I went for a walk with my Mom the other afternoon. We have this favorite little park, and it was a gorgeous day. She’s walking pretty slow these days, so I had ample opportunity to take my phone out of my pocket and snap pictures. I showed her each picture I took and she would point out something else worthy of a shot.
Editing Pictures as you Take Them is FUN
I was excited to catch the duck in flight just as it came in for a landing. Then I looked at the photo on my phone and realized that you couldn’t even see the duck! It needed to be cropped. No problem, with no tools other than my finger and the phone, I tap on the little pencil that brings up Google Photos editing tools, tap the crop tool and drag a corner in closer to the duck while still leaving some of the lily pads in the shot. I tap the checkmark to signal that I’m done with cropping, Then, one tap on the Auto adjustment gives me a better look.
The second picture below just has an auto adjustment applied, and the third has a crop and auto adjustment.
Yes you can make a collage on your phone
I took a few more pictures, including a selfie of Mom and me that needed no improvement at all! It was such a nice day I wanted to share it with my friends on Facebook, but I didn’t want to post multiple pictures, so I decided to make a collage. Still using nothing but Google Photos on my phone:
I select 7 pictures
Tap the + button in the upper right
While viewing the collage, I tap the share button , choose Facebook, and post to Friends. I also tapped the + and added the collage to my monthly Web Album on Google Photos.
Google Photos has removed all the work and left only the play
In years past, I would have taken my digital SLR camera – a Canon Rebel T3i – and taken many of the same pictures. After getting home I would need to transfer them from the camera to the computer, decide where to store them, spend some time doing the editing, upload the best ones to the web, make the collage and upload that too. That would probably take me a half hour using Picasa, much longer with other software. A half hour may not sound like much, but when you multiply that times all the days and all the pictures I like to take – well, I think you get the idea. And, worse than the time it takes is when I didn’t take the time and never enjoyed my pictures or shared them.
I love playing with my pictures and trying out the different creations that Google Photos includes. And, at the end of the day, I’m done. All my photos are safely, and privately, stored in my Google Account in the cloud. I can delete them from my phone to free up space for taking more! I also have Microsoft OneDrive grabbing a copy of all my phone’s photos for the ‘belt and suspenders’ protection. This is all automatic.
Google made it official with an announcement on February 12, 2016: Moving on from Picasa. They are retiring Picasa and devoting all their efforts to one photo product: Google Photos. This affects both the desktop software, Picasa3, and the web service, Picasa Web Albums. If you use either the desktop software, or the website, this announcement affects you.
How the announcement affects you – short answer:
Picasa3 Desktop: you can still use the desktop software but we recommend saving your edits now,
Picasa Web Albums: you’ll need to switch to Google Photos instead of Picasa Web Albums, no transfer of pictures necessary.
For the long answer, keep reading.
We hosted a Live Panel Discussion on the Picasa Announcement on our weekly web show, What Does This Button Do?
Live webcast with discussion of the Picasa announcement
Keep using it! Long Live Picasa! Although this product will not receive further updates, either bug fixes or enhancements, it is software that you download to your computer’s hard drive. If you have it, you can keep using it. Nothing will change. It will not self destruct. Your pictures will still be right where you put them, on your hard drive.
Google Photos replacing Picasa3? No – Google Photos will not, nay, CAN NOT replace Picasa3 Desktop software. Google Photos is not an option for working with pictures on your hard drive. The pictures must be uploaded to the Web (Photos.Google.com) before you can do anything with them using Google Photos. If you have a good Internet connection, you may find that you enjoy working with them on the web and you can stop keeping copies on your computer (except for archival purposes.) When that day comes for you, Google Photos can replace Picasa, but not before.
Using Outdated software? Most of us have outdated software that we still use. I use Photo Story 3 even though it is a software product that has not been officially supported since Windows XP! It still does what I want it to do, so why not? I would not continue to use the operating system of Windows XP because that is a security and computer performance issue, nor do I advise using the outdated navigation system of Streets and Trips because updates are important when roads change. PIcasa3 is software that is meant to do a job with pictures on your computer hard drive. It will continue to do that job even after it is “retired”, so you can continue to use it.
