Importing media by searching


From Elements Organizer 14 onwards, this feature has been replaced with the Import in bulk feature. 

Import media by searching

You can quickly find photos and videos by searching. Import by searching helps you search for media in specific locations on your computer. While searching for media files, you can specify search criteria such as exclude files smaller than a specific file size for example, 100 kb.

Import by searching saves considerable time as you can skip system and program folders. You can then import folders from your hard drive to Organizer.

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Click Import. Select By Searching.
    • Select File > Get Photos And Videos > By Searching.
  2. Select a search option from the Look In menu.
  3. Select options to limit your search:

    Exclude System And Program Folders

    Excludes folders from the search that are unlikely to contain your media files.

    Exclude Files Smaller Than

    Includes files large enough to be full-resolution photos. Enter a minimum file size, in kilobytes, in the KB textbox.

    Note: By default, removable media (such as CDs and DVDs) and network drives are not searched.

  4. Click Search. The search may take a while. Click Stop Search if you want to stop the search.

    The search returns all folders that contain photos and video files.

  5. From the search results, click a folder to select it. To select more than one folder, press Ctrl(Win)/Cmnd(Mac OS) and click another folder name. You can preview the items in a folder by clicking the folder name in the list.

  6. (Optional) Select Automatically Fix Red Eyes to fix photos with red eye problems as they are imported into Elements Organizer.

  7. Click Import Folders. The photos appear in the Media view.


    If the photos you import have tags attached to them, the Import Attached Tags dialog box appears.

Using watched folders

Elements Organizer automatically detects media files being added to any of its watch folders. By default, the following folders are watched

  • My Pictures
  • Cloud services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Elements Organizer tracks the folders of these services on your desktop and auto-imports the media files.

You can add additional folders to the watch list of Elements Organizer.

You can choose to have media files that are added to a watch folder automatically added to a catalog. Or, you can opt to be asked before new media files are added to a catalog. When asked, either click Yes to add the media files to your catalog, or click No to leave them out. Whether or not media files are brought into Elements Organizer, they remain in their folders unless you delete them.


Elements Organizer notifies when media files are added to any of its watch folders, only when it is launched.

Add folders to the watched folders list

  1. Choose File > Watch Folders.

  2. Click Add, and then browse to the folder.

  3. Select the folder, and then click OK. The folder name appears in the Folders To Watch list.

  • To quickly add watch folders, in the My folders panel, right-click a folder and choose Add To Watched Folders.
  • To add cloud storage folders such as such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox, see Add cloud storage folders to Elements Organizer.

Change Watch Folders settings

  1. Choose File > Watch Folders.

  2. Choose one of the following options:
    • Watch Folders and their Sub-Folders for New Files: This checkbox has to be selected to activate the watching folders feature.
    • Notify Me: to choose whether files are added to your catalog.
    • Automatically Add Files To Elements Organizer: to have the media files added to your catalog as soon as they are detected.

Browse to files on your computer

  1. In the Elements Organizer, choose File > Get Photos And Videos > From Files And Folders from the menu.

  2. In the dialog box, navigate to the folder that contains the files you want to bring into the Elements Organizer. Use the Look In menu and the other navigation controls along the top and left.

  3. Hold the pointer over a file to display information about the photo, or select it to display a preview. On Mac OS, the Finder is used to display a preview of the photo.

    Raw files are not displayed in preview on Windows Vista/Win 7.

  4. Do one of the following to select photos:
    • To get a single media file, select it.
    • To get multiple media files, Ctrl-click/Cmd-click to select the files you want. Or, click the first file, and then Shift-click the last file in the list that you want.
    • To get all the media files in a folder, navigate up one level from your current level in the Get Photos And Videos From Files And Folders dialog box and select the desired folder. To get photos from subfolders within the folder, select Get Photos From Subfolders.

    You can import a PDF file, or a Photoshop Elements project as a PSE file. Text in imported PDF files becomes part of the image (you can’t edit the text).

