Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
Duplicate Image Files
by Alan German
have lots of duplicate files scattered over your hard
disk. However, todays hard disks are huge and so
retaining a number of duplicate files isnt
necessarily a major problem. The problem is more likely
to be that, because your hard disk is so big, tracking
down the duplicates in order to delete them is quite
This can be especially true for digital image files (each
of which can be several MB) since you may well have the
same image stored in different folders and under
different file names. Wouldnt it be nice if a
software utility would search the content of images
rather than just the file names? Well, if this is what
you want, give VisiPics a try.
scan is simply a matter of navigating to a disk or
folder, pressing the Add folder key (the
right-arrow with the plus sign), and pressing the
Start button (the green forward arrow). After
a few seconds, thumbnails of prospective duplicate images
are shown in the left window.
By default, VisiPics starts up with a Loose
setting for its image comparison algorithm; however, a
slider lets you quickly make the comparisons much more
strict and hence limit the number of false positives.
Note for example, in the above screenshot the loose
comparison has identified many duplicate
images. A review of a few of these hits proves to be
quite instructive as to how the program can be useful,
and why using a tighter file comparison is likely
The first pair of images selected were
inspiron_installed_01.jpg and inspiron_installed_02.jpg.
Note that these have different file names, the reason
being that they are screen captures of the list of
installed programs from Uninstall a program
in the Windows control panel. Since the list would
not fit on the screen, I captured two (different) screen
images to record the two halves of the list. So, while
the two images do have the same general format, the
actual content (the files listed) are in fact quite
In contrast, while the second pair of images also has
different file names img_3084.jpg and
img_3084_small.jpg these are actually the
same photograph. However, in this case, the
small version has been resized for use as a
thumbnail on a web page.
Finally, note the three under construction
signs near the bottom of the left window. Two of these
are copies of the very same file, with the same file
name, but located in different folders. Thus, these two
files are true duplicates (albeit deliberately stored in
different folders for different purposes). The third is
the original image, with a different file name, a larger
file size, and stored in yet another folder.
If the VisiPics slider is set to
Strict, all of the near-comparisons noted
above are removed from the list of hits and only the two,
true duplicate, construction signs remain. So, this
slider becomes a powerful tool for drilling down to the
level of image duplication that suits an individual user.
VisiPics also includes an image viewer. Hovering the
mouse over any thumbnail displays the underlying image in
the lower window and shows the path, file name, image
size and date. Left-clicking on any thumbnail
marks the image for future action
either delete or move. Using this feature multiple
duplicate images can be quickly marked and sent to the
So, if you think your hard drive is full of duplicate
image files that could readily be removed to save space
and keep things tidy, why not give VisiPics a try?
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Copyright and Usage
Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON K2G 1S6
opinions expressed in these reviews do not necessarily
represent the views of the OPCUG or its members.
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