Archive Reviews

Review: Graphic Inspector - Index and Inspect Your Graphic Files

I love digital. Finding collections of things to archive is a hobby. Add this to having a large amount of digital projects and the hard drives stack up. I'm yearning to buy a new Mac (c'mon June...) then turning my G4 into a media and file server only. There are problems with having digital files. You have to back them up, move them around, keep track of them, organize them, find them. Of course, Mac OS X can help do this for you. We all look forward to X.5, when it seems Apple has automated some of these tasks. Is Spotlight enough to search my graphics files for that picture, you know the one...?

First Impressions:

Maybe Zevrix's Graphic Inspector can help. I have to admit when I started checking it out, I was unsure. I mean most of the graphics programs I use, come with library features. Many programs can find it their own files easily. Most folks who use computers for work, develop a filing system. I know I have, out of necessity and time. So I thought Graphic Inspector, may not be for me. I checked it out, it's a nice little program. But do I need it? I let it sit in my brain for a day or two and while it did, I started thinking of all the times I could use it. Those times like when I accidentally saved in the wrong place, have 5 slightly different copies of 'cat.jpg' or when wondering what is this old file? So here's what Graphic Inspector does. It's very simple, but useful. It scans the folders you point it at (you can drag and drop, too). Then it gives you a list of what's in the folder. When you point at a specific file, it shows a brief version of what is in the "Get Info" file window. Info shown:
  • Name
  • File Path
  • Parent Application
  • EXIF (camera metadata)
  • Last Modification
Did I mention the thumbnails? It shows a thumbnail of any file you select. With another click, it gives you the full "Get Info" finder window. It can also bring you to where the file is stored and even open it in the parent application. Then there's the presets. You can tell Graphic Inspector to search for sets of preset file parameters. You're still thinking, well OS X can do that. Remember this is Graphics Inspector, you can set graphic file specific presets.

Available Presets:

  • File Types (jpg, gif, png, etc)
  • Color Modes (i.e. RGB, CMYK, Lab, etc.)
  • Color Profile
  • Type (special files types)
  • Creator
  • Resolution
  • Size
  • Presence of Fonts
  • Spot Colors
You can get folders and subfolders contents listed, with these preset choices flagging the appropriate files. You can also layer scans within scans, finding a specific file in a group of flagged files. Graphics Inspector searches and delivers your file information quickly.

Closer Look:

Now we actually get to what this program is designed for. At your fingertips you will have a screen full of information about your files. You can export a report of your findings to your desktop or put it in a folder for later printing. This information can be used by you, passed onto your web guy for data management or your print house for processing help. You can also use it to check your files for overlooked problems. So when you were working until 2 am and you finished your last database photo for the web store, you can check the whole folder to make sure you didn't miss a resolution adjustment. When you find that problem file, you can open it directly from the Inspector window, correct the problem and keep checking for more problems.

Annoyances:

Really I can't think of any drawbacks with Graphic Inspector as it is. I do however have a sense that I want it to do more. Maybe add a tagging feature, with tags that show up each time I search folders. I'd also love to see back-up support. Maybe have files with copies marked, so when I search, I can see if I also need to back up my files, before sending them out. Still for a 1.0 application, it shows promise. On my older iBook, it used up most of my system resources when searching a large folder. Conclusion: So yes, this may be a radioactive super-powered version of 'search', but the folks at Zevrix, also tweaked it to tune into the things graphic designers think about. Maybe you're managing your photos with iPhoto's library manager on your 60G hard drive with out any problem. But if you're someone looking for one jpeg in a sea of gifs on a hard drive the size of Alaska, so you can make sure it's a CMYK file, this program will help you find it better and faster. At the $24.95(us) price, it's a good buy for any graphics professional or serious hobbyist with drives full of files. 4 out of 5 by sheala