Parts of Picasa will be affected. There are parts of the program that interact with the web:
Upload to Google Photos
Synchronize with Web Albums
Upload videos to YouTube
As long as these features are working for you, you can use them. I expect that they will develop problems over time because the Web side of the equation will change, and Google will not fix those problems on this retired software. You will need to perform those tasks with other methods. For example, to upload to Google Photos you would use Google Photos; to Email pictures you would use your email program. I have also been hearing of some problems with importing pictures using Picasa’s tools. I recommend importing with standard Windows or Mac tools.
Save Your Edits! Using those alternate ways of sending pictures to the web means that you will be interacting with your pictures outside of Picasa, you will be uploading the picture as it is found on your hard drive rather than the one you see in Picasa that shows your edits. See this article if you don’t understand what I mean: Original vs Edited Photo in Picasa
You now need to get accustomed to saving your edits so the picture found on the hard drive is the same one you’re seeing with Picasa. For an individual picture you use File->Save. For a folder of pictures, you can save them all at once by clicking on the disk icon:
Picasa Web Albums
After May 1, 2016 you will need to switch to using Google Photos. Picasa Web Albums is going away. After May 1 you will not be able to create a new Picasa Web Album (update: it is now June 1 and PWA is still here – but it is still expected to go away sometime.) All of your existing Web Albums will be (are now) accessible via Google Photos. All links to your photos in places like Blogs will still work. They will also be accessible at a new “Archive” site that Google is creating. This is necessary because Picasa Web Albums included some data that Google Photos does not – such as comments. In order to see comments that were left on your photos using Picasa Web Albums, you will need to visit the new Archive site. There are quite a few features that the Google Photos website lacks in comparison to Picasa Web Albums:
Sorting Album lists by Date or Album Title(Google Photos is only by date, descending in the library, ascending in Albums)
Sorting Photos within Album: by Date-Oldest First or Newest First, or By Filename (Google Photos is only by Date-Oldest First) Update 6/1: you can now Edit Album and drag photos into new order
I wish that Google had decided to keep Picasa3 Desktop software in a maintenance mode. They haven’t updated it in any significant way for the past 4 years, why not keep it going for another 1 or 2 years? In that time Google Photos would become more mature, and people would be more accustomed to working with their pictures on the web rather than on their computer.
I wish that Google had decided to maintain the Picasa Web Albums website for another year while they added some of the missing features to the Google Photos interface. Google Photos is still so new. People need more time to accept change, and they will be more willing when Google Photos has more features.
Guess what? Google didn’t ask me before they did this! And, I’m sure that there are a lot more factors that Google has to consider. The underlying technology is changing all the time, and Google stays on top of that. In fact, Google is often inventing the new technology, and they can’t move as fast as they need to when they are shackled by maintaining legacy connections. Google also has plenty of business considerations. They recently reorganized the whole company under the Alphabet name. I’m sure that has a lot of repercussions.
If you also wish that they would not retire Picasa now, you can add your voice by visiting Photos.Google.com, clicking on the 3-bar menu and then Send Feedback. Who knows, enough voices can make a difference! At least add a vote for your important features to be added to Google Photos. Mine are 1: captions that stay with pictures when downloaded, 2:watermarks on shared photos 3:Display all public albums with one URL web address.
I’m Going with Google
I intend to embrace Google Photos completely. I love how it effortlessly it collects ALL the photos of my life, and gives me fun ways to display and share them. I trust Google with my pictures. I have nearly 50,000 pictures stored online in my Google Account and there is no charge for that (I’m fine with the less-than-original file size required.) Google Photos offers unlimited storage for free. I started uploading my pictures to Google around 2005 with Picasa Web Albums, and, as far as I can tell, they are all still there. But, for local backup, I have also used the Google Takeout service to download a copy of all my Google Photos to an external hard drive for safe keeping.
