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If you plan on assigning data to your thumbnails in the form of keywords, annotations, etc, you should take the following precautions:

  1. In Options | Preferences | General, select Enable tracking of file and folder changes when ThumbsPlus isn't running.
  2. Also in Options | Preferences | General, select Use Windows recycle bin settings to avoid permanent deletions.
  3. Keep regular backups of your entire system! This is imperative in any situation where you do not want to lose data!

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My images have black lines through them or are distorted in part of the image but view correctly in other programs.

Try going into Options | Preferences | Advanced and changing the Maximum Image Bitmap Cache Size and the Bitmap Window Size For Larger Images both to 0. If this doesn't help, try changing both to larger sizes than they were originally. You may just need to play around with these numbers until you find something that works. You may also want to check with the manufacturer of your video card for newer drivers. You can link to most of the manufacturers from our web site

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What is the difference between a comment and an annotation?

Comments are actually embedded in the image. GIF, JPG, PNG and TIF files support comment tags.

With the latest ThumbsPlus, you do not have to re-save a file after editing or adding a comment tag to GIF, JPG, PNG, TIF. This is done through the right-click thumbnail menu. Quick Process | Modify File Info.

This means that ThumbsPlus can now add image comment tags without saving (thus there is no recompression.) The jpeg comments can be added without loss to the JPEG format.

You can also add a comment to an image, open the image and go to Edit | Add Comments. Note that the file must be re-saved when adding a comment. You can also force T+ to show available comments in a view window. Go to Options | Viewing | Other and check Show Image Comments When Available.

Image comment tags can also be automatically saved as database annotations and vice versa. Creating annotations in the ThumbsPlus database:

  • Main Window - Thumbnail | Annotate... Ctrl+E
  • View Window - File | Thumbnail | Annotate...

Annotations are stored in the T+ database and associated with the thumbnail record itself, not the image. To annotate a file, right click on a thumbnail and go to Thumbnail | Annotate on the fly-out menu. You can view annotations by going to the properties of the file or by selecting annotations to show in the thumbnail view, Options | Show for Files | Annotation.

You can now save annotations as image comment tags as well. This is great as the image comments are actually a tag in the file itself, so even if your ThumbsPlus database isn't present or has to rebuild due to a crash, you can always reclaim those annotations. This feature can be found by going to Main Window - Options | Preferences - Thumbnails

From the modify file info dialog, you can copy annotations to image comments. Check to copy the database annotation of this file's thumbnail to the image comments.

When moving a file from one computer to another, the image comment will be available but the annotation assigned in T+ will not.

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When I select TWAIN acquire, nothing happens.

There are several reasons that this problem could occur. The most frequent problem is that the original TWAIN and TWUNK files are installed into an incorrect directory and when ThumbsPlus installs TWAIN, it installs it into the correct directory (Windows and not Windows Systems). Download and run fixTWAIN.exe. This should take care of the problem. If this .exe file does not fix your TWAIN problems, then try the following:

  • Make sure that all TWAIN and TWAIN 32 directories are in your Windows directory and not in Windows/Systems and that there are not duplicates in both places.
  • You can also try deleting all TWAIN and TWAIN 32 directories and then re-install your TWAIN software.

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When I send a catalog to the printer, it acts as if it is printing but nothing ever prints.

Go to Options | Preferences | Advanced and turn on/off Disable Banded Printing. If this does not help, follow the instructions below.

For any large print jobs, such as batch printing in ThumbsPlus (*especially* to inkjet printers, which eat disk space like candy), it can be quite helpful to modify the printer settings. These instructions are for Windows 95:

  • Start | Settings | Printer
  • Right-click the printer, pick 'Properties'
  • From the 'Details' tab, pick 'Spool Settings'
  • Click 'Print directly to the printer'
  • Set 'Spool data format' to RAW.

You may want to experiment with just setting 5 (and leaving spooling on), and selecting 'Start printing after first page is spooled' as well. These options should reduce enormously the amount of disk space required for printing, and should enable you to batch print many images, or large catalogs, without running out of disk space or receiving unexpected errors.

