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iLife Tutorial: Using the Find Faces feature in iPhoto ’11

As our photo collections grow ever larger it can become difficult to find pictures of people that are not already tagged with names. Luckily, Faces is on hand to help

It’s tempting to think that the Faces technology in iPhoto ‘11 might have originally been developed for some kind of hi-tech security scanning system. Here, of course, it has far more benign uses, helping you to tag photos of people and make searching easier inside libraries that can run to hundreds or even thousands of photographs. Pictures in iPhoto include metadata and you can organise them by date, location and event, but until now there has not been a way to search the actual content of a picture. Faces changes all that, letting you identify a person then automatically matching other pictures of them, even if they are not looking directly at the camera. It’s a great way to search and group pictures.

1: Open iPhoto
The first time you open iPhoto ’11 it will automatically scan your library for faces. The bigger the library the longer this will take.

2: Click on Faces
Click on the Faces tab on the left and you are taken to a corkboard where you can see identified faces. Click in the name fields to add a name to each one.

3: Continue to Faces
Click Continue to Faces to go to the main wall. Click any person, looking at the bottom-left to see other possible photos of that person iPhoto has found.

4: Confirm faces
Click on Confirm Additional Faces to review any faces and select those that are correct, or click again to reject incorrect matches. Then click Done.

5: Add more faces
From the toolbar at the bottom-right of iPhoto, click on Find Faces and any new or untagged pictures will be shown. Reject, or add names as appropriate.

6: Quickly preview faces
From the main wall, move the mouse over any Face to see all pictures of that person in sequence. Hit space bar on any image to make that one topmost.

7: Manually add a face
If iPhoto has failed to identify a face, you can double-click the picture and hit the Info button. From the Faces tab on the right click Add A Face.

8: Tag the person
Drag the resulting box over the person’s face. Click to add their name in the name field. Hit return to tag. Click the arrow to see all pictures of that person.

9: Search for faces
When you run a search using iPhoto’s search field, you can use a name to see all photos of that person, even if their name is not in the name of the image.

Click Image to Enlarge