Picasa - Overview and Concepts [Series - Part 2]

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

In yesterday's post, I introduced you to some of the great things that the photo-editing tool Picasa can do. Be sure and go back to see if you missed the introduction. Let's get started right away now teaching you about how you can use this tool.

In the figure below, I've highlighted some of the main things you'll be working with inside the Picasa Window. On the left side is the navigation pane is where you will see all of your folders. By default, the folder with the newest items goes to the top of the list. Folders are categorized into "collections" and you can create more as needed to help organize. For starters, the "Folders" collection is where you will work most. There is also "Downloaded Albums" and "Exported Pictures" collections that are self-explanatory by their names.

Notice above, at the bottom of the window are your main actions: Upload to Web Album, Print, Export, and Collage (we will have classes on each of these). There is a slider bar at the bottom also, where you control the thumbnail size to see more or less on the screen according to your liking.

At the top of the window are your filter commands. When you have LOTS of photos like I do, you'll be glad these are here. I'll show you about that too. Finally, double-click on a specific thumbnail to go to that photo.

As you click on a specific photo, notice below how your screen will be laid out. On the left side now is the tools palette with three tabs: Basic, Tuning, Effects. We'll go step by step through these tools, but feel free to experiment in the meanwhile. (there's always an undo button if you mess up!)

When you start Picasa for the very first time, it asks the question about which folders for Picasa to "watch". You can do your photos folders ONLY or the whole computer. I choose the photos folders only since anything else will just cause your computer to scan longer than it needs to. You can change your folders settings at any time by going to the Tools menu and choosing "Folder Manager..." Below you can see how this looks. You want to look at your settings. Photos folders and subfolders should be set to "Scan Always" (i.e. watch for any new photos added) and all other folders you can set with the red X "Remove From Picasa (i.e. don't bother spending any time watching these folders)

Well that's it for today. Next up, we'll talk about how Picasa does edits ... something called "non-destructive editing" (which means you can always roll back to your original photo. We'll also talk about exporting photos (which has a built in resize and optional watermark functions). Have you ever wanted to resize a photo for your blog post? Come back tomorrow!

Posted by

Craig Daniels
This blog is all about technology and helping you to use it smarter! Your digital footprint is your chance to attract new clients. What kind of impression are you making via your website, blog, and social media? We’ll be talking about that! Are you as productive as you can be? What apps might help you out? Do you know how to use all the best tools inside the apps? I enjoy photography and videography, you can expect to see those topics also on this blog.
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PS - get ready for some homework… :) 

Comments (19)

Royal LePage Connect Realty - Toronto, ON

Your timing is perfect, I just uploaded some pictures for the first time using Picasa. I will bookmark this for future reference as I need all the help. Thanks.

Sep 10, 2010 07:17 AM
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I have never used the folder manager, never even new it was there! Thanks for keeping us learning new things......

Sep 10, 2010 07:22 AM
Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605 - White Plains, NY

Thanks for bringing me up-to-date on Picassa. I use it but not to its fullest potential.

Sep 10, 2010 10:08 AM
Kristen Wheatley
Better Homes & Gardens | The Masiello Group - Brunswick, ME
Supporting Success - Best Job in the World!

I wish I had read this before I loaded it.  I had it scan everything.  It did take quite a while.  Oops.

Sep 10, 2010 01:44 PM
Lee Jinks
Jinks Realty - McAllen, TX

You're welcome to post similar blogs and tutorials in the "Tips and Techniques for Better Real Estate Photography" group.

Sep 10, 2010 04:39 PM
Michele Miller ~ REALTOR®, LMC, HSE, CHS, SRES, CMRS
ERA Key Realty~Worcester County Realty Group - Worcester, MA
'Helping You Make the Best Move"

Thanks again Craig for more tips on using Picasa!

Sep 10, 2010 11:17 PM
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Craig, thanks for another great tutorial. Screenshots and diagrams are the way to go.

Do you take requests?

Could you write a tutorial on how to embed social media buttons in the Activerain signature? Where to find the bottlecamps and wineglass icons, how to capture the html if needed, how to link them to our FB, LinkedIn, Twiiter and other sites.


Sep 11, 2010 06:11 AM
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Dave - thanks for stopping by and the appreciative comment! requests are good and i like the one you just made - I'll add it to my upcoming blog list 

Sep 11, 2010 09:07 AM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566

I am going back to your first post and inhaling them one by one. You give fantastic visuals.

Sep 11, 2010 01:36 PM
Toronto, ON

Craig - Looking at your screenshots reminds me that I need to upgrade my version of Picasa so I can follow along.

Sep 11, 2010 05:19 PM
Lynn M. Bower
John R Wood Realtors - Naples, FL

Loving the learning..Thank you.

Sep 12, 2010 04:34 AM
Lynn Cromer
ReMax Advance Realty - Miami, FL

I have put all your classes in my favorites! I love them and have downloaded Picasso. thank you for taking the time to do this!

Sep 12, 2010 12:28 PM
Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage - Brampton, ON
Our Family Wants To Help Your Family!

Thanks Craig, keep them coming, looking forward to making our ho hum photos better.

Sep 17, 2010 01:09 AM
Andy Chaudoir
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown, TX
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas

Hello Craig - This is great stuff.  Thanks for the lessons.

Sep 17, 2010 02:27 PM
Timo Yannopoulos
Platinum Realty Licensed in Missouri - Kansas City, MO
Buying and Selling Kansas City Homes

Hey Craig

I am admiring the way you wright and explaining the tutorial. Short and to the point.

You are good my friend.



Sep 23, 2010 08:36 AM
Rick Wilson
Virgil Adams Real Estate - Olympia, WA
Olympia WA Real Estate

Thanks so much for these, Craig - I'm going through each one!

Oct 25, 2010 03:07 PM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

I'm a little behind on this class, but I'm going through your class right now.  I've got a photo open on my desktop and we will see how it goes.  Here is the picture I'm starting with.

Jan 30, 2011 01:32 AM
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Cindy - go for the fill light tool. That should help some. The highlights won't do much with this one because the bright windows have that side of the spectrum pretty full already. Hope you enjoy the picasa app.

Jan 30, 2011 01:37 AM
Jeremy Joslin
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - South Windsor, CT
Professional Real Estate Marketing and Sales
Thank you.  I will be looking at the whole series
Apr 24, 2011 03:49 PM

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