Also, because inkjet printer drivers generate their own temporary files (unrelated to the spool files), when they run out of disk space, the error is often not reported properly to the printing program. The temporary disk space is not required or allocated by ThumbsPlus, but by the Windows 95 Print Manager (spooling system), and sometimes by the printer drivers themselves. Printing to a file bypasses the Print Manager and writes printer data directly to a disk file. Two other options are available in the Printer Setup, Details, "Spool Settings" that can reduce the disk space required when printing to a printer:

  • Select "Print data directly to printer." This bypasses print manager entirely and requires only about as much disk space as is required for a single page. However, the program will continue running just about as long as printing is occurring.
  • Spool data format - select RAW instead of EMF. This often makes printing faster, and requires less disk space as well.

With spool settings of "Spool print jobs so program finishes printing faster" *and* "Spool data format" of EMF, Windows may require 4 to 10 times as much disk space as printing to a file!

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Why does ThumbsPlus show hidden directories and files?

ThumbsPlus shows system and hidden directories because Microsoft elected to make the Windows 95 and 98 Fonts directory a hidden, system directory. You can select whether hidden files or folders are shown using Options | Preferences | Disks & Folders, or Options | Which Files | Hidden.

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How can I make the database file (.td4) smaller?
My database has reached the maximum size.

The size of the Thumbnail Database (.td4 file) depends on several factors:

  • The total number of thumbnails in the database.
  • The complexity of the original images (simpler thumbnails compress more readily).
  • The size and color depth of thumbnails selected from Options | Preferences | Thumbnails.
  • Whether orphaned thumbnails are automatically removed (Options | Preferences | Thumbnails | Automatically Remove Orphans).
  • Whether you're using keywords, annotations, and/or user defined fields. Especially, automatic keyword generation by file name can create thousands of unique keywords.

If you remove thumbnails, the space is not freed for use by other programs, but will automatically be reused for new thumbnails you create.

Automatic orphaned thumbnail removal only removes orphans when you display a directory which has orphans in it. To remove all orphans (especially recommended before compacting the database), use Thumbnail | Remove | Orphans.

You can often decrease the physical size of the thumbnail database by using the File | Database | Compact option. This also makes thumbnail accesses quicker, as thumbnails near each other in the file list are placed nearby in the .td4. The Compact option creates a new database, then copies all information from the old one into it. Then, the old database is deleted and the new database is renamed. Therefore, you must have enough free space on the drive for the compacted database; generally, you should be sure you have as much free space as the original size of the .td4.

You can also use JPEG thumbnails, File | Database | JPEG Compress. Use this menu selection to convert thumbnails, stored in the current ThumbsPlus database, into JPEG compressed thumbnails. The internal thumbnail data is stored as complete JPEG file stream.

ThumbsPlus will prompt you with the following dialog box, before converting the database thumbnails.

Quality. Enter a quality value, between 25 and 90. Values below 25 are likely to degrade the image far too much, and values above 90 make the thumbnail storage size larger without any appreciable quality increase.

Compact database after conversion. Check this option to compact the actual database file (MS Access ONLY) after converting the thumbnails. This will release all disk space occupied by deleted or moved thumbnails so it can be used for other files.

We have received reports that using this setting and then compacting your database can reduce a 2 gig database to 200 MB or less.

If you can not, for any reason, compact the database to a much smaller size, you may want to consider purchasing a single copy of MySQL. This will work as the back end database portion of ThumbsPlus. Using a SQL database gives you unlimited size. (Well considering how much hard drive space you actually have!)

Scripts for using an SQL database are located on our ftp site. If you get this far and decide to import into an SQL database, write our support department for further instructions.

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Can I compact/repair the database outside of ThumbsPlus?