I will also continue to use Picasa3 on my computer as long as I have pictures on my hard drive. The more I use Google Photos however, the less I am keeping photos on my hard drive. I am downloading just specific ones, when there is something I want that only Picasa3 can do, like add Watermarks, other text on pictures, real captions, or fancy collages.
This website, PicasaGeeks.com, will continue to teach Picasa. There are currently over 250 articles, mostly on features of the Picasa3 desktop software. Those will remain, and I will still write more in response to your questions. But, I will also be writing about Google Photos. I’ve started a brand new site to focus on Google Photos: LearnGooglePhotos.com
Desktop: If for some reason, you don’t want to continue using Picasa3 Desktop software, here are some suggested alternatives:
Windows Photo Gallery: This is probably the software that most closely resembles Picasa3 desktop software. It is free from Microsoft. It works with the photos on your computer’s hard drive. It can upload photos and share them on OneDrive, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube. Downside: this software hasn’t been upgraded since 2012 – it could also get ‘retired.’ It has some great photo features like Photo Fuse, but it is missing two important ones: Text on photos, Collages.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 14: This is not a free program. The cost is $99, currently on sale for $69. The latest version is 14. This is desktop software. It can share with Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Twitter. Expect a relatively steep learning curve, but you will be rewarded with powerful features.
Windows 10 Photos: This is the photo management program that comes with Windows 10. It has basic editing, and it shares online automatically using Microsoft OneDrive. It can also share with Facebook and Twitter. 15 GB of free storage, 50GB for $1.99/mo or 1TB free with Office 365.
Apple Photos: Desktop software for Macs and App for iPhone/iPad. Shares with iCloud Photo Library. 5GB of free storage space, then plans up to 1TB.
Web: If Google Photos does not offer the features you need for Web Storage and Photo Sharing, here are some alternatives:
Dropbox.com: Not a photo program, it is Cloud storage that could take the place of Picasa Web Albums. It can combine nicely with Picasa3 on the Desktop to provide web storage and sharing of photos with a smooth integration with the desktop. Just point Picasa’s File Manager to your Dropbox folder on your hard drive and you have synchronization! 2GB of free storage space, then $9.99/mo for 1TB.
Flickr.com: Owned by Yahoo. The granddaddy of Photo Sharing websites. No desktop software, but powerful web storage and sharing. 1TB of free storage space.
Amazon Prime Photos: Using Amazon Cloud Drive, Prime members get unlimited photos storage for free.
Facebook Photos: We use Facebook so much, we forget that it is storing our photos!
Microsoft OneDrive: As mentioned above the Windows Photos app uses OneDrive for storing photos online. You can use it directly without the Photos app as well. The online interface has nice photo management features like tags, albums, and slideshows, but no editing.
Apple’s iCloud Photo Library will store your photos, but only for Apple devices.
For more information, please watch our video above with the panel of experts.
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.
2/12/16 NEWS! Google is retiring Picasa. March 15, 2016 the Picasa Desktop Software will be discontinued (if you already have it, you will see no change.) May 1, 2016 Picasa Web Albums will go away (all photos and videos in Picasa Web Albums are already accessible by Google Photos.) Read the official announcement here. Keep a watch on this site – we will write more later in the week when the dust has settled.
It’s been a weird year for Picasa. Google owns Picasa and Google is constantly changing stuff, yet the Picasa software had basically no changes at all. This is both good news and bad news.
It’s good because it signals that Picasa is a mature software program. It is stable, the things you learned how to do last year still work the same this year. That is SO welcomed!
It’s bad because it means that Google is directing its energies elsewhere and people fear that Google may be abandoning Picasa altogether.
We are currently on Picasa version 3.9 and that was first released 5 years ago! We did get one minor Picasa update in September where they changed the words on the Share Button.
