Sep 032013
 

make-movieOne of the most often-asked and troublesome questions we get is “How do I keep my pictures in the order I want?”  You see, although you can drag pictures around into any order you please, it only takes one click on ‘Sort By Date’ or ‘Sort By Name’ to lose all that manual sorting work you just did.  And, if you use the Gift CD feature, the pictures will be shown in filename order on the Gift CD, not your manual order. In a previous article, we wrote instructions on how to rename your photos while they are in the order you want.  Then, any time they are sorted by name, everything is cool.  But, what if you don’t want to rename them?

We’ve written several articles on the topic of sorting and slideshows:

Why not Make a Movie?!

Your first step needs to be selecting the group of pictures you want to show.  Once the group has been identified, and shown as an album, then you can play a slide show, or use the command Create->Gift CD.  But, there is another choice.  Right below Gift CD is Movie.  You can create a movie from a selection of pictures – they don’t even need to be in an Album.  Once you click Movie, you’ll see a screen like the picture above.  Notice all the pictures are on a timeline at the bottom.  You can drag pictures into any order your heart desires.  When the movie is rendered you will have one file, a .wmv file (windows) or .mov (Mac) that will play on anyone’s computer and the pictures order cannot be changed.  For more information on Picasa’s Movie Making function, see this past article: Picasa Tip: Make a Movie

Putting your Movie on a DVD

Once you have a completed movie file, you can use DVDMaker on windows to burn the movie onto a DVD that can be played on any DVD player.  See this past article on DVD of Pictures that plays on your TV. On Macintosh, iDVD used to be the free, included app akin to DVDMaker.  It is no longer available.  If you have it already, it still works fine.  Here’s what MacMost (a Macintosh resource I trust) has to say about alternatives to iDVD.

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Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, using Smartphones, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Aug 082013
 

Change is hard. Those of us who have been using Picasa Web Albums for years, to share our pictures on the web, didn’t like that Google is changing to Google+ Photos and leaving Picasa Web Albums (PWA) behind.  At first, the Google+ picture display fanned out your pictures in each album like cards fanned out in your hand.  I found that to be annoying.  They don’t do that anymore. There were several features in Picasa Web Albums  that were initially missing from Google+, like slideshows, and downloading albums.  Google+ is catching up, those 2 missing features are there now.  For the few features that are still missing, it’s easy to go to Picasa Web Albums and use them there.  What I really love about Google+ Photos now is the way it displays my pictures. It fills the screen with just my photos.  And it automatically enhances them.  Once in a while, I go to Picasa Web Albums and the display makes my pictures look old and plain by comparison.    Here’s a sample of the pictures from my most recent album – shown with Google+ Photos.

google photos

Reasons to Join Google Plus for your Photos

I’m not saying that the confusion is gone.  There’s still a lot to learn when it comes to sharing with Google+, but you can still just share with a link like we’ve always done with PWA.  See this past article on What Happened to Picasa Web Albums.  But, if you tried it before and didn’t like how it handled your pictures, it’s time to give it a second chance. Whenever you log in to your Google account, you probably see this screen (below) where you can join Google+.  Just make sure your name is correct, add your gender, and birthday and you now have Google+ as part of your Google account.  If you should decide you don’t like it, you can always remove the Google+ info from your profile – just make sure you don’t remove your whole account. 

google join

That’s it.  Now, when you upload from Picasa on your computer – you will see them online using Google+.  Here’s Google’s official page explaining Picasa Web Albums and Google+.  Here are the reasons I like using Google+ Photos:

  1. Unlimited free online photo storage if you agree to limit your uploaded photos to 2048 pixels.  That’s plenty big enough for sharing online, or even printing, and the resizing is handled automatically by Picasa on your computer.
  2. Automatic uploading of pictures from your phone or tablet and stored privately online for free.  Just install the Google+ app on your phone or tablet.
  3. Ability to share with ‘circles’ of friends, in addition to the existing public, or private sharing.  You can still share with link.
  4. Beautiful display of your pictures, including auto-enhancing (you can turn this off if you don’t like it – I love it.)
  5. Photo editing, organizing, displaying, and sharing procedures are getting better all the time since Google is putting their efforts into the Google+ product and not Picasa Web Albums
  6. Why not use Google+?  Picasa Web Albums is still there, just use the link: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos?noredirect=1 and you’ll be seeing the same albums using the Picasa Web Albums interface.

