I've been scanning family photographs and am looking for a way to organize them. I'd like to set them up in photo organization software where i can set tags and add dates.

Preferably, I'd like the tags to be customizable and grouped. For example:

  • Person > Fred Jones
  • Holidays > Christmas
  • Places > Disney World

For dates, many photos have notes written on the back that have non specific dates like "1985", "Summer 1986", "December 1987" etc. I'd like to save these "fuzzy" dates and be able to sort and filter by them.

I would also like a program that does not automatically rename or move the original files.

Does anyone know of software that can accomplish this?


1 Answer 1


Digikam, Photools iMatch, Adobe Lightroom will all import your photos into their catalogue, without moving them. These are just some of the available programs, look for photo management software that will allow hierarchical keywords/categories. You can use Summer and 1986 as tags, then filter your photos based upon the tags (also called categories and keywords). Digikam is free, the others cost money. If you really need to sort on fuzzy dates, I would suggest that you allocate an actual date to each one. e.g. 1st June 1986 and 25th December 1987. The software will allow you to change date created on any photo to any valid date. I hope this helps, let me know if you need any more info. Steve

  • \$\begingroup\$ This is exactly what I was going to say. The EXIF standards do not accept anything other than actual dates in the date field (although, I'm not positive that they don't accept 00 in the day or month field). Therefore, the best solution is to simply use tags in the EXIF data, or use categories in whatever programs allow categories. I know IMatch has hierarchical categories, and you can show only what's in a selected category or everything in subcategories too. So you can show only July, 1969, or all of 1969 with the click of a button. I'm sure other programs have this feature too. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 22:40

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