Jan 182016

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Aug 312015

Business visionIn 2008, I decided to start writing a weekly Picasa Tip.  Picasa is free software by Google for managing all the pictures on your computer.  This site has been called “PicasaTutorials” and “PicasaGeeks.” In May of 2015 Google released the smartphone apps called Google Photos. I Love Google Photos! So I am now also writing about Google Photos and you can get to this site by typing in ILoveGooglePhotos.com! If you subscribe to our free email Tip of the Week, you get an email every time we post a new tip.  you’ve probably read a bunch of them!  But, what if you wanted to find a past tip?

Search the All Articles Page

My favorite way to find an article on this site is to visit the All Articles page.  There you’ll find a complete listing of all 250+ articles alphabetically by title.  You can scan thru the entire list, or, if you remember something about the title, you can use the browser Find function – Ctrl-F (Cmd-F on Mac) to open up a Find: box.  You’ll see a box open up in the upper right corner of your browser window.  Type what you’re looking for and it will search the text of the current page..  For example, if you type Tag into the find box, it instantly highlights in bright yellow all places on the page where tag is found:

Seaching full Text

If the term you’re searching does not appear in the title of an article, you can use the Search box at the top right of every page.  Type a word in there and it will search the text of every article.  Be aware that this is a literal search of each word.  So, if you enter How do I resize a picture into this box, it will return every page that has the word “How” in it, or do, or I etc.  – all 200 articles will be returned. And, if you put quotes around “How do I resize a Picture?”  You will get 0 results because no article has that exact phrase.


Using Google

Probably the best way to search is using Google because you can ask conversational questions like “How do I resize Pictures” … to limit the results to just pages in the PicasaGeeks.com website, add the option site:picasageeks.com like this:

How do I resize a picture site:picasageeks.com

Note: it is important that there be no space between site: and picasageeks.com.

Searching for Tutorial Videos on GeeksOnTour.com

All these same techniques work on our Tutorial Video site as well.  So, if you’re looking for a video on Picasa and resizing pictures, you could go to the Learning Library page for Picasa and use Ctrl-F (Cmd-F on Mac) and type resize.  Now scroll down the page and you will see the video(s) with ‘resize’ in the title.

Or use the Google search with the site option:  How Do I resize a picture site:geeksontour.com

This will give you results from the video library as well as the newsletter articles and the forum posts, and they all will be from the www.GeeksOnTour.com website.

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 using smartphones and tablets, managing digital photos with Picasa or Google Photos, using Google Maps, 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 082015

imageWe took a trip to England a couple of months ago and I took lots of pictures, some with my Canon digital SLR and others with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. The phone is always set to the right time, because it is location aware. It knew we were in a different time zone than what we left and it’s time was correct. The Canon on the other hand was still set to US Eastern time zone (5 hours earlier) and I didn’t think about that until nearly a week had passed. When I did think of it, (thank you Phil for reminding me!), I changed the time settings in my camera so it was correct.

When I look at my pictures, I want to see all of them – phone and camera pictures – in sequence. But, for those first few days, a picture taken during the afternoon with the camera would come before a picture taken at breakfast with the phone. See my problem? The camera photos were 5 hours earlier than the phone pictures taken at the same time. There are many places where you can sort pictures by date, so it would help if that ‘photo taken’ date was correct. Picasa can do that for you!

Picasa has a feature on the Tools menu called Adjust Date and Time. I use it all the time to change the date of scanned photos. I may snap a picture of an old family photo from the 1960s, but the picture will use the current date for it’s date taken because, well, that’s when I snapped the current picture! I can use Tools->Adjust Date and Time to set the date taken to something in the 1960s! See this past article on Scanning and Organizing Old Photos. We even use this technique for scanning slides.

Today I discovered that Picasa’s Adjust Date and Time feature can even compensate for my time zone faux pas.