Try Searching

You can do this with Picasa Web Albums as well, but it’s just nowhere near as obvious as in Google+ Photos.  In Picasa Web Albums, when you search for ‘beach’ the default is to search all the public photos anywhere on Picasa Web Albums.  In Google+ photos, the default is to search your own photo library.  It picks up the word ‘beach’ in captions, tags, or album titles, just like Picasa on your computer.  In the sample below, these beach pictures come from Oregon, Florida and Mexico – all from my Web Albums. 

google PhotoSearch

What about You?

Do you use Google+ Photos now?  Are you avoiding it? 

Apr 132013
 

I don’t print.  We live in an RV – there’s no place to put printed photo albums!  I love being able to share my pictures by uploading them to Picasa Web Albums / Google+.  (see Member Tutorial Video: Intro to Web Albums)  But that’s me.  I know that some people still like to have prints.  And, I have been known to print some pictures for my Mom to have.   

Printing to Your Own Printer

Just select the picture (or pictures) you want to print and click the Print button at the bottom of Picasa’s screen (see Member Tutorial Video Printing).  You will have options for print size, Shrink to Fit, printing captions on borders, printer setup options, and number of copies.  For a quick way to get something printed, this works great, but keep reading and I’ll tell you a much better way to print your pictures.

Let the Pros do the Printing

You will get much better results if you use commercially available photo-printing services like Walgreens, Walmart, Shutterfly, or CVS.  Many people know that already and they export their photos to a USB thumb drive and take them to the store for processing.  Oh no!  It’s so much easier than that!  Picasa will upload your pictures (the edited version) directly to Walgreens, Walmart, Shutterfly, and more.  Then you can go pick up the finished prints in an hour!  Or you can have them mailed to you – or whoever you want to get them.

Here’s how:  Just select the pictures you want to print and click the ‘Shop’ button at the bottom. 

What’s that you say?  You don’t see a Shop button?  The same command is available on the File menu, Order Prints …

order-prints

Choose the provider you want to use – e.g. Walgreens, then you will need to log in or create an account at that provider.  It’s free to create the account.  Once you’ve logged in Picasa will upload the full size picture to Walgreen’s in your account.  When the upload is finished you will be taken to Walgreens website and you’ll see the pictures in your account.  Now you need to learn to navigate their website.  You should see buttons to order prints and select the size you want.  Often the price is less than 10 cents per print!  I’ll bet your printer’s ink would cost you more than that!  And you get professional photo paper and process. 

You will need to pay for whatever you ordered using a credit card, then select whether you will pick them up or enter a mailing address for the prints to be sent.  I have done this several times ordering prints for my Mom to see and having them mailed directly to her.  I’ve even ordered framed photos, coffee mugs, mouse pads and tshirts using Picasa’s ‘Shop’ feature. 

Have Fun!

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Oct 212012
 

InstantUploadI take lots of pictures with my Android smartphone.  But, then what?  They’re just on my smartphone right?  In my case they are also in the cloud – in a private album called Instant Upload on Google+.  The Instant Upload album is also viewable thru Picasa Web Albums.  Google+ Instant Upload is available for Android and iPhone – or other iOS devices.

So, if I take a bunch of pictures with my smartphone, later in the day when I’m at my computer I will be able to view them by going to Google+ and opening the Photo Album called Instant Upload.  I gotta admit, the first time this happened it was a little freaky.  How did those get there?  So, I looked into it a bit and realized that I had recently installed the Google+ App on my phone, and Instantly Upload photos is a default setting.

Unlimited Storage on Google+ Photos

When Google+ does the uploading, it resizes the picture to a maximum of 2048 pixels on the longest side.  So the picture of our dog, Odie above is 2048X1155 pixels and takes up 1133KB of space.  I use my pictures primarily on web pages, and I think 1024pixels is plenty big, so the 2048 limitation imposed by Google+ is just fine with me.  The picture that still is stored on my phone is 3264 pixels on its longest side and takes up 3.25MB of space.  As long as you accept the default size that Google+ imposes, you have unlimited storage space for your photos!  For Free!

