Seven cool and useful iPhoto '11 plug-ins

Apple's iPhoto is a powerful tool on its own, but it can do even more with the right plug-in. These tools will help you share, edit, and manage your iPhoto library.

Add High-Quality Watermarks

The Impression plug-in gives iPhoto users a simple way to add a pre-created watermark to batches of photos. When you export a watermarked photo, Impression re-imports it into iPhoto—a feature that can be helpful if you are working exclusively in iPhoto or plan on re-exporting the images later. One problem with the plug-in is that the controls are placed on top of the photo, which makes it hard to see the watermark until you take your cursor off of the photo and the controls disappear.

Impression; $15

Destroy Duplicate Photos

Many iPhoto users find themselves with multiple copies of the same photo, and deleting them manually can take eons. The Duplicate Annihilator—besides having an awesome name—is a great plug-in for deleting copies of photos fast. It goes through your library and uses a variety of algorithms to detect duplicate images, but also spots similar photos with minor differences. It can delete duplicates immediately upon detection, or mark them with keywords so you can sort through them yourself later. The result is a less cluttered, faster, and happier iPhoto library.

Duplicate Annihilator; $8

Upload to Picasa

iPhoto '11 has built-in sharing support for Facebook and Flickr, but not Google's Picasa service. With Picasa's iPhoto plug-in, you can upload images to your Picasa galleries. When you export your selected photos in iPhoto, the plug-in will give you the option to put them directly in a new or previously created album. True Picasa addicts may prefer using the stand-alone Picasa application in addition to or instead of iPhoto.

Picasa ; Free

Share Large Photos with YouSendIt

Share files that are too big for an email with YouSendIt’s iPhoto plug-in. The plug-in lets you send files up to 2GB in size for free (you'll need to sign up for a free YouSendIt account). You can choose your file type and size during the export and can send personalized messages along with the file. You can only send one file at a time for free, but for a monthly fee you can also send large groups of photos through the plug-in.

YouSendIt; Free

Add Borders, Text, and Watermarks

Send large projects to the Web or a printer with custom borders, copyright information, and watermarks. This easy to use plug-in from iBorder FX has a simple interface for batch border, text, and watermark additions. You can control border sizes and ratios, stroke thickness, and drop shadows, as well as add blur and desaturated borders. Text can be added to each photo individually or to batches of images. The watermark tool lets you use your own logo or image and also has a variety of customization options. The best part about this plug-in is that you can save your presets to apply them to future images—ideal for a photographer who wants a uniform look for all of his or her photos.

iBorder FX; Free

Send Your Photos Straight to Shutterfly

Shutterfly is a great site for photo sharing and creating projects such as photo books and greeting cards.The service has created an active photo-sharing community by providing a space for users to share their pictures online. Its iPhoto plug-in lets you upload your photos straight to a Shutterfly account, into a new album or an existing one.

Shutterfly; Free

Manage Your Libraries

OK, this one is a stand-alone app not a plug-in, but it is an incredibly useful tool for iPhoto users.

Normally, you only have one iPhoto library for all of your photos. You then navigate that library through albums, events, and keywords. This single-library system can slow down iPhoto and get a little messy when you have thousands of photos from years of parties, birthdays, and trips. iPhoto Buddy’s solution is to create multiple libraries and manage them outside of iPhoto. You can create a new iPhoto library and see details about existing libraries—all without opening iPhoto. Double-click on a library within iPhoto Buddy to open it up in iPhoto.

iPhoto Buddy; Free

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