Organise your photos in iPhoto

Organise your photos in iPhoto

Keep your photos in order with our top tips for organising your iPhoto library. 

Thanks to digital cameras, most of us now have a huge collection of unsorted images on our computer, which makes finding photos a challenge. Apple’s free iPhoto tool has great features that can help keep your photos in check. From flagging, rating and tagging your photos to using the Faces feature to quickly find shots of friends and family, iPhoto makes organising your photo collection a snap. Here are our top tips for sorting your photos in iPhoto.

1. Merge Events
When imported, photos are automatically grouped into Events based on the date or time that they were taken. You may, however, want to merge events so that, for example, all the photos from your recent holiday are in one place. To merge Events, simply drag one Event on top of another. Alternatively, to split an Event, open the Event and select the photo you want to mark the start of the new Event, then click the split button at the bottom of the window. You can rename an Event by clicking the title and typing a new name.


2. Change date and time
If you’ve taken photos using two devices – another cameras and a smartphone for example – and want to combine them in the same Event but the dates and times on the devices don’t match, here’s a workaround. Select all the shots from one camera and click Photo and then Adjust Time and Date. Change the date and time to match the other camera.


3. Flag photos
Flagging is a quick way to mark photos so that you can later view just those photos from your collection. Click a photo and then click the Flag icon at the top right of the photo. Select Flagged in the left hand pane to see all the flagged photos in your library.


4. Add keywords
Keywords are descriptive terms that can be added to a photo, such as ‘birthday’ or ‘holiday’ that help you to sort and view photos at a later date. To add a keyword, on the top menuclick View then Keywords. Click Info on the bottom toolbar, and in the Information pane, click Keywords. Click Add a keyword, and then type your keyword into the Keywords field and press return. Repeat to add more keywords – you can add as many as you like.


To find photos with keywords, click the search icon in the search bar and from the pop-up menu, click Keyword. Then choose one or more keywords to narrow your search.

5. Rate your photos
You can rate your photos from one to five stars. Click View then Rating. Click the dots under a photo and drag to specify the number of stars. To find photos that you’ve rated, click the search icon in the search field and, from the pop-up menu, click Ratings. Then click the dots in the search field to show photos with that star rating.


6. Organise with Faces
iPhoto’s Faces feature uses facial recognition to detect people in your photos, making it easier to find photos of specific people. You can then type a person’s name into the search bar to see all the photos of that person in your library.

To add a name to the face of a friend or family member use the following steps.

Step 1  Click a photo of someone who appears in your photos, then click Info. In the Information panel, click Faces and then click Add a face.

Step 2  Click the unnamed label and type in the person’s name.

Step 3  Click the direction arrows to see other photos in that Event. iPhoto will suggest a name if it recognises the face. Click the tick mark if correct or the cross if not.


Clicking Faces in the Source list displays a snapshot of each person you’ve named.

Step 1  Double click a photo to view pictures of that person.

Step 2  Click Confirm Additional Faces to see other photos that iPhoto suggests are a match. Click a photo to confirm the suggestion.

Step 3  If it isn’t a match, click again to reject the suggestion.

7. Using Places
Using iPhoto’s Places features, you can organise your photos based on the location they were taken. This works seamlessly when importing photos from a GPS digital camera, as iPhoto applies the camera’s location data to each photo. You can also manually add location information – here’s how:

Step 1  Click a photo or group of photos and click Info on the bottom toolbar.

Step 2  Click Assign a Place and start typing a location name. Choose the location from the list that appears.

Step 3  If you can’t see the location, choose a place that’s nearby. You can then drag a red pin to specify the exact location on the map.

Step 4  To view photos by location, click Places in the left-hand pane. A world map appears showing all the places where you’ve taken photos.

Step 5  You can filter photos by doing one of the following:

  • Select a region, country, city, or place from the top menu.
  • Drag the map to view a certain area or double-click to zoom in on an area. Then click Show Photos to see all the photos associated with that area.
  • Double-click to zoom in on a pin and click the arrow to show all the photos taken at that location.


8. Smart albums
Instead of using Events, you can group photos taken at any time or any place in an album. A smart album is a special photo album that automatically updates according to the criteria you set when you create it. For example, you can create a smart album that collects all the photos you’ve rated with four or more stars, or a Smart Album that groups all the photos taken with a particular camera.

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