Join Jan Kabili for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating Smart Albums, part of Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training.
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A Smart Album is a special kind of album that automatically fills itself with photos based on criteria that you set up. If a new photo is included in your catalog and it meets those criteria, it automatically joins those already in the Smart Album. So let's say that I want to create a Smart Album that automatically updates itself with my best photos of my daughter Kate. To do that I'll create a Smart Album that has two rules- One that requires photos in the Smart Album to have a five- star rating and the other that requires photos in that album that have been tagged with the keyword Kate.
I'm going to start by applying the keyword Kate to all of her photos. I've already made that keyword over here in the Keyword Tags panel in an earlier movie. So I'll just apply it to all the photos of Kate by selecting them here in the Media browser. I am clicking on the first and shift clicking on the last, and then going over to the Keyword Tags panel, clicking on the keyword Kate and dragging it to one of the selected photos. And now I'm going to do the same thing with these other photos here. These are photos of my son Coby. So I will select the first.
I'll hold the shift key and select the last of those, and then I'll come down here, and I'll find the keyword Coby and I'll drag that up to his photos. If you're following along and you don't have those keywords, you can make those keywords in the Keyword Tags panel by clicking this white arrow to the right of the green +sign and choosing New Keyword Tag. So once I've got some keyword tag set up. I am going to set up some star ratings for these photos. I would like to give five stars to the photos here that I think are the best ones.
So I'll select the photos I think are best. Like this one. and then I will hold the control key as I click on a couple more. I like that one and this one and this one, the best. With the four thumbnail selected, I will move under any one of those four and click the five-star icon. And that applies five stars to all of those selected photos. And then I will click in a blank area to deselect the photos. So that was all preliminary to making a Smart Album. Now I am ready to make a Smart Album. So I'll go over to the Organize tab.
And then I will go into the album's panel, and I will click the arrow to the right of the green +sign and choose New Smart Album. That opens this New Smart Album dialog box, where I'll set up the rules for my Smart Album. First I'll name the album. I'm going to call this Kate favorites. And then I'll come down to this menu to start building one of the rules for my Smart Album. I'll click the arrow there and here I have a number of different criteria that are going to be the subject of this rule. So I am going to choose Keyword Tags as the subject, then there is a conjunction Include, and then I can go to this menu and choose the object.
So I want my Keyword Tags to include Kate. So I select Kate here. Now if you were to read this rule from left to right as if it were sentence, it says that I want to have in my Smart Album photos whose Keyword Tags include the word Kate. Now I'm going to add a second rule to the Smart Album. So I'll click the +sign. I will go back to the Filename menu and instead of Filename; I'm going to choose Rating. Then I'll go to the conjunction field and here I have a choice.
I want to include in this album only photos that have five stars. So I will leave the conjunction set to Is, and then I'll go to this menu, the object menu and I will choose 5. So if you read that role from left to right as a sentence, it says I want to include in the album, photos whose rating is five stars. Now I want both of these rules to apply. So I'm going to go to this field, and I'm going to set this to Search for files which match all of the following selected criteria.
So I am basically changing this from an Or to an And. And now I will click OK. That creates a New Smart Album called Kate favorites and it automatically applies that album too. So now I can see in the Media browser just the files that are in my catalog that meet both of those rules of the Smart Album that had both five stars and they bear the keyword Kate. I am going to click Show All to go back to the selected folder here in Folder location view. Now let's say that some time passes and there is another photo that meets those two criteria.
This photo down here for example, this already has the keyword tag Kate but it doesn't also have five stars. So let's see what happens when I add five stars to this photo too. Now if I go back to the Album's panel and I click on the Kate favorites Smart Album, I can see that I have an additional photo in my Smart Album, the photo to which I've added five stars as well as the keyword tag Kate. So you can see that Smart Albums are a great way to keep track of subjects that you plan to shoot frequently as time goes by, like your children as they grow up.
But that's not the only thing for which I use Smart Albums. I also like to use Smart Albums to keep track of the photos that I take the different cameras, like my I Phone or my fancier Nikon digital camera. Let me show you how to set up a Smart Album like that one. Again, I will click the Show All button to go back to see all of the thumbnails in the selected folder. And then I'm going to go over to the Album's panel. And I'm going to make another Smart Album. I will click the arrow to the right of the green +sign again, and again, I'll choose New Smart Album. And in the New Smart Album dialog box, I'll give this album a name.
I am going to call this Nikon shots, because this is going to include only the photos that I have taken with my Nikon camera. Then I will come down to the file name field or the subject field, and I'll change that to Camera Make. I will leave the conjunction set to Contains. And then I'll click in the object field and I'm going to type the custom name Nikon. Now there is only one search rule here. So I can leave this field set to search for files which match any one of the following search criteria.
And I will click OK. Here in the Album's panel I see my New Smart Album for Nikon shots, it's automatically selected and so here in the Media browser, I see only the two photos that I took with my Nikon camera. There are many other potential uses for Smart Albums too. If you take a look at all the possible permutations of the criteria in the Smart Albums dialog box. I'm sure you'll think of others that fit your collection of photos.
- Downloading files from a digital camera
- Importing photos into an Elements catalog
- Applying keyword tags
- Organizing photos into albums and Smart Albums
- Automatically adjusting photos in Quick Fix
- Walking through Guided Edit photo techniques
- Understanding photo resizing and resolution
- Cropping and straightening photos
- Making and refining selections
- Correcting photos in the Full Edit workspace
- Applying image sharpening
- Adding text and special effects
- Creating photo projects, such as greeting cards and calendars