  1. Select multiple pictures. I can even filter to just those pictures taken with the Canon by typing Canon in search, then select all pictures for the date range in question
  2. Tools->Adjust Date and Time and add 5 hours (or whatever you need) to the New photo date.
    Be sure to check “Adjust all photo dates by the amount” and click OK.
    Notice that I am adjusting the time for 404 pictures!

Now, you may wonder if even the new time is correct because it seems to be saying that we’re out sightseeing at 5 o’clock in the morning! Well, I learned another thing here. Time is actually recorded relative to GMT time, so the time displayed always takes into account the time zone on the computer you are viewing with.

Mar 032015

Picasa Saguaro at Picacho PeakWe pulled into Picacho Peak State Park yesterday in the rain. That’s unusual because this park is in the Arizona desert. Waking up in our motorhome this morning and looking out the window, we saw a dense fog with the desert sun just a shadow of normal self, trying to shine thru the fog. I know a photo opp when I see one, and I know they are fleeting, so we jumped out of bed, grabbed the cameras and started shooting.

Then came the fun part! Once I transferred the picture to my computer and opened Picasa, I started playing. Cup of coffee beside me and computer in front of me, this is one of my favorite things to do. I call it “Fearless Photo Editing” because I can just click on buttons in Picasa and look at the result. If I don’t like it, I can always UNDO it. Here are the buttons I clicked on to create what you see:

  1. Crop: I cut out some of the top and bottom, just to get closer to the Saquaro and the sun
  2. Pencil Sketch: that’s the main effect that turned this into artwork from photo. I dragged both the ‘radius’ and the ‘strength’ sliders over to maximum
  3. HDRish: to add even more definition to the lines
  4. Tint: to get the overall purple color
  5. Text: to add the words and I chose the odd “Jokerman” font
  6. Museum matte: since every work of art deserves a frame! And I used the color picker to make the outside frame be the same purplish color found in the picture.

Here is the original photo that I used. You can click on it to download a copy – then try it out!


If you are a Geeks on Tour member, here are some tutorial videos to watch:


  1. Basic Edits #261 Free
  2. Picasa’s 12 Effects #121
  3. More Effects 13-18 #253
  4. More Effects 19-24 #254
  5. More Effects #25-30
  6. More Effects 31-36
  7. Adding Text to Pictures #104
  8. Picasa 3.9 and Side by Side Editing
  9. Using Special Effects for an artsy-fartsy Miami Skyline
  10. HDRish is like a Super Sharpen #241
Feb 182015

201308-001Picasa lovers out there have an endless source of simple tools for enjoying our pictures. I’ve been using Picasa for 10+ years now, and this ‘kaleidoscope’ effect never occurred to me. My friend, Vicki Wassenhove, from the Quad Cities Computer Society and their Digital Photography group had an assignment to use a given picture and improve it in a way that would prompt the question: How Did I Do It?



When I saw Vicki’s wonderful collage, I had to give it a try! With this original picture, Vicki created several works of art!



She started with a simple picture of a flower, cropped it and made 4 copies. Then she flipped the copies, one had to be flipped horizontally, one vertically, and the third needed to be flipped both horizontally and vertically. Picasa’s command to flip horizontally is Ctrl-Shift-H (Cmd-Shift- on Mac) and Ctrl-Shift-V to flip Vertically. She put all 4 pictures into a square Collage, and voila!

Flip Horizontal
Flip Vertical
Flip Horizontal & Vertical


And my picture, displayed at the top of this article, started with this original:


For more information about flipping pictures, see this past article: Flipping Photos.

Geeks on Tour members may want to watch these tutorial videos. If you’re not a member, you can Join Now!

  1. For cropping in a perfect square: pics14a.Crop Size Options
  2. For making multiple copies of picture: pics14d.Ways to Save #140
  3. For making collages (8 videos): pics73.Picasa Short Course: Collages and Banners
  4. For adding a frame/border: pics24d.More Effects 31-36

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.

Feb 022015

Picasa's photo effectsWhen I saw this picture of my friend Sue, with a bright green Praying Mantis on her finger, I just had to get a copy and play with it using Picasa’s editing tools. Thanks Sue!

