How to Use Picasa to Organize Your Digital Photos


Picasa can help organize and reunite a vast collection of digital photos scattered across your hard drive into one convenient repository, while offering powerful editing features and optimizing images for web usage.

Picasa organizes your photos into folders, albums and people – any changes made will automatically synchronize online with Picasa.

Organize your photos

Once you launch Picasa, it will immediately begin scanning your hard drive for photos and videos. Depending on how many files are stored on there, this may take quite some time – however you can select individual folders to scan in order to save time.

Picasa will organize your files into albums once it has scanned them, enabling you to create new albums, remove photos from existing albums and move them between albums – with each move keeping their original file’s folder on your computer intact.

Labels are an easy way to organize your photos. Just select the photos you’d like to tag, select File > New Label in the menu bar and name/date your label as well as add any pertinent caption text for all those included in it.

Sort your photos using the Folder option, enabling you to view them either as flat folders or tree views. When manually arranging photos into custom orders, be sure to select “Add numbers to file names to preserve manual order” so that when exported back out they retain their order when exported to File Manager. This way, when exporting, their filenames will still contain numbers starting in their order you dragged them in Picasa.

Edit your photos

Picasa provides you with an easy and straightforward way to perform various basic photo editing functions quickly and effortlessly, including image timelines and text insertion into photos. Furthermore, Picasa helps prepare images for web use or printing by reducing file sizes and adding page layouts – perfect for web pages!

Once you click the Edit button, a copy of your selected image is opened in Picasa-desktop photo editing software which offers all standard tools for image manipulation. Picasa-desktop’s photo editor is non-destructive – when saving changes the original file remains unchanged unlike some other photo editors which overwrite originals with edited versions.

From the Edit menu, a variety of tools are available, including Straightening, Red Eye Reduction and Cropping. When cropping is selected, a series of suggested crops is displayed and you can choose one that best matches your photograph.

Tabs two and three provide you with various filters you can apply to your photos, such as Warmify (which warms up colors), Glow, Sepia and Vignette filters. Each filter is easy to use and offers various effects; once edited you have the option of saving to disk or saving directly to a file folder on your computer. Choosing Save to disk will move the original photo to an invisible subfolder called ‘.picasaoriginals’ which won’t appear when opening Picasa-web-albums.

Share your photos

Many people rely on Picasa to organize and share digital photos with friends and family. This software program does not just store images on your computer or hard drive; it scours through them to build an index of image files chronologically organized in folders to make finding holiday snaps from last year easier.

Picasa provides basic photo editing features, such as red eye reduction, cropping and color enhancement. Users can also make video slideshows, print high quality photos in high resolution and create image timelines. Furthermore, Picasa can reduce image sizes before emailing or printing using JPG compression settings and resizing options to reduce their size further.

Picasa Web Albums, the online component of this program, allows users to easily share albums either publically or privately over email, social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter and blog services – up to 1GB free storage is provided and additional capacity can be acquired through leasing larger storage capacities.

As much as Picasa was designed for multi-user networks, its software is incapable of handling simultaneous access and edits from users within that environment. This can create significant problems and bottlenecks within work teams. To combat this issue it may be wise to implement an automated backup solution which schedules regular archive/restore operations of your Picasa library.

Print your photos

If you tend to randomly upload photos onto your computer without much thought given as to where they belong, Picasa can help by cataloguing all your pictures into virtual folders and offering to delete duplicates for you! Plus it can scan memory cards to automatically import new photos!

Once everything is organized, Picasa makes finding what you need easy by searching by keywords, filename, captions or tags – even geotagged ones such as those associated with Yellowstone National Park!

Another amazing feature is the ability to make posters from selected images, using printouts of each one in different sizes and formats while keeping the original photo intact.

The final photo-related feature is the ability to quickly upload photos directly to a variety of commercial online photo printing services such as Walgreens, Walmart, Shutterfly and CVS from within the program by selecting them and clicking on “Shop.”

Picasa could benefit from improving its management of keywords. At present, each photo must enter its own keyword; it would be nice if this feature could be expanded so users could add and delete groups of them at once.

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