For Geeks on Tour Members, here are some tutorial videos that discuss sizing of pictures, see Explanation of Sizing Pictures, Exporting Pictures for Use in Another Program, Resizing a Batch of Pictures, and Resizing Pictures to Width and Height

How to Start

If you want this feature, first you need to be a member of Google+.  If you have a Google account, you almost there, just go to www.plus.google.com and find the blue ‘Upgrade’ button.  This will upgrade your Google account to a Google Plus account.  Be aware that you are joining a social network – kind of like Facebook.  (see member tutorial videos: Picasa 3.9 and Google Plus Sharing, and Removing Google Plus if you Don’t Like it)

googleplus-playNext, you need to download the Google+ App to your phone.  go to your Google Play Store on your phone and search for Google Plus, then click Install. It’s free.

Third, and last, check the settings on your Google Plus App to be sure they match what you want.  For example, if you have a limited data plan on your phone, you may want your photos to be uploaded ONLY when you are connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot – that’s a setting.  OR, in my case, I have unlimited data, so I don’t mind the upload taking place when I’m using my Verizon data, but I don’t want to drain my battery any more than necessary, so I set the setting for Battery to only upload pictures when the phone is plugged into a  charger.  With the Google+ app opened, just touch the menu button on your phone, then Settings, and you’ll see all the options.

From now on all the pictures you take on your phone will automagically be uploaded to your Google+ Photos, in the private album called Instant Uploads.  Then, if you want, you can download them to your computer!  (see tutorial video: Import Pictures from an Android Smartphone – to see how to get pictures directly from your phone to your computer.)

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Jun 282012
 

One of the great features about sharing your photos with Picasa Web Albums has been the ability to simply send your friends a link to your album and they can view a slideshow of your photos.  Then Google added Google+ as the preferred way to view your photos … see this past article: What Happened to Picasa Web Albums?  There are some nice new features like online photo editing, automatic cell phone uploads, and unlimited storage, but one missing feature was simply unacceptable to many – the ability to view your pictures full-screen in a slideshow.

Good News!  Google+ Now has Slideshow!

When you’re viewing a photo album in Google+, you need to click on one picture.  When you’re viewing that one picture, you will see a slideshow option in the lower left.  If you click on the image below, it will take you to my photo album so you can try the slideshow feature.

1-Fullscreen capture 6282012 91911 AM.bmp

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, using Android Smartphones, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Apr 102012
 

The easy way you can write captions using Picasa is one of my favorite features.  I have a caption on every ‘keeper’ picture in my library.  Picasa also makes it easy to print captions, IF you’re using Picasa to do the printing.  Our member tutorial video: Add Captions to your Photos explains all about captions, another video explains printing: Printing Pictures.

Personally, I never print with Picasa to my printer.  If I want a print, I want it to be professional, so I use the Order Prints feature to send my pictures to Walmart, or Walgreens, or Snapfish etc.  When my pictures are uploaded, they include the text of the caption, but I have yet to find a print provider that includes the ability to print that caption.  If you have found one, please leave a comment below!

Meanwhile, here’s a pretty simple workaround.

Use Text on a Border

You start with a picture that has a caption, like the one below:picture-caption

You may already know that you can use the text tool to copy the caption and stamp it right on the picture.  The problem is that it stamps it right on the picture!  Unless the picture includes a nice blank area where the text can be placed, it is difficult to read.  What we want is a border where you can place the text all by itself.  This is now available with Picasa 3.9. (see member tutorial video: Installing Picasa 3.9 and a Look at Borders)

Just choose the last tab of editing tools and click on the tool called ‘Border.’  Then notice the setting for ‘Caption Height’

borderborder-height

Now you have an empty bottom area where you can put the text.  Go back to the first tab of editing tools, click the text tool and click the button to ‘Copy Caption.’  Then just drag the text into the bottom border area.  You may need to adjust the color – if your border was black, make the text white etc.  For more instruction on using the text tool, see our member video: Adding Text to Pictures.

Now, you have the caption written right on the picture itself.  Any service that prints the picture, will be printing the caption as well.

finish

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Mar 262012
 

Question: As historian for a club of mine I just love Picasa’s Collage feature to put together the pictures I take of all the activities.  But, I need to identify the activities in the picture. Is it possible to add Text to the collage pictures that I have made?

