Chapter 9. The Digital Shoebox

If you’ve imported photos into iPhoto or Picasa, as described in the previous chapter, your journey out of chaos has begun. You’re not really organized yet, but at least all your photos are in one place. From here, you can sort your photos, give them titles, group them into smaller subcollections (called albums), and tag them with keywords so you can find them quickly. This chapter helps you tackle each of those organizing tasks as painlessly as possible.

The Source List

Even before you start naming your photos, assigning them keywords, or organizing them into albums, your digital shoebox software imposes an order of its own.

The key to understanding it is the Source list (folder list) at the left side of the window. This list grows as you import more pictures and organize them. But right off the bat, you’ll find certain icons that get you started:

  • iPhoto: The icons include Events (thumbnails for clumps of photos that were taken around the same time—on someone’s birthday or wedding weekend, for example), Photos (all the photos, not clumped, on a massive, scrolling display), Last 12 Months, and Last Import.

  • Picasa: The list displays every folder on your PC that contains photos or graphics of any kind.


Picasa Tip: Sometimes, you’ll find folders in the list that contain graphics you don’t really want to work with (say, a folder that contains a bunch of clip art) or that you’d prefer that other people not be able to view (for example—well, you know). To get ...

Get David Pogue's Digital Photography: The Missing Manual now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.