DON'S FREEWARE CORNER - APR 2017
©2017 Donald R. Snow - This page was last updated 2017-05-10.
ORGANIZING PHOTOS WITH PICASA
These Freeware Corner notes are published in TAGGology,
our Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG)
monthly newsletter. They are also posted on my Freeware
Corner Notes page on http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html
where the links are active and there may be corrections and
additions and other related notes and articles.
GOOGLE'S PICASA PROGRAM
Google used to support PICASA, but now has changed to their
online program GOOGLE PHOTOS that works across mobile devices,
so it requires the Internet and is not a program on your
computer any more. You can still get PICASA from other
websites, e.g. http://filehippo.com/download_picasa/
, and it's still free. It is not being updated, but is
still very helpful to organize your digital photos and do some
TUTORIALS AND HELPS FOR PICASA
Here are links to some tutorials and helps for PICASA.
Google Helps for PICASA -- https://support.google.com/picasa/?hl=en
Free tutorials -- http://www.top-windows-tutorials.com/picasa.html
More free tutorials about PICASA, but looks like some may be
for earlier versions -- http://www.learningelectric.com/picasa2/
Tutorials by Geeks on Tour (some are free, but most are $) --
ABOUT ALBUMS AND FOLDERS IN PICASA
PICASA does NOT copy or change your photos, only puts links to
them. Albums in PICASA are storage places for
information and links to your photos. So deleting an
album in PICASA only deletes the links and information and not
the photos from your computer. People Albums in PICASA
are storage places for links to that person in all the photos.
Folders are your hard drive storage places for photos, so
DON'T DELETE A FOLDER in PICASA or you will delete all your
photos in it. Before you run PICASA set the preference
in File (upper left corner) to tell it which folder or folders
to work on or else it does your entire hard drive and then
indexes the indexes and so on. Duplicate photos get
indexed more than once in PICASA, so it helps to move
duplicates or backups out of the folders you set it to work
on. AWESOME DUPLICATE PHOTO FINDER -- http://www.duplicate-finder.com
-- is a helpful freeware program to help find and delete
FOLDER AND PEOPLE ALBUMS
PICASA keeps all the photos in whatever folders you have them
and shows that collection as a Folder Album. Clicking on
a Folder Album shows all the pictures in that folder and you
can go through them to look at them or edit them. You
can do a slideshow of that album by clicking on View >
Slideshow. PICASA has facial recognition built in, so,
as it goes through all the folders you told it to work on, it
looks for what it thinks are faces and puts a small rectangle
around each. It then uses facial recognition algorithms
to sort these thumbnails into groups that it thinks are the
same person, regardless of the photo or folder it came
from. This may take some time (hours), depending on your
computer and how many photos you are having it work on.
It labels each thumbnail group as Unknown Person. These
thumbnail groups are People Albums and you can move any
thumbnail in or out of any group by just highlighting and
dragging it. When you give the group a name, that People
Album is then shown in alphabetical order in the panel on the
left. You can confirm or "disconfirm" any of the
thumbnails in that folder and you can remove any thumbnail out
by highlighting and dragging it to another People Album.
As you confirm thumbnails in a group PICASA now has more
facial information, so it suggests more thumbnails that it
thinks might be that person and asks you to confirm or deny
them. To see just the new suggestions click on the box
near the top right of the group and there is an option to
Confirm All when they are all correct. The facial
recognition algorithm isn't perfect, but is very helpful and
surprisingly accurate. Editing the People Albums and
naming them gets to be addicting and, more than once , I've
gotten hooked on doing it and as I keep getting new
suggestions, I lose track of time. Double clicking a
thumbnail brings up the full photo containing that thumbnail
so you can see the context and decide if that really is the
right person to be in that group. Then doubling clicking
the full photo puts you back to the People Album you entered
it from. With the full photo open there are several
options at the bottom right side. One opens and closes
the Person Panel which shows thumbnails of everyone in the
photo. You can edit the names right there, if you
want. There are other buttons there to show where the
photo was taken, if your camera has a built in GPS, and others
to see what tags you may have entered for that photo.
There is one to show all the metadata of the photo, e.g. the
camera that took the photo, the aperture settings, etc.
As mentioned, double clicking the photo takes you back to the
thumbnail list. For people that don't need to be
identified, e.g. strangers on the street, click the Ignore
button and PICASA moves that thumbnail to the trash. If
a person wasn't "thumbnailed" automatically in a photo, you
can manually thumbnail them with "Add a Person Manually"
(lower right hand side) and put the thumbnail around the face
yourself. But PICASA has a bug that this "Add a Person
Manually" button doesn't always come up when it should.
If you want it and it's not there, try going out and back into
the photo from a different screen to get it. The slider
arrow at lower right of the screen expands or contracts the
thumbnails and photos. To have the name tags saved in
the EXIF metadata of the photo go to PICASA > Tools >
Options > NameTags > Store Name Tags in Photo.
Then, by clicking on a Person Album and selecting thumbnails,
it will store that name tag in the metadata data of each of
those photos. It will do this as you go to the Person
Album for each person in the photo. It's not perfect,
and if you have a comma in the name, it puts the name on two
lines in the EXIF data (metadata).
PHOTO EDITING WITH PICASA
When viewing full photos, PICASA has some photo editing
capabilities. The editing buttons are in the upper left
corner and include cropping, removing red eye, color
correction, straightening, and color correcting. You
might experiment with editing some photos using these, but
there are other freeware programs that are better for editing
photos. And remember that PICASA doesn't change your
photos; it only puts links to them and stores the changes in
its information database, so if you edit a photo in PICASA and
later export it, the changes won't be in the photo.
SLIDESHOWS OF YOUR PHOTOS
PICASA does slideshows of your photos by highlighting the
album and clicking View > Slideshow. If you start
from a People Album, it shows full screen views of the
thumbnails; if you start with a Folder, it shows all the
photos in that folder.
MISCELLANEOUS ABOUT PICASA
If your PICASA database gets corrupted, you can rebuild it,
but first read the directions on the Help menu, so you don't
lose all your previous People Album confirming work.
PICASA does much more than discussed here, e.g. it has a way
to backup your photos with the PICASA database to transfer to
PICASA is a very useful program for organizing your photos and
is still free and available, just not from Google now.
There is an option at the bottom of PICASA to upload your
photos to Google, but I don't know if that works now and
haven't dared try it. It may copy your photos into
GOOGLE PHOTOS which is their current program that works across
all mobile devices and requires the Internet, so it is not
just on your computer. I highly recommend PICASA for
what it does and I still use it.