May 132009

If you’ve ever used Picasa to play a slide show, you may have some trouble getting the pictures to play in your specified order. Even if you figured out how to get the order right in Picasa, you may have been very disappointed when that order didn’t ‘stick’ when you played the slideshow on your DVD player, or on someone else’s computer. This past week, I’ve received more questions on this exact issue than any other, so I made the following video to show you: (Member Tutorial Video: Keeping your Slideshow in a Specified Sort Order)

2/29/12 note: Picasa 3.9 has added a checkbox on the Export screen to ‘Add numbers to file names to preserve order’  That checkbox makes the renaming process in this video unnecessary!  There are still other important tips in the video … view on.

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  38 Responses to “Picasa Tip: Keeping Pictures in Order”

  1. Best tip I have gotten off the internet in 20 years! Saved me loads of work. Thanks so much!

  2. How do I get my albums to appear in full screen like they used to? Every time I share an album the last picture in the album shows up first. How do I correct this? Stephen

  3. i have pictures stored in family tree picasso removed them how do i get them back?

  4. I could kiss you!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for this – you saved me DAYS of work. I knew how to manually rearrange them in Picasa but not in the file outside of Picasa – I thought i’d have to re-arrange all 400-plus photos manually toggling back and forth between Picasa and the file…..I had already spent days rearranging them in manually in Picasa and was not looking forward to having to do that all over again!!!! Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  5. That feature of keeping order is great. Is there a way to do that if backing up? If you export that makes a copy and doesn’t actually move the photos, right?

  6. I have another unrelated question about Picasa. How many photo’s will the Photo Tray hold? I want to put several hundred pictures on a cd or dvd.

  7. Hello, Does this work with Picasa 3 or do I need to upgrade. When I click F2 and change the file name the name changes but the jpl numbers remain,unlike in your video, so the photo’s are still sorted by the jpl numbers. I tried changing the sort meathod from name to date but this didn’t work either.

    • I have 282 pictures in Picasa 3 that I scaned from old family photos that have names on those photos of family members we could identify. Using the tips and advise you gave others, I was able to get them in the order I desired and titled.When I display them in the Picasa 3 slideshow they display in order and the titles will appear on the photos. However, when I burn a CD of the photos for family members, the CD slideshow does not show the titles. I would appreciate any suggestions or advise on what I need to do so the CD’s I burn will include titles so our family can identify their ancestors.

      • When you say ‘Titles’ I assume you’re talking about captions? Some players will show captions and some won’t. The best way to be sure they’re seen is to turn them into Text on the picture themselves. Click the Text tool, then click the option to copy Caption. You’ll probably still need to format the text to make it visible against the picture. A good technique is to use the Border command and make a large bottom border – then put the text there. A bit of work, but you’ll be guaranteed that the Names will display regardless of the media.

      • Chris,
        I did use the text and get the captions on the pictures, When I go into library the captions appear on the thumbnail pictures and where the captions normally appear , when I play the Picasa 3 slideshow, but when I burn a CD they still do not have a caption on the picture or where captions normally appear in a slideshow. Any thing else I might try?

        • Chris, Thanks for your tips and suggestions. As a result I have my familyy’s old pictures in proper order with captions appearing when I play the slide show. However, even though there are captions on and below the pictures wnen I view them in the library, when I burn a CD the captions do not appear in the CD slide show. Until I can get the captions to appear in the CD slide show copies all my past effort and time will have been wasted, because pictures without captions would mean nothing to younger family members who never met some of their ancestors. I would appreciate any advise you can offer, I am at a complete stand still, I don’t know if this is all operator error, or Picasa 3 isn’t programed to burn captions on Cd’s, or a need to upgrade to Picasa 9. Please help, even if all you say is there is nothing you can do to help. Thanks, CB

  8. Thanks for the excellent video. I changer the file names, as suggested, but when moving the pictures to my iPad, the pictures go back to the original order, not the rearranged order on Picasa. Can you tell me what else I need to do?

  9. Thanks for the easy-to-follow video. I have a related question: what software do you use to create your videos with that nice yellow circle which highlights your mouse and the auto-zooming?

    • I use Camtasia for my videos. The yellow highlight is a feature of the Camtasia editor.

  10. My pictures WERE all numbered in order by my camera, all taken on the same date. I start with the first picture, but after that Picasa slideshow goes to the LAST slide and then backwards from there. I renumbered them all to be sure they were in the order I wanted (original order taken) but Picasa still does this odd behavior. Windows plays them correctly. They are ordered on date, using the detail view in Windows Explorer. What am I doing wrong? This is pretty frustrating.

  11. We have taken photos on 2 cameras during a long holiday. I have put them on the computer and sorted by date taken. However they will not hold this order when transferred to disc or to another file. Do I have to rename each photo (over 1000).
    Regards Carole

  12. I have a very large number of photos I’d like to put into a slideshow–about 250. The problem is, I want to name the photos by what they show, not just trip 1, trip 2, etc. I guess an alternative is to name each photo trip 1 and then a description (i.e. ‘trip 1 Eiffel Tower, trip 2 Versailles)–but would I have to do this manually? Is there another way?

  13. You deleted my question? What’s the point of this if you are going to cherry pick the questions that you can answer. Couldn’t you have said something, like “it’s a bug and we’re working on it” or “PEBKAC” or anything? Picasa doesn’t sort pictures in the window by NAME and I have the window to show you, should anyone ask for it. I may have to pay for Windows but at least it sorts by name.