Before the September 2015 Update
After the September 2015 Update
This change made me very happy because it tells me that Google has not forgotten about Picasa and they consider it part of their photo toolbox along with Google Photos. However, other than the words on the buttons, nothing else has really changed. When you upload a picture to Google Photos using Picasa, it resizes your photo with its old size limit of 2048 pixels per side, that’s about 4 MegaPixels. If you use the newer Google Photos backup, or upload directly from your smartphone, you can now upload High Resolution files – up to 16MegaPixels.
Note: There is now a workaround for Picasa’s size limitation by uploading at Original size, then later using the Google Photos command to “Recover Storage” and it will resize all original photos online to the free 16Mp. But, my point is, they haven’t updated the Picasa software to the new standards.
Learn Google Photos
Google Photos was announced at the end of May. It is a brand new product for Google, built from scratch to be useful in a world where pictures are being taken by phones and viewed on a tablet. Google envisions a world where computers don’t exist anymore. For most of us this is still a ways in the future. In my experience the future keeps arriving faster and faster, so I have embraced Google Photos and am having great fun with its new features. See our web show on Sunday, Jan 3 where our beginner’s lesson will be on How To Make Movies with Google Photos.
I still like having pictures on my computer and I still like using Picasa to work with them. I think Google understands this and has no intention of taking Picasa away from us, but it is way down on their todo list to work on any improvements for it.
Picasa Tip of the Week Newsletter
I’ve been writing a Picasa “Tip of the Week” for this blog regularly since 2008, and, for many years it actually was a weekly article. You may have noticed I’ve slowed down lately. With over 250 articles written already I’m running low on new things to say about Picasa. We recently changed the header of this website to include Google Photos in addition to Picasa.
I am still struggling to decide how best to use Google Photos on my smartphone and web, and still get my pictures on my computer and use Picasa. I like browsing pictures on my computer with Picasa, and there are still many things that only Picasa can do – like captions, text on photos, watermarks, collages etc. But Google Photos makes it so easy to bypass the computer that I find myself using Google Photos for everything and never getting the pictures on my computer at all. I’ve experimented with a couple different methods – these will be topics for future articles.
What About You?
I’d really like to know what you all are doing with your pictures. Answering just 3 questions will help me put together newsletters that are worthwhile in the year to come.
Picasa has many features that Google Photos does not. The most important feature, for me, is captions. Picasa can add captions to your photos that are stored with the picture file itself and can be viewed by other software. I love captions. At a glance, I can see which photos I’ve identified as the best because I only add captions to my best. I also see, at a glance what the picture is about – SO important for aging memories! Even more for aging pictures! If you are a Geeks on Tour premium member, you can watch this video about using Captions in Picasa: Add Captions to your Photos #154 If you don’t see captions below your pictures in Picasa, turn them on with the following command: View->Thumbnail Caption->Caption.
Picasa Makes Captions that Show Up and Stick with the Picture
Remember that Picasa is viewing pictures on my computer. All of these pictures in the screenshot above are on my computer and the captions are stored in the metadata of the .jpg picture itself. So, if you use any method to transfer this picture to somewhere else, the caption goes with it. Whether or not the recipient will see that caption depends on what software they are using to view it, but I guarantee that the caption is encapsulated in the picture file. For example, if you use Picasa’s tool to “Upload to Google Photos,” the caption does go with it, but it doesn’t show up easily. It is available for searching in Google Photos.
To see the text associated with a photo in Google Photos, you need to click the i-for Information.
Google Photos Makes Descriptions that are Hidden and are Lost in Transfer
If you are using Google Photos, then this text is referred to as “Description.” For any photo in Google Photos, you can click the I for Info and you will see a field for “Description.” Type whatever you want in there and that description will stick with the picture as long as you are using Google Photos, but, if you download that picture to your computer – the description is lost. Google Photo’s Description text is stored in some kind of database associated with Google Photos rather than in the metadata of the picture itself.
