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iPhoto 5: The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition by Derrick Story, David Pogue

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Photo Sharing Across Accounts

Mac OS X is designed from the ground up to be a multiple-user operating system. You can set up Mac OS X with individual user accounts so that everyone must log in. When the Mac starts up, in other words, you have to click your account name and type a password before you can start using it.

Upon doing so, you discover the Macintosh universe just as you left it, including your icons on the desktop, Dock configuration, desktop picture, screen saver, Web browser bookmarks, email account, fonts, startup programs, and so on. This accounts feature adds both convenience (people don’t have to wade through other people’s stuff) and security (people can’t wade through other people’s stuff). As you can imagine, this feature is a big deal in schools, businesses, and families.

This feature also means that each account holder has a separate iPhoto Library folder. (Remember, it lives inside your own Home folder.) The photos you import into iPhoto are accessible only to you, not to anyone else who might log in. If you and your spouse each log into Mac OS X with a different account, you each get your own Photo Library—and neither of you has access to the other’s pictures in iPhoto.

But what if the two of you want to share the same photos? Ordinarily, you’d be stuck, since iPhoto can’t make its library available to more than a single user.

There are three relatively easy solutions to this common conundrum.

Easiest: Share Your Library

iPhoto’s sharing feature, as described ...

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