    • No I did not delete your question – I just hadn’t gotten around to approving it yet. I was teaching 4 seminars yesterday when you posted your message.
      I also can’t tell you that ‘we’re working on it’ because I don’t work for Google. I am just a computer teacher who happens to like Picasa a lot and have developed it as a specialty of mine.
      As for your sorting issue, is it possible you have Picasa’s folder sort set to ‘by date’? You need to have it set to ‘by name’ in order for it to be alphabetical.
      As for the video playing, thanks for giving me the heads up. I have no idea what was wrong = but I couldn’t get it to play either, so I reposted it. Should be working now, but just in case, I will also upload it to our Youtube channel:

  14. I have named my pictures before importing into Picasa. They are hair1.jpg hair2.jpg etc. party1.jpg party2.jpg etc salon1.jpg salon2.jpg etc. Picasa orders them arbitrarily. They appear as hair2, hair3, party1, hair6, hair7, salon2 … Finally, your video does not appear on the page, in any browser. Please assist. Thanks. Rick

  15. If photos are dragged from one folder to another folder and you then do as suggested on the video will it still keep the order?

    How do you go from one folder to the next and keep the correct order. I assume you need to make sure you don’t start with a number or letter that has already been used. Correct?

    Also, some photos were scanned using MP Navigator (Jpeg) and are stored in the MP Navegator folder but they are in Picasa. Will they be part of the correct order if they are stored in a different folder from the rest of the photos?

    • When you move pictures to a new folder – they will sort with the contents of that folder. So, it depends on how you named the other pictures.

      • I’m not understanding the above comment. How should I name the photos? I’m a grandmother and not a computer tec person so I need it more detailed so I can figure it out. Thank you.

  16. […] Realize that this is using the picture files on disk, they won’t include your Picasa edits unless you saved those edits to disk.  My preferred method is to Export all the photos to a new Folder, then it’s easy to select all pictures from that folder. They also won’t be in your custom order, they will be in the order that they are on your disk.  See the article on keeping your pictures sorted. […]

  17. Dear Chris,
    After many hours of trying it was great to see your video clip. That automatic rename function is apparently unknown by all kinds of people on the Picasa discussion boards. “Rename – AND RENUMBER” – would be a better name for the function.
    Thanks again

    • Photo sequence followup question: I scanned lots of photos into jpg in Picasa. I dragged them into the desired sequence. I folllowed your instructions to rename all photos in the folder with an alpha name (Calif). They are all numbered now in proper calif # 01, o2 etc. BUT, when I burn a gift CD of this folder, they come out in mixed up order. The first photo is just calif jpg. Second photo is calif 1 jpg, third photo is calif 2 jpg. The disc show starts with jpg 1, not the first photo. How to fix?
      Next problem: the disk shows on the DVD/TV in the order califjpg1,jpg10, jpg100, not the calif 1, 2 . How to show on DVD/TV in correct order? If I view the burned disk on my computer, it shows in perfect order.

      • ouch … your TV is using strict alpha-numeric (ASCII) sorting. Most systems today, definitely computer operating systems, use ‘Natural Sorting’ which understands that we want:A1, A2, A3, … A10, A20 etc. But, technical alphanumeric sorting reads left to right, character by character. So A1, A10, A2, A20. Think of sorting susan, susie, and suzanne – you only need the first 4 characters to put them in order. SO – to fix your issue, you need to add leading zeroes. If you don’t have more than 99 pictures, it’s pretty easy – just add 00 to the first picture: calif00.jpg, then calif01, 02, 03 … 09. That’s it, you’re done. However, if you have more than 100, you need to add 2 leading zeros to your first 10, then one leading 0 up to 099. To my knowledge, there is no way to get Picasa to do this automatically.

  18. Hi Chris, you must be certain the pictures you want to keep in sequence, using your method, are the same file format (i.e. jpeg, tiff, png,etc). If not, you can not keep them in the sequence you want. I found this out the hard way as I have been making photo story 3 DVD’s for the family from photos that our late parents took. What a chore it has been to put them into a proper sequence. Wow, where did 3.6 come from so quick on the heels of 3.5.

  19. Chris,
    Excellent tip. But I have a question. Does Picasa allow you to add blank slides (for inserting text) in the Library mode? I know you can do it when you are making a movie (prior to actually creating it). But then you’ve already missed the opportunity to include the text slide when renaming the slides you’re going to include in the movie DVD. Appreciate any help you may offer. Jerry

    • hmmm, a blank slide for text … there’s no feature for that, but I do know a trick. It involves making a blank collage. That sounds like a good topic for a weekly tip. Thanks – stay tuned …

  20. Great tip! I was looking for a way to batch rename the files and this is perfect!

  21. Your video did a great job of guiding me in solving the problem of retaining “my” order for the slideshow. I have a follow up issue. After renaming the file I then wanted to make some additional edits. I was not able to retain these edits in the revised slide show when I tried to export to a DVD. I then tried to rename the file again in order to capture the new edits. The renamed file would not retain the new edits this time. Does this mean that you can only “rename” a file once?

  22. I have followed the above directions but when I send a link to someone to view the pictures they are still out of order, whether they are using Picasa or not. Any advice on how to get other people to see them in order? They stay in order when I try to see them, just not for other people.


    • Lynne,
      If you’re ‘sending a link to someone to view the pictures,’ then I have to assume you’re using Picasa Web Albums. In Picasa Web Albums, make sure the album is set to display sorted by filename.

  23. What if you don’t want to change the original file names? Or want the slideshow to have smaller images, for that matter? For some DVD players, the only effect of having images larger than ~1200×1600 is to increase the time it takes to load them (sometimes by a loooong time..)

    Picasa Independent Album Exporter to the rescue:

    • If you don’t want to change the original file names, then you use Picasa’s Export command to create copies into another folder and rename those. As it Exports, Picasa can also resize if you wish.

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