Ask Google for this New Feature
Captions are extremely important to me, and I hope you agree enough to voice your opinion directly to the good folks at Google. Google Photos is being upgraded all the time, and they listen to the requests of users if you use the proper channels. Having lots of people request the same feature is like taking a vote. The more ‘votes’ a feature gets, the more likely it is that Google will take action. Here’s what you do:
Go to your Google Photos (on Web, or Android, or iOS)
Click the 3-line menu (upper left of screen)
Choose “Send Feedback” and leave your request. You can copy what I wrote if you like: Please add true captions to photos. The current “description” is lost when I download the photo to my computer. It needs to be written to the metadata of the .jpg file. I would also like captions to appear under the photos in library or slideshow view. Click NEXT
Next comes a step where you can add a screenshot to your feedback. However, in this case, you cannot see the Info part of the screen while you’re in the Feedback tool, so this step will make no sense. It will capture whatever is on your screen and send it in with your feedback. You can use the option to blackout any personal information if necessary. Click NEXT
To clarify the unrelated screenshot, I added this text to my feedback: I could not get an appropriate screenshot, because you can’t click on a picture and go into i for Information while using Feedback.
Get everyone you know to do the same! And maybe we’ll see a caption update someday soon.
A Workaround to see Descriptions
If you’ve been using Picasa for a few years, you remember the online sharing feature called Picasa Web Albums. When Picasa first started uploading pictures to the web – into your Google account – it used this interface called Picasa Web Albums. That interface is still there. It accesses the same set of photos that you see with Google Photos, but it uses different (older) programming – and, therefore has different features. One thing it has is visible captions. If you use Google Photos and the Description field to type some text on all the pictures in an album, for example, you can view a slideshow of that album using Picasa Web Albums (www.picasaweb.google.com) and you will see the Descriptions show up as an overlay at the bottom of the pictures. Nice! But, if you then download any of those photos – you still lose the Description – so, this is only solves half the problem. Having Captions or Descriptions or Titles that stay with the picture is my primary need.
It’s easy to get your pictures UPloaded to the cloud – just turn on the Backup and Sync feature of the Google Photos app on your phone. But how do you get them down to your computer?
I still want my pictures, at least my best ones, to be stored on my computer (or external hard drive.) I’m not comfortable with my only copy of pictures being the cloud copy. For the last 12 years my process has been to collect all pictures from my camera(s) and put them on my computer. Then to upload just the best ones to the cloud and share them. Now, because of Google Photos, my process is being reversed! Google Photos is automatically uploading all my photos to the cloud and I want the best ones copied down to my computer. I have identified 4 methods for downloading my pictures from the cloud (Google Photos) to my computer. Right now I like method 3 the best, but one of the other methods might suit your needs. Please leave a comment for what you think.
Method 1: Downloading Albums of Photos to your Computer
If you’ve used the Google Photos tools to put your best pictures into albums, you can then download those Albums to your computer.
Open the desired album in Google Photos (on a computer using a Web Browser)
Click the 3-dot menu in the upper right and choose “Download All”
This will create a .zip file of all the pictures in the album and, depending on your browser’s settings, it will ask you where you want to save the zip file, or it will automatically save it in your Downloads folder. You can even save that .zip file straight to your external hard drive if you’d like.
If your purpose for downloading is simply a backup, you’re done. If you want to see those pictures using Picasa, you need to Extract the picture files from the .zip and save them in the My Pictures folder, where Picasa will see them.
Method 2: Download Groups of Photos to your Computer
If you haven’t created albums, you can simply select a group of photos (click on the checkbox in the upper left corner of each photo.) Then click the 3-dot menu and choose download. This will create a .zip file just like in the method 1.
*Method 3: Downloading Individual Pictures to your Computer
*This is my current preferred method. I don’t want zip files, I want the individual pictures to be in my Pictures folder, preferably in the folder for the month they were taken. That’s been my system for the last 12 years and I kind of like it! Here’s how I do it when all my pictures are already in Google Photos:
View my recent photos using Google Photos (using the Chrome browser.)
