I know that Picasa has been retired by Google, but it is still available, and it still is the best free software for managing pictures on your computer. If you’re going to use it, you need to understand that the pictures must come from your computer. Picasa works with the pictures that are stored on your computer’s hard drives.
Your first Stop in Picasa should be Folder Manager! It is a common misconception that once you install Picasa, your pictures are ‘IN’ Picasa. But that is not true. Picasa is not a container. It is simply a tool for working with the pictures that are on your computer. If you use Picasa to delete a photo, you will be deleting that photo from your computer. If you remove Picasa from your computer, your pictures are still there. You can tell Picasa which folders of pictures you want it to display by using Tools->Folder Manager. It starts out scanning your whole computer for pictures, but you should go into Folder Manager and remove the folders you don’t want to see in Picasa. Here is a video that shows you how to use Folder Manager.
Understand Files and Folders! Many years ago our computer training company helped people computerize their accounting systems. The first thing we had to do was review their manual accounting system. If their manual system was a mess, computerizing it would just be a bigger mess and getting messier faster! The same principle applies with your organization of pictures. If you don’t understand the folders on your computer where your pictures are located, you really won’t understand where they are once you start using Picasa! If you use a Windows-based computer, that means learning to use Windows Explorer. If you use a Macintosh, that means learning to use the Finder. Your pictures are most likely stored in the My Pictures folder on your computer – with or without Picasa!
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Jim and Chris Guld
Geeks on Tour