Importing Local Catalogs

Daminion allows you to import local catalogs into shared catalogs. This can be necessary if you have organized your data in a local offline catalog and now want this information to be integrated into a single shared catalog.

Importing a local catalog

First, open the catalog you want to import a local catalog into. In the File menu navigate to File -> Import -> Local Daminion catalog.

In the dialog that opens, specify the local catalog to be imported. Once you have selected a catalog for import, a confirmation dialog will appear.

After you click OK to confirm, all data contained in the local catalog will be imported, including the thumbnail preview files and all associated metadata information.

If the source catalog contains additional custom tags that do not exist in the target catalog, another dialog will prompt you to create the same custom tags in the destination catalog.

In the example given above, all data from the local catalog named “Test Catalog” will be imported into the shared “Travel Catalog”. However, the source catalog contains the custom tag “Animals”, which is not in the target catalog. To prevent data loss, we select Create New Tag and enter the name for the mapped custom tag. This name doesn’t have to be identical to the existing one.

If you do not want to import certain custom tags, select the Pass option from the drop-down list. These tags will then be excluded from the import queue.

Import to selected folder

From Daminion version 5.0 onwards you can import files directly to a folder selected on your server.  To do this, expand the Folders tab in the Tags panel, right-click the destination folder and select “Upload here”.

In the window that opens, browse for the files to be uploaded to the selected folder.

In the Import Dialog window you will see only one import option “Upload files to the server PC” and the path of the destination folder. In the example below it is “C:\Users”.


Note: This option is available when Daminion Server and Daminion Client are installed on different machines.




Automatic Folderwatch

(This feature is only available for Daminion Server version!)

The automatic folder watch ensures that any external changes made with your files will be immediately detected by Daminion and automatically updated in the catalog.


The following external changes are detected automatically

  • File name changes
  • Deletion of files from the monitored folder through an external application
  • Addition of new files to the monitored folder without using the Daminion import function
  • Added or edited metadata by external applications

Any Pre-existing subfolders within a watched folder are also automatically monitored. So you can simply enable folder watching for the top-level folder.

However, subfolders which are externally created and then subsequently added cannot yet be recognized by Daminion. Therefore, we recommend you to create new folders only from within Daminion.

Although this folder monitoring function is relatively resource saving, it is not advisable to turn on automatic monitoring for the entire catalog. It is more efficient to limit folder monitoring to those which are relevant.



This automatic folder watching feature has several useful applications.

You can, for example, define a monitored folder as your “inbox”, in which all the new, to be imported to Daminion files, are initially copied from external sources. This would have the advantage that all users can get access to these files in the network without each user needing individually import these files with their own Daminion client. In the second step, these additions can then be inspected either in Daminion or any another program to sort out unwanted images. Finally, if the inventory is deemed okay for you, then a Daminion user with appropriate access privileges can move these files into their final destination folders.


You can, for example, create a monitored import folder to which you can copy all the files you wish to be added to Daminion. This would be advantageous when collaborating with other users because rather than each user needing to individually import the files they can simply be granted access through the Daminion Web-client.

In the second step, the newly added files can then be viewed either in Daminion or via another program and unwanted images can be deleted.

Another useful application is for certain folders to be automatically monitored for external modification. This is useful, for example, when working with images that you want to edit with external programs. Thus, you can open, edit and re-save these pictures using the same filename and Daminion will automatically recognize and note the time and date of any external file modifications that have occurred since the last import or update.


Please note that when changes to the image content are made using an external image editor, the thumbnail preview images are not automatically updated. To update the thumbnails of edited files in Daminion, simply use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl + B] and Daminion will reanalyze the image files and generate new thumbnail images.

How to activate the automatic folder watch

Automatic Folder Rescan

During import, Daminion is only able to save the link to the original file in the catalog, which can result in folders and/or data from the catalog becoming unsynchronized with the actual content of the file on the local drive. This can happen, for example, if you delete a folder or file outside Daminion after the import process has been completed or if you add newer files to the imported folder.

This folder monitoring is also useful for the following workflows:

  • If you regularly scan new photos and store them in a specific folder.
  • If multiple users regularly add new photos to a shared network folder.

In these situations, Daminion can automatically update the folder. Thus allowing you to keep your current catalog files automatically synchronized with the actual folder content.


Automatic update of the folder contents

In the Tags Panel in the Daminion main window, select the tag heading Folders.


Now simply right-click on the folder whose contents you want to keep automatically updated and select Switch Auto-Rescan On. To keep multiple folders automatically updated, simply repeat the steps described above.