When I see a ‘keeper’ I click the 3-dot menu in the upper right and choose Download. On my system, I am now prompted for a location for the downloaded file. I navigate to my Pictures\yyyymm folder. If your browser doesn’t prompt you for the location it is probably automatically downloading your picture to your Downloads folder. You need to change the Browser’s (Chrome) settings so that it asks you for a location for each download. Here is a help article on how to change download settings.
Repeat #2 for each ‘keeper’ as I browse thru my pictures. This is a bit cumbersome, but I find it the best of my available options. I regularly browse thru my recently added Google Photos anyway. Just be sure to do it from the computer and download the ones I like best. Not too bad.
Method 4: Use Picasa to Download Albums
If you have made albums using Google Photos, you can use Picasa on your computer to download those albums.
Using Picasa on your computer
File->Import from Google Photos
Check the box to Import Selected Albums then Choose the Album from the list presented
That’s it! This downloads the actual pictures, not a .zip file. Pretty slick, BUT there are two problems:
It only downloads pictures not already on your computer. If you have already used any other method to get some, or all of the pictures, then the imported album will be incomplete.
It doesn’t ask for a location. It automatically downloads your imported albums to a special location. In Picasa, you will see a collection at the left sidebar called “Web Albums.” On your hard drive, it will have a numeric identifier like: C:\Users\Chris\Pictures\Downloaded Albums\104655811483131756227\Blackbeard’s Dive Trip Oct 2015
Use Picasa to Create Albums
I still like to use the Picasa tools to create my Web Albums. There are 3 things that I can do with this method that I can’t do by creating Albums with the Google Photos tools
Captions: When I add a caption using Picasa, that caption is part of the metadata of the picture. When I upload that picture to Google Photos, the caption becomes the Description. This doesn’t work the other way around: when I add a description in Google Photos and then download the picture, the description is lost, there is no caption.
Public Albums: My purpose to creating albums is to share those pictures. When I use Picasa to upload an album, I have the option to make that album Public. There is no such option with Google Photos (yet.) When I have a library of public albums, I can still use my Picasa Web Albums link (picasaweb.google.com/chrisguld) to let people see ALL my shared photos.
There is one drawback to using Picasa to upload – it does not (yet) support the new “High Quality” file size. To keep your unlimited free storage, you must select the size called “Best for Sharing” which shrinks your photo to 2048 pixels on the longest side. For me, this is not a problem. 2048 pixels is plenty big enough to view the picture online and that is my purpose.
Please leave a comment to let me know which method you prefer, or any questions you have.
I love Google Photos! I take most of my pictures with my Android phone and Google Photos automatically copies them all to my online Google account. If I ever had to answer a question like, “Where were you on the evening of August 2?” I could find the answer by looking at my pictures!
But that huge warehouse of photos is for my eyes only on Google Photos. That is as it should be. Not every picture is a masterpiece worthy of sharing. You should only share your best pictures and ones that serve some purpose in telling your story. Even if I don’t share them, I like to be able to look at my chosen photos instead of rummaging thru the warehouse. In Google Photos you see your albums by
How to Create a New Google Photos Album
It works the same on a computer browser, or your Android or Apple mobile device, you first select one or more photos. Next you tap the + icon at the upper right and choose Create New->Album. Type a name in the place of Untitled, and tap Done.
How to share a Google Photos Album
When you first create an album, it is still for your eyes only. Once it is created, you can use the share icon () to send a link to Facebook, Google+, or just copy the link to send via email. But the album is still not public – it is only visible to those with the link. It is not discoverable by browsing the web.
How to Add Pictures to a Google Photos Album
Select one or more pictures from your library and click that + icon. You should see the option to “Add to Album.” Simply click (or tap) on the name of the desired album, and you’re done.
How to Remove Pictures from an Album
View the album and select one or more of the pictures (on mobile select = longpress, on web click the little circle in upper left of picture – you should get a checkmark) then click the 3-dot menu in upper right and choose “Remove from Album.”
