The Specify Attachment Parser is a Java based command line tool that compares a file system directory to attachments in Specify and identifies the files not present in Specify. The tool will optionally copy the identified files to a target directory. The tool also accepts a regular expression to match or exclude files from source directory.

We wrote the parser because we had a directory with 3k+ images, of which an unknown number were attached in Specify. Using the Specify attachment import wizard was not an option, as it will re-import and duplicate the images already present in Specify. The Specify Attachment Parser allowed us to rapidly identify the 466 images missing from Specify, copy them to a a target directory, and use the Specify attachment import wizard to attach them.

This was a one time use tool, was written for the version of Specify current in 2014, and has not been updated since. Use at your own risk and “Your Mileage May Vary.” The Specify Attachment Parser may be downloaded from its SourceForge project page at