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iPhoto 5 Hot Tips

If you're looking to get the most out of iPhoto, here are some nifty tips and tricks that will have you working smarter and faster. For maximum efficiency, use iPhoto keyboard shortcuts to quickly accomplish many tasks.

Get Up Close and Personal

When shooting things other than scenery, always try to get as close to your subject as possible. This prevents unnecessary cropping, which decreases image resolution, and may affect photo quality later when creating an iPhoto book or ordering printed photographs.



Add Keywords to Photos

Keywords are category labels that you can add to your photos, allowing you to easily view images by category. To add a keyword to a photo or selection of photos, just drag them onto any keyword in the Keywords pane at the bottom left of the iPhoto window. (To view the Keywords pane, click the Keyword button-it looks like a key.) To remove all keywords from a photo, just drag it onto the Reset button in the Keywords pane. To view photos by keyword, click any keyword button in the Keywords pane.


iPhoto's Keywords pane allows you to easily add keywords (including your own) to photos by way of drag-and-drop.

Creating iPhoto Books

iPhoto 5 has a new book-building feature that allows you to create your own photo books. To start building one, select one or more images in the iPhoto window, and then click the Book button. Once you choose the type of book you want, your images appear in the unplaced photos pane at the top of the window. To add an image, drag one from the unplaced photos pane onto any blank area on the book page. If you drag another to the same page, iPhoto automatically changes the page's layout to accommodate the new photo. If you want to delete a photo from the book, select it in the page and press Delete; the photo will be moved back to the unplaced photos area for later use.


iPhoto book pages can hold more images than what some blank page templates may suggest. If you drag an image onto a page's blank space, iPhoto will rearrange the layout.

Get the Photographic Details

If you want to see what camera settings you used to capture a photo, what date you took a picture, what camera you used, and other picture details, just select a thumbnail in the iPhoto window and Get Info. From the Photos menu, choose Get Info (or press Command-I) to open the Photo Info window. You can view file and exposure information, as well as set keywords from the window.

Delete Originals to Save Space

When you drag an image or video into iPhoto from the Finder, iPhoto creates a copy of that asset in your iPhoto Library folder. If you'd like to free up disk space on your computer, you can delete the original.

Rotate Different

When you click the Rotate button, your selected image rotates 90 degrees counter-clockwise. If you want to rotate the image in the other direction, hold down the Option key while clicking the Rotate button.

Save Sharpening for Last

iPhoto 5 features a new Adjust palette that lets you edit a photo's exposure levels, brightness and contrast, saturation, sharpness, tint, and more. For the best image results, hold off on using the Sharpening slider until your very last step.


iPhoto's new Adjust palette provides even more editing options to enhance your photos. Save sharpening for last.

Organize Your Photo Library

You can add folders to iPhoto's Source list to better organize your photo library. You can organize your albums by event or year, or keep your albums, slideshows, and books together in one folder, or in their own separate folders. From the File menu, choose New Folder and drag whichever albums, slideshows, books, or other folders you want to it (you can't add individual photos directly to a folder).

Store Video Clips in iPhoto

iPhoto now works with video. That means that you can import movie clips, shot on your digital camera, into iPhoto along with your regular photos. You can also use iPhoto to organize other movies you have on your computer. To add a movie, just drag a video clip from the Finder into the iPhoto window. To play a video, double-click its thumbnail; the video clip opens in QuickTime Player.


Video clips that are added to iPhoto display a camcorder icon and time on the thumbnail.

Build Slideshows Smarter

To get a head start on building slideshows, set the global options for the show first. Then go through your slides and make minor adjustments to the timing, transitions, Ken Burns Effect, and other effects later. You can access these options by selecting a slideshow in the Source list (or create a new one if you haven't already), and clicking the Settings button in the slideshow pane.

Crop Images Before Using in iDVD

If you want to send your photos to iDVD, always crop them to a 4:3 aspect ratio (television resolution) in iPhoto before you do. Most consumer point-and-shoot digital cameras capture 4:3 images natively. However, most SLR cameras produce images with wider aspect ratios, and images that you crop on your own may have varying dimensions. To crop a photo in iPhoto for iDVD use, select an image, click the Edit button, choose 4 x 3 (DVD) from the Constrain pop-up menu, and click Crop.


Once you select 4 x 3 (DVD) as the cropping aspect ratio, you can adjust the target area by resizing the crop box before clicking Crop.

Share Your iPhoto Book Electronically

You can create a PDF file of any iPhoto book that's ready to share with friends and family. From the File menu, choose Print. After iPhoto electronically "assembles" your book, click Save As PDF in the Print dialog. Or if you prefer, you can print out your book on your inkjet printer; just click the Print button instead.

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