Search images by Meta Information

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Meta data is information about information; in this case it means information about your images. The most ideal way to store meta information is by storing it inside the image itself using international standards like XMP or IPTC. However, some image formats just dont allow this kind of information to be stored inside the image. For those images, IDimager will store the meta information to so called sidecar files (separate file next to the image file). These sidecar files have the same file name as the original photo, but use the XMP extension (e.g. IMG_2455.PEF will get a meta file called IMG_2455.XMP). Image formats that store embedded meta information are JPG, TIF, TIFF, DNG, PSD formats, and optionally some of the RAW formats (need to be enabled in the options dialog).


When you enter meta information with IDimager then that information is stored inside the image or as a sidecar file. Besides this file storage, IDimager also stores the meta information to its own catalog database. By doing so, IDimager allows you to search images fast because the application wont have to open every image to read its meta info. The database also allows you to search for meta information for images that are currently “offline”, like backup CDs.


This means that IDimager will only search for meta information for those images that are imported to the database. During an import to the database, either using the Import feature or by using the Downloader, then the metadata is automatically stored to the database and you're ready to search for them. You can also force IDimager to reimport the metadata to the database by pressing [Ctrl]+[Alt]+[F12]. Normally this won't be needed, but if you are also using a third party tool that also writes metadata to your files and these files are already imported in the database then it may be needed to manually reimport the metadata.


Once your meta information is read to the database, you will be able to search through it using IDimagers meta information search feature.





You can also browse through your metadata in the Catalog Explorer by expanding the "Metadata" branch (IDimager Pro only).


To search for meta information, click the Search button->Search Meta Information in the applications main toolbar or press [Ctrl]+[F].





IDimager allows Boolean wise searching. This means that you can combine several search conditions using “AND” and “OR” operations to form a combined search query. Every line in the search dialog is called a “condition”.


Every condition has the following fields:


Condition parameter

Click the drop down button to open the possible search parameters. You can select any of the available meta-input fields you normally use for meta-data-entry. The fields in the meta-data-editor can be custom selected so the parameter options presented can change as soon as you change the meta-data editors layout.


Select the parameter you want to search for.

Condition type

Select the type of condition you need it to be. Possible values are:



Not Equals


Sounds Like (only IDimager Pro Edition)

Does not Contain

Starts With

Does Not Start With

Ends With

Does Not End With

Is Empty

Is Not Empty

Greater Than

Smaller Than

Greater Than Or Equal To

Smaller Than Or Equal To


Condition value

Enter the conditions value. This can be any possible text or numeric value


Join operation

If you need more than one condition line then you can create a new one by selecting a Join Operator. Possible operators are “AND” and “OR”





Once you have entered your search condition, you can click OK to start the search.