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Create Photo Albums with iPhoto on Your MacBook

You can keep your entire collection of digital photographs and scanned images on your MacBook well ordered and easily retrieved by using iPhoto’s organize mode. The most familiar method of organizing images in iPhoto is the album. Each album can represent any division you like, be it a year, a vacation, your daughter, or your daughter’s ex-boyfriends. Follow these steps:

  1. Create a new album.

    You can either choose File→New Album or press Command+N.

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  2. Type the name for your new photo album.

  3. Press Return.

iPhoto also offers a special type of album called a Smart Album, which you can create from the File menu. (For even faster action, press Option+Command+N.) A Smart Album contains only photos that match certain criteria that you choose, including using the keywords and rating that you assign your images.

Other criteria include text in the photo filenames, dates the images were added to iPhoto, and any comments you might have added (as well as camera-specific data such as ISO and shutter speed).

Now here’s the really nifty angle: iPhoto automatically builds and maintains Smart Albums for you, adding new photos that match the criteria (and deleting those that you remove from your Photo Library)! Smart Album icons carry a gear symbol in the source list.

You can display information about the currently selected item in the information pane at the far right of the window. Just click the Info button at the bottom of the iPhoto window, which sports the familiar “i-in-a-circle” logo. You can also type a short note or description in the Description box that appears in the Info pane, or add keywords to help you organize your photos.

You can also change information on an image by selecting it in the Viewer and clicking the Info button. Click any of the headings in the pane (Title, Date, Time, and so on) to display a text edit box, and you can simply click in the box to type a value.

You can drag images from the Viewer into any album you choose. For example, you can copy an image to another album by dragging it from the Viewer to the desired album in the Source list.

To remove a photo that has fallen out of favor, follow these steps:

  1. In the source list, select the desired album.

  2. In the Viewer, select the photo (click it) that you want to remove.

  3. Press Delete.

When you remove a photo from an album, you don’t remove the photo from your collection (which is represented by the Photos entry under the Library heading in the source list). That’s because an album is just a group of links to the images in your collection.

To completely remove the offending photo from iPhoto, click the Photos entry under the Library heading to display your entire collection of images and delete the picture there. (Naturally, this also removes the photo from any albums that might have contained it as well.)

To remove an entire album from the source list, just click it in the source list to select it — in the Viewer, you can see the images that it contains — and then press Delete. (Alternatively, right-click or Control-click the offending album and choose Delete Album from the pop-up menu.)

To rename an album, click the entry under the Albums heading in the Source list to select it and then click again to display a text box. Type the new album name and press Return.

Change your mind? Daughter’s ex is back in the picture, so to speak? iPhoto comes complete with a handy-dandy Undo feature. Just press Command+Z, and it’s as though your last action never happened. (A great trick for those moments when you realize you just deleted your only image of your first car from your Library.)

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