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You can get Picasa from http://picasa.google.com/ and learn more about it
There are tutorial on Picasa at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSIlLkoeZQk and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rskC6c_5L1M
June 2012 Tip : Getting downloaded photos recognised by Picasa. Someone may be able to suggest an easier way but this is the most complicated thing I have found about Picasa because I have found it impossible to add the downloads folder to Picasa. Usually one goes : File, Add a folder. But there was no way I could find Downloads. So, I am back to an earlier technique. First off I have created a shortcut to Downloads on my desktop. Having got the downloads folder into a more accessible place open it via the shortcut on the desktop. Now, drag the photos (left mouse button) onto the desktop. This can be done one at a time or you can select a number of them by holding down the control key. Now open Picasa and wait a few seconds to see if it indexes them. In my case Picasa sees the desktop under D, alphabetically. So, you should now be able to find them in Picasa. Once there it is fairly easy to drag them to an appropriate folder. Incidentally, you can even rename a folder by opening one and overtyping the name.
Although the Picasa site says it only works for people with Windows 2000 and XP and later, I have now heard that it is fine with Win 98 and ME.
Even if Picasa says that your version is up to date I recommend that you go to their site and download the latest version (3) as it is better than the older ones. For instance it will let you save an improved file to the same name. In doing so it does make a backup in another folder termed Originals, which can be deleted later
De-duplicating your photos. Picasa has a good method for doing this. In the program click Tools, Experimental and "Show duplicate Files". Though you might be nervous about deleting the folders or files that are shown you CAN do this. Only photos that are identical in date, size and name will be deleted. If you are unsure, first send them to the Recycle bin (right click and Delete from disk).
If you think a folder has duplicates that have been renamed differently it is easy to see these if you click Folder, Sort by.. Size. They are then likely to sit side by side and one can be deleted. Do this for each folder.
It is even possible to upload your photos to Picasa. Mine are
And my 2012 album "Cream Teas and Countryside at
If you wish you can Geotag a picture to show where it was taken. Other people (anywhere) can then see them on Google Earth
Picasa has now introduced Version 3.8. At that time they added an on-line
photo editor called Picnik but this has since been
Face Movie This is a definite must-see. Create a movie based around a person. As the photos transition from one to another the subjects face stays aligned in one focus area, creating a unique viewing experience.
Much as I like Picasa, on a couple of occasions some of the thumbnails have gone peculiar; stretched or even a small cropped piece of photo. Rest assured that your original has not been affected but how to bring it back to normal ? You can try Folder, Refresh thumbnails.. Nut in the end I just deleted Picasa and reinstalled it. That reindexed everything in the appropriate folders and all was well.
December 09 I have recently downloaded version 3.6 of Picasa. And found a most amazing extra. On installation Picasa finds facial photos of everyone on your pictures. Beware ! It found 14,000 on mine, with many duplicates. However this CAN be turned off. Even more miraculous is its ability to group all the pictures of the same person. When you have the thumbnails of the faces just enter the name of one person and set up a separate album for them. It may even find people who are genetically similar (normally a sister or a parent). If it doesn't find enough, add names to one or two more pictures in the general list and add them to their 'album'. It then has a clue what other features to look for. If it finds duplicates you can easily take them out of the album (right click them.) However, you may never get to the end of the job of creating albums for known people. As soon as you have gone through one list of unknowns another will appear. Some of my group photos have hundreds of faces!
Bear in mind that Picasa does not make extra pictures - unless you want to. It is an index to where your pictures are kept. It is the same with Faces. Click on the face and you see the whole picture from where it came.
Here is a small section of the results I got :
Tip. If you email pictures with Picasa using the standard setup they will arrive at the other end quite small. This may be your intention, especially if you are sending many to someone on a slow connection. For instance I sent a 2.4Mb picture to someone and it finished up as a mere 64k i.e. the file size was less than 1/32 the size. But with many people now on broadband you may wish to send bigger files that at least fill the screen. To do this in Picasa go to Tools, Options, Email Output size and increase this to 1024 by moving the slider. Click Apply. Try a couple by sending them to your own address, save them to another name and compare the file sizes and the quality.
If you have Picasa 2 or before you may be invited to download version 3. As usual Google has been beavering away at the program and there are quite a few changes. I have updated the section below to take note of these. There are simple things like the Play button when you have got into a Picasa folder of pictures. This immediately takes you into full screen slideshow mode. There is a Text item on the left and you can add text any size and colour anywhere on a picture. Although you can save this and print it you can also hide it. I have just labeled a whole batch of pictures and transferred them to a digital picture frame to describe each picture for viewers. You can even select a picture then Geotag it onto Google Earth in the correct place. I just 'geotagged' a picture of Tower Bridge. This is then uploaded and can be seen by others around the world who search Google Earth. So much to learn, so little time !
There is a book on Picasa called 'ORGANISING AND EDITING YOUR PHOTOS WITH PICASA' by Steve Schwartz. £6 from Amazon. But, frankly, it is the most self explanatory program I know
** Occasionally Picasa gets its data file in a twist and the wrong pictures are displayed. They suggest that the data file (db) should be deleted and recreated. For instructions on this go to Picasa and press F1 (for Help) Type in " Wrong Photo " and print and study the answer.