There are two ways to compact/repair the database outside of ThumbsPlus. Open Access and go to File | Open Database. Change the Files of Type to All Files and locate the thumbs.td4 file in your Thumbs4 folder. Once you have the TP database open, go to Tools | Database Utilities | Compact Database/Repair Database. If this does not work, try going to Control Panel | 32 Bit ODBC | Add | Microsoft Access Driver | Finish | Compact/Repair and find the TP database in the Thumbs4 folder. Make sure to change the Database Name to *.td4. Once you have located the database, click on OK.

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Metafiles are showing up as black on thumbnails or contact sheets.

Some display drivers will not properly render a metafile in memory. Check with your video card manufacturer for updated drivers.

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When I look up pictures (Edit | Find by Query), they show up as "Thumbnail Not Available."

This is usually caused by making thumbnails on a fixed disk that does not have a volume label. Use File | Volumes | Label Disk to give the drive a valid label, and Edit | Find by Query should work properly.

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I'm having trouble getting ThumbsPlus to differentiate my JAZ or ZIP volumes.

It seems that IOmega distributes many disks with the same serial numbers. This confuses ThumbsPlus. If you format each JAZ or ZIP disk before using it, Windows will assign a unique serial number. This will make ThumbsPlus happy.

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Bad TrueType fonts hang up ThumbsPlus or crash my system.

In order to make a thumbnail of a font that is not installed, ThumbsPlus has to temporarily install it. Some corrupted or invalid TrueType fonts will cause Windows to crash or hang. There is really no way for ThumbsPlus to know this in advance.

If this happens to you, remove the TrueType font causing the problem.

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I can't seem to make thumbnails on my diskette (or other removable drive).

Removable, writable media (diskette, floppy, CD-R, CD-RW, Syquest, ZIP, JAZ, Magneto-Optical, etc.) need to have a volume label for proper processing and handling by ThumbsPlus. You can use File | Volumes | Label Disk in ThumbsPlus, or the Label command from a command prompt, or use Windows Explorer/My Computer to label the disk.

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How do I get ThumbsPlus to stop making all of those "thumbs.db" files all over my system?

ThumbsPlus is not responsible for the thumbs.db files. These files are created by Windows itself. You can turn off this feature by changing your folder view from Thumbnails in My Computer or Windows Explorer.

You may also need to uncheck the "Do not cache thumbnails" option in folder options. There is a bug in WinXP that causes Windows Explorer to sometimes "reset" the folder view to thumbnails when you open a folder. Also, when you save an image with IE, the "My Pictures" folder is default every time, and it always lists the contents as thumbnails.

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Help! I made JPEG files, but my other applications can't read them!

ThumbsPlus provides the option to produce progressive JPEG files, but this format is not yet widely supported. It is useful in specific situations (i.e., Web pages that are going to be accessed only with PJPG-compatible browsers such as Netscape). The progressive format does not offer any advantage in size for local storage; it is designed for being able to view an image in progressing amounts of detail while being downloaded over slow links.

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Why can't I use my graphic import filters?

ThumbsPlus only supports 32-bit import filters - if you have older sixteen-bit filters, ThumbsPlus will not be able to call them. Also, ThumbsPlus only supports filters that comply with the Aldus standard.

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When I start ThumbsPlus, my computer starts dialing and connecting to the internet?

It sounds like ThumbsPlus is trying to connect to a remote shared drive that you have opened in ThumbsPlus in the past. Right-click My Computer and go to Properties. Disconnect any network drives and anything else that is remote. If this does not solve the problem with ThumbsPlus, try either of the following:

  • Open the thumbs.ini file from within the Thumbs4 folder and add the following entry under the [Startup] heading: IgnoreNetwork=1
  • Delete the thumbs.tdo and thumbs.ini files from within the Thumbs4 folder. This will reset your preferences.

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When I open an image in ThumbsPlus, it appears brighter/darker than when I view it in another program.