Removing a picture from an Album does not remove it from your Photo Library. If you are a Geeks on Tour member, you should watch the tutorial video:
How do Google Photos Albums relate to Picasa Web Albums?
The albums that you create are one and the same. You can still use the Picasa Web Albums interface (until May 1, 2016) by browsing to www.picasaweb.google.com and you will see any albums you have created using Google Photos. And, while using Google Photos, you will see any albums you created using Picasa. They are simply two interfaces to the same sets of pictures. There are still several features available thru the Picasa Web Albums interface that are not (yet) available using Google Photos.
One Picasa Web Albums feature that I still like to use is the ability to make an album Public: Actions->Album Properties->Visibility->Public on Web. This way, I can give one link to all my public web albums, like this: https://picasaweb.google.com/chrisguld. Another one is the ability to order prints. Just select one or more pictures then click the menu for Prints, and Order Prints. You should now see a link to your cart where you can specify what service you want to use to get your prints.
Someone recently asked me how she could make a greeting card using Picasa. I came up with an idea that seemed to work, using the Collage tool, so I thought I’d pass it on as a Picasa Tip. Although, truth be told, if it were me, I’d use something like Send Out Cards, or use Picasa’s File->Order Prints and a service like Shutterfly to make professional greeting cards.
But, if you really want to print your own, this is actually a great example of how flexible the Collage feature is with Picasa. Here’s the steps I took to make a Halloween card. I used standard size paper – 8.5 x 11 – folded in half to make a card that opens from the bottom.
Choose your photo and make sure it is properly cropped to fit proportionately in the space provided. I wanted the picture to cover the front of the card. That would be 8.5 x 5.5. So, I cropped accordingly.
With that picture, and only that picture selected, I started the collage … Create->Picture Collage. I chose the “Picture Pile” style and set my page size to 8.5 x 11 Letter paper in the vertical/portrait orientation.
I dragged the sizing handle of the picture until it filled the bottom part of the page, and it was straight.
I made sure the background color was solid white.
That’s it for the collage – click “Create Collage”
Now, with the collage picture, I might want to add some text to the front of the card. Just use the text tool, type some text and choose some colors. I chose the “Jokerman” font.
You’re ready to print! Then, I would use another program, like PowerPoint, or Word to print text for the inside of the card. Or just leave it blank and handwrite your own message.
If you want to give this a try and need more help, we have several tutorial videos on our Geeks on Tour site for members. If you’re not a member, you can join here.
First of all, what is the same about Picasa and Google Photos? Why are we talking about them both in the same article? And, why are both Picasa and Google Photos the subject of this website? It’s because they are both photo management tools by Google. But that’s where the similarity ends. Saying that Picasa and Google Photos are both photo management tools, is like saying that a car and a jet are both transportation tools. Although it’s true, the two serve very different functions.
Mature vs. New: Picasa has been around since 2003. Actually it started well before that, but it was purchased by Google in 2003 and became extremely popular in the following years. Google Photos is a brand new product by Google, built from the ground up to be a tool for photos and videos in today’s mobile and cloud world. It’s official announcement was in May of 2015. Watch the Google Photos launch video for a great overview.
Computer vs. Cloud: PIcasa is software for your PC or Mac computer to manage photos on your computer. Picasa is for people who want to organize and work with photos on their computer. Google Photos is web-based storage (in your Google Account) of all your photos and mobile Apps and Web interface to work with them. There is no computer software for Google Photos, you use a web-browser interface and Photos.Google.com, photos must be uploaded to your Google account online to work with them in Google Photos. Google Photos is for people who, potentially, don’t even have a computer. They use smartphones, tablets, and cloud (Internet) based resources.
