Creating iPhoto captions

Reader Kenneth De Jong, hoping to insure domestic tranquility, asks for some iPhoto advice along these lines:

My wife was using iPhoto ’08 to print some family photos on 4x6” photo paper. She discovered and liked the “Customize” feature that allowed her to add a text caption at the bottom of a picture. However, iPhoto creates the white space border for the text by cropping the original picture. This automatic cropping produced rather uneven results. Her question was: Can I control the crop, or can I specify that the picture be shrunk to fit rather than cropped?

What you describe is accurate. When you append a caption to a picture in iPhoto by clicking Print, clicking the Customize button in the sheet that appears, and then choosing one of the layouts that allow you to caption images, iPhoto does crop the image. And because it does, it’s not the perfect tool for adding captions to your photos.

Given that it isn’t, I suggest you use another image editor that you can use outside of iPhoto. For example, I use Econ Technologies’ $50 Pro version of Portraits & Prints, where I created a custom template that includes a user-editable text field. I just import the images I want into my custom template, slap a caption on each, and print.

But you’re just as welcome to use any image editor that allows you to create a custom canvas size that exceeds the size of your image—Lemkesoft’s $45 GraphicConverter, Adobe’s $90 Photoshop Elements, or one of a number of image editors our helpful readers are sure to recommend in the Comments area. Just add the caption below the image but within the borders of the canvas and you're set.

And iPhoto makes doing so a breeze. Just open iPhoto’s Preferences and in the General tab click on the Edit Photo pop-up menu, choose In Application, and navigate to the editing application you’d like to use. Do this, and when you next click iPhoto’s Edit button, the image editor will launch and display your image.

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