Generally, gamma correction is a process to make pictures appear more accurately on a specific monitor. Differences in color value do not exactly map to changes in brightness on the screen; the gamma value defines a curve which specifies the way a monitor displays specific color values. The Monitor Gamma dialog box helps you find the appropriate gamma value for your monitor. The other piece of the equation is figuring out the corrected gamma value to which an individual picture was adjusted. The Compuserve GIF definition specifies that GIFs should be adjusted for a gamma value of 2.0 -- you can set the assumed gamma for any picture, or set the default for any file type. Generally, if pictures appear dark and have little detail in the shadow regions, they're probably linear (gamma = 1.0). Try setting your monitor gamma to an appropriate value, and the assumed gamma to 1.0. Note: If either the assumed gamma or the monitor gamma is zero, ThumbsPlus will not gamma correct the image for display.

Main Window, Options | Viewing • Monitor Gamma
View Window, View | Viewing Options • Monitor Gamma

A gamma value of zero (0.0) means that ThumbsPlus will not gamma correct any image. Simply adjust the scroll bar, using either the arrows at the ends or by dragging the central box, until the central gray square is as close as possible to the color of the surrounding pattern. For best results, calibrate in a darkened room. As some monitors exhibit different characteristics at different display resolutions and color depths, ThumbsPlus will save a different gamma value for each combination. Some image types have a specific gamma value for which they are corrected (for example, GIF files are corrected for a monitor gamma of 2.0). If you choose to use gamma correction, you need to set each type appropriately, from the Assumed Gamma dialog box. Unless this value is set for a specific file type, it will not be adjusted. View Window, View | Assumed Gamma G This dialog box allows you to assign the assumed gamma value for an image, and to set the default for a file type (so that any files loaded with the given type will be assumed to be adjusted for that gamma value.)

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I deleted a folder from my system, and now it appears as a gray folder in the ThumbsPlus directory tree.

This is a new feature in ThumbsPlus that allows the user to move folders in other programs. Then, in ThumbsPlus, the user has the opportunity to drag the entire folder containing the orphaned thumbnails to the new folder. Understand that any keywords, annotations or user fields you assign to files are associated with the thumbnail itself, not the file. This information is held in the database. When you move, outside of ThumbsPlus, the file or the folder in which it resides, the database information does not travel with the file. The integrity of the database is maintained with the ability to reassociate this information with the files and their new location using the gray folders and orphaned thumbnails. If you do not wish to reassociate the orphan thumbnails with the files, you can just right click the gray folder and go to Remove Thumbnails on the fly out menu.

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What are the little icons I see on my thumbnails?

Here is a list of all the small icons you may find on your files in ThumbsPlus:

  • A blue + in a page indicates a multi-page file (including animated GIFs)
  • A green i indicates that IPTC/NAA information (aka Photoshop File Info) is available. You can view it from the Properties dialog (Info tab).
  • A green f indicates that the font is installed.
  • A red bar in a circle indicates that the file is offline or orphaned.
  • A red clock indicates that the thumbnail is out of date (was a red dot in 3.x)
  • A red copyright symbol indicates that the image has a Digimarc watermark (you must enable Check for Digimarc Watermarks when making thumbnails to see this, in Options | Preferences | Thumbnails).
  • A black and white up arrow indicates this is a shortcut.
  • A padlock indicates this file is marked read-only.
  • A black checkmark with a yellow border indicates this is a tagged file.

If you do not want to see any of these decorations on your thumbnails, go to Options | Preferences | Thumbnails and un-check Show Decorations.

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Whenever I move, copy, delete or rename a file/folder in Windows, ThumbsPlus starts up automatically.

To stop this behavior, go to Options | Preferences | General and un-check Enable Shell Extensions Context Menus and Enable Shell Folder Operation Monitoring. This is a new feature in T+ that allows you to do graphic file management while T+ is closed.

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I am receiving database errors when starting ThumbsPlus ("Error in SQL connect").

Please read the entire passage below before attempting to fix the problem.

The most likely culprits for database and ODBC errors upon attempting to launch ThumbsPlus are:

1. The ThumbsPlus database is corrupt. Use the instructions in this FAQ entry to repair the database, or restore your database from backups.

2. You have old ODBC drivers that have been installed on top of newer ODBC components. There are quite a few programs out there that DO install over newer components.

