Changing People Names in People Tag

When people change their names, how can Daminion help to keep you up to date?

Written by Uwe Noack

The catalog contains items related to two people: The names assigned to their People Tags are Jenny Green and Paul Miller.
They get married and Jenny changes her surname from Green to Miller.
How can we take account of the this in Daminion?

1. Do nothing

No changes: Jenny keeps her birth name in the catalog’s People Tag. All new items are assigned to the People Tag “Green|Jenny”.
By Tag-Selection you get all Jenny’s items. But you don‘t know anything about her change of name.

2. Create an additional sub-tag for “Jenny Miller”

  • Add this tag to all “Jenny Green” items. Now Jenny has two People Tags: “Green|Jenny” and “Miller|Jenny”. Tag-Selection for either “Green|Jenny” or “Miller|Jenny” will give you all of Jenny’s items.
    Don’t forget to assign both tags to all new imported items.
  • Don’t assign the “Miller|Jenny” tag to existing “Green|Jenny” items. All Jenny’s items originating after her name has changed are assigned to the “Miller|Jenny” People Tag.
    Tag-Selection “Green|Jenny” will give you all Jenny’s items before she was married and “Miller|Jenny” all items after she was married.
    To get all Jenny’s items, CTRL-click as you select both tags.

3. Change the People Tag surname

Change Jenny’s People Tag surname (Rename – F2) from “Green” to “Miller”. In this case the tags will be merged to “Miller”.
You can’t change the surname if there are any other sub-tags for “Green”, e.g. her brother “Axel”, her mother “Lisa” and her dad “Martin”, as you can see in the next examples.
The additional photo of Jenny is a photo of Jenny Miller.

4. Use Synonyms

Note: Synonyms don‘t work with Tag-Selection. You have to use either “Quick Search” or “Advanced Search”.

The synonym “Miller Green” is assigned to the People Tags “Green|Jenny” and “Miller|Jenny”.
The first photo below is assigned to “Green|Jenny”, the second to “Miller|Jenny”.
When using “Quick Search” to search for Jenny and no one else, you must use the options “All Words” or “Exact Phrase Match”.

Using the synonym “Miller” for the “Green|Jenny” People tag doesn‘t work – your search results will contain all other items with the family name “Green”. The same thing happens if you assign the synonym “Green” to the “Miller|Jenny” People Tag.

5. Combine the People Tag with other tags

Other tags can be used in combination with the People Tag to handle this task.

For example, you can enter the Collection Tag “Miller Green” and assign it to all items under the “Green|Jenny” and “Miller|Jenny” People tags. You can now select all Jenny’s items by Tag-Selecting this Collection tag.

Another way is to use Additional Keyword tags.

6. Final remarks

It would be much more complicated if Paul and Jenny were to divorce and both get remarried some time later.

“Advanced Search” has no limitations on searching with a combination of different tags. You can save your combinations as Saved Searches. You really need to find a way that works best for you. There is no universal solution that fits all possible requirements.

Tests were carried out on Daminion build 1608 server catalog using the following preferences:

7. Copyright and license

All the free stock photos are downloaded from
For further information about copyrights and licenses, please check the homepage above.

Copy Tags from One Item to Another

Daminion allows you to transfer a set of tags from one item to many others. This can be useful if, for example, you have already assigned keywords to a particular item and now want to assign the same set of tags to newly imported items.

To copy tags from one item to another, click the arrow icon in the upper right corner of the item and select Copy tags. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift+C.

This opens a dialog window where you can select which tags should be copied to the Clipboard.

In our example the tags are Place and Keywords.

Click Copy Tags at the bottom of the dialog window to copy the tags to the Clipboard.

In the Browser window, select all the items you want to assign these tags to. Click the arrow icon again and in the drop-down list select Insert Tags. Alternatively, use the keyboard shortcut Alt+Shift+V.

Previously checked tags are now assigned to all selected items.

The selected tags remain on the Clipboard until you copy a new set of tags.

To save yourself having to open the tag list again and again for every copying operation, use the Copy Previous Set of Tags option to copy the previously selected set of tags to the Clipboard.


Lock Tag Editing

(This feature is only available for Daminion Server versions!)

