Using Picasa on my computer, I edit photos by cropping, straightening, color correcting, etc. When I look at the pictures in Picasa I see the edited version, but when I use Facebook and Add Photo from my computer, I get the unedited orginal. Can you explain this to me? How do I get the edited version to Facebook?
Short Answer: If you use Picasa’s File Save command before using Facebook’s Add Photo, you will get the edited photo posted to Facebook.
How Picasa Handles Edits
Picasa remembers all the edits you made without touching the original photo file on disk. It stores that edit information in an overlay file called picasa.ini. When you view the picture using Picasa, it merges the original picture file on disk with the remembered edits from the picasa.ini file. What you see is what you get. If you print, email, export, or upload using commands within Picasa, you will get the edited version. But, the picture on disk, in My Pictures, is the original photo – unchanged.
If you use any other program (e.g. Facebook) to view the photo on disk, you will see the original unchanged picture. So, before using it in any other program you do need to save. In single photo view, click File | Save. You can also click the ‘Save to Disk’ button (in Library view) to save all edited photos in an entire folder.
Why Doesn’t Picasa Automatically Save Edits to Disk?
- To save disk space. Because PIcasa wants you to be able to return to your original at any time. When edits are saved to disk, it makes a backup copy of your originals in a hidden folder called .picasaoriginals. So, saving edits will result in twice the disk storage space being used.
- To keep image quality high. Each time you make a change and save those changes, you degrade the image quality a tiny bit. Think of making a copy, then making a copy of that copy, then making a copy of that copy. So Picasa’s technique is to always start with the original photo on disk, then apply any edits you’ve made when you print, email, export, or upload. This way, you are never more than one generation away from the original, and therefore the original quality, of the picture.
What about using Google Photos Backup?
If you have installed Google Photos Backup and have it set to automatically backup the pictures in your My Pictures folder, it will be uploading the pictures it finds on disk – the originals without any edits. Therefore, if you want to upload the edited versions, you need to turn off Google Photos Backup until after you’ve made your edits and saved them. Then you can either turn the Auto Backup back on, or manually upload pictures to Google Photos.