Power Up iPhoto

How to sort and organize your iPhoto library

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Once you press Return, the word will gain a bubble around it, and you can start typing the next keyword. If you made an error and want to edit it, double-click the keyword bubble; if you want to delete it outright, just single-click it and press the Delete key on your keyboard.

However, once you've entered a keyword on a photo—even if you delete every mention of it on the individual images—it still remains in iPhoto's master keyword list, ready to pop up in the autosuggest list. To remove a keyword for good, you'll want to open the keyword manager. To do this, go to Window -> Manage My Keywords. In the manager, you'll find a list of every keyword you've ever made; to edit them, click the Edit Keywords button. Here, you can delete keywords, edit them, and even assign them keyboard shortcuts.

What are smart albums? Perhaps more appropriately referred to as "smart searches," a smart album is a collection of photos organized by live-updating search terms. You determine what goes in the collection solely by the conditions you input, and the smart album does the rest.

For instance, you can use the Faces term to collect all the pictures that have people in them you have yet to identify (see "Missing in Action").

iPhoto
Missing in Action: Want to quickly identify missing faces? Create a smart album.

Using smart albums effectively Thanks to the varied list of terms you can select, it's easy to build a smart album customized to your needs. You can search within Albums or Events by using the title text, description, filename, keyword, or any text within a photo; a date range; faces or places; the photo's star rating; image metadata like aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focal length, flash, and camera model; and whether the photo itself has been flagged, hidden, edited, tagged with GPS, or is a raw or movie file type. You can use just one of these search modifiers, or stack multiples on top of each other for more-complex equations.

When you stack multiple modifiers, you're given a choice for the smart album to obey any of the rules, or all of the rules in succession. If you choose for it to obey any, the album will pull in the results of every rule, no matter the order; if you choose for it to obey all the rules, it will check for them one at a time.

As an example, if you were to create a smart album that obeyed any of the conditions Face is unnamed and Face is Sally, you would pull all pictures containing Sally and all pictures containing unlabeled faces into the album. However, if you told it to obey all the above rules, iPhoto would look only for unlabeled faces that share a photo with Sally.

Adding and editing smart albums To create a new smart album, go to File -> New -> Smart Album or use the keyboard shortcut Option-Command-N. This will bring up the conditions list. Here, you can name your smart album, choose an initial condition, add or subtract any additional conditions by pressing the plus (+) or minus (–) buttons, and click OK to save.

After its initial creation, your smart album will appear under the Albums section in the Source list, under the name you called it. To differentiate a smart album from a regular album, its icon is purple, and it contains a dark purple gear—in contrast with the regular album icon, which has a two-tone blue shade.

You can view a smart album by clicking it; the results will appear in the main iPhoto pane. You can't add photos by dragging them to a smart album the way you might with a regular album; instead, you add images by making them line up with the smart album conditions. Conversely, you can remove a picture from a smart album by changing its individual condition to no longer reflect the search terms.

iPhoto
Instant Edit: If you want to change your smart album's settings, you're only a Control-click away.

To refer to the previous example: If you had a smart album made up of photos containing Sally and unlabeled faces and you began to tag those people, those images would disappear from your album, as they would no longer fill the criteria.

If you'd like to change or add criteria to the smart album itself, you can do so at any time by Control-clicking it in the Source List and clicking on Edit Smart Album in the resulting menu (see "Instand Edit"). To delete a smart album, simply highlight it and press the Delete key on your keyboard.

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • New code base and polished user interface
    • Improved Facebook and Flickr integration
    • Design templates for e-mail
    • Full screen mode for maximum use of display
    • Improved Books and Cards design tools
    • Lower price for upgrade

    Cons

    • Editing controls virtually untouched
    • No more Extended Photo Info screen
    • Text and number-of-photo limitations for email attachments
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