WWW… Wednesday! Eagle

by Taylor Slattery | December 8, 2021

Reference images are a critical part of work for both artists and designers alike. We collect images for various aspects of our projects and over the years, grow to build large libraries that help to inform our work. Windows and macOS offer a degree of flexibility when it comes to file organization, but are still fairly limited and leave much to be desired. Unless you’ve taken the time to develop a system for naming conventions that makes your collection easily browsable, libraries become increasingly difficult to manage and organize as they grow in size. Adding this sort of system retroactively can feel next to impossible if you’ve already got tens of thousands of images by the time you think to use one.

Eagle is an app designed for building reference libraries that gives designers and artists the tools they need to get the most out of their reference. Because simple metadata and filenames aren’t enough, Eagle gives you a range of different parameters you can use to search and organize your content. Beyond just filenames, files can be searched and sorted by color, shape, dimension, date, size, and more. Eagle isn’t just for images either, it supports 81 different file formats for every aspect of your project.

If you’re a Windows user accustomed to cramming as many searchable keywords into your filenames as possible, Eagle has you covered. Tags, notes, and ratings can all be used to add keywords and store additional information in the background while keeping the file name neat and easy to read. What about when you’ve got a file that has properties that fit into the parameters of two different folders? Rather than duplicating the file for storing in both locations, taking up twice as much space on your drive in the process, Eagle allows you to simply add it to both folders while maintaining a single source file.

At times even the reference-collecting process itself can be a pain. Say you’ve built a board of 30 images on Pinterest—transferring all of these files to local storage requires you to save each image individually, which can take both time as well as a toll on your fingers. Eagle also has a time-saving browser extension that allows you to save images from any location on the web, directly into the app.

There are three different ways to quickly collect images from the web. You can simply click and drag an image, at which point an Eagle window will pop up to receive it, alt-right-click, or right-click and select Eagle from the context menu. The browser extension also allows you to take screenshots of web pages, individual elements and perform a batch save. This collects all of the images from the page which you can then filter by size and make individual selections for import into Eagle.

Eagle is available for both Windows and macOS and a license costs $29.95. You can learn more about Eagle and download it here.


Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.


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