3. There are newer ODBC components for your system.

4. An install or uninstall of another program has corrupted the ODBC components on your system. Please see the next FAQ entry about corrupted ODBC drivers.

You will need to update your MDAC (Microsoft Data Access Components) and MSJet components, which are Microsoft components required for ThumbsPlus to function normally.

Before installing any of the ODBC components below, make sure no other programs are running (just close them out) and make sure to reboot immediately after each of the 3 installations.

You will need to download and install MDAC 2.8 SP1 and Jet 4.0 Service Pack 8 from Microsoft's web site at:

Make sure you download both MDAC 2.8 SP1 and the appropriate Jet 4.0 SP8 for your operating system. And be sure to run them both!

If all else fails, when ODBC problems occur that new installs don't fix, sometimes it is necessary to re-install the OS. But before you do that, we really recommend that you upgrade to XP SP2.

Also, there are 3 (probably more) known programs that corrupt your ODBC components upon installation or uninstall. Please see the next FAQ entry about corrupted ODBC drivers.

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Corrupted ODBC drivers due to installation of another program:

Something is definitely corrupted in your ODBC components. The following applications are known to corrupt the ODBC components on a system by either installing them or uninstalling them:

  • Corel WordPerfect
  • Earthlink Total Access
  • World Book Encyclopaedia

Read these instructions in their entirety before attempting to fix the problem as there are several alternatives depending on which program has caused the problem.

1. First, download the latest and greatest ODBC components for your OS:

Microsoft recommends different MDAC and/or Jet 4.0 installers depending on platform so please go to the url below and download and install the correct version for your XP. We understand you have already downloaded and installed these files, but weI want to make sure that you get the latest and greatest ODBC components from Microsoft.

You can find all of the ODBC components on this page:

Make sure you download both MDAC 2.8 SP1 and the appropriate Jet 4.0 SP8 for your operating system. And be sure to run them both!

If you continue to have problems, see the entries below.

2. If you have installed/uninstalled Corel WordPerfect, the registry edit fix is the next step.

Please note that ThumbsPlus did not cause the problem, and we are trying to help because of your support for Cerious Software/ThumbsPlus.

Any registry editing is done at your own risk!!

For the WordPerfect installation that corrupted your database components, you will need to do the following at your own risk as it is a registry edit:

Go here:

In Step 1, you need to export the ODBC sections from a good Registry.

After reinstalling Office, then uninstalling and reinstalling T+. (Or if you never successfully installed ThumbsPlus, just attempt the install once again!)

This fix should still work even if you aren't running Office and have the same type of problem.

3. For the Earthlink installation that corrupted your database components, you will need to do the following at your own risk as it is a registry edit. The instructions that follow are quoted from Earthlink. If you prefer, please contact the electronic support at Earthlink.

Before following these instructions, please read the note below:

WARNING: Using the Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Editing the Registry should only be done by experienced users or technicians. Earthlink cannot guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of the Registry Editor can be solved. Edit the registry at your own risk and always back it up prior to making any changes.

To remove the EarthLink TotalAccess 2003 software and all of the registry entries it creates, please follow the steps below:

  • From the Start menu, choose Run.
  • In the Open field, type regedit.
  • Click the OK button.
  • From the Registry menu, choose Export Registry File.
  • Click the down arrow on the Save in drop-down list and choose Desktop.
  • In the File name field, type ELN.
  • Click the Save button.
  • Click the plus sign next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER so that its contents are shown.
  • Click the plus sign next to Software so that its contents are shown.
  • Click the EarthLink item.
  • Click the EarthLink folder with your right mouse button, then choose Delete.
  • Click the Yes button.
  • Click the plus sign next to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE so that its contents are shown.
  • Click the plus sign next to SOFTWARE so that its contents are shown.
  • Click the EarthLink folder with your right mouse button, then choose Delete.
  • Click the Yes button.
  • Close all windows.
  • Double-click the My Computer icon.
  • Double-click the C: icon.
  • Double-click the Program Files folder.
  • Locate and select theEarthLink TotalAccess folder.
  • Click the EarthLink TotalAccess folder with your right mouse button, then choose Delete.
  • Click the Yes button.

