New Features in digiKam 2.0: Versioning

When tweaking photos in digiKam, you probably would want to keep the originals intact. And this is where the Versioning feature can come in rather handy. It allows you to save each edited version of an original photo as a separate image complete with a list of all applied actions.

The way versioning works is pretty straightforward. When you are ready to save a modified version of a photo, press the Save As New Version button. This saves the edited version as a separate image. Keep in mind that if you are working with a RAW file, all versions will be automatically converted to one of the supported graphics formats. By default, it’s JPEG, but you can switch to another supported format. To do this, choose Settings » Configure digiKam, switch to the Editing Images section, and select the desired format from the Save files as drop-down list. To bypass the global settings, you can save a single version in a different format by clicking on the triangle and choosing the desired format from the Save in Format menu.

By default, each version is automatically saved in the same album as the original, so you can end up with multiple thumbnails of the same photo in the album. But digiKam provides an elegant solution to the problem: you can combine the original and all its versions into a single group. To do this, select the original and its versions, right-click on the selection and choose the Group Selected Here command. This combines all the selected photos as one neat bundle, and an icon in the lower-right corner of the thumbnail displays the number of images in the group. Alternatively, you can save the version in a separate album: click on the triangle next to the Save As New Version button, select the Save New Version as command, and pick the destination folder.

To view all versions of a photo, select the original in its album, and expand the right Versioning sidebar. You should then see all versions of the selected photo with a complete list of editing actions.

Tech writer covering Linux and open source software

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Posted in Open Source, Photography, Software
9 comments on “New Features in digiKam 2.0: Versioning
  1. Stéphane Péchard says:

    Is it possible to let a picture enter the versioning system if it not altered by Digikam itself but by another image processing tool, like Gimp for example?

    • DonOregano says:

      I use the RAW+Jpeg setting on my camera, to get jpeg images that are “good enough”, and still have the RAW image available when I want it.
      It would be great if this jpeg was automatically grouped with the RAW.

    • J-K says:

      Yes, I´m looking also for this: How can I mark an image edited with an external program as a version of the original image in digikam?
      If this is not possible yet, where can this feature suggested?
      Thank you.

  2. k says:

    Very cool 🙂 however, grouping should probably happen automatically (with the newest ‘on top’) to avoid this just becoming a Power User feature, ignored by the majority.

  3. lefty.crupps says:

    How do the grouped photos appear differently in a file manager or outside of digiKam, or even on another computer with a different digiKam? Is this grouping stored in the metadata? or is it a compressed file? or something else?

  4. Martin says:

    I’m sorry, but as much as I love this feature, the current implementation is a bit underwhelming IMHO. How about another GSoC project: “Transparent versioning”, aiming to make this feature just work for the non-technical user? Release note: “With transparent versioning in the new digiKam, you can’t destroy your original photos (unless you really try).”

  5. Ademeion says:

    What about saving the changes made to the original image as a text file, not the different versions of the image; is that possible? That would be very useful for experimenting with different settings and adjustments.

  6. McJ says:

    I am trying to use this feature in Digikam 2.5.0 and I cannot make it work. After using the “Save as New Version” button, I see only the new image in the Image History. Is it still working in 2.5.0 or is there a problem in my setup. BTW. I double checked the options and I have “Non-Destructive Editing and Versioning” enabled.

    Just in case, these are some technical information about my setup:
    I am using SQLite database, running Gentoo Linux, Digikam comes from official Gentoo repository and is compiled with these use flags: addressbook gphoto2 handbook semantic-desktop thumbnails video.

    I also tried to run Digikam in a terminal and then I got this message when saving the image:
    No itemShortInfo could be retrieved from the database for image “2012-02-19 11.18.56 – Panasonic DMC-TZ7_v1.jpg”

    Thanks for any response,

Comments are closed.

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