Picasa Tip: Use Albums

If you go to the Grand Canyon in the summer of 2008, do you put the pictures in a folder called Grand Canyon? Or a folder called Summer 2008?

How about when you return to the Canyon in 2009? Do you put them in with your other Grand Canyon photos, or make a new Summer 2009. If you make a Summer 2009 folder, how can you see a slide show of all your Grand Canyon photos? Whatever you do, DO NOT make copies of the pictures so they can be in a Grand Canyon folder and a Summer 2009 folder. That quickly becomes a mess.

You don’t need to organize your pictures into lots of different folders. Just keep it simple, all pictures into one folder for the year – or, if you take enough, put them into folders by month.

Picasa has this magical feature called Albums. An album is like a virtual folder. You can go thru all your pictures and find the photos of your dog, marking them for a ‘dog’ album. You haven’t moved the pictures, you haven’t copied them, you’ve just created a list of pointers to them so they are all grouped in one place. That place is called an Album.

Select the photos, then click the 'Add to Album' button
Select the photos, then click the ‘Add to Album’ button.

Once a group of photos has been marked in an album, you can now create a Gift CD with all the photos in the album, you can make a movie, or a slideshow, export them or upload them all at once.

So, don’t organize your photos into a lot of separate folders. And, definitely don’t make extra copies of them to put in different folders. Just make one simple folder structure – I put all photos into a folder for the month they were taken. This also makes it a simple matter to back up my photos. I do it every month and I just back up the folder for that month.

Then, you can create as many different Albums as you want. One picture of my dog, Odie, in June of 2008 will be stored in the folder 200806. But, it could show up in an Album called ‘Odie’, another album called ‘Minnesota’, and a third called ‘Dogs.’ The picture only exists once on my computer – in the folder. You can view it in that folder, as well as in all three Albums. The albums are magical creations – the photos don’t really exist there. I can delete a photo from an album but it still exists in the folder and whatever other albums I may have grouped it in. However, if I delete the photo from the folder … It’s gone.

Albums are wonderful creations, but you also need to understand that they are a creation of Picasa alone. If you ever need to use some other program to see your pictures, the albums won’t be there.

Geeks on Tour Members can also view the following tutorial videos to learn more:

Using Albums
Picasa 3: Folders
Picasa 3: Search for pictures
Picasa 3: Selecting Pictures
Picasa 3: Starrred Photos
Preparing photos for other programs with Export

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