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Dec 20, 2013

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips

by Stephen Ashby

Keep everything in place with our top tips for organising your iPhoto library

One of iPhoto’s biggest strengths is its ability to keep your photo library organised, and there are plenty of ways you can do it. Whether you’ve got a huge library full of images that are unsorted, or you just need to keep a few albums or events organised, we’ve put together a collection of top tips to help you take advantage of what iPhoto can do.

Flagging, rating and tagging your shots can all help with finding your photos faster, and the photos themselves hold a huge amount of information that can help you quickly locate the image, or images, that you need. There are plenty more options, though; whether you’re using the Faces feature to sort through your portrait shots and find particular friends, or want to see all the photos taken in a specific area with the Places map, the power to do it is just a few clicks away.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips1 Flagging

Flagging important photos, or images that you need to edit, is a good idea if you have a large number of shots that you want to go through quickly. Just click the flag that appears when you roll your cursor over a photo.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips2 Keywords

Add keywords to your photos and you’ll find that discovering them is much easier. Add them by selecting a photo, clicking Info and starting to type. You can manage keywords from the Window menu.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips3 Changing dates

If you have shots from two cameras that you want to combine into one event, but the dates or times were different on each device, select all the shots from one camera and select Photos>Adjust Time and Date and match them up.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips4 Merge events

If all your shots are from a single trip, it’s a better idea to merge them all into one event. To do this, either select all the events but one and drag them into the unselected event, or select all the events, right-click and choose Merge Events.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips5 Smart Albums

If you want to create a collection of photos based on something other than the date, you can use a Smart Album. Select File>New Smart Album then choose the criteria that you want to use. All relevant shots will enter the album.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips6 Faces

Once you’ve added a few photos, you can use the Faces feature. Then, when you’re looking for a picture of two or three specific people, you can type their names into the Search bar and see all the photos in your library.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips7 Places

Many of your photos will contain a huge amount of information, including location data. If your camera doesn’t tag images automatically, select a photo, click Info, then type the location in here. Pinpoint by dragging the pin.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips8 Photos view

When you just want to see all your photos in one place, you can select the Photos view on the left. However, it’s possible to sort these out even further; click the small arrows next to the event name and the photos will be collapsed.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips9 Ratings

You can rate your photos by clicking them and giving them stars in the Info panel, or by simply holding Cmd and hitting a number between zero and five. To find highly- rated shots, click Search and type five stars (*) into the bar.

Top ten iPhoto organisation tips10 Hiding shots

If you have a lot of shots getting in the way, but don’t want to delete them, you can use the Hide function. You can view the hidden photos by choosing View>Hidden Photos; from here you can choose what to do with them.

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    • Mini Apple Genius

      This is very helpful! Thank you!

    • Daviid Cretegny

      is there a way (when you drag a bunch of folders in iPhoto) for iPhoto to make one album for each folder and not only one with the content of all folders. I know i can drag on folder at a time… but you know, i’m kinda lazy

    • kalabalik

      Try iPhoto tagger ( which will automatically keyword tag your photos based on time&date, gps information and photo characteristics.