Yes, indeed!  Adding text right on your picture is one of the very special and oh-so-easy features of Picasa.  Here’s a sample collage with three separate text items added:

GeeksOnTour Photos

Once your collage is created (members’ tutorial video: Quick Collage), it is a separate picture like any other .jpg file.  Just double-click the collage to make the editing tools available and find the Text tool at the left.  Click the Text tool and just start typing, your text will appear on the picture. Once you see the text, you have several options for making it bigger or smaller, changing the angle and changing colors. Members’ Tutorial Video: Adding Text to Pictures

edittext

Check out all the options available on the left, including both the fill color and the outline color.   When you’re ready to add another item of text, just click in a new place and start typing.  Each instance can have its own formatting.  When you’re editing one instance of text, it will have that gray outline around it.  Grab that outline to drag the text anywhere on your image.  When you click ‘Apply’ the outline will disappear.

Text can even be entered by copying your caption.  This way, you’re assured that your identifying comments will be seen whether the viewer shows captions or not.

Here’s another example of text on a collage.  I took 4 faces and one graphic image for the collage, then I added text to identify each person.  In order for the text to be readable against the images, I made the fill white and the outline black.

Images5

By the way, these faces are the teachers at our upcoming Techno-Geek Learning Rally.  Want some hands on training? If you’re near Bushnell, Florida at the end of April 2012, check out our Techno-Geek Learning Rally.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Nov 022011
 


Want to solve all your holiday giving needs with just a few clicks in Picasa!  Collage coffee mugs were my gifts to family last year because we DSCN1555went on a family cruise to Alaska and I put our pictures on the mugs.

You can also order cards with your photo on them, or calendars, or puzzles, or t-shirts, or … well, I think you have the idea!

One of the most popular gifts is a photo coffee table book.  Here’s one from a friend’s trip to Australia.  It’s a hard-bound book and has both text and pictures inside:

DSCN1556 DSCN1557

Here’s how you do it.

vendorsGather the desired pictures.  The most time consuming part will probably be deciding what shoppicture or pictures you want to use.  When you have them all in the selection tray (Tutorial Video: Selecting), click the ‘Shop’ button in the bottom toolbar – or File->Order Prints.  This will bring up a list of possible providers from which to choose.  I’ll use Walmart for this example, but there are lots to choose from – you may want to do a little research on providers of the kinds of gift you want to create.

Upload your Pictures to a Print/Gift provider

Once you choose your provider, you need to create an account with them.  This process is going to upload your selected pictures to the provider’s servers so they need to be identified as belonging to your account.  Notice there is a place to give this group of pictures an ‘album’ name – I’ve used ‘Travels’ for this example.  You should also realize that this will upload your pictures at their highest resolution (size) so that the prints come out as good as possible.  That means this process will take a little time, so, don’t use any more pictures than you need.

Choose and Design your Gift

Once  the pictures are uploaded, you’re now on the provider’s website.  You should see your group of photos and a menu of options.  When I click on ‘Mugs’ this is what I get:

mugs

Not only are there 20 different choices of mugs, cups, and waterbottles as I scroll down the screen.  On the left side I see Blankets, Books, Calendars, Cards, Clothing & Jewelry, Mousepads, and more.  The Walmart site gives you the option of having words – a title – on the mug.  Then, you’re asked to select the pictures you want on the mug.  Since I’ve used my Walmart account several times, I have several other uploaded albums to choose from.  All the Album names appear on the left sidebar, so click on Travels, and then click on all 7 pictures and then ‘Continue.’   Next it displays the collage of how the pictures will fit on the mug.  I have the option to shuffle the photos until they’re arranged to my liking and also to type the title I want.  This is all web-based so it is a little slow.  Just be patient.

Once you have your mug designed, you can select a quantity, and ‘Add to Cart.  Read the next screens carefully as they want you to buy more stuff!  Lastly, you’ll enter a shipping address or a Walmart store near you where you can pick it up – or near your recipient, and they can pick it up!

Check out the Other Products

You might want to check out some of the other providers by visiting their websites before making your choice in Picasa.  For example, Snaptotes will put your pictures on purses and tote bags.  Fotoflot mounts your pictures in a way that makes them look like they’re floating on your wall – very high class.  And, how about making that certain someone feel *really* important by putting their photo on a stamp?  At PhotoStamps you create real U.S. postage stamps with your pictures.

snaptotes stamps

Happy Holidays

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

!

