Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Post-holiday iPhoto Dilemma

Photo taking with digital camera is fun until you start tagging the photos in iPhoto. There are two aspects of the job that I personally find painstaking:
  1. typing repetitive keywords into the titles and comments of a collection of photos
  2. moving focus/selection to another photo while manually adding comments to the photos

Adding keywords to a collection of photos

I always like to add descriptive keywords to a set of photos for archiving and quick searching purposes. For example, I would add "Christmas 2005" at the beginning of the titles of all the pictures I took in the last holiday season. To do this, the "batch change" function found in the "Photo" menu comes in handy.
  • Select a set of photos and click the batch change function.
  • In the new pop-up dialog, you can modify or append to the title, date and comments of the selected photos. If you are modifying the title, you can even tell iPhoto to add a number to each photo.

A number is added to the tail of the title "Christmas 2005". Numbers are added in ascending order, i.e. 1, 2, 3...

Moving between photos while tagging

When you are editing photo info manually, you would rather have your hands staying to the keyboard instead of moving over to the mouse just to navigate the photos.
  • To move to the next photo, click command+]
  • To move to the previous one, click command+[

Yet another Mac tip is on the web!


Tom said...

If you like this tip you'll love Keyword Assistant! This app makes it extremely easy to add and edit keywords of photos in iPhoto.

Meg said...

I appreciate your tips.
I am unable to activate command-] to navigate my photos in iPhoto. Is this only available in v.6? (I'm still using v.5)

Anonymous said...

I have used the batch feature to change the titles of my photos. However, when you sort the photos by title the photos are not arranged in the correct order. For example IPhoto will put: Vacation - 1 followed by Vacation - 10, followed by Vacation -100 (rather than Vacation -2 and then Vacation - 3). Have you come across this?

macnify said...

Hi Meg,

The command-] has been around since early versions of iPhoto, and v5 certainly works.

However, the command-] is only applicable when your are editing the titles or comments. Once you mouse-click somewhere outside those text boxes in iPhoto (and thus set focus outside the text boxes), it won't work. In this case, you can use the arrow key to navigate the photos.

The reason to have two different modes of navigation is because while you are editing the comments, arrow keys are for moving of the text cursor, so you need special commands like command-] to navigate the photos.