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Working on the same project on two or more devices

I was wondering what the current situation on this topic is? Are there already possibilities of working on the same project from two devices simultaneously, or at least transferring the whole project including files to another computer? (I now realized that when copy-pasting the project file and opening it on another device, there aren’t even the preview images, which would already be something to work with in my case). I know I asked this before, but it is quite important to me (and perhaps to other users as well?). In my case it would be sufficiant to be able to copy the project and the files on the second device and have the software ‘find’/consolidate the files, but of course, the possibility to work simultaneously on a project via cloud storage etc. would be desirable.
And what would be your advice for group work with the current version of the software?

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There are currently a few ways I can think of to work on the same project on multiple devices, but it is a bit embarrassing to discuss them, because they are clearly hacks, so please keep in mind that officially, Tropy does not support collaborative features yet (but we’re looking to improve that).

What is already possible is moving a project from one device to another. If you understand that process, you’ll see that there are few options to simultaneously work on the project from both devices. But first off, to move a project (for example, because you’re upgrading to a new computer), you would:

  1. Copy the project file and the photos to the new device.
  2. If the absolute path of the photos is the same on the new device as it was on the old device, that’s it: if you open the project, Tropy should be able to find all the photos and generate all the thumbnails (visible in the project view).
  3. If the paths are different, you’d have to tell Tropy where to find the files (see here).

Now, depending on your use case there are different options:

If you can set up your photos in a way to make them accessible on both devices using the same absolute path (e.g., using sym-links or by actually using the same paths) then you should be able to just use the same project file on both devices. However, I’d be careful not work on the project on both devices at the same time (because there no syncronization features yet, the two instances of Tropy are likely conflict with each other).

If you can not set up your photos in such a way (or if you don’t want to copy all the photos to both devices) you could still set up one device to work only on the metadata; you could also copy the thumbnails from one device to the other, which would make it possible to view the entire project on the second device (but you would not see the photos in the image viewer when switching to the item view). Tropy stores thumbnails in your ‘use data’ folder, e.g., ~/.config/tropy/cache on Linux.

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Thank you for your answer! Just one thing: does option 3 work between macOS and windows?

You mean to copy the thumbnail cache from one device on macOS to Windows (or vice versa) and to then use the project (located in a shared folder) on one device without photos and on the other with photos? Yes, I think that should work (but please make routine backup copies of your project!).

All you need to do is copy the cache folder from one device to the other. You can use ‘Help -> Show log files’ on both devices to open the corresponding log folder; the cache folder should be ../cache relative to that folder. In it, you’ll see folders for each project (using the internal project id). You can either copy all of them or just the folder of the project you want to share.

Ok, good to know. However, what I meant was moving the project, files and paths, as you mentionned in 3.

Well, you can certainly move the project and the files; and you can update the paths in your project (ideally by changing the paths directly in the database as explained in the posting I linked to above; in the UI you’d currently have to consolidate each photo individually).

Ok, I was only asking because the instructions in the post you are referring to (Moving Photos After Import: Photos do not open in Item View) are for “macOS or Linux (assuming sqlite3 is installed)”

You need to have sqlite to make the changes (but you can make them on macOS, where it is pre-installed). On Windows, I think you’d have to install sqlite first.

hi ! just a simple and basic question : how do I copy Tropy’s project ? because at this point, I have an empty frame on my new computer. I understood the photos might have to be reimported. thanks CB

You can move the project itself by moving the project file. To find where it’s saved “Once you are in Tropy, if you need to find out where your project is saved, right-click on its name in the sidebar and select Show project file.

Be sure to read the manual section about moving photos