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How to Touch Up Pictures in Windows 8.1 Photo Gallery

Windows 8.1 Photo Gallery offers a small set of the most-used, photo touch-up tools, specifically designed to be easy to use and not particularly intimidating — or powerful. You may find them useful, especially if you don’t have a more capable program at hand.

Many picture-editing programs change a picture permanently: Once you change a picture and save it, you can’t go back. WPG is smarter than that. It keeps a copy of your original picture in its Original Photos folder, which is located at C:\Users\<name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Photo Gallery\Original Images. If you ever want to revert to the original picture, on the Edit Ribbon, tap or click Revert to Original.

Here’s how to safely and effectively touch up your pictures:

  1. In WPG, double-click the picture you want to edit.

    You see a full-size rendition of the picture and the Edit Ribbon.

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  2. To let WPG try to adjust everything on its own, click the Auto Adjust icon.

    Windows Photo Gallery analyzes the picture and automatically adjusts the brightness, contrast, and color. It also straightens the photo, if it seems a little skewed.

    If you don’t like what WPG did to your picture, click the tiny Undo icon up at the top.

  3. Choose from the appropriate buttons to crop, adjust red-eye, retouch, straighten, or futz with the color or contrast.

    To get the most accurate red-eye correction, you usually need to zoom in so that you can pick out the devilish eye. To do so, click and drag the slider in the lower-right corner of the window. Then hold down Alt while you click and drag the picture, moving it around so that you can reach the eye.

    When you have the eye in, uh, sight, release Alt and click and drag a box around the eye. Make the box as small as you can while still getting all the red. Release the mouse button, and Windows Live does its level best to get the red out.

  4. When you’re done, click the X Close File icon on the right of the Ribbon.

    Remember you can always bring back your original picture by opening it and clicking Revert to Original.

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