What Picasa Is Not

Sometimes it can be instructive about a topic to know what it isn’t in addition to trying to describe what it is.  (See free video: Overview of Picasa) Here is my list of what Picasa is not;

  1. imagePicasso – first I want to address the name of the product.  It is not Picasso.  It has nothing to do with the famous painter.  Think casa = the Spanish word for house, you know like tu casa and mi casa?  This is pi casa.  Some say it means picture house, if you look close at the logo, the white center part even looks like a little house!
  2. Web app – Picasa is a free program that you download from www.picasa.google.com. (see free video: Install and Open Picasa)  Once you download it, it resides and runs on your computer to manage the pictures on your computer.  It is not a Web app – no Internet connection is necessary.  If you want to upload pictures to the Web, there is a Website called Picasa Web Albums (PWA) provided for that purpose (now also Google+ Photos), but it is not part of the Picasa software on your computer and no uploading happens automatically, you must click the commands to make the uploads happen. (see member videos: Upload Photos to the Web, Google Plus Sharing, Picasa to Facebook Uploader)
  3. Container – Picasa is not a container for your pictures.  It is a tool for working with the pictures that are on your computer in your folders.  Picasa does not move or copy your pictures, it gives you different ways to view them.  You manage what is seen in the Library by using the Folder Manager. If you uninstall Picasa, your pictures are still on your computer in whatever folders you put them. (see free video Folder Manager)
  4. Mobile App – Picasa is not available on any mobile device … yet!  There is no iPad version of Picasa, or Android, or any other mobile version of the Picasa software.  When you see the Picasa name or logo showing on an app or your photo gallery or photo stream on a phone or tablet, that is referring to the fact that you are looking at pictures from the Picasa Web Albums website.
  5. Multi-User – Picasa is intended to be used on one computer for one person’s photos.
  6. Drawing – Picasa is not a graphic editor or drawing program.  You can’t draw circles or logos, or even stick figures using Picasa.  Picasa is meant to work with pictures … period.
  7. Image Manipulation – although Picasa’s Collage feature is a wonderful way to combine multiple pictures into one, you are limited to rectangular pictures.  (see member videos: Collages and Banners.) You cannot do things like cut out one person’s face and put it on another person’s body or erase the background leaving just the subject of a picture, you need something like Photoshop to do that.

I hope that helps you understand Picasa a bit better.  Do you see anything I missed?  Leave a comment below.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website.  There are lots of tutorial videos on editing your pictures with Picasa’s tools.  The first 3 are free for all to view.  To see all of them, you need a Geeks On Tour membership.  It’s only $7/mo or $58/yearly.  Join Today!

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Chris is a teacher. Although she comes as close to an expert as possible in many areas of computer usage, she can still remember what it's like not to know these things! That means she can communicate with students in a way that teaches and doesn't demean. She really enjoys teaching one-on-one and for groups of people, but she reaches a worldwide audience with her tutorial videos on the GeeksOnTour.com website. She currently travels the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. As Geeks on Tour, they present computer seminars at RV rallies, computer clubs, and Senior Centers all over the US.

8 thoughts on “What Picasa Is Not”

  1. Nicely done. You have singled out some of the most misunderstood Picasa features – or rather non features. Godd explanations. I cringe when a student says “I have these pictures IN Picasa ….”


  2. Picasa is also not a video editing tool. With more people moving away from Windows based computers using Android or iPad tablets I hope Google provides similar Picasa functionality in browser based tools as they have begun to build into Google+.


  3. Tim, Thanks for your comment. I looked up Picasa Mobile by Imprologic – it looks nice but it proves my point that it only refers to Picasa Web Albums – not the Picasa photo editing software. Here’s the description: “Picasa Mobile was designed to facilitate viewing and managing your *online* Picasa albums and photos.”


  4. Yes, that’s true. I didn’t read your post carefully enough. Mobile screens are far to small for me to want to edit pictures there much anyway. Been thinking about getting a Chrome book lately. But I’d still need my laptop to run Quicken… and now that I think about it, to edit/process the occasional picture.


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