Mar 112010

When you have thousands of photos on your computer, it’s hard to keep track of them even with the best of tools.  I’ve had some questions lately from people who have just imported their photos and they seem to have disappeared into computer La-La Land.  This happens in Picasa because there are so many options for ways to view your library of photos.  For example maybe the particular options you have set is sorting your new folder down toward the bottom and you don’t realize it.  When it doesn’t appear at the top, you think they’re lost.

Notice the Recently Updated Album

One simple solution is to take a look at the ‘Recently Updated’ Album.  This is an automatic Album that does just that – shows the pictures that were most recently updated.  Automatic albums are displayed as a green folder icon with a star.  Other automatic albums include ‘Starred Photos’ and ‘Recently Emailed Photos.’  These exists at the top of your albums collection – and they are automatically generated just for your convenience.


Use the Date Range Filter

Another way to find photos by date is to use the Date Range Filter.  That’s the slider to the right of the filter section.  It usually is placed all the way at the left end which means, “Show me all pictures no matter how old they are.’  As you drag the slider toward the right, you will be filtering your library of photos to newer and newer ones.  In the screen shot below, notice the position of the slider and the text that indicates the date range is all pictures up to 10 days old.


The problem with this filter is that you can set a beginning for your date range (e.g. 10 days ago) but the range end is always set to today.  I can’t find a way to filter for all pictures taken in September 2007 for example.

You may be saying, “But my folders are already sorted by date.”  Well, yes, but that is Folders.  What if you have a Folder called Christmas and every year, you put your Christmas day photos in there?  That Folder will be sorted according to the date of the Folder which is usually the same as the earliest picture within the folder.

View *ALL* of your Pictures in Order by Date

An advanced trick would be to get all your pictures listed in a Search Results ‘Temporary Album. How?  By searching for .jpg – *every* photo will end in .jpg! If you sort this Album by date, every individual picture will show in order by date regardless of its folder.  Now you need to scroll thru them to find the date in question – a bit of a pain, but do-able.

I have not been able to use the Search feature to look for photos by date, if anyone else has – I’d love to hear from you.

Use Windows 7

Outside of Picasa, using Windows 7, you can view the ‘Pictures Library and view by day or month.  Pretty cool, and certainly a worthy technique if you think you’ve lost some photos but you know when they were taken.  This technique arranges them by date regardless of the folder in which they’re stored.


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Need to learn the basics?  Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Picasa