  5. Set file-specific import options:

    Automatically Fix Red Eyes

    Fixes red eye problems as the files are downloaded.

    Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks

    Suggests photo stacks for you according to date and visual similarity.

  6. Click Get Media. The media files appear in the Elements Organizer.

Add files from specific folders

  1. In the Elements Organizer, from the Import > My Folders menu, select the folder location.

    The folder hierarchy panel opens on the left side of the Media view.

  2. In the folder hierarchy panel, browse to the folder containing the files you want to import.
  3. Right-click/Control-click the folder, and select Import media.

    The Getting media dialog box will report whether files were imported.

  4. Click OK.

If files were imported, the folder’s icon changes from an Unmanaged Folder icon  to a Managed Folder icon.

About preview files

When you import photos from removable drive/CD/DVD/Network, you can choose to download to your computer full-resolution copies of the master photos (default) or low-resolution copies, called preview files. Preview files appear in your catalog as space-saving copies of the high-resolution originals. When you perform an operation that requires the original photo, you are asked to insert the disc containing the offline photo. You can then decide whether to use the preview file or bring in a full-resolution copy of the photo.

If you choose to use preview files, you need to assign an Offline Volume Name to the CD or DVD containing the master files. Ensure that you write the Offline Volume Name on the CD or DVD. This helps when Elements Organizer requests the master disc (it provides the reference name for you), you can insert the correct disc.

Set the size for preview files

  1. In Elements Organizer (Windows), select Edit > Preferences > Files. In Mac OS, select Adobe Elements Organizer 11 > Preferences > Files.

  2. Under Offline Volumes, choose the pixel dimensions for the preview files. A 640 x 480 size is good in most cases. Use a smaller size if you want to conserve space on your computer, or a larger size for better display quality.

Get photos from a CD or DVD

You can copy photos from a CD or DVD onto your hard disk and into the Elements Organizer. You can make full-resolution copies, as you might for editing purposes, or, to save disk space, low-resolution offline copies called preview files.

  1. In the Elements Organizer, select File > Get Photos And Videos > From Files And Folders.

  2. Navigate to your CD or DVD drive, and select the photos you want to copy.
  3. (Optional) Select either of the following:

    Copy files on import

    Makes a full-resolution copy of the file on your hard disk.

    Generate previews

    Makes a low-resolution copy of the file on your hard disk, saving disk space.

  4. (Optional) If you’re keeping a master photo offline, type in a volume name for the CD or DVD on which it resides, and write this name on the disc itself. This will make it easy for you to find and download the master when prompted.
  5. (Optional) Select Automatically Fix Red Eyes if you would like Elements Organizer 11 to repair red eyes as soon as the photos are brought into the Elements Organizer 11.

    This option is not enabled for offline files.

  6. (Optional) Select Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks if you would like Elements Organizer to group visually similar photos, letting you decide whether to place any such groups into stacks.

  7. Click Get Media to bring your photos into the Elements Organizer.

    If the photos contain keyword metadata, the Import Attached Tags dialog box appears.

Get photos from a video

You can capture frames from your digital videos if they are saved in a file format that Elements Organizer can open, including ASF (Windows only), AVI, MPEG, MPG, M1V, and WMV (Windows only). Captured photos are saved with the name of the video file plus a number (for example, videoclip01, videoclip02, and so forth).


To create photos from the broadest range of video formats, install the latest version of standard video software, such as Windows Media Player.

  1. In the Editor, choose File > Import > Frame From Video.

  2. In the Frame From Video dialog box, click Browse to navigate to the video from which you want to acquire still frames, and then click Open.

  3. To start the video, click Play .

  4. To get a frame of the video as a still image, click Grab Frame or press the spacebar when the frame is visible on the screen. You can move forward and backward in the video to capture additional frames.


    Some video formats don’t support rewinding or fast-forwarding. In these cases, the Rewind  and Fast Forward  buttons are not available.

  5. When you have all the frames you want, click Done.

  6. Select File > Save to save each still file to a folder on your computer.


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