Albums and Tags are both organizational tools in Picasa on your computer. They allow you to group your photos by categories of your choosing without physically moving or copying pictures from the Folders where they are stored. In our fulltime RVing lifestyle, we are taking pictures all the time, so our folder structure is simple – one folder per month. All pictures taken in a month are stored in a folder for that month. Sometimes a special event warrants a folder of its own, but all ‘miscellaneous’ pictures go into the monthly folder. Albums and Tags allow you to create groupings like music ‘Playlists.’ You can include pictures in different groups without copying or moving them to another folder.
State Signs Example
As we travel, I like to take pictures of the sign we see each time we cross a state border. According to my system, these pictures will be stored in a Folder by the month they were taken. I then want an Album of all the state signs so I can make a movie like the example below. To make this movie, I added a few other pictures in addition to the state signs, I found the music “See the USA” by Dinah Shore, and I put it all together in a Movie using Picasa’s “Create Movie Presentation” tool. Finally I uploaded it to Youtube so you can see. It all just took a few clicks in Picasa.
Tags are Better than Albums
The best way to prepare for these different groupings is to use Tags. Whenever I take a picture of a State Sign, I tag it with the keyword ‘statesign.’ Tags are better than albums, because they are stored right with the .jpg file. If you stop using Picasa at some point, the tags will still be included with your pictures and some other software (like Windows Live Photo Gallery, or Photoshop Elements) can read those tags. Albums are strictly a creation of Picasa and are only useable with PIcasa. To gather all the pictures for the Movie above, all I had to do was click on Tools->Experimental->Show Tag as Album
You may need to refresh the album list before you see the new ‘statesign’ album. Just collapse the Album collection with the triangle and then expand it again. You should notice that it has a green album icon with an asterisk, that is the indicator that this is a dynamic album create from Tags. Once I can see the Album, I just click on the button for Create Movie, enter the music selection, then click the Youtube button.
Albums are Temporary
Once you have your movie, you can even delete the Album – it was just a temporary grouping to facilitate making the movie. Delete the album and your pictures are still in their respective folders, along with their tags. At any time, you can use the “Show Tag as Album” command and see the statesign group again.
Learn More from Tutorial Videos
If you are a Geeks on Tour Member, you may want to watch the following videos:
- Picasa Short Course on Organizing your Pictures – 8 Videos
- pics25.Using Albums for Organizing
- pics29.Using Tags aka Keywords
- pics37.Make a Movie
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