Using the Browser

Show Browser Only
Show Browser Only

After you have imported one or more images into a library and choose View ▸ Show Browser Only (⇧⌘⏎), or click the first of the four View buttons in the toolbar, the center of its window will be replaced by the Browser .

Image Browser
Image Browser

The browser displays the images of the currently selected collection in the Sidebar. It may apply some rules to what is exactly shown, e.g. only those images that have not been manually rejected, or only certain calibration images.

You can drag & drop images from the browser to albums in the library navigator to organize your images. Currently you can only move images to the albums in the Collections section of the library navigator this way, not the Library section. In addition, you can drag & drop images and stacks on top of another image or stack of the same album. This combines them in a stack. In both cases, if you press the option key while dragging, the image version is copied instead of moved. Also, the browser cannot be focused on a stack for any of this to work.

There are three types of browsers. Choose one of the View ▸ Browser menu items to switch between them, or use the buttons at the far left of the Browser Bar.

Browser Bar
Browser Bar

Besides showing the number of displayed and selected images, the Browser Bar also allows for quick filtering of the displayed images by Image Type. The same can be accomplished by choosing one of the View ▸ Image Type menu items. A version’s image type can be edited in the Version Inspector. Although it may contain any value, Observatory gives special meaning to the following values:

Standard image types
Image type Description
MasterBias A master bias frame.
MasterDark A master dark frame.
MasterFlat A master flat frame.
Bias A bias frame.
Dark A dark frame.
Flat A flat frame.
Light A regular image.

If, for example, you click the Dark button in the Browser Bar, the browser displays only those images that contain the value “Dark” in their image type. Hence, it will display dark frames, but also master dark frames. The Bias, Flat and Light buttons work similarly.

The Browser Bar also has a search field to quickly filter images by tag, name, filter name and status. Initially if you enter a search term it will filter by any of these attributes, but you can also explicitly select one in this search field.

To show or hide images that have been Matched, choose View ▸ Show/Hide Matched. To show or hide images you have rejected, choose View ▸ Show/Hide Rejected.

By default the browser is sorted by exposure date/time in descending order. This can be changed by choosing one of the View ▸ Sort By menu items. In the List Browser, you can also change the sorting by clicking the column titles. The selection is coupled to the above View ▸ Image Type selection. You can sort in ascending or descending order by

The Image Browser

The Image Browser displays a thumbnail for each of the images in the currently selected collection in a vertical scrollable grid. It is shown by choosing View ▸ Browser ▸ Image (⌃⌘I). Below the thumbnail, the image’s name is displayed, and below that a subtitle. The contents of the subtitle is configurable using the View ▸ Subtitle menu items. The selection is coupled to the above View ▸ Image Type selection. For example, unless you change it, Observatory doesn’t display the Exposure Duration when the Bias Image Type Filter is enabled, but it does so for all other Image Type Filters. The subtitle may be any combination of

If you select a color label for an image, it is overlaid at the top-right corner on the thumbnail. It may also be overlaid with several badges:

Image Version Badges
Badge Description
MatchBrowserBadge The image version is astrometrically matched
FavoriteBrowserBadge It has been marked as a favorite
LockBrowserBadge It is locked
NoteBrowserBadge It contains a note
AttachmentBrowserBadge It has an attachment
LayerAdjustmentBrowserBadge It contains at least one layer adjustment
ManagedMasterBrowserBadge The master of the image version is a managed master
ModifiedMasterBrowserBadge Its master has been modified
MissingMasterBrowserBadge Its master is missing
ZeroWeightBrowserBadge It has been rejected (its weight is zero)
StackBrowserBadge It is a stack, comprising of multiple images
PickBrowserBadge It is the pick version of a stack
WeightBrowserBadge It is part of a stack and its weight has been adjusted

The size of the thumbnails in the Image Browser can be adjusted by moving the slider in the Browser Bar.

The List Browser

List Browser
List Browser

Use the View ▸ Columns menu items to choose which columns you want the List Browser to display. The selection is coupled to the above View ▸ Image Type selection. For example, unless you change it, Observatory doesn’t display the Exposure Duration column when the Bias Image Type Filter is enabled, but it does so for all other Image Type Filters. The following columns can be displayed in the List Browser:

The Date/Time column is required and cannot be hidden. The weight column is automatically shown if the focus is on a stack. Except for these two, you can reorder the columns by moving their headers, and many, but not all, you can also resize.

The Image Strip Browser

Show Browser & Editor
Show Browser & Editor

The image strip browser is similar to the image browser, but it displays the thumbnails in a horizontal scrollable strip. The thumbnails are of a fixed size. The image strip browser can only be displayed in combination with the Editor.

Image Strip Browser
Image Strip Browser

When the Browser and Editor are both shown, the Browser Bar contains buttons for all three browser types. They are all of fixed height. Note that the currently selected browser type in Browser & Editor view mode is independent from that of the Browser Only view mode, as is the image browser thumbnail size.

Browser & Editor Bar
Browser & Editor Bar

To quickly select an image, focus on its album and switch to Browser & Editor mode, double click it.

The Focus Bar

When you are working in an album, you will often want to collapse the sidebar (⌘0). To help you focus, the browser displays the Focus Bar if you have selected any collection in the sidebar. It displays the name and type of the currently selected folder, album, or smart album and allows you to traverse up the collection hierarchy using its Unfocus button (^⌘]).

Focus Bar
Focus Bar

If your album contains stacks, and you select one, the Focus Bar will show an additional button: Focus on Stack.

Focus Bar: Select Stack
Focus Bar: Select Stack

Click it, or press ^⌘[, and the browser will display the images the stack is made of. When focused on a stack, the Focus Bar displays three handy buttons to quickly select the stack’s pick image, all images comprising the stack, or the stacked image itself. With the Unfocus button (⌘]) you traverse up to the stack’s album.

Focus Bar: Focus on Stack
Focus Bar: Focus on Stack

To quickly focus on a stack, double click it.