So, you've got PhotoStructure installed, and it looks like it's importing every photo and video you've got.

What should you know now?

Tip #0: PhotoStructure tries to be polite

Importing many thousand images and videos is very CPU-heavy. To ensure your computer is still usable and responsive during imports, PhotoStructure only scans and imports when your system is idle "enough," where "enough" defaults to 20%.

If you find that sync slows down or stops, it's probably due to another system process making your system busy. This may be due to other applications or games, anti-virus scanners, system updates, or file indexing services.

Tip #1: close vs exit

Know that closing the main window doesn't shut down PhotoStructure. To exit, follow these instructions (tl;dr: click "Quit" from the system tray).

Tip #2: home

Click the home icon located at the top of the page to go back to the home page, which picks a random assortment of your library's photos and videos for all "root" tags, which is currently "When" and "Camera".

Tip #3: opening and downloading files

To open or download the original photo or video from the asset page, hit the "i" key on your keyboard, or click the circle "i" or in the upper right corner of the screen to slide out the "info" panel.

PhotoStructure gathers duplicate files (stored in your library's database as AssetFiles) under an Asset. When you open the asset info panel, you'll see one or more of these paths.

Click the "..." next to each file to either download the original, or open the folder the original is in, with the original selected.

Tip #4: keyboard shortcuts

If you're on a desktop or laptop, knowing a couple keyboard shortcuts will help you get around your library speedy-quick.

  • h goes to the home page, and picks a new "shuffle seed," so you'll see new random thumbnails.
  • f toggles fullscreen.

After you click on an asset thumbnail:

  • left and right cursor keys will take you to the previous or next photo, ordered by time.
  • i shows the important metadata about an image
  • s scrolls into view the "streams" panel, which shows "nearby" photos and videos.

Tip #5: breadcrumbs are clickable

When navigating tags or assets, you can jump to related photos and videos via breadcrumbs. You'll find these on the header, in the info panel, and if you click the "down" arrow in an asset view, in your "streams" panel on the bottom of your screen.  

Asset view

Photo by Nathan Anderson