I need a photo tagging and organizing software for Windows, preferably open source.

The main feature is to keep detailed information about photos in an external file. A shared database would be awesome but not mandatory. We have a huge collection of photos (PNG files) generated from different sensors. Each member of our team does some analysis and keeps in a notebook. This is an old way where information is lost. I am looking for an image organizer which keeps image information in an external database. Each user can add/update their comments on this image. Since an external database is used, it can be exported to Excel or a text file if required.

I looked at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_organizer but none of the software meets our requirement.


2 Answers 2


1. Magix Photo Manager

Magix Photo Manager comes with a slew of handy features for worry free management of your photos. It has a nice stable user interface and comes with a import feature using which you can right away get your photos and videos from your digital camera, phone, or scanner. It has the ability to fish out duplicates by matching similar scenes, so just choose and sample photo and it will find out the closest matching photos from your library. You may then review and delete the not needed ones. You can rate the photos so that you can anytime quickly sort and get the high rated ones when you need. Photo Manager has automatic face recognition capability in which it can identify up to 10 faces.

Magix Photo Manager got some basic photo editing features like automatic image optimization, red-eye correction, panorama picture creation and image optimization for web use. If you have videos, you can trim and remove shaky footages from it easily.

When you are ready to share photos with your family and friends, you can use online photo sharing tool “showfy” which according to the company is SSL encrypted for your safety. Other features of Magic Photo Manager include creation of virtual albums, routine backup copies creation, and automatic slideshow creation.

Magix Photo Manager is 100% free for personal use, but you need to provide your email ID for life-time free activation. Note that its online sharing tool Showfy is not free for use.

Supported Image and Video Formats: JPG, BMP, TIF, Kodak Photo CD, RAW formats from selected camera models, AVI, MOV, MPEG, WMV-HD, and MXV.

2. Picasa

Picasa is one of the oldest, simple yet powerful photo organizing application. There is absolutely zero learning curve to start using it. You can import photos into Picasa from cameras, memory cards, and scanners. It lets you to create virtual groups taken from several folders which implies you can see these photos without physically moving the pictures from the folder. Just like in Magix, Picasa also features facial recognition feature so that you can quickly find out photos of a particular person.

When it comes to editing photos Picasa has it all; you can crop, straighten, auto contrast, and auto color pictures. You can perform retouching of pictures for those fine works and also remove redeye from pictures. You also do get option to add text in photos. Picasa also has several special effects filters like infrared film, HDR-ish, Cinemascope, Cross Process, 1960’s, etc., which can be applied at a click of a button. The best part of Picasa is the creation of Photo Collages which is high flexible and great looking. It should go into your list of most used tools.

Picasa uses its Google+ Photos for online sharing and storage of photos, which has unlimited storage for standard resolution pictures.

Supported File Formats: jpeg, .tif, .tiff, .bmp, .gif, .psd (Photoshop), .png, .tga, and selected RAW formats.

3. Windows Photo Gallery

Microsoft’s Windows Photo Gallery is another great application for managing your photo collection. Like all the other programs reviewed here, this one is also capable of importing photos and videos directly from camera, scanner, and removable drives. Windows Photo Gallery lets you create a panoramic photo by stitching several photos together. A feature named Photo Fuse can create a photo by combining the best parts of two or more photos into one. And creation of collage is also available here too, but it is very basic in terms of control and no where near what Picasa’s collage can do.

Editing features include photo’s composition, exposure, detail, color, straighten, crop, red-eye fix, and some other photo options. Photo Gallery comes with built-in 5 slideshow themes using which you can create a slideshow in few clicks. Other features include photo rating, Geotag, and ability to publish photos and videos from Photo Gallery to a blog, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Supported File Formats: BMP, JPEG, JFIF, TIFF, PNG, and WDP.

  • That's three answers. It would be better if you posted them as three separate answers. That way, each can be voted on individually.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented May 11, 2017 at 7:14

Though it's definitely not ideal for what you're looking for, I'd recommend looking at Picasa. Picasa can store information about each photo in the form of tags. Though tags are meant to be used as categories, they're allowed to have any arbitrary text, including spaces and punctuation. Every photo can also have a caption, which can also include most characters (though not, it seems, newlines).

With JPEGs, tags are stored as EXIF metadata on the files themselves, which is an open and well-documented format, making it easy to extract the data into a spreadsheet. I don't know if captions are stored as EXIF data as well.

For file formats that don't support EXIF (including, I suspect, PNG files) tags and captions are only stored in Picasa's database. Unfortunately Picasa's database is a proprietary format, but it's documented here.

(Note: Picasa's database format and UI layout is probably built with the assumption that the number of unique tags you have is relatively small relative to the number of pictures. I don't know if you'll run into performance problems if you're using tags to store arbitrary data, so that every file has multiple unique tags. I suspect it'll probably be ok.)

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