Software vs. Service: You get Picasa by downloading the free software to your computer from www.picasa.google.com. After downloading it, you no longer need the Internet. It is old-fashioned computer software, like what we used to buy in boxes and install from disks. It does have a feature to upload photos to the Internet, but that is secondary to its main function. In its early years, when you uploaded pictures to your Google Account, that was called Picasa Web Albums. Now it’s called Google Photos. It is this history, from PIcasa Web Albums (2006-2012) to Google+ Photos (2012-2015) to Google Photos (2015…) which causes much of the confusion. You have the Google Photos service simply by having a Google Account. Get Google Photos for your Android devices by installing the free App from the Play Store. You get Google Photos for your iPhone or iPad by installing the free App from the App store. You use Google Photos on your computer thru a web interface at www.photos.google.com – you must be logged in to your Google Account. If you want Google Photos to upload all the photos currently on your computer, you also need to download the Desktop Uploader from www.photos.google.com/apps.
Folders or One big Shoebox: Picasa works with photos, on your computer, in folders. The folders are those folders that you create on your computer’s hard drive, usually within the My Pictures folder. Every photo must be in a folder. I keep 50 – 500 photos in each folder. If you delete a folder of pictures from your hard drive they are gone from Picasa’s view. Google Photos works with pictures on the web, in your Google Account. There are no ‘folders.’ Your Google Photos library is like one giant shoebox of all your photos. I have roughly 50,000 pictures in my account. All 50,000 are in one big dump simply called “Photos.” Google Photos then gives you tools to view those photos in different groupings: by day/month/year, by person, by place, by thing. It’s magic. You do not do anything except click on the view you want. If you want custom groupings, you can also make Albums in Google Photos, but it is not required. If you make Albums, they are simply pointers to the pictures in the main library – like a playlist. If you delete photos from an Album – or even the entire album, the photos are still there in your Google Photos library. If you delete pictures from your Library, they are gone, they will also be gone from the Albums. If you are accustomed to dividing your pictures into folders, this is something you need to UNlearn in order to understand Google Photos.
Different Features Picasa has some features that Google Photos does not. Picasa can add captions to your photos that are stored with the picture file itself and can be viewed by other software. I love captions. I cannot live without captions! Picasa can add a watermark to your photos. So, I will continue to use Picasa – then upload my pictures to Google Photos after adding a caption and a watermark. Picasa can add text directly to the picture. Picasa can create custom collages. Google Photos has many features that Picasa does not. Google Photos can share photos directly to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or with a link it creates. Google Photos can combine photos and video clips into movies with automatic transitions and music. I LOVE the movies! The movies that Google Photos can make have revitalized my enjoyment of my pictures. Google Photos can make “stories” of a series of photos, video clips, and maps.
There’s LOTS more to understand, but I hope this gives you a foundation to understand the difference between Picasa and Google Photos. If you’re just starting to take photos, Google Photos is probably all you need. If you’ve been using Picasa for a while, keep using Picasa, but ALSO start using Google Photos – it is the way of the future.
Here’s a 7 minute video on what I think is so special about Google Photos:
Google Photos is an app for both iPhone/iPad and Android phones/tablets. The way it works is that you use Google Photos instead of the native Gallery or Photos app that came with your device. You can set it up to backup all your photos to your Google account online, then, when using the App, you will see ALL your photos, not just the ones taken by that device.
Once you start using Google Photos, you will discover more fun with your photos than you ever imagined possible. We like Google Photos so much – no, we Love Google Photos – that we’ve devoted 3 of our smartphone learning webcasts to it. What Does This Button Do? is what we call our weekly YouTube show about learning smartphones and tablets. Here are the episodes that deal primarily with Google Photos.
In case you haven’t watched our weekly show before, they are broadcast LIVE on Sunday afternoons, then recorded to YouTube. Each show is about 45 minutes long and covers lots of learning for smartphone users. We cover a tip of the week, a beginners lesson, and an App of the week. The videos below are the 3 shows we’ve done so far that talk about Google Photos. We think you’ll learn a lot if you watch!
Aug 30 Show where we have fun with Google Photos
July 12 Show on What is Google Photos all About?
We discuss Google Photos with our good friend, Phil, in England.
June 14 Show about Getting Started with Google Photos Autobackup