Once upon a time – actually not so long ago, but before digital pictures – when I wanted to find a photo I went to the closet where I kept my Pictures and started to go through boxes, albums, folders, and envelopes. Some of these I had marked, some still had the labels from the photo shop showing the date they were processed. It was a chore. Now, with digital pictures and Windows Live Photo Gallery, finding a specific picture is much easier. On the computer there is a “closet” called “Pictures” with “boxes” called “folders” where most of my pictures are kept. Photo Gallery locates all these pictures all by itself.
Before going into the details of locating a specific picture, you may wish to make sure that all of your photos are included in Photo Gallery.
I have some other places on other drives that Photo Gallery does not locate automatically, some of these are external drives. You may have some of these other places too. It is easy to tell Photo Gallery to find those pictures also. Here is how:
Click File and on the drop-down menu click Include a folder in the gallery…
A new dialog allows you to access anything on your computer. Click Computer to see all your drives. On my machine I have a drive called “Home”. There are a lot of pictures there. To include a whole drive – not really a good idea – just click on the drive name and then on OK.
You get an option to change your mind. Click Add if you really want to do it. Photo Gallery searches the location for pictures and they are displayed. Click OK to close the dialog that tells you of the deed.
The folder, or drive, will now show in the navigation bar on the left side of the Photo Gallery window. You can click the little arrowhead in front of it to expand it. If you have trouble moving the pointer to that little arrowhead, just double-click on the folder name or right-click on the name and click on Expand. Now you can see all the folders or subfolder. There may be some that you really don’t want to include in Photo Gallery. So quickly, how do you remove a folder from the gallery?
Easy. Just right-click on the folder in the navigation bar.
A warning: You can’t remove a subfolder of a folder that you have added to the gallery. So be sure to individually add the folders you want. You can remove any folder that you have added this way, but not a folder inside such a folder. Similarly you cannot remove the folders in you Pictures library or the My Pictures folder.
Now that you have maybe hundreds of pictures in your gallery how do you find any one?
Well, your pictures are organized pretty much the way that hall closet was. In the navigation bar there is All photos and videos. When you expand this listing you see all the folders and subfolders (not all folders will be expanded). In my gallery it looks like the illustration here. Pretty much as gruesome as opening the door to that hall closet!
But everything is all there. The main display in the gallery starts with the first photo. The folders are shown in the navigation bar. If you imported your photos and took advantage of labeling and dating the folders, the organization will be neat. I am not that organized myself. Still all the folders are there and organized within each folder alphabetically by name.
To see the photos from any particular folder just click on the folder name. If you have subfolders, you can expand the folder listing and click on a subfolder. If you know your organization, you can find most any picture. Well, my memory isn’t all that good, I don’t recall what I labeled a folder. As you can see, some folder names just don’t make any sense at all. “New80410” what brilliant idiot came up with that? Ops, sorry, that was me.
Now sometimes you might recall about when you took a picture. Oh, that was on our vacation last November. Photo Gallery can find your photos by the date they were taken. Most digital cameras record the date and make that information part of the data kept with each photo. You don’t have to do that yourself at all. See the Date taken, item in the navigation bar. Double-click on it (or click the little arrowhead) to expand the date listings. You will see your photo history spread out in the navigation bar. You can find any date, you may need to expand a year or month to get there.
So you can find photos by the date they were taken or in your organization of folders. But even if you remember making a folder with a specific name, you might have trouble locating it amongst all the others. Fear not! If you know the folders name, or even just part of it, Photo Gallery can help!
Up near the top right corner there is a search box – it says Find a photo faintly. If you want to find a folder, click on in the navigation bar, then type the folder name or part of it in the search box. Viola, the pictures from that folder (or all that match what you typed) appear in the main window.
Neat! But, as they say in the TV commercials, there is more! If you are willing to put in a little effort in the organization of your pictures, you can making locating any one even easier. I am talking about “tagging”. Just as you used to write on the photo boxes or envelopes, or on the back of the pictures, to identify what the picture shows, in the world of digital pictures, you can accomplish the same with tagging. But…..
If you noticed the title of this blog had a “1” in it. Ha, that was planning. I will discuss more about tagging and finding your pictures in the sequel to this blog entry. I hope some of this has been of interest and use to you.