A new feature in Picasa 2 was called Hello. This appears to have been superceded by the 'Blog That' and Web Albums (top right) uploads.
To say that it is the most friendly program I have ever used is indeed a compliment to its 'intuitive' nature. It helps you achieve the effects you want without even having to look up a manual, though there is on line help available. So, why do I feel it necessary to write a manual ? I is simply that Picasa has so many extras that you might not discover at a cursory glance.
The first thing you will notice, on loading Picasa, is that it goes right through your hard disk finding anything that it considers to be a photo (or video). It takes a little while to do this initially but then is produces a list of your folders, displaying the photographs. You get the option, on installation, to choose to restrict the search to the My Pictures folder and I would recommend this. Otherwise you will see pictures of every little graphic from Help files to Graphics programs you happen to have.
When it has finished you can just click away on these to enlarge them or can click Slideshow to see a display of all the photos in that folder full screen with a few seconds for each. Simple !
Incidentally, when you add or move, add or Save a copy of your pictures it takes a few moments for Picasa to realise you have done this. Eventually you should see it working away putting them into the right place in your folders. Later it may automatically compress the data files to save space.
Initially, it will put the folders in the date order when the pictures were taken. If you wish to put them in a different.order (e.g.alphabetical folder, which I prefer) just click View and choose what you want to do.
n.b. One peculiarity of Picasa is that, on occasion, it displays the wrong pictures in a folder, although clicking on the picture will display the correct one for the title underneath. Don't worry if this happens as it has not done anything to the originals. To 'refresh' the folder, so the correct pictures show, right click on the folder on the left and click 'Refresh thumbnails'. Even that does not always work but I have found that splitting a folder can help. Picasa works with a number of data files (db) and these can become confused. In the end you may have to delete the database folder and let it recreate the whole thing.
In Picasa 2, if you go to File, Save As and change the name of a picture, you will find that Picasa has also created a backup of the original. It is a good safety measure. Later you may decide to delete these originals to save space. Recently I did a search on the word Originals and found more than a dozen folders, some taking quite a lot of space. I deleted the by right clicking each one in turn and clicking Delete.
NEW in Picasa3 :
So, apart from a super 'viewer' what else is Picasa capable of ? See the methods appropriate to each number below.
Open a picture then
N.B Any editing you do with Picasa is NOT saved and can be undone at any time within Picasa. To save a change go File, Save, Save As or Save a Copy. A copy will NOT overwrite the original but will rename it with an extra number. You can then Undo the change on the original and (if you are sure the copy is an improvement) delete it.
You may want to create a smaller version of a picture (especially with the massive files that modern cameras create) This is done automatically by Picasa when you email pictures. But to create a permanent small version you can click on the picture or pictures and use Export. It puts the photos in a new folder with the name of the original one. Don't overwrite the original version (unless you want to) because, if you do, you can never get back the quality you started with. But for unimportant photos this is an excellent way to keep a small copy (thus saving masses of disk space)
Web Albums. See mine Here. Picasa allows 250Mb of free space to create an on line Web Album. This is not too difficult to do but, unless your pictures are compressed down you may need Broadband to upload many. There is a Sync to Web facility which will automatically amend or delete photos in your Web albums.
Geotagging. Is under the Tools menu
Click on the video and, while it is playing click Upload to Youtube on the left. They take a while.
If a picture is too bright, "I'm feeling lucky" may not darken it enough, but you can try Tuning and drag the Shadows slider to the right. Especially good for light text scans.
Face recognition. If you ask it Picasa will find EVERY face in your photos. If you recognise one and name them, it will find all the similar ones. Occasionally it gets it wrong. It can be a very big job to select and name all the faces it finds.
To eliminate small spots on photos open the photo make a copy of the photo
(File, Save a copy), click Retouch, adjust the retouch circle to a similar
size to the spot. Click the spot and click a surrounding area of the
same colour. If it is not satisfactory you can always abort the procedure
and try again before agreeing to the result.
To create you own web album you must have a Picasa account. If you already have a Googlemail email address you can use that. Now go to Http://picasa.google.com/support and bookmark it for future reference. Then go to www.picasaweb.google.com and click "New Album". You will be taken through the Registration procedure and they will email you to confirm your account. When you have logged in click on "Upload Photos" on the left. If you are using Internet Explorer you can browse for and upload around 5 photos at a time. The first time you use this feature you will be asked to install the Active X plug-in when prompted. If you are not using IE you will be able to upload photos one by one. When you have completed an upload you will be directed to the album. Make a note of the address in the address line so you can tell other people where your photos are.
Examples of editing photographs using Picasa features : Here are four versions of the same picture, which have been treated with various Picasa facilities. The first picture has been taken badly, at a slant. This was corrected using number 3 above - Straighten. The third picture shows a 'cropped' version. And in the last case the cropped one has been improved using " I'm feeling lucky" which guesses the better brightness and contrast.
If you would like further tips on Picasa, do not hesitate to get in
N.B. When you use the latest Picasa and change a picture, then save it, it cleverly keeps a copy of the original. This is a great safety measure, which would enable you to get back the original if you decided it was better then the new version. However, these originals take up a normal amount of space. I recently did a search for the word Originals and it listed all the folders. 58Mb ! As I was happy with what I had done I deleted these just to save the space
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