Daminion allows you to lock certain tags to prevent undesirable changes. Although these tags are locked, they can still be assigned to and removed from items, but they cannot be renamed or deleted from the catalog. Only users with administrative rights are permitted to implement such changes. Locked tags are displayed in the Tags panel just like free-access tags.

To lock one or more tags, you need to log on as an administrator in the respective shared catalog.

Then in the File menu navigate to Catalog -> Lock Tag Editing

Click Add to select tags to be locked. Choose as many tags as required and close the dialog. If you accidentally add the wrong tag, select it and then click Remove.



In the Catalog Tags panel locked tags are now labelled “Locked” and cannot be deleted or renamed by users without admin rights. To learn more about user roles in Daminion, please refer to Control Access to Your Content.

Exporting and importing tag lists

All tags and tag values stored in the catalog can be exported (and imported) as .txt files, which can be used in other databases or spreadsheet applications.

Conversely, the import function is useful when you want to add keyword lists created outside Daminion to the Daminion tag tree.

The export-import function can also be used for transferring tag lists between two catalogs.


Exporting tags

To export the values of one or more tags: in the File menu, navigate to Catalog -> Export Tags.



In the export dialog, check the tags to be exported and click OK.

You will then be prompted to specify a name and location for the exported .txt file.







When the export is complete, the newly created text file will be displayed in Windows Explorer (if the respective option is checked).

This text file can then be opened in a word processing program for further editing.



In the screen shot on the left, you can see the Place tag with the hierarchical tag values that were exported to the .txt file. The hierarchy is built here by using a tab as the delimiter.






Importing tags

To import tags from a text file: in the File menu, navigate to Catalog -> Import Tags. Then in Windows Explorer select the text file you want to import into Daminion.

After a brief content analysis of the .txt file, the Tag Import dialog opens.

In the screen shot below, we are going to import the previously exported and edited Place and Author tags back into Daminion.

Check this option if you want to convert all fields to a certain tag, e.g. Keywords or Categories

 Check this option to reassign the tag fields. In our example, we mapped the Author tag to Access Control. Once imported, the values of the Author tag will appear under the Access Control tag.

After clicking Import, the tags will be added to the catalog.


Note: if the tag values have synonyms, they will be also exported and imported.

Approved/Unapproved Tags

When importing, Daminion reads metadata from images, saves it in the database (catalog) and displays it in the tag tree. This allows you to keep your database information synced with the metadata in imported files.  But what if you want to import new stock images that may already contain large amounts of metadata that could easily mess up your existing tag structure?

Specifically to handle this problem Daminion can mark all newly imported tags as Unapproved, thus allowing you to easily separate imported tags from your approved tag structure (taxonomy). This option is turned off by default but it can be enabled via the Read Metadata section in the Client or Server preferences.

Approved/Unapproved Ttags

After checking the “Mark imported tags as unapproved” option in the Daminion settings, a new button on the tag tree panel allows you to quickly switch between displaying All Tags, only Approved Tags or only Unapproved Tags:


All Tags are displayed


Only Unapproved Tags are displayed

Unapproved tags can be marked as Approved via the tag tree context menu:

All Tags are displayed

Please note that:

  • Unapproved tags are synced with file metadata in the same way as approved tags
  • To mark imported tags as unapproved for server catalogs go to Daminion Server Administration panel: Main menu > Administration > Reading Metadata.

Creating a new Group-Tag with the Tags Panel

In addition to Tag-Hierarchies, Daminion also allows you to manage your tags by sorting them into groups. Group tags are treated in basically the same way as normal Tags – the only difference is that they are not considered when exporting metadata information.

Suppose you were to catalog your media files into groups by customer name. If you reproduced this with the conventional tag structure, the customer name would be written to the files when exporting and would therefore be viewed by the recipient.
However, because group tags are only used for the internal administration of Daminion, the information remains exclusively in Daminion.
You can tell the difference between Group tags and Conventional tags by their shade of gray – Group tags are a lighter shade than Conventional tags.

Creating a new Group-Tag

To create a new Group tag in the Catalog Tags Panel, right-click the corresponding tag-heading and select Add Group from the submenu.

Adding new Tag Group

In the dialog box that opens, you can type one or multiple (separated by commas) Group names in the corresponding field. In order to create a single Group with a comma as part of its name, uncheck Add multiple values separated by a comma. The comma will now act as a regular punctuation mark and not as a delimiter.

