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  1. #1
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    Question Concatenating multiple files to one larger file - how?

    I have a number of files containing images that I want to place in one larger file as this makes housekeeping a lot easier for me. I want to know if this can be done using the Windows "COPY" command and, if so, how does one go about doing this? Alternatively, if there is another way to do this, short of buying more software, e.g. using a batch file of some sort, then I would also like to know how this works.

    Any help or insight that anyone would care to provide will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Ron_M
    Last edited by Ron M; 2011-05-16 at 21:51.

  2. #2
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    Ron, you can't just copy the files to make one big one, you would need to import them into an image manipulation program and then save the new file.
    If you are just trying to save space you can zip them up - free in Windows by highlighting and right clicking.

    cheers, Paul

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    Create an archive of all the files using a free archival tool.

    Examples are Peazip, ZipGenius, and 7-Zip.

    If you install, for example, ZipGenius, then in an Explorer window you can select all the files you want to "combine", right-click, and ZipGenius will have an option in the context menu to create a new archive file or add these files to an existing archive.

    Google the program names above to locate the executable files to download to install them on your computer.
    PJ in FL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Ron, you can't just copy the files to make one big one, you would need to import them into an image manipulation program and then save the new file.
    If you are just trying to save space you can zip them up - free in Windows by highlighting and right clicking.

    cheers, Paul
    I think I did not make my self as clear as I could have...I have 7 smaller files, each contianing images, although I don't think that it matters what is in them. I simply want to take the seven files and create one larger file that contains all the images from the seven files. I could process each of the seven files individually, but because they are all taken in the same location, it makes mores sense, to me, to have all the images in one larger file before I run them into Lightroom and Photoshop CS5 for editing, etc. What I want to know is whether or not there is a simple way to concatenate these seven files into one larger file that does not involve the purchase of additional software. Maybe there is some sort of batch file I could build, or maybe it is a simple use of the COPY command that I am unaware of. I am not trying to save space, nor am I trying to create any form of condensed file, I am simply trying to create one large file from these seven...that way I can import all of the images into Lightroom in one pass, rather than having to do it seven times. Hope this helps clarify what I am trying to do and why.

    Ron_m

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    OK, I guess we don't understand your definition of "combine" here. What makes sense to you hasn't made sense to other posters yet. Sorry.

    Your mention of COPY doesn't apply as each image file is a structured file type, with position-specific file and image information (e.g. metadata), and if it's a compressed file type like JPEG, then the compression algorithm has loaded information on how to decompress the image from the binary data stream contained in the file. As a rule, structured files cannot simply be combined end-to-end.

    You have 7 pictures. Are you wanting to join them visually, as in placing them side-by-side or top-to-bottom? Join them in a college?

    Please explain, but I have to say I don't know Lightroom and my Photoshop experience is with a much older version. Just trying to get enough information so another expert can provide a solution, if one exists.

    Oh, just to let you know, none of the mentioned software solutions requires purchasing anything. Windows has built-in (although very rudimentary) ZIP capabilities, and all the solutions I mentioned are freeware.
    Last edited by pjustice57; 2011-05-17 at 14:27.
    PJ in FL

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    So you want to create one large editable image out of 7 existing images. You will need to use an image editing program, create a canvas large enough to hold all of the images, and then paste each image into the canvas. Photoshop [Elements] and GIMP can do this; I suspect that Paint.NET can also do this. I have not use Lightroom, so I don't know if it has that ability.

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    Ron - Do you want one file that when that file is opened it shows all 7 pics on one screen? Maybe you want a slideshow file that you can show each of the pics in a slideshow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pjustice57 View Post
    OK, I guess we don't understand your definition of "combine" here. What makes sense to you hasn't made sense to other posters yet. Sorry.

    Your mention of COPY doesn't apply as each image file is a structured file type, with position-specific file and image information (e.g. metadata), and if it's a compressed file type like JPEG, then the compression algorithm has loaded information on how to decompress the image from the binary data stream contained in the file. As a rule, structured files cannot simply be combined end-to-end.

    You have 7 pictures. Are you wanting to join them visually, as in placing them side-by-side or top-to-bottom? Join them in a college?

    Please explain, but I have to say I don't know Lightroom and my Photoshop experience is with a much older version. Just trying to get enough information so another expert can provide a solution, if one exists.

    Oh, just to let you know, none of the mentioned software solutions requires purchasing anything. Windows has built-in (although very rudimentary) ZIP capabilities, and all the solutions I mentioned are freeware.
    It is not that I have 7 pictures, rather I have 7 files, each file contains over 200 different RAW images or pictures. I would compare it to a situation where I had 7 files with each file containing over 200 different Word and Excel documents. I want to combine all 7 "files" into one larger "file" that would contain the images in each of the 7 smaller files and thus give me a single file with over 1400 images in it. The reason I want to do this is that it makes it a lot easier to process/import in Lightroom than if I have to deal with each smaller file individually. Hopefully this clarifies things, because I think the confusion came from the way I used the word "file" compared with the way it is being interpreted...I come out of the mainframe days (yup that's as old as dirt!!) when a "file" was an object that contained records. Think of what I have in terms of a single entity, of which there are 7 of them, each "entity"/"file" contains a number of objects, in my case they happen to be raw images, but they could be Word documents or Excel spreadsheets - doesn't matter...each object in the file is a single object or record. What I want to do is combine each of these "files" into one larger file that contains all of the objects or images. e.g....

    File 1 - 250 images
    File 2 - 240 images
    File 3 - 260 images
    File 4 - 200 images
    File 5 - 240 images
    File 6 - 260 images
    File 7 - 250 images
    ================
    Combined single file - 1700 images.

