Top ten iPhoto organisation tips

Keep everything in place with our top tips for organising your iPhoto library


One of iPhoto’s biggest strengths is its ability to keep your photo library organised, and there are plenty of ways you can do it. Whether you’ve got a huge library full of images that are unsorted, or you just need to keep a few albums or events organised, we’ve put together a collection of top tips to help you take advantage of what iPhoto can do.

Flagging, rating and tagging your shots can all help with finding your photos faster, and the photos themselves hold a huge amount of information that can help you quickly locate the image, or images, that you need. There are plenty more options, though; whether you’re using the Faces feature to sort through your portrait shots and find particular friends, or want to see all the photos taken in a specific area with the Places map, the power to do it is just a few clicks away.

tip11 Flagging

Flagging important photos, or images that you need to edit, is a good idea if you have a large number of shots that you want to go through quickly. Just click the flag that appears when you roll your cursor over a photo.

tip22 Keywords

Add keywords to your photos and you’ll find that discovering them is much easier. Add them by selecting a photo, clicking Info and starting to type. You can manage keywords from the Window menu.

tip33 Changing dates

If you have shots from two cameras that you want to combine into one event, but the dates or times were different on each device, select all the shots from one camera and select Photos>Adjust Time and Date and match them up.

tip44 Merge events

If all your shots are from a single trip, it’s a better idea to merge them all into one event. To do this, either select all the events but one and drag them into the unselected event, or select all the events, right-click and choose Merge Events.

tip55 Smart Albums

If you want to create a collection of photos based on something other than the date, you can use a Smart Album. Select File>New Smart Album then choose the criteria that you want to use. All relevant shots will enter the album.

tip66 Faces

Once you’ve added a few photos, you can use the Faces feature. Then, when you’re looking for a picture of two or three specific people, you can type their names into the Search bar and see all the photos in your library.

tip77 Places

Many of your photos will contain a huge amount of information, including location data. If your camera doesn’t tag images automatically, select a photo, click Info, then type the location in here. Pinpoint by dragging the pin.

tip88 Photos view

When you just want to see all your photos in one place, you can select the Photos view on the left. However, it’s possible to sort these out even further; click the small arrows next to the event name and the photos will be collapsed.

tip99 Ratings

You can rate your photos by clicking them and giving them stars in the Info panel, or by simply holding Cmd and hitting a number between zero and five. To find highly- rated shots, click Search and type five stars (*) into the bar.

tip1010 Hiding shots

If you have a lot of shots getting in the way, but don’t want to delete them, you can use the Hide function. You can view the hidden photos by choosing View>Hidden Photos; from here you can choose what to do with them.

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