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How to Edit Photos in Windows 8.1's Metro Photo App

If you can find a photo you want to edit, in spite of Windows 8.1 Metro Photo’s truly incapable search capabilities, editing it is quite easy — and the tools at hand, while rudimentary, are quite powerful. Here’s how:

1

Navigate to the photo and right-click or tap and nudge it down.

The App bar appears at the bottom.

2

As noted in the App bar at the bottom, you can delete the photo, copy it, cut it, rename it, open it in another program (typically one on the old-fashioned desktop), or work with the selection.

In short, it’s a typical ham-fisted approach to working with files, without the aid of File Explorer.

Note that Edit isn’t one of the options in the App bar (!), at least on narrower screens.

3

If you want to edit one of the photos, double-click or tap on it.

The photo appears against a black screen. Hang on. You aren’t there yet.

4

Right-click or tap and hold on the screen.

Yet another App bar appears, this time with your editing commands.

5

Once again, you’re given the choice to Delete or Open With.

The Set As icon lets you pick the photo as your Windows Lock Screen or use it as the picture on the Metro Start menu’s Photos tile. The Slide Show icon starts a slide show with all the photos in the current folder. Rotate and Crop hold no surprises.

But the Edit icon — that’s a horse of a different color.

6

Click or tap the Edit icon.

The Metro Photos editor finally appears.

On the left, the Auto Fix button is selected. Along the right side is a collection of photos that apply varying kinds and levels of fixing.

7

If one of the shots on the right appeals to you, pick it.

Tap or click Basic Fixes and choose from Rotate, Crop, Red Eye (choose the eye to fix with the big purple circle), or Retouch (blur and blend the shot with a different big purple circle).

You may be done, but just for a moment, take a look at the other tools.

8

On the left, click or tap Light. Then click on the first icon on the right — it’s labelled Brightness — and drag the white little circle around the big circle.

You can see how the circular control gradually makes the picture darker and lighter, as you drag the little circle around the big circle.

9

Experiment with the Color icon (adjust temperature, tint, saturation, or enhance the color) and the Effects icon (vignette to lighten the area around the outside of the picture, and selective focus to blur outside the chosen area).

If you hover your mouse on the bottom edge, you see + and – signs, which you can click or tap to zoom in or out of the picture.

10

When you’re done, right-click or slide from the top to get yet another App bar.

This one includes options to undo everything you’ve done; to save a copy of what you’ve done without disturbing the original, or to replace the original with the changes you’ve made. You can also Cancel out of editing entirely, and no changes will be made.

When you’re ready to go back to the Pictures Library (or SkyDrive Pictures folder), right-click or slide from the bottom and click or tap on the back arrow.

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