The folder icon will now be shown with a small magnifying glass symbol to indicate that this folder is being monitored and synchronized by Daminion.

Next, set the type of automatic update you want.

In the file menu, click Catalog > Auto-Rescan Settings.

This opens the settings window for automatic folder updates.


AThis check box allows you to turn automatic updates on or off.



Select this option to have Daminion detect external changes to original files immediately and update them accordingly in your catalog. This method is recommended as it requires fewer resources than the scheduled updates option. Read more about Folder Watch…


Alternatively, you can choose to check for updates at specified intervals. Please keep in mind that these timetabled upgrades can cause excessive data traffic – particularly in folders containing a lot of files – which can overload the network and compromise performance .

We therefore recommend you set the time interval to less than the default 10 minutes in special cases only. Time intervals of 10 minutes and longer can be used safely.

DHere you can specify whether you want to look at the update after new files have been added.  If you, for example, have imported a folder and its contents, the entire folder will be synchronized with the Daminion catalog. If, for example, you add more files to the original folder  Daminion will reflect this change.

Click Import filters to access the import filter settings and specify your own import rules. For more information on import filters, please refer to Adding an unknown File Format to the list of import filters


With the first option you can specify whether original files that no-longer exist should be removed from the catalog.

Links in the catalog that refer to missing original files are then automatically removed from the catalog. Invalid links to original files can occur if, for example, the original files have been deleted or renamed in Windows Explorer outside Daminion.

With the second option you can specify whether files whose metadata has been modified outside Daminion should have their metadata similarly updated in the Daminion catalog.

For files that have different metadata content, the catalog will be updated accordingly. Such inconsistent data may occur when the metadata of the external files have been subsequently modified in an external application. This option allows you to choose to adopt this modified data in the catalog or to instruct Daminion to maintain the original catalog information.

Folder updates take effect the moment you click OK.



Adding an unknown file format to the list of import filters

Daminion supports a wide variety of file formats. Nevertheless it may happen in rare cases that you need to import a previously unrecognized file format.
For this, Daminion offers you the ability to manually integrate this unknown file format.

To add such an unknown format to the Daminion import filter, navigate to the file menu and click on “Catalog” -> “Import Filters…”.



In the following dialog that opens, you can now enter the desired file extension of your file format right in the box below. You can here also enter multiple file types simultaneously if you like. However, please note that all entries must be separated by a semicolon.


In our example, we have entered the DVD-Video VOB format. Right after you closed this dialog by pressing the “OK” button, even VOB files can now be imported into Daminion.

Notice: importing via drag & drop with this user defined file formats are not supported. To import these files, you must run the Import dialog either from the File menu or use the keyboard shortcut [Ctrl + i].




As you can see on the above screen shot, these user-defined file formats will be displayed in Daminion with a standard thumbs preview and in the list of media formats in the Catalog Tags Panel, these manually added file formats are listed as “unknown“.

Otherwise, Daminion will treat these files the same way like all other media files. When such a file format is linked in windows to an external viewer program, it will automatically launch with a double click on the thumbs view in Daminion.

In the chapter Add Custom Thumbnail you can learn how to change the default thumbs preview into a user defined thumb.

Rescan Folders Option

As Daminion only stores links to the original files at the time of import, it may happen, that the content of the folder path is different than the links to the already imported files. This can caused by deleting one or more files from the folder after the import was completed or adding some more files into an already imported folder afterwards. In both cases, Daminion can’t detect those file operations possibly made by other software outside Daminion.




Missing original files in Daminion that were externally deleted or moved to another place, are displayed with a corresponding question mark.






Especially for those cases Daminion provides a feature called “Rescan Folders”. To get your image folder containing your original images always in sync with the Daminion catalog, you can use this Rescan Folders function.


How to rescan a folder in Daminion

Within Daminion navigate to the Catalog Tags Panel. It’s is usually located on the left side of the Daminion interface. There you go to the folders bar and expand it by clicking on the small triangle on the left side if it’s not already expanded. Now you will see a list of all folders and sub-folders which currently exist in the Daminion catalog.















Now locate the folder you want to get synchronized with the catalog and right click on it with the mouse button. In the context menu you will see a command called “Rescan Folders…” which you can start the rescan process with. Alternatively you can also use the keyboard shortcut [F6] to open the rescan folder dialog for a certain folder. After confirming this command following dialog will appear:


Here you can select how Daminion should perform the folder scanning!

By activating the first option: “Add New Files” Daminion scans the folder for newly added files, which are not already imported and add them into the catalog just like a new import process. After the rescan folders process, Daminion will show all newly added files in the browser where you can continue with tagging these files.

