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

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