The best part of iPhoto is the way it lets you organize your photo collection into smaller subcollections called albums, which appear in the list at the left side of the window. You can even create so-called “smart albums,” which update automatically based on keywords or other matching criteria from your photo collection. (They’re almost exactly like playlists and smart playlists in iTunes.) These hints help you use iPhoto’s album-organizing tools.

Create a Smart Album for General Searching

iPhoto includes the ability to add keywords to photos—assigning “Aunt Hilda” to all of your aunt’s pictures, for example—so that you can find them quickly with a future keyword search (or even a smart album based on keywords). Sure, that’s convenient, but what if you want to find the one photo out of your 23,250 picture collection that you named “Secret to success?” Amazingly, iPhoto 4 lacks a basic search feature, which means you’re left to browse for the proverbial needle in the photostack.

Luckily, you can use smart albums to fake your own basic search tool. Select File New Smart Album, or just hit Option-

Create a Smart Album for General Searching

-N. iPhoto displays the smart album creation sheet. As seen in Figure 9-5, set the first criterion to search on Any Text (using “contains”), and add a few Keyword criteria if you wish (they’re not required). When you’re done, click OK.

Once saved, you can easily find a photo whenever ...

Get Mac OS X Power Hound, Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

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