 

Picasa Tip: Print a Contact Sheet

 Picasa, Sharing Photos  Comments Off on Picasa Tip: Print a Contact Sheet
Mar 232011
 

Have you ever wanted to see all the pictures of a group printed on one sheet?  Like the old ‘contact sheets’ you used to get from the photo labs.  Guess what?  Picasa is your photo lab!  It can print contact sheets like this:

image

Two Ways to Print Contact Sheets

There is a specific ‘Print Contact Sheet’ command in Picasa.  You can print contact sheets from a folder, or an album.  Just select a folder and you’ll see a ‘Folder’ menu in the menu bar.  On that menu you’ll see “Print Contact Sheet.”  If you select an Album, you see ‘Album’ in the menu bar.  On that menu you’ll also see “Print Contact Sheet.”   You can also add ‘Contact Sheet’ to the standard print options in Tools | Options | Printing | Available print sizes.

imageimage

The other way to make a contact sheet is to use the Collage feature in Picasa.  When you click on the drop down list for settings, you will see an option for Contact Sheet.

image

The Differences Between Print Contact Sheet and Collage Contact Sheet

Print Contact Sheet

  1. Goes straight to the printer
  2. No control over size of images, it prints 7 across and 6 down, taking as many pages as necessary
  3. No control over orientation, some vertical pictures will print sideways to fit in row
  4. Allows a caption below each picture by selecting from the Border and Text options menu.  Only allows for a few words – longer captions will be cut off.

Collage in Contact Sheet Style

  1. Creates a new .jpg image with the selected pictures, then you print that one image
  2. Limited to one page, images will be sized to fit the page.  Lots of images – each one is very small; fewer images – they will be bigger.
  3. Orientation of images will be the same as in your library
  4. No captions
  5. Since the result is a .jpg – you can then use the Text Tool to add text if you want

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tou

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.

Members may want to view the following tutorial videos.  Not a member?  Join now.

collage-tip-framing-a-picture

quick-collage

printing-photos

Jan 112011
 

I hope you all use captions on your pictures.  It’s probably my most-used feature of Picasa.  All you have to do is click below an open picture and type a few words.  You’re done!  Not only does that caption tell you a little about the picture, it is also searchable, so you can find that picture later by searching for any word in the caption.

Add a Caption to Every Picture

And, captions are stored right in the .jpg file itself, so wherever that picture goes – the caption will follow.  But, the caption can be hidden, you don’t need to see it if you don’t want to.  When playing a slide show, for example, you have the choice of showing the caption or hiding it.  You just click the little green checkmark to turn the caption display off.

 

Captions on Slideshows

The problem with captions is that you don’t have many options.  It’s just on or off.  You can’t specify where, what size, or what color.  And, most email programs don’t support captions.

Using the Text Tool

If you want to place some text on your picture at a certain spot, and you want everyone to see the text – even email recipients – then the Text tool is the way to go.

  • Double-click a picture in your library to open it in edit view
  • From the Basic Fixes tab at left, click the Text Tool 
  • Start typing … you will see your typing appear on the picture.  You can also choose to ‘copy caption’ if you want the same text that you already typed as a caption.
  • Move text:  When you see the gray border around your text, you can grab that border and drag your text to anywhere on the picture.  Once you click anywhere outside the text area, the gray border goes away and the text stays put.  To get the gray border back, just click on the text again.  You can also change the angle of the text by spinning the circular handle that appears when you mouse over the middle of the text.
    :
  • Change fonts, size, colors: When you’re in ‘edit text’ mode, there are lots of controls in the left panel for changing fonts, sizes and colors.  You have control over the fill color as well as the outline.

 

Where is the Text Stored?

The text added to the picture is actually ‘stamped’ on to the picture when you email, print, export, or upload it.  It is stored as a Picasa Edit and, as such, can be undone or changed at any time unless you Save your edits.  Text added in this way is *not* searchable, so it does not replace captions.  I add captions to all my pictures and just use text for special purposes.

This tip brought to you by Geeks on Tour

Geeks on Tour is a membership website with hundreds of Tutorial Videos on topics of interest to travelers, such as managing digital photos with Picasa, Route-Planning with Streets and Trips, and sharing your travels with a website using Blogger or with friends on Facebook. You can subscribe to our free e-newsletters, or become a paid member and be able to view all of the videos in the Learning Library.