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Managing Photos and Creating Albums With Picasa 3

Scanning and Browsing Your Collection

  • December 19, 2008
  • By Eric Geier

I bet you're going to be pulling out that digital camera during the holidays, taking a mass amount of pictures and putting them in your unorganized pictures folder. If you find some time for yourself before the break is over, you ought to start cleaning up your photos. Get rid of those red-eyes and pimples, brighten them up, and then organize them to share with friends and family. If you haven't already settled on a photo management and editor program, consider Picasa. Then you can make more use of the tips we'll discuss in this piece. Picasa is developed by Google, available for free on both Linux and Windows.

Here are a few points to consider when fumbling through your photos:

  • Stop a run-away image scan: The first time I ran Picasa, I was prompted for what folders/drives to scan, so it can populate with photos. Mistakenly, I choose to scan an entire drive, the one that I keep all my personal documents and files on. I found out the scan isn't instant, it was taking forever. Plus it was popping up images I didn't want to browse through, like screen shots for my articles and miscellaneous images for applications. I closed the application, thinking I could stop the scanning that way. I was wrong, it resumed after reopening the application. Finally, I figured out how to modify the folders to scan. Click Tools > Folder Manager. Then you can deselect the folders/drives you don't want to scan anymore, plus select those you know will contain the beloved family snapshots.
  • Browse through only headshot photos: This is one feature I've found pretty neat. In the Filters area on the toolbar, click Show only photos with faces. Now you should only see photos that, apparently, have a headshot. I use this filter when I want to quickly find a photo to send or print to family and friends.
  • Tag favorites with a star: Like most other photo apps, you can tag your favorites with a star. Select a photo, or select many by holding down the Ctrl key, and hit the Start button on the lower portion of the application. Now you can hit the Show starred photos only filter button on the top toolbar. Now you can show off your memories using the pictures you deem shareable--don't star those early morning or other embarrassing shots.

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