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What You Can Do with iPhoto on Your MacBook

iPhoto is a photography tool for the home user that can help you organize, edit, and even publish your photographs. After you shoot your photos with a digital camera (or even scan images from original film prints or negatives), you can import them into iPhoto, edit them, and publish them.

Here, you can see most of the major controls offered in iPhoto ’11. (Other controls automatically appear when you enter different modes.)

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Here’s a quick rundown of what you’re looking at when you first launch iPhoto:

  • Source list: This list of image locations determines which photos iPhoto displays.

    • You can choose to display either your entire image library or just the last set of digital images that you downloaded from your camera.

    • You can create new albums of your own that appear in the source list; albums make it much easier to organize your photos.

    • Photos can be grouped by Event (when they were taken), Faces (who appears in the photos), and Places (where photos were taken).

    • You can view the photos you’ve shared online using Facebook and Flickr (and MobileMe, if you’re already a subscriber).

    • You can create books, calendars, cards, and slideshows.

  • Viewer: This pane displays the images from the currently selected photo source.

    You can drag or click to select photos in the Viewer for further tricks, such as assigning keywords and image editing.

  • Full Screen button: Click this button in the upper-right corner of the window to switch to a full-screen display of your photos. In full-screen mode, the Source list disappears, and both images and events appear as thumbnails.

    You can double-click a thumbnail to view the image (or the contents, if it’s an event) using your Mac’s entire screen real estate.

  • Search button: Click the button next to the Search text box to locate photos by specific criteria, or just click in the box and start typing to search by description and title.

  • Zoom slider: Drag this slider to the left to reduce the size of the thumbnails in the Viewer. This allows you to see more thumbnails at one time, which is a great boon for quick, visual searches. Drag the slider to the right to expand the size of the thumbnails, thereby making it easier to differentiate details between similar photos in the Viewer.

  • Play Slideshow: Select an event, album, book, or slideshow in the Source list (or multiple images you’ve selected in the Viewer) and click this button to start a full-screen slideshow using those images.

  • Info button: Click this button to display information on the currently selected photos (or the item selected in the Source list).

  • Edit button: Click this button to edit the currently selected photos.

  • Create button: Click this button to add a new blank album, book, calendar, card, or slideshow to your Source list.

  • Add To button: Click this button to add the currently selected photos to an existing album, slideshow, book, card, or calendar.

  • Share button: Click this button to share the currently selected photos on Flickr, Facebook, iCloud, and MobileMe. You can also order prints or e-mail the photos.

The toolbar buttons you see depend on which operation you’re performing; for example, you see different toolbar buttons when you’re editing a photo.

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