Notice how most of the picture is Black and White while the bug is bright green. Also notice how most of the picture is out of focus and the bug is quite sharp.

Here are the four simple Picasa tools I used to accomplish it:

This is the original picture.


Step One: Apply the Soft Focus effect from the 3d tab. Move the center of focus (crosshairs) to the bug.


Step two: Apply the Focal B&W effect (Also on the 3d tab) and also move the crosshairs to the little green guy.


Step Three: Click Sharpen (also on 3d Tab) and move slider to about the center to make the bug really sharp.


Step Four: Click the Boost tool (on the 5th tab) to brighten the green color. Drag the slider to about the 1/4 mark to back off the effect a bit.


To learn more about Picasa’s Effects, join Geeks on Tour and watch these videos:

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 Google Maps, 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.

Jan 242015

IMG_9834-HDRHDR stands for High Dynamic Range. It means that you have a picture that includes both bright light and shadows. This is difficult to expose correctly. You need a lower exposure for the bright parts and a higher exposure for the shadows. Professional photographers have known about the HDR process for a long time. They would put their camera on a tripod and take multiple exposures of one picture, then they would put them together in the darkroom, creating a new picture that is much more than the sum of its parts. Today, that darkroom work is done with HDR software. If you’ve ever remarked on a stunning photograph, saying that it looked like a painting and you don’t know how the photographer did that, it’s probably an HDR photo. I don’t want to work as hard as professional photographers do, but I love the idea of HDR and take advantage of Google+ Photos automatic feature all the time.

Three Separate Photos at Different Exposures

If you have a digital SLR camera, you probably have a setting called AEB, or Auto Exposure Bracketing. This means that you can set the camera to take 3 pictures in succession, one at a normal exposure, one under exposed, and one over exposed.

hdr article

hdr article1

imageWhen you upload all 3 of them to your Google+ Photos account, you may be in for a pleasant surprise the next time you look at the photos in that account. In addition to the 3 you uploaded, you may now have a 4th picture that Google created for you using HDR. If so, you will see it in your All Photos collection, or in the special Auto-Awesome option. If you like it, you can then download it to your computer, or add it to an existing album by viewing it and using the More menu.

Picasa’s HDRish

imageThere’s a reason they added the ‘ish’ to the word in Picasa’s toolbox! It is not really HDR. It takes one picture and enhances it in a way that is kind of like HDR. It gives a bit of 3 dimensional look by accentuating the edges in the picture, and it enhances the color a bit. You can only work with one picture using Picasa’s tools. So, take the normal exposure of this picture, click the HDRish tool, and you get the image below. Notice that the leaves in the tree are still in the shadows and the blues of the water and the sky are not as vibrant as the Auto Awesome HDR photo.


If you are a Geeks on Tour Member, you can learn more about Auto Awesome and HDRish with these tutorial videos:

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 Google Maps, 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 292014

We took a beautiful drive up the mountain thru a town called Jerome in Arizona. Jerome is perched right on the side of that mountain with a sweeping view of the Verde Valley in the distance. Unfortunately, when I took the picture, the town was in deep shadow and sunlight filled the sky and the valley below. If I had taken the picture with my smartphone, I would have used the HDR setting to better expose both parts of the picture, but this was taken with my digital SLR. If I had set my camera to auto exposure bracketing and taken 3 pictures of this scene, I could have created an HDR later, but that’s a whole other article! The picture you see at #1 is all I had to work with this time – let’s see what Picasa can do with it.

The original picture.

Use the Fill Light slider on the basic fixes tab to add light to the town.


Some photo editors, like PhotoShop, give you tools to add light to just the dark part of the picture, but Picasa is not that sophisticated. When I drag the slider to increase fill light, the entire picture gets lighter, leaving the sky and the valley pretty washed out. Use Fill Light sparingly – your picture can get very grainy.