4. Please check with the company that distributes the World Book software. If they are corrupting ODBC components, they simply MUST have some sort of registry fix.

5. Several ThumbsPlus users have downloaded and installed this JET version with complete success: Jet40sp3.exe

Please email our support department if you need further assistance.

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Every time I restart my computer, my wallpaper disappears. (WIN 95)

We have just discovered a key in the registry causing this problem, and shouldn't be there, that is added with the install of ODBC. ODBC is a standard component on Windows as distributed by MicroSoft.

Deleting the registry key:

  • Start | Run | regedit
  • Local Machine
  • Software
  • Microsoft
  • Windows
  • Current version
  • Run
  • Delete the entry: MDAC run once.

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ThumbsPlus is running slow.

Try the following to speed up T+:

  • If you are working with large files, turn off Automatically Crop Edges in Options | Preferences | Thumbnails.
  • Try turning off both Automatically Remove Orphaned Thumbnails and Show Orphaned Thumbnails from Options | Preferences | Thumbnails.
  • Turn off Check For Digimarc Watermarks in both Options | Preferences | Thumbnails and Options | Viewing | Other.
  • Make sure that Always Show Child Folders is off in Options | Preferences | Thumbnail View.
  • If creating thumbnails is very slow, the fewer auto generated keyword options assigned, the faster this function will be. You can check to see how many you have turned on by going to Options | Preferences | Keywords.
  • Check that you don't have a file called SQL.LOG. This means that Tracing has been turned on in the ODBC options. This will slow everything to almost a halt. You can check this and turn off ODBC Tracing from the ODBC control panel.
  • Turn off Indicate Expandable in the Tree menu.
  • You can also turn off the Make Thumbnails Automatically in Options | Preferences | Thumbnails.
  • Change the Thumbnail Cache Size to 100 in Options | Preferences | Advanced.
  • If you are running Norton and/or McAfee, try disabling them. T+ should start up and run much faster.
  • Make sure Maximum Local Database Cache is set to 0 in Options | Preferences | Advanced.
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The text in my properties dialog box extends further than the window itself so that I can't see all of it.

This can be one of two things:

  • The font size in Windows is set to something other than Small or Large fonts. You can check this by going to your desktop, then right click. On the fly-out menu, go to Properties | Settings | Advanced. Change the Font Size to either Small or Large.
  • This may also be an issue with an older comctrl. Download 40comupd.exe and run it.
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Why do my thumbnails look so pixelated/stretched?

The thumbnails have been stretched using the size percent function on the main interface.Click for screen shot To increase the thumbnail size without distorting the image, go to Options | Preferences | Thumbnails and change the actual size of the thumbnail. After you have set a new size, you will need to remake your thumbnails. You can remake the existing thumbnails by going into a folder and pressing CTRL+A to select all of the files in the folder. Then, click on the single thumb icon on the toolbar.

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Why does the EXIF information stored in my Canon RAW files seem to be modified when I resave the files?

The problem is with the way Canon writes/stores their maker notes. They store the maker notes in a proprietary EXIF format that other software cannot read or write. They also store pointers in the maker notes which changes the EXIF once again to date and time in the proprietary EXIF as well. This leaves other software applications out in the cold. No other camera manufacturer stores proprietary EXIF data like this. This causes trouble when we (and other software companies) write the EXIF information in a re-save. The maker notes do not match with standard EXIF fields, since all of the offsets point to different places within the EXIF.

Version 1.7 of our Digicam plug-in, which will be available sometime in the coming few weeks, will address some of these issues. In the meantime, you need to either rotate the thumbnail instead of the actual file or use Canon's software to rotate the images. In ThumbsPlus, go to Thumbnail | Orient Thumbnail.

We are doing our best to come up with alternative solutions to these problems.

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