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iLife ’11: Search for Pictures in iPhoto

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

Search for pictures in iPhoto in iLife '11 by viewing thumbnail-size images and refining the image search by date, keyword, and rating. For a basic view of thumbnails of all pictures in your iPhoto library, click Photos in the Source pane. Thumbnails appear for all pictures (photos, images, and video clips) in your library, sorted by date in ascending order (earliest date first). You can scroll the Viewer pane to see all thumbnails, and open and close events by clicking the triangle next to the event title.

iPhoto offers several search methods that enable you to zip directly to the photo you’re looking for:

  • To use the search field: Click the Search button (with a Magnifying Glass icon) on the left side of the toolbar at the bottom of the Viewer pane. The button changes into a Search field. iPhoto looks for the characters in titles, descriptions, and keywords. iPhoto assembles the thumbnails of located pictures in the Viewer pane as you enter characters. To delete the entry in the Search field, click the circled x on the right side of the Search field.

  • To search for a date: Click the Magnifying Glass icon within the Search field to see a pop-up menu, and choose Date. A pop-up dialog appears with buttons for each month of the earliest year for which you have pictures — just click a month name to see the pictures for that month. To switch to Calendar view in the pop-up dialog, click the circled right arrow in the upper left corner; you can then click a specific date.

    To switch years, click the right (forward) or left (backward) arrows in the upper right corner of the pop-up dialog. To clear the search, click outside the pop-up menu and then click the circled x on the right side of the search field.

  • To search by keyword: Click the Magnifying Glass icon for the pop-up menu and choose Keyword. A pop-up dialog appears with buttons for each keyword — just click a keyword to see the pictures with that keyword. To refine your search to pictures that also have other keywords, click those keywords. (You can click multiple keywords and iPhoto looks for pictures that contain all of them.)

    For example, if you assigned Vacation and Kids as keywords to pictures that show the kids on vacation, you can search for either Vacation or Kids to locate pictures including the ones you’re looking for or quickly narrow your search by clicking Vacation and Kids so that only pictures of the kids on vacation show up.

  • To search by rating: Click the Magnifying Glass icon for the pop-up menu and choose Ratings. Click inside the Search field, which now offers stars for ratings — you can click or drag to refine the number of stars. iPhoto searches for pictures that are rated as high (or higher) than the number of stars you specify.

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