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How To Organize Digital Photos On Your Computer With XP

Learning how to organize digital photos can be confusing. After all, there is so much going on in your computer, how on earth are you supposed to know where the photos are to be stored?

The easiest way to learn how to organize digital photos is have a mental picture of what it looks a visual way that will help. Here it is.

Your computer's basic filing system looks like this:

My Computer - My Documents - My Pictures - Folders - Files.

All you need to start out knowing is where My Documents is. It might automatically be placed on the bottom of your computer screen or on your desktop.

Think of the filing system as being in your house.

So....let's say, you go to a room in your house. There is a sign on the door and it says My Documents. You enter the room. There are many closets in this room, but one has a sign on it saying My Pictures. You say to yourself, "Wow, so this is where all My Pictures are!"

As you open the My Pictures closet, you see lots of folders. Luckily they are all labeled. One says "Vacation 2008". Another folder says "Jason's First Birthday". You open that one and see lots of pictures you took at his party. And each one is labeled. One says "Birthday Cake". Another says " Jason & Grandma". You had named each picture, but you did not have to. You could have just left them numbered which is what the camera automatically did.

Your Computer Filing System

Your computer is set up the same way. The only difference is that you are responsible for going to My Pictures, creating folders and filing your pictures in the right folder to organize digital photos.

And here is how you do it.

Let's assume you are transferring pictures from your camera to your computer. Before you do so, do the following.

Find My Documents on your computer. As mentioned above, typically there has been a shortcut created on your Desktop or on your screen's bottom toolbar. Open My Documents by clicking on it, and then locate My Pictures.

Click on My Pictures to open it. Go to File at the top of your My Pictures screen, click New and then select Folder. You will see a folder come up and with the highlighted words New Folder on it. Type in a name for your folder and hit Enter. (Let's call this new folder "Vacation 2008").

Click on this new folder to open it. Minimize this window. If you have any trouble naming the folder, you can always right click, select Rename, and name it again.

*You now have created a folder in the filing system which is located here:

My Documents - My Pictures - Vacation 2008 (your new folder)

Now go and do your picture transfer, whether it be by a USB connection or by using your Memory card directly. Once your pictures have transferred, a window will open on your screen. You will have a few options.

Choose "Open folder to view files". A folder will appear. Click on this to see all of your pictures.

Now we will transfer these pictures to the folder you created above. You can do this a few different ways. Here is the way I would suggest.

1. Go to Edit and choose Select All.

2. Right click on any of the pictures and choose Copy.

3. Remember the window you minimized? Bring it up so that it is open on your screen.

4. Go to any space on this folder screen, right click and choose Paste.

Now your pictures are located in your new folder. The filing system now looks like this:

My Documents - My Pictures - Vacation 2008 (new folder) - Vacation Pictures (files)

When you want to go to find your pictures, locate My Pictures and click on it. Then find Vacation 2008 and click on that folder. Your pictures will be there. This is how you organize digital photos on your computer.

Easy, right? Well, just a couple of more things.

  1. If you ever want to name or rename any folder or file, just right click on it and choose rename. Type in the name and click Enter.
  2. You can place a copy of any folder or file on your Desktop. Right click on the folder or file. Choose Send To. Then choose Desktop-Create Shortcut. This is something I often do when I want quick access to a folder or file. Any changes youmake will be done so in both its filed location and also on your desktop.
  3. Don't forget to delete your files from your camera.

To organize digital photos, just remember that it is similar to a physical filing system.

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If you want an easier way to organize digital photos, you can try photo software that does just this.
Read my review on Picasa 3, which I would recommend as simple software to use. Picasa 3 is free.

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