Picasa – A Beginner’s Guide


Picasa is a program you download onto your PC that helps manage pictures stored locally as well as integrates with Google’s free online image storage and sharing service, Picasa Web Albums.

Picasa provides several useful features, such as geotagging and face recognition capabilities as well as video clip presentation creation.

Organize Your Photos

Picasa allows you to organize all of your pictures and videos onto folders on your hard drive with ease. After installation, Picasa scans all your files to place them into Albums, Folders and People Tags (if created), as well as assign photos captions, locations or sync changes automatically. Initial scanning may take some time depending on how many files there are; you can opt out by visiting Tools > Options (Windows) or Picasa > Preferences (Mac).

The Star button provides an easy and efficient way to mark your best photographs for easy retrieval later. Simply click it, and a gold star appears next to your image. Alternatively, multiple photos can be marked at once using Shift key selection. Starred photos are added to an Album called Starred Photos where they can be easily browsed or selected to move into another album.

Create albums as collections of photos from different folders that you wish to print, upload or share for printing, uploading or downloading later on your computer. Albums can also be shared as links on social media websites or downloaded directly onto your PC.

Picasa makes this process even simpler; simply use its drag-and-drop feature to rearrange them in any order you please within Picasa; it doesn’t apply when moving them from folder to folder or manually sorting by file name, date or size – these changes won’t take effect yet!

Picasa provides various fixes and effects that can help make photos stand out, including Crop, Straightening, Auto Contrast and Sharpen. Each effect comes equipped with presets so it’s simple to achieve great-looking shots without exerting too much effort.

Picasa allows users to share photos and albums by linking directly from within Picasa, either to Google+ circles, individual friends, or email addresses. They can also upload to Google Photos which provides unlimited storage space while keeping original quality intact; you can even add tags, location information and other settings directly into Google Photos.

Edit Your Photos

Picasa provides an impressive set of tools for image cleaning and enhancement. Additionally, sharing them online via this software is made very straightforward. As your image manipulation skills increase you may require upgrading to something more robust; but Picasa makes for an excellent starting point.

Once all of your photos have been imported into Picasa, editing is quick and straightforward. Just double click any photo to activate editing tools or use the menu bar at the top of your window for quick edit options – there are four main edit functions built-in: Basic Fixes, Tuning, Photo Filters and Advanced Effects.

At first, crop your photo to remove unnecessary parts. Next, straighten and retouch any flaws such as blemishes or dust spots before finalizing with Picasa for redeye correction and lighting adjustment.

After that, head over to the Tuning tab and use its sliders to tweak things such as contrast, brightness, shadows, highlights and colour. Picasa will automatically adjust its colour balance and tone settings in an attempt to give your photo a more balanced appearance, but feel free to change anything as necessary.

Photo filters can add an interesting layer to any photograph. With 24 distinct types of effects available to you ranging from sharpening to the more striking Film Grain or Graduated Tint filters, filters offer endless ways of personalizing an image.

Add text to your photos is another useful feature, enabling you to write captions or comments directly onto them. When editing is complete you have two options for saving: export your changes as a new copy of the image or just save your changes directly into existing files (export will put it into its own folder on desktop and allow you to resize). Saving changes directly will just apply them on existing images without creating new copies – see here for more info).

Share Your Photos

Picasa provides several methods for sharing photos with family and friends. You can create albums that are only viewable to yourself or share an album via email or the web, while sharing an individual photo via direct link opens it directly in a new browser tab. Furthermore, Google Inc offers Blogger which also allows uploading directly through Picasa for blogging services allowing public or private blogs.

Upload pictures from Picasa directly to the internet with Picasa Web Albums for easy access from any device connected to your Google account. Select all photos to be uploaded before selecting “Web Album” button – once done you will be asked for an alias and whether to make this album public or private.

If you’ve been an avid user of Picasa, it may come as a shock that Google is retiring the program as of March 15, 2016 in favor of Photos Backup’s free photo storage service. Your uploaded images will still reside on your computers; however, none of Picasa’s editing tools will be available anymore.

Synchronizing Picasa files to Photos can be frustrating due to any edits you make staying within Picasa’s database, rather than automatically synching to the cloud backup service. As a result, any edited photos join your Photos backup in their original state – sometimes this could mean they appear upside-down or in an awkward orientation.

Fix this problem by selecting all of the photos you wish to upload and creating an album in Photos that contains them all. Copy and paste its URL into an email sent directly to your friend, or select an individual photo and click “Share” button located in the upper right corner.

Print Your Photos

Some users miss a key feature of Picasa that many online photo-sharing services don’t: its ability to print photos using home printers. Picasa works directly with your PC photos and simply prints them; unlike some online photo-sharing services which store or duplicate them. Once editing is completed in Picasa you can choose among four standard photo sizes or print full page versions; additionally you can print posters, wallpapers or wallpaper posters and add text directly onto them! You can even use Create to make screensavers, movies or collages locally published.

Picasa is easy to use and the learning curve is not steep; however, professional photographers or businesses requiring advanced image management should explore other software programs as Picasa cannot support RAW images or advanced formats like TIFF files; however it provides basic photo-editing functions as well as ways of organizing and sharing images.

Picasa can scan and include new files in folders without you manually having to update its library, or “watching” a specific folder and automatically updating when new ones arrive in it. If a folder contains too many files to scan and update efficiently, the Edit menu item allows you to tell Picasa not to include that specific one in its library update process.

Picasa makes editing pictures even simpler by providing access to both versions of JPG photos; this makes it easy to understand any changes made, particularly if resaving changes from earlier. Often when JPGs are edited and resaved they lose quality due to compression reducing image contents too heavily, but with Picasa you can always check for quality loss before saving changes again.

After editing in Picasa, your pictures can be printed using any standard inkjet printer at home or uploaded to an online photo service such as Walgreens or FedEx for printing photo products; once uploaded you can order directly through their websites.

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