. If I wanted to have the descriptive tags “Sunsets” and “Mountain Ranges” on the same picture, be sure to enter them one at a time. For example, I would type the tag “Sunsets” and click enter, then type “Mountain Ranges” and click enter.

Descriptive tags is just one way to organize your photographs. It’s definitely a worthwhile task, especially for those with lots of photos and those who take photographs of reoccurring subjects. So get rid of those category-based folders, free up some hard drive space, and try them out!

Craig Louis
ms Eurodam 


One Response to “Organize better with Descriptive Tags”

  1. April 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    It’s hard to find educated people about this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

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