Manage Events in Mac's iPhoto '11 - dummies

Manage Events in Mac’s iPhoto ’11

By Edward C. Baig

All the photos snapped in a given day are lumped into an event on your Mac. The assumption is that you took a bunch of pictures during the kid’s soccer game, birthday bash, or some other activity.

The smart folks at Apple recognize that life doesn’t always work that way, of course. You may have attended the soccer game in the afternoon and the birthday party in the evening. Now you’re talking two events. You can easily split an event into two events — or, for that matter, merge events that span more than a day (such as a reunion weekend).

By default, events are automatically split into one per day. In iPhoto Preferences (on the General tab), you can change that to one event per week. Or choose to go with two-hour or eight-hour gaps when you autosplit an event.

Skimming events

It’s fabulous that all the pictures attached to a single event are organized in one grouping. But if you’re the least bit snap-happy, an individual event may be attached to dozens, if not hundreds, of photos. A very cool skimming feature helps you find the images you want among the others in the given Events pile.

All the photos grouped in an event are represented by a single photo that sits atop an interactive thumbnail. Events are labeled by the name you assigned them or by the date. You can view the photos in each Event pile in two ways:

  • Drag your mouse over the thumbnail, and watch how quickly you can skim through all the underlying pictures. No clicking required. Stop rolling the mouse when you land on the image you’re looking for.

  • To view all the pictures that make up an event, double-click the thumbnail. Click the All Events button to return to the previous view.

To change the thumbnail that sits atop the Events stack, skim to the image you’d like to use, and press the spacebar. When you move the mouse away, that very image appears on top.

As with the Photos view, you can drag the zoom slider at the lower-left corner of the iPhoto window in either direction to watch the Events thumbnails grow or shrink.

Splitting events

To split an event, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click the event you want to split.

    All the photos for that event appear.

  2. Highlight the picture that begins the new event, and choose Events→Split Event.


  3. Double-click Untitled Event, and type a name.

  4. Click the All Events button at the upper-left corner to return to the main Events view.

  5. Click the title below your newly split event, and type a new name.

If the pictures you want in your new event aren’t adjacent to one another, press cmd and click the photos you want to include.

Merging events

Here’s how to merge events:

  1. Drag one thumbnail over the other and click Merge when the dialog box appears.


  2. Head over to the newly merged event in the display area.

  3. Click the event name (at this point, probably Untitled Event), and type a new name over it.