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In Picasa 3 Essential Training, Dane Howard demonstrates how the latest upgrade of this free program from Google will allow photographers to organize, share, and edit digital photos more easily and effectively than ever before. Dane shows newcomers and experienced users how to archive and share photos from a desktop or online. Exercise files accompany the course, but using personal media is encouraged.
Now it's time to explore the interface. I'm going to do a quick walk-through of the things that you actually see while you're driving the interface itself. On the left-hand side, you'll use the left hand column to navigate between the content itself. By clicking on the individual items, it will redirect the pane on the right-hand side. So you can use this for gross navigation of your photos itself. Along at the top you have some buttons here that will correspond to different types of actions that you want to take. You've got an Import button, which will allow you to import when connected to a particular device or hard drive.
You've got a new album that you can create directly which allows you to create an empty area that you can drag photos directly within it. We've talked a little bit about the Folder Views, and then we've got the Sort methods. Then lastly, if you have a web cam connected, you can use that as an input device directly into Picasa itself. Now one of the things that you'll want to take a note of here is the very powerful tools that are used for searching and for filtering. So you can imagine Picasa is made by Google. Google is fantastic at searching on things.
We'll talk a little bit more about searching in a moment. But one of things that you can start to do is search on everything within the metadata itself. For example, if I was looking for a RAW photo, I know that the file extension is a .nef. So if I just type nef, you can see that all of my RAW photos are immediately presented within the View pane here. Additionally, there are Sort methods. So I can begin to start to look for individual things and just look at movies only. You could see that I have just movies. Or one of the things that's very valuable is the facial recognition within Picasa itself.
Here you can actually click on photos that have detected faces within them. This is new within Picasa 3. Starred photos are those that you've specifically gone through and selected stars or favorites within them. To do this, you can go ahead and select a particular star, directly from the pane below. By selecting the star, you can select photos that aren't something that you like as a favorite photograph. Then when filtering, go ahead and select the star and you can see all the photographs that have the star within them.
So the Search Filter can be used very, very powerfully in terms of navigating and locating photos within your library. Here are some new tools that allow synchronization between the program of Picasa and the web albums themselves. This gives you the ability to save to a specific disc or synchronize with the web. We'll go over to that in more detail. The central area here is very powerful. If I use the navigation pane, I can begin to navigate the entire library.
Notice how it speeds up or slows down, the more I move the progress bar down. I can also use my scroll wheel on my mouse as I'm doing now to quickly navigate through the items. In the lower right, you'll have controls that relate to zooming. Here I can zoom in my photographs directly or zoom them out just by sliding the bar. I can control the view that I have over all of the photographs at once. The last straight at the bottom are specific tasks and actions that you may want to take on the photographs themselves.
Once items are selected, you can group them into a series of tasks.
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