    Hopefully this helps to clarify things. The reason I put this under the "General Windows" forum, is that I felt that I should be able to do this somehow with a Windows COPY command, multiple COPY commands, or a batch file of some sort. It is just that I do not know how to do this and am wondering if there is a way that it can be done, because really, IMHO, this should be fairly simple (Yes I know, simple and Windows can be an oxymoron). Hopefully this provides enough insight for those of you trying to help this poor guy - help which is greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    Ron_M

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    Hmmmmmm Just wondering if you have 7 "Folders" that contain 1700 image files and you want to put all 1700 image files into one "Folder"?

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    I'm confused. I have never heard of dealing with image files combined into one large file, and I've been in digital photography as a hobby for going on 10 years.

    Lightroom and other RAW conversion tools need to see the files individually, not in a batch or as part of the same file. Lightroom, Bibble, and others by their nature can catalog the files for you. You import them in by pointing to the directory they reside in. In the case of Bibble, you can refer to the original files, or literally import them into the database (I think Lightroom only refers to the files and stores thumbnails, but its been a while since I demoed that one). You can process them and work them as individual files, or if you are looking to apply the same processing on all of them, that can be done also. Process the first one, then copy that processing in bulk to all the rest. The other thing these programs do is non-destructive editing, that is store the edits in a database, and only apply them when converted to TIFF or JPG. The original file is never touched.

    If you are doing this for organizational purposes, your desire is not unique. It can be a real pain to manage digital assets, especially when they start to number in the thousands, like mine. Lightroom has excellent DAM (Digital Asset Management) capability. Bibble, as much as I like it for RAW processing, not so good on the DAM side. I prefer ACDSee Pro for my DAM. Very robust, very intuitive right out of the box. But if you have Lightroom already, I suggest you use that. It seems to me to be a much better way than attempting to make large single files out many smaller files. Again, I'm not clear how any of these programs could parse out the images without being individual files. I hope some of this at least is helpful.

    How are you storing them in "files" now? In other words, what kind of a file or database is it? How are you able to view them?

    EDIT: I just read tfstry's post. I'm thinking that he's on to something. You're calling them files because that's the icon in Windows Explorer? Makes sense to me given your background. If that's the case, on the left side of Explorer, click on folder (file) full of images, press CTRL+A to select them all, then press CTRL+X (this cuts them, not copies). Alternatly you can right click on the selected files and pick from Cut from the menu. Right click on the folder (file) that you want put them in, and select Paste. That will move, not copy the files to a single folder. Follow the same procedure for the rest of the images.

    In Windows, those file folders are simply referred to as Folders or Directories (Directories is less used these days. I use that term because I cut my teeth in DOS). Individual items such as word documents or images are referred to as files. That may not be intuitive to you, but that may help clear up the confusion.
    Last edited by Doc Brown; 2011-05-17 at 16:57.
    Chuck

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tfspry View Post
    Hmmmmmm Just wondering if you have 7 "Folders" that contain 1700 image files and you want to put all 1700 image files into one "Folder"?
    PS: My use of the word Folder is also known as diectory/subdirectory.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfspry View Post
    Hmmmmmm Just wondering if you have 7 "Folders" that contain 1700 image files and you want to put all 1700 image files into one "Folder"?
    If Folders and Files are synonyms in this context then this is probably what I mean???

    Ron_M

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron M View Post
    If Folders and Files are synonyms in this context then this is probably what I mean???

    Ron_M
    I think so. Read my least posting from the EDIT as I think it may be helpful for you.
    Chuck

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    I'm confused. I have never heard of dealing with image files combined into one large file, and I've been in digital photography as a hobby for going on 10 years.

    Doc, I am sorry if you are confused, but dealing with images in one "large" file is no different than dealing with "images" in the small file you would get from a CF card or an SDHC card - only difference is the number of images. If I can learn how to combine the images from 7 CF cards, currently in individual folders or files into one folder or file, then it will make processing In Lightroom a whole lot easier. I only have to import one set of images, rather than fuss around with 7 CF cards and the images that are now in 7 folders/files.

    To answer your other question about the "database" I am using now, I use the Lightroom Library module exclusively for my DAM and it works quite well for me. Normally, I would have only one or two CF cards from diverse areas with diverse subjects, but in this case, I have 7 CF cards, all from Africa, with diverse subjects. They are not really in a "database" until I import them into Lightroom. I set up a preset for import and can keyword all of the images at once in one single import with the keyword "Africa". I can view them currently using Windows Live Photo Gallery or Zoombrowser, a Canon Product, but neither of these is an integrated product, not do they interface with CS5 as Lightroom is and does...but I wander...my main objective is to concatenate all the images from the 7 CF cards into one large file. That's all...and it would seem I am unable to communicate my requirements as my background, I guess, is a little different from that of others...hopefully this will help to clarify things.

    Ron_M

  15. #15
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    Yes, I think I do understand now! Thanks for being patient with us! Its all in the terminology and what you are used to compared to those of us that "grew up" on DOS and Windows. From your description, you are indeed calling "files" what the Windows world calls "Folders" or "directories". Think of the folders as what is on your CF card. In this case, for your view file=folder=directory. You want to move all the photos (files in Windows parlance) to the same folder/directory/file. Am I correct? If so, its exactly what I and everyone else do to organize a group of shots taken at the same time. Within Lightroom, once you import, its organized as a Shoot. Then of course its easy to manage.

    As I said, follow what I suggested under the EDIT part of that post, and I think you'll achieve what you need. Since you are copying from CF cards, you can drag and drop them into the same "file", really folder/directory.

    PS: Africa! Very cool. Please post a link to them if you share them on the Internet! I'd love to see them.
    Last edited by Doc Brown; 2011-05-18 at 11:36.
    Chuck

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