You may be out of luck for an automatic process if the photos from different directories need to be combined together in the same DVD show with the file structure you have selected. I'm not sure of the exact file structure you are using but here are some suggestions...
As a prerequisite, have all your photos imported into the organizer.
For your current setup, open up the organizer and look at the photos by use of the 'folder location' view. This can be changed by clicking on the Display icon in the far upper right of the screen. Use the left side of the screen to locate the directory containing the photos to be included. Click on the folder containing these photos. The organizer should now scroll to the photos for this directory. The photos will also be sorted by file name (but only for the each directory individually).
Select the photos you would like to have in the organizer. You can click on the directory above the displayed photos to select all photos in the directory.
Now, create an album. All photos should now be dispalyed in the album. Make sure you give the album a name or you will not be able to save the album.
Switch the display back to 'thumbnail view'. Right click on the album name and select Find items in <xyz> album. The organizer should now only be displaying the photos in the album. They should be displayed in the same order in which they were added to the album which in this case will be by file name. You can re-arrange the photos by clicking and dragging the photos to place in a different order.
A slide show can be created directly from the album. Once the slide show is created, it can be exported to Premiere Elements to create a DVD. Once you are in Premiere Elements, you can combine different albums together as needed.
Although the organizing your photos by file name and directory meets some of your needs, it may not meet all of your needs. You may consider just importing the photos without touching the file names and taking advantage of the organizers ability to tag photos and to sort them as needed. This will allow you to create presentations catered to the audience without the pain of shuffling photos around in the file system.
The file system structure I use is the following (I use a network drive...)
So basically the file system helps me to organize my media based on the hardware used to capture the media. I then let the organizer take over from there to organize the content as required. You should play around with the tagging feature to determine the tagging structure that will fit your needs.
I hope this helps! Sorry I can't give more detailed instructures because I'm running short on time.
Thanks. I will try this. I usually don't combine the vacations on a disc. I have re-named the photos in order to keep the locations together. We just came back from a cruise and the port pictures are basically together, but pictures taken on the ship are scattered among all the pictures and I like to keep them all together. Another type of photos I have are pictures of my children that I have scanned from photos taken years ago. I label them with the year and the child's name and like to keep them from the oldest year to the present. I also do keep each grouping of pictures in different folders, but they are all under My Pictures\vacation place name\then the photos. I will let you know if your method works for me, which I will work on later or tomorrow, as I am getting ready to leave for work.
I have created several albums and all the pictures are in order by name. I haven't made any DVD yet. Thanks for the help.