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iLife ’11: How to Edit Titles of iPhoto Pictures

7 of 8 in Series: The Essentials of Searching for Photos in iPhoto '11

In iPhoto, a title is the name of a picture. Titles are the most convenient way to identify pictures in iLife. Every picture has a title when imported — iPhoto simply uses the filename as its title (such as IMG_0147 for the picture file named IMG_0147.jpg). You can edit rename the titles — individually or in batches — to suit your needs.

Adding titles to individual pictures in iPhoto

You can edit the title of each picture by typing directly into the text field at the top of the Info pane. If the Info pane isn't visible, click the Info (the i) button on the right side of the toolbar at the bottom of the iPhoto window. The Info pane shows information about the selected picture at the top, including the camera type, shutter speed, aperture, focal length, exposure data, flash status (on or off), and image resolution.

Type a title for a picture in the Info pane.
Type a title for a picture in the Info pane.

Editing a picture’s title changes it in the photo library and in all albums and projects where the title appears.

Titles can be useful for sorting purposes. You can arrange your pictures alphabetically by title, which can be quite useful if your titles are Beach 1, Beach 2, Beach 3, Trail A, or Trail B, for example.

Assigning the same title to a batch of files in iPhoto

You don’t necessarily have to painstakingly type a title for every picture. You can automatically assign the same title to a batch of selected pictures, where the title consists of the date and time, the event name, the filename, or some other identifying text.

  1. Select the thumbnails of the pictures you want to assign titles to.

  2. Choose Photos→Batch Change.

    A tiny dialog box appears with the Set and To pop-up menus.

  3. Select Title from the Set pop-up menu, and choose an option for the Title from the To pop-up menu.

    Here’s what the options do:

    Text lets you type any text, and if you click the Append a Number to Each Photo option, the text ends with a number that increments for each picture.

    Event Name sets the titles of all selected pictures to the event name.

    Filename sets the titles to their respective filenames, which iPhoto already does when importing, so this option lets you restore the titles to their original names.

    Date/Time gives you a number of choices for your title: You can include the date in short, abbreviated, or long formats, or specify the time in a 12-hour or 24-hour clock format, with or without seconds.

    Empty leaves the title blank.

  4. Click OK.

Descriptions are also useful for identifying pictures and what they contain. To add a description, click inside the field below the title in the Info pane (in which the Add a Description line appears) and type the description.

You may want to use the description field for captions, as in magazines and books. The descriptions can be included, if you want, in the e-mail messages for the pictures you send by e-mail as well as on Web pages. You can even search for photos by your descriptions.

You can quickly add the same description to a batch of selected pictures or append the same description to the batch without deleting the description that’s already entered. Choose Photos→Batch Change and choose Description from the Set pop-up menu. You can then type a description for all pictures and click the Append to Existing Description option to preserve the original description. (If the descriptions are blank, this option simply adds the batch description.) Finally, click OK.

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