The second option: “Remove Missing Files from Catalog” let Daminion remove from the catalog all the links referred to files which do not exist anymore. This can occure since they are deleted/renamed or moved into a another place outside Daminion.

The third option “Update Catalog Tags for Modified Files” means that Daminion re-reads the complete metadata of the files and compares them with the related metadata information in the catalog. If the metadata in a file is different than the information stored in the catalog, Daminion updates its catalog by this new information. Those inconsistencies can happen when certain metadata was changed by external software. So with this option you always have the choice of either keeping the information in the catalog or update it with the information from the file while adding those files into the catalog.



Rescan Report

After the Rescan has performed a report will be automatically created. To open and view this Report navigate in the Daminion menu to “Catalog” -> “Latest Rescan Report…”.



Adding new files to an existing catalog

In order to manage your assets with Daminion, you must first import your data into a catalog. Daminion offers two ways of doing this.

You can use the dedicated Import option (described later in this chapter), or the rescan folder option, which synchronizes already imported folders within the Daminion catalog.  The rescan folder option is described in “Rescan Folder Option“.

The Import dialog can be accessed either by clicking the “Add Files …” button (shortcut Ctrl + I) or by dragging and dropping files directly from Windows Explorer in the Daminion browser window. If the destination folder already exists in the Daminion catalog but doesn’t contain files to be imported, you can use the automatic folder synchronization instead (see “Automatic Folder Rescan“)

You can also import files using Windows copy/paste commands. Just copy the files from the Windows Explorer (shortcut Ctrl+C) and paste them intothe Daminion browser (shortcut Ctrl+V). The import dialog will open immediately with the files pasted in place.


Overview of all functions in the import dialog


The Daminion Import Dialog:


(click to enlarge)

  Import Source

Select new source path for files to be imported.

 Group by

Choose whether images are sorted by date, name or file type.

 Add files to the catalog

With this option selected, Daminion only reads the metadata from the files but leaves the actual files in the source folder (recommended if, for example, your files already exist in the desired destination folder).

 Copy files to the folder and add to the catalog

When selecting this option, you must specify a source folder. See (F)

 Delete source files after successful transfer

With this option checked, Daminion deletes all files in the source folder after copying.

 Destination folder

If (D) is enabled, Daminion needs to know where to copy the files. This can be either a local folder path or a network path. Please note, however, that files copied to local paths cannot be accessed by other users on the network.

 Create Sub-Folders

Import_1bIn addition to the specified destination path, Daminion can also create subfolders automatically using special tokens selected from the drop-down list. For example, you can program Daminion to create folder names by date, time or by camera brand. Click on “Customize…” in the drop-down list to create your own naming scheme and save it for later use. Once saved, your customized naming schemes are added to the drop-down list. For more information please read Assign Tag Presets.

 Rename Files

With this option checked, files are renamed automatically during the import process. The procedure is the same as renaming folders.

 Assign Tag Preset

Define your own tags and determine which should be assigned automatically during the import process. Once created, these import requirements can then be accessed from the Properties panel.

Convert RAW files to DNG

If you have the free Adobe DNG converter already installed on your PC, you can convert camera RAW files to the DNG format.

 Create Categories from Folder Names

With this option checked, Daminion automatically creates category tags based on the names of source folders.

 Check all/Uncheck all

Use these buttons to select or deselect all images in the import window.


Closes dialog. Import begins.


Step-by-step instructions for importing your files

On the Daminion main screen, click the “Add Files” button (top left corner). This opens a submenu that displays all the connected devices you can import files from.



Available devices in our example are a digital camera and a smartphone.
But for now, we just want to import some files from the local hard drive.

Click Browse files and folders” to open the Explorer window and select the path to the files you want to import.


You can select individual files or an entire folder.
If you select a folder, all subfolders are imported as well.
Click the “Add” button to open the Daminion import dialog.

The selected files are now displayed as small thumbnails in the Import menu .


(click to enlarge)

The little yellow squares above the previews indicate that these files are marked for import. You can leave the selection as it is or uncheck one or more previews by clicking the yellow square. When you hover the mouse over a preview of an image, it is automatically enlarged to make it easier to analyze.

Click the “Import” button to start importing the selected images. Daminion now reads all metadata information from the files and links the original files with the catalog. Once imported, all images are displayed in the Daminion browser. The results of the import operations are also stored in the Tags Panel under “Saved Searches”. This allows you to recall all the files that belong to this import by clicking the small circle which will turn green.

Daminion saves three import-states: “Last Imported”, “Imported Today” and “Imported Yesterday “.
In our example (see screenshot below), we have recently imported 10 files.