Everything you need to know about sharing iPhoto images

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The Share menu

iPhoto provides a very broad clue that its images can be shared with others. That clue comes in the form of the Share menu in iPhoto’s menu bar and the Share button that appears at the bottom of the window. Each of them contain Photo Stream, Messages, Email, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter entries. We’ve already covered Photo Stream, so there’s no need to go there.

In the case of Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook, you’ll first need an account for the service you choose to use. Once you have that account, just enter your username and password, and you’ll be able to post your images to the service.

The many options in iPhoto’s Share menu.

When you choose Email, a new empty email message will be created within iPhoto and the image will be attached. On the right side of the message,  you’ll see a number of templates. Select one that you want to use. From the Photo Size pop-up menu at the bottom of the template pane, choose an appropriate size—Optimized (designed so that the message will fit through an email gateway), Small, Medium, Large, or Actual Size. To send your message, fill in the To field, change the subject heading if you like, enter some text in the appropriate areas, and click Send.

You don’t have to email photos using iPhoto, however. To choose a different email client, select Photos > Preferences and then click the General preference. Click the Email photos using pop-up menu and select a different email client—Mail or Microsoft Outlook, for example. When you do that, a window will appear that prompts you to choose a size for your images and that gives you the option to include titles, descriptions, and location information. To complete the process, click the Compose Message button. The selected email client will open, and the images will be attached to a new email message.

To send images via Messages, you may select no more than 10 pictures and then choose Share > Messages. The images will be compressed and added to a message window that appears. Just choose the person you’d like to send the message to, enter some text if you like, and click the window’s Send button.

Other share options

When you click the Share button at the bottom of the window, you’ll additionally find the Order Prints option. Select some images and choose Order Prints, and a sheet appears. In this sheet choose the size of the prints and the number you’d like to order. Click Buy Now and you’ll be walked through the payment and shipping process. When that’s complete, the images will be uploaded to Apple, printed by the company Apple deals with for this sort of thing, and shipped to you when they’re done.

Click the Share menu that appears in iPhoto’s menu bar, you’ll see two other entries—Burn and Set Desktop. In order for the Burn command to do anything other than send up an error message, you must have a CD/DVD burner attached to your Mac. New Macs don’t have such devices built into them, but if you add an external disc burner, you can use that. If you have an older Mac that does carry such hardware, choose Burn and you’ll be prompted for a disc to record the images to.

Note that this command creates discs that can be used only in iPhoto. If you want to create a picture disc that can be used by a photo processor (or read by a Windows PC), you’ll have to copy the images you want to burn to a folder in the Finder, select that folder, and then choose File > Burn [name of folder] to Disc.

Clicking the Set Desktop command allows you to select an image and then use that image for your Mac’s desktop image.

Creating the top-secret digital project

Before closing out the lesson, here’s one final tip for sharing your images digitally. I’ve told you how to create printed books, cards, and calendars. If you’d like to “print” digital versions of them for free, here’s how.

Create the project and then choose File > Print. In the resulting Print window, click the PDF button in the bottom-left corner and choose Save as PDF. In the sheet that appears, name your project and click Save. A PDF version of your project will be saved to the location you’ve chosen. While not exactly an ebook, it’s a way to present your friends and family with interestingly formatted projects that cost neither of you a nickel.

Next week: iPhoto’s Faces and Places features

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