New User General Questions & Talking Points

Hi there, I'm a new user and had some general questions, things to ask based on things I've notice/am still confused about.
First of all it's very clear to see the power available in this software, though the complexity and lack of clear tutorials makes the barrier to entry and general usability quite high I feel.
For instance concise summaries are difficult to come across - It took me a long time of messing to figure out what the difference is between style/layouts/folder structures, when you would use them, how they affect your listers and how small things are affected. Small nuances are so large in number I can understand why it would be so hard to document them all. For example it's very confusing when styles affect folder formats. Why are my columns from this folder being used on it's parent folder when the parent didn't have these columns before? etc, etc.

There were some specific things I haven't been able to work out, and don't know if they're bugs or another nuance I'm not grasping.

I wanted every folder on a drive to have the tab colour of blue so a wildcard folder format A:/* seemed the best way to do this, however obviously every folder inherits the columns for this wildcard. It's very time consuming to then have to individually alter subsequent folders.

if we then say get down a few levels to A:///Music, unless this and all subsequent folders have another wildcard to catch everything under it, it will always inherit A:/.
This leads to recursive wildcards to stop things inheriting A:/
So A:/ *** / *** /Music has its own wildcard format, then everything below that is either A:/ *** / *** /Music folder format, if not A:/*.
This leads to a situation where you're constantly forced to build deeper and deeper folder formats, when It would be good to just have a way to stop the wildcard after "so many folders deep".

what if you want the option for a temporary change of view, for example, to just stick if I'm browsing Albums for instance - so every time you move folders it doesn't reset to one of the above wildcard's folder format's.

I created an "Album view" folder format, that had the thumbnail sized as 150 in the first column, and "view" tab turned off. This was in the thinking I don't want the view to keep resetting when I change folders, if I decide I want to browse in list of detail modes.

I noticed however that if I was to change my view and browse, while it would stay in "list view" It would not stay in detail view and I would be shunted back into my user defined "album" folder format which Opus decided was thumbnail + detail, without me every actually defining that.

The other very strange occurrence I could not work out was if I went to Folder -- Folder Formats -- Reset to Folder's Format, I wouldn't every get my format. I would get a Thumbnail + detail view, but the thumbnail would be whatever the default small size is? In the folder options for the current folder I get a random width value of 96? Where this is coming from I have no idea.

The only way I could get this to function "as I expected" when resetting, was to set the folder format view to details, so every time I reverted I got the expected 150 sizing of my thumbnail. Though this meant if I wanted to browse my Album In a different view I couldn't without changing the view with every single folder change.
Another nuance or a bug?

I have a lot of RAW .RAF files and noticed in the metadata pane I'm getting no data of the photograph what so ever. The same is true for XMP sidecar files. I am only able to view JPEG metadata.
Though if I run a search for example, searching for a specific focal length, both the JPEG and the RAF files return in the results - almost like Opus knows the data is in the file but why it won't display in the metadata pane, I don't know.

Sorry for the long first post, just wanted to share my thoughts and also ask a couple questions :smiley:


Created a custom Style that is designed to change the current folder to a grouped flat view, and use a different, music oriented folder format. When clicking the custom style the file view only changes to grouped flat, but the default list folder format, not my folder format I defined in the style. Only when I click the style again does it then implement my custom folder format? Why is this?

If you're new to Opus and the forum, please browse through the FAQs:

Especially this one: :slight_smile:

The manual talks about the differences. Did you find it unclear, or did you not find the relevant sections?

If you edit the styles, you can turn that off. A style can potentially save and later apply a lot of different things, but there is a UI for editing them.

The three Folder Format FAQs try to answer questions like that, although some aspects of how Folder Formats work can be complicated (due to trying to make them do what people expect, which isn't always easy to explain in words!).

If you make temporary changes to how a folder is displayed, knowing how to reset back to normal when you no longer want those changes can save a lot of time. The simplest way is to just close the window or tab and open a new one. But you can also right-click the format lock (padlock icon) and use this reset option:

(It's also available via Folder > Folder Formats in the menus at the top.)

(Edit: Looks like you found this already.)

Path and Wildcard Formats don't have to define columns; you can turn that part of them off entirely, using the checkbox for each page/section of the format.

But if you A:\ and folders below below A:\ to both use different and custom formats, then you'd need to save separate formats for those two things.

You can save a Path Format for A:\ (set not to apply to sub-folders).

And then save a Wildcard Format for Regular Expression A:\\.+ which would match all folders below A:\. Only two formats are required in total.

(It needs to use a regular expression rather than a simple wildcard due to the annoying way drive roots, unlike normal folders, already have a \ at the end of them in Windows. If it was any other type of folder, you could use a simple wildcard like A:\Subdir\* to match all folders below A:\Subdir without matching A:\Subdir itself.)

The default Details + Thumbnails button on the toolbar sets the column width to 96 pixels (multiplied by the system DPI scaling factor) when it turns on the Thumbnails column. That's probably where the 96 is coming from, if you clicked that button to turn on the Thumbnails column.

Hovering over the format lock icon will also tell you which folder formats or user actions are contributing to the way things are currently displayed.

Send us some and we'll take a look. Although the metadata pane is geared toward editing metadata, which usually isn't done with raw camera images, as the formats tend to be fragile and undocumented (reading them is difficult enough) and people usually want to avoid modifying the original raw files which they typically want as a pristine archive of what came off the camera.

So you may find more information is displayed in the file display columns for the same metadata details.

Difficult to say without seeing details of how the style is set up. Please start a separate thread for that and post screenshots of the style. (i.e. Double-click it under Preferences / Layouts and Styles / Styles and show any relevant details to what you're aiming to do.)