Use Picnam free for 30 days.
Hunter and Clark use Picnam to manage scanned invoices and timesheets.
"What a great program! I've been goofing off for months with other programs and this is the easiest to use and simple to boot."
Picnam contains features to make working with scanned documents easier.
The most common question people ask about Picnam is "Why did you choose to use text files for comments?" This article gives some of the reasons you might prefer to use text files rather than metadata to store information about your pictures.
Digital photography makes it easy to take lots of photos, but they are very easily lost. What can you do to make sure your photos survive for years to come?
Genealogy and family history is becoming more and more computerised. Computers have many advantages for storing, retrieving and exchanging information. Scanners are commonly used to capture photographs and documents. However computers provide challenges when you want to make notes about a photo or document. It is difficult to record the information in a form that is convenient and easily exchanged.
Picnam is an ideal way of making notes about images. The information is stored in text files, which are compatible with pretty much every type of system, meaning you can be confident that they will be able to be read in the future. Information in text files is easily found and searched. You can include the text file if you are sending the picture to someone else, and be confident that they will find the information and be able to read it. This is not necessarily the case if you use metadata (EXIF or IPTC) to store the information in the image itself - it is not obvious that there is information there, and not everybody has the tools to read it. Even worse, it is easy to remove it accidentally if you edit an image. (For more discussion about the advantages of text files see this article.)
Making notes is very easy. You can view the image and edit the text at the same time in one window.
In this photo various people have been identified, and the source of the information and confidence in its accuracy has also been noted.
Click screenshots for a larger image.
If you want to send photos to somebody else, there is a free viewer called PicnamView which they can use to view the text and the photos together, or they can use any text editor to view and update the text.
Working with Documents
Picnam was originally created as a tool for renaming scanned documents. Displaying the image as large as possible was a priority so that the text of the documents could be read. This feature makes Picnam useful for working with images such as this page from the 1861 census:
Relevant information has been copied from the census page into the text file. The information can then be cut and pasted to other documents, and is accessible to searches etc
When working with documents, it is usually best to set the image to "Fit Width" as it shows the document at a reasonable size with minimal scrolling.
Picnam has a "one click" zoom feature, which means that if you click on the image it zooms in on that point at full size. This is useful to decipher text that can be hard to read at the normal scale. It is also a nice feature for zooming in on particular faces etc. in photographs. Simply click the image again to return to the normal scale.
Zoom a part of the image to full size by simply clicking on it in Picnam.
You can also right click on the image to zoom in and out by various amounts, and enlarge it to greater than full size.
Adding text to the images means that you can use Windows Search to find files containing particular words or phrases. To open Windows Search, click Start then select Search->For Files or Folders, or press F3 in any folder.
In this example we search for "hawton" in all text files:
Windows found the text file associated with the 1861 census page, because Rebecca Hawton and Eliza Hawton are mentioned in the notes. To open the file in Picnam, simply right click on the file in the search result and select Open With->Picnam. Open with Picnam works for supported image files and the text files associated with them.
These features make Picnam a useful tool for recording information about images. The aim is to make these tasks as easy and convenient as possible, while making sure that information is kept in a form that is easily read without special software.
You can try Picnam free for 30 days. If you like it, buy a license for $14.95.