I have a little over 800 photos with tags in shotwell. Recently, hierarchical tags have been added.

Now I want to reorganize my tags, e.g. I want a "People" tag and subtags of "Mom", "Dad", etc. Is there an easy way to do that, which doesn't involve me draging and dropping all the tags to their parent tags?

I have quite a lot tags and since every time I drag and drop a tag, I can only select one tag I want to move and I have to wait for shotwell finishing that operation. After it's done that, the list view scrolls back to the top, which means I have to scroll back down all the way to "People".

Example for clarification, pretend tags were directories. I want to do

mv tags/{mom,dad,brother} tags/people/

There is currently no way to select multiple tags in Shotwell. There is an open ticket on this feature, feel free to add a comment on it.

Update: the original link is no longer available, so an archived link to the bug report was linked.

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    I take that as a "no". Thanks for your answer! I guess I'll just have to do it by hand then – Florian Heinle Feb 22 '12 at 21:21

Not yet. Shotwell can organize your photos into folders by time only. To achieve what you want you need to use the Hierarchical Tags feature in Shotwell. This isn't exactly what you want though, so the short answer is no.

Have a look in Preferences/Library/Importing/Pattern: and click (Help) for a list of exactly the time-based metadata Shotwell can organize by.

If you are just wanting to separate out groups of photos to export, you can select a group of tagged photos and export them to a new folder. From there, you could manually reorganize your Pictures directory structure in the file browser.


  • oh yeah, hierarchical tags is exactly what I want and what I want to use. However, I don't want to drag+drop all my tags Mom, Dad, Brother, etc to /People/{Mom,Dad,Brother} one at a time instead of in a batch (select multiple tags at once? Like with files in nautilus...) – Florian Heinle Feb 22 '12 at 1:39
  • I'm afraid it's not answering my initial problem. I was and am aware of hierarhical tags. What I want is to batch move a bunch of (currently toplevel) tags (mom, dad, brother) below another toplevel tag (people), so I have (people/mom, people/dad, people/brother, etc) and not have to do it by hand, since I have quite a lot of tags – Florian Heinle Feb 22 '12 at 1:58
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    Not in Shotwell, as you asked. Specific questions receive specific answers. If you wanted to batch files or process them differently then you want something for Exif and IPTC-NAA data as well as analyse ICC profiles and meta-data. Shotwell does not have the ablility. If you want something to do those thing with then look at this one. sourceforge.net/projects/mapivi It can be installed using "sudo apt-get install mapivi" – Ringtail Feb 22 '12 at 2:26
  • This may be a better fit than the last one and uses CLI it's called "tracker-tag" heres the manpage manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/natty/man1/tracker-tag.1.html select your version at the top of the page – Ringtail Feb 22 '12 at 2:40

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