What’s this about?

In times of digital fotography, taking pictures is very cheap. So people take a lot of pictures. Amateurs and professionals alike. But now the problem is, how to handle large amounts of pictures? Be honest, you’ll never ever look at most of them. But at some point, you’ll have to go through all of them to sort out the good ones. The ones you want to keep. You need to arrange the pictures somehow, maybe copy some, maybe sort some for later access. That’s what we have picture organizers for. Software that aims at organizing your picture gallery. Well, tagit is just another one of them. But why write another application when so many already exist? Let’s have a look at some I’ve found and note what’s missing in my oppinion. That doesn’t mean the software isn’t good, on the contrary. Most of them are actually excellent, but simply don’t supply what I request.

gThumb No tagging and Cumbersome navigation through files
digiKam Not tried

I really like this one, because it works with IPTC tags and gives the images much space.

It lacks tag-based search and the images could still be a a little bit bigger.


They have a neat timeline and it’s easy to use and seems well developed.

Tagging is cumbersome and you’ll need to use the mouse a lot. The app wants to modify the originals

Metadata editors  
geegie no tag-based search
mapivi oldschool, hard to use

Why tagit?

What do I actually expect from a picture organizer? Well, I want to have a tool which is built around the images. Many programs show way too much information around the pictures. So I don’t recognize details in the preview anymore. But that’s exactly what I want. To see some pictures next to each other, so I can compare them and select the better one. I also want a mechanism to quickly sort and search my images. Grouping similar pictures and showing or hiding them on demand. Or browsing the image collection by keyword.

That’s what tagit is about. It focusses on these two things only:

  1. Image display
  2. Tagging

For picture organization, these are the main features. You don’t need more than that. For the rest, there’s enough tools already. If you want to edit your images, use Gimp or ImageMagick or one of the above mentioned tools. When viewing my own images, I want to do these two things: Have a good look at the images and sort them in groups.

With these two, I can go through my image library and easily mark images so that I can quickly browse to an image later on. I can create and export collections and run operations on them with third-party tools. I personally prefer the keyboard over the mouse, so tagit comes with full keyboard shortcuts. But you can use the mouse just as well.

The IPTC/EXIF support allows to be compatible with a huge range of other tools, on many platforms.

Furthermore, I strongly dislike when programs want to modify my originals. There’s a good reason to do that, and tagit supports it as well, but I want to be in control what happens to the files and when this happens. The user can tune the program to his/her needs.

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