Organizing your iPhoto Library

Last week in our iPhoto class, I got a lot of questions about what the best ways to organize your iPhoto Library are. When you import photos, they are automatically organized by date into Events, such as a birthday party or a picnic, and placed in the iPhoto library, which is visible at the top of your Source list (at the top left of the iPhoto window). But if you want to organize your pictures into more of a filing system, you will want to work with albums and folders.

A photo album in iPhoto is just like one you create with paper and print photos: It’s a collection of photos you select from your library and arrange in the order you want.

Creating an Album is simple. On the Menu bar in iPhoto, choose File > New Album. Or click the “Create” button on the bottom right corner and select Album (see photo). Type a name for your album where it appears on the Source list under “Albums” and press Return.

You can make as many albums as you like using any images from your photo library. You can also include the same photo in several albums without making multiple copies of it. Just drag and drop the photos into your album.

As you create more albums, you may find it helpful to group them into folders. For instance, you could put all albums about birthday celebrations into a single folder named “Birthdays,” which would then appear in your Source list. You can add folders to the iPhoto Source list to better organize your albums. You cannot add individual photos directly to a folder.

In the video below, I create a folder called “2012″ and add albums that were already in my source list in the folder. So here’s how the filing system works: Photos go into Albums. Albums go into Folders. Now your iPhoto Library can be beautifully and conveniently organized!

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