Dialog for adding a new Tag Group

In this example we create a new Group for the Category section.
If you have already selected one or more items in the browser before calling this dialog box, you can activate the Assign to selected files option. The new groups will then be assigned immediately after you create the Group name.

Tag Groups in the Catalog Tags Panel

In the Tags panel we have created an Animals group and assigned other regular lower hierarchy Tags.

Special features of Group-Tags:

  • Group-Tags cannot be arranged hierarchically.
  • A Group-Tag can contain other tags.
  • When you export metadata that contains assigned Group-Tags and then read it back in Daminion, the tags will lose their hierarchical structures.
  • Group-Tags are used solely for the internal management of your tags. They CANNOT be exported as a part of metadata!

Recently Assigned Tags

If you find yourself repeatedly having to enter the same tags into the Properties Panel, the Recently Assigned Tags feature will save you a lot time and effort. The Recently Assigned Tags dialog box contains all previously entered tags, with the ones you use most near the top of the list. You can easily assign these tags with a mouse click or cancel tags you’ve already assigned, without having to enter them manually each time.

Opening the “Recently Assigned Tags” dialog box.

In the File menu, navigate to Window -> Recently Assigned Tags.

Opening the "Recently Assigned Tags" dialogThumbnail view with the magic wand icon


Alternatively, click the magic wand icon on the appropriate thumbnail








You can move the dialog box into an area where it doesn’t interfere with other panels on the screen or dock it in a precise position within the window. To find out how to move or dock dialog boxes, please refer to Customizing the Window Layout.

The "Recently Assigned Tags" dialog
The Recently Assigned Tags dialog box contains a list of all previously entered tags. The most recently used tags always appear at the top of the list. If a Tag has hierarchy levels, they are displayed one by one.







The "Recently Assigned Tags" dialog

(click to enlarge)

If you select an item in the browser, the tags already assigned to it will appear in the list with a check mark next to them.
To assign additional Tags or deselect existing ones, simply click them.

If you need a Tag that has not previously been entered, and therefore does not appear in the list, search for it by typing the name into the text box at the bottom.
In our example, we entered “w” and Daminion automatically listed all tags with names beginning with “w”. Click the down arrow to extend the search text until you reach the desired Tag. Once the tag has been assigned, it too will appear at the top of the list and you won’t have to search for it again.
Quick search inthe "Recently Assigned Tags" dialog

By default, the most recently entered keywords appear in this dialog box. However, you can also display other Tags, like “Place”, “Event” or “Person” for instance.
To change the Tags display, left-click the small gear icon in the top right of the title bar.

Changing the Tag view in the "Recently Assigned Tags" dialog



In the drop-down menu, select one of the listed Tags. By doing this, you will always be able to access the required tags directly.

Creating, assigning and deleting Tags with the Properties Panel

This article explains how to create and assign tags to your items in the Properties Panel. The following example uses the Keywords tag.

 Adding a new keyword

The keyword list in the Properties Panel


Once you have selected an item in the browser, you can view the contents in the metadata properties panel located on the right of the Daminion workspace.






To add a new keyword, simply type it into the Add Tag box.


As soon as you enter your text, Daminion checks whether the combination of letters already exists and displays all correspondences in a Drop-Down list, which immediately allows you to recognize whether a particular keyword has already been assigned and is therefore already included in the database.

You can also add multiple tags simultaneously by separating them with commas.

When you have finished assigning your keywords, click Save at the bottom of the Properties panel to apply your changes.


You can simplify keyword assignment by double clicking inside the Add tag box.



Daminion then opens a drop-down list containing the most recently assigned Tags. Thus allowing you to simply click and select the keywords you need instead of having to type them in full every time.








Removing a keyword

When you hover the pointer over a keyword, a small red and white X icon appears to the right of the keyword.


Click the X icon to remove the keyword from the item (please note: the keyword is not deleted from the tag list).

Tags can be deleted permanently only in the Tags panel. To do this, navigate to the desired tag in the Tags panel, select it and press the DEL key, or right-click the tag and select Delete from the sub menu.



Assign multiple Tags and Tag hierarchies via text input

If you want to assign multiple tags simultaneously to a single item, put commas between the individual keywords.