Screenshot 2014-11-29 04.51.02

To get some color back in the sky, I use the Graduated Tint button on the third tab of editing tools. This fills the top third of the photo with a blue tint. You can adjust the area of the fill by dragging the crosshair. The crosshair first appears in the middle of the picture. I angle the fill by dragging the crosshair control down and to the right. Watch this free Tutorial Video: Graduated Tint
4 (optional)
Lastly, I added a bit of the HDRish effect in order to accentuate the details in the picture.







This ‘fixed’ picture may not stand the test of scrutiny. I wouldn’t blow it up in a large print, and I wouldn’t submit it to a photo contest, but these fixes do help preserve a memory in a web album when the original picture was simply not good enough to keep. Using the simple buttons and sliders in Picasa’s editing tools, you don’t need to know a lot about layers and levels of color and light. Just click a button, drag a slider, if you don’t like what you see, drag a slider the other way.  Still don’t like it? Click the Undo button!

Oct 022014

Here is the picture my camera captured:


After Crop, Boost, Increase Shadows, and Graduated Tint, here is the picture that Picasa can show me:



It’s a subtle difference, but it makes all the difference. The second picture is what I remember seeing. The beginning of a crimson sunset, with the dramatic Morro Rock in the distance and the natural beauty of green grasses and and other dune vegetation in the foreground.

Watch this 3 minute video to see just how easy this transformation is with Picasa.

You can undo any editing feature that you use, so don’t be afraid to experiment. That’s the beauty of Picasa, you can try as many of the editing buttons as you want and see which ones you like. Don’t like it? Just Undo.

As part of our Geeks on Tour Learning Library, we have nearly 100 tutorial videos on all aspects of Picasa. Here are links to just a few. Notice the ones that say “free” anyone can watch. To watch them all, you need to be a member of Geeks on Tour.

  1. Overview of Picasa #156 Free
  2. Folder Manager #233 Free
  3. Basic Edits #261 Free
  4. Ways to Save #140 Free
  5. Google+ Auto Backup and Auto Awesome Free
  6. Short Course on Organizing your Pictures w/Picasa – 8 Videos
  7. Adding Text to Pictures #104
  8. Picasa’s 12 Effects #121
  9. More Effects 13-18 #253
  10. Resizing Pictures
May 262014

If you upload 2 or more pictures of the same group of people to Google+, the Auto-Awesome feature will create a composite picture with the best smiles.  Here are two pictures I took of our friends David and Lynn when they visited us in our motorhome:

Original Photo #1
2014-05-10 20.05.33
Original Photo #2
2014-05-10 20.05.36

Google+ Photos Creates a New Picture with the Best Smiles

You don’t have to do a thing other than upload the original pictures to your Google+ account and, if you have Auto Backup turned on, you don’t even need to do that.  The next time you view your photos on Google+, be sure to check the Auto-Awesome group and you may get a pleasant surprise!

Auto Awesome Smile! Picture Created by Google+ Photos:


Step-by-Step Instructions

In case you’ve never used Google+ photos, or never seen the Auto Awesome pictures it creates, here’s the details:

  1. You must have a Google account that has joined Google+.  If your Google account is less than a year old, it was automatically part of Google+.  If you’ve had your account longer than that, you have probably seen many messages giving you the opportunity to join Google+.  In order to take advantage of the many features of Google+ photos, you do need to join Google+.
  2. Using Picasa on your computer, select the pictures you want to upload and click the “Share on Google+” button.  It doesn’t matter what album you upload them to, all photos in your Google+ photo library (public or private) are candidates for Auto Awesome.
  3. Visit your Google+ photo albums at www.plus.google.com, click on Home, then photos
  4. While viewing your photo albums, click More then Auto-Awesome
  5. You should now be seeing all the Auto-Awesome pictures that have been created from your pictures.  You can tell what type of Auto Awesome was used by reading the starred words in the upper right corner.  These pictures are private, only you can see them unless you Share or Add to Album (under More menu) that is already shared.
  6. To read more about Auto Awesome see Google’s Help Page on Auto Awesome


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.