Management of the original files and their duplicates is sloppy on the drive--there are more than 600 duplicate files. The drive has the original files in their original folder, but multiple users of the drive have copied files into "favorites" folders. The result is that these favorites folders have files copied from dozens of original file folders. Changes to original files (like tags, renaming, or image edits) do not update their duplicate files.
Normally when I'm working on a project, I'm not embedding the files in the project--they are asset references only. When I'm creating a folder of favorites, I'll make it a subfolder in the original folder and cut the files from the original folder--this keeps the files in the original folder and collects the favorited files in the same location. This can't be done when the favorites are from multiple folders--the same folder can't be a subfolder of multiple folders.
The goal is to 1. Eliminate duplicate files, 2. Keep the pre-existing lists of favorite files in a non-duplicating format. I see at least two ways of doing this: libraries and shortcuts. It should be done with libraries, because shortcuts do not let you preview them all at once--you have to click each link, view it, close it, and click the next link. With a library, you can see all of the images in one window, and can view the images in full screen in sequence by hitting the left and right arrow keys. To comply with goal 2., the library must be in the same folder as the old folder that contained the duplicate files, so I need to know how libraries can be cut pasted into a subfolder. EDIT: I also need to know how libraries can include individual images instead of entire folders.
I need help writing a script that will let me automate this. This is a basic idea of how the script would work. I'm using SearchMyFiles to find the duplicate files. Output of a list of duplicates is not supported by SearchMyFiles, so if I continue using it to find the duplicates, it will require editing the source code. This is actually what I'm manually doing, but it is extremely slow going.
//1 search big folder for all duplicates: C:\Users\[username]\Documents\750GB drive\;
//2 list duplicate files;
//3 create library in C:\Users\[username]\Documents\750GB drive\DummyUser's favorites\;
//4 select files from C:\Users\[username]\Documents\750GB drive\original file\;
//5 add original files from C:\Users\[username]\Documents\750GB drive\original file\ to library in C:\Users\[username]\Documents\750GB drive\DummyUser's favorites\;
//6 delete duplicate files from C:\Users\[username]\Documents\750GB drive\DummyUser's favorites\;
//7 do steps 3-6 while there are file duplicates remaining;