Example: “tree, house, street”

If the tags used are already available, they will be assigned directly, otherwise they will be created automatically.

If you want to assign a complete keyword hierarchy, enter the parent hierarchies separated in each case by a “\” character.

Assigning multiple Tags at once in the Properties PanelAssigning multiple Tags at once in the Katalog Tags Panel

Working with Synonyms

Especially in a multi-user environment where multiple users simultaneously work with a database and search for its content, it is particularly important to create a consistent data structure. This means duplicate or similar sounding keywords should be avoided.
When assigning the keyword to the images, it may sometimes happen that several equivalent terms for the keyword can be assigned there and you’re not always sure which one to use.
Take, for example, the term “Сamera“. But one could just have “Digital camera“, “Digicam” or “SLR” as well. In this case, to ensure that other people looking for photos with cameras will be able to find them, regardless of the searchable terms, one should take into account all possible alternative concepts and spelling variations when tagging the images.

The Daminion’s synonym administration allows you to specify synonymous terms for a particular keyword. This saves you from providing your keywords list with redundant cues, cuts the keywords list down and thereby simplifies its administration.
The synonyms are linked internally to the respective main keyword and do not appear in the keywords list. But you can still search for these terms and the items tagged with them.

Synonyms can be added to the following Tags:
– Keywords
– Project
– People
– Categories
– Subject Code
– Intellectual Genre


Creating synonyms

Launching the Synonym Editor to link synonyms to keywords

Click with the right mouse button on the keyword, which should be given one or more synonyms, and in the submenu that opens, click on “Edit synonyms…”.











This opens the dialog for creating your synonyms.

The Synonym Editor Dialog

In the upper part you can see a keyword to be provided with new synonymous keywords.
In the bottom text box, you can now add all possible alternative terms, each separated by a comma. After entering all the variants, click on the “Add” button.

The Synonym Editor Dialog

They all now appear in the list of synonyms. In addition, all terms containing capital letters are automatically duplicated in lower case.
After closing this dialog, all synonyms will be associated with the keyword “Camera”.
You can check this by hovering the mouse cursor over the “Camera” keyword in the keywords list in the Catalog Tags panel. It automatically opens a tooltip that displays any associated synonyms to “Camera”.

Balloon help showing all assigned synonyms

If you now want to tag more images with the “Camera” keyword, you can also alternatively use one of the synonyms instead. However, it is assigned the keyword “Camera” in any case.

Using synonyms in the Keywords list with autofill

If you, for example, use any of the assigned synonyms for tagging an item, Daminion automatically suggests the keyword “Camera” before.






In this way, you can ensure that no matter whether people are searching for “Digital camera”, “SLR”, or “Digicam”, they will only see images that have been provided with the keyword “Camera”.
Another possible application for Synonyms would be the simultaneous use of both colloquial and Latin names for plants or animals.
For example, you could add the official Latin names as main keywords and allow multiple colloquial names to be used as synonyms.


Synonyms for Custom Tags

Daminion’s custom tags allow you to overcome the restrictions imposed by the default selection of tags available in other DAM systems and organize your asset library in a thorough and business-related way. Now you can benefit from the ability to assign synonyms to custom tags just in the same way as to default tags. 

To activate synonyms for custom tags, click Catalog > Custom tags > Select a custom tag > Right click it and check “Synonyms”

Now you can assign synonyms to your custom tags just in the same way as to your default tags. Synonyms of custom tags are also fully searchable.





Change Tag appearance mode in the Tags Panel

By default, all active tags are displayed in the Tags panel. This can be very confusing when viewing the content of more than one tag at the same time. Single-tag mode, with only one tag section displayed, saves you from wasting time scrolling up and down looking for the respective sections.

Switching to the single tags mode











If you move the mouse pointer over any of the tag headings, a small rectangular icon appears on the right of each section. Click it to hide all tag headings in the Tags panel apart from this one.

The single tags mode



You can quit single tag mode at any time by simply clicking the small rectangle again.








Selecting tag in the single tags mode



To change the category currently on display, left-click the tag heading and select a different tag category from the drop-down menu.

In this way you can always display only the tag-heading you need at any particular time, and thus use the entire height of the screen to its full advantage.