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Picasa Photo Editing
Tools For Beginners To Advanced Users

Picasa photo editing offers an extensive choice of tools when you want to edit your photos.

If you double click on a photo, the editing tools will appear. Any edits you make will not affect your original photo until you save it.

As a separate option, Picasa now allows you to use Picnik as your editig software. If you open a photo in Pciasa for editing, now one of your choices will be "Edit in Picnik". In my oinion, many of the edits are the same, but you can see which you like better. If you choose to edit in Picnik, your image will open in Picnik. Make your edits and click Save to Picasa. You can then choose to replace the original picture or to save a new copy, which keeps both the old and the new.

Picasa photo editing tools are divided into three categories.

Basic Fixes
If you choose Picasa's Basic Fixes, you will find some basic tools to edit your photos with. You can choose any or all of them to use. Some of the more useful ones are Crop, Red eye, Auto Contrast, Auto Color, Fill Light and Text.

I love the way cropping pictures works. You can do a manual selection of the area to be cropped with Picasa photo editing. However, for printing, you can select a fixed paper size, such as 4x6, 5x7, etc. A rectangle this size will appear on your image and you can then move it around, allowing you to see how your image will look as you do so. This solves what can be the frustrating problem of getting the image size to match the photo paper size. Visit my page Cropping Pictures if you would like to read more about cropping.

By choosing Text, you can add text anywhere on the photo. It is very easy to use. One tool I find very helpful is Fill Light. If your image is dark and you want to lighten it up, use this tool. A slider lets you lighten it more or less.

Under this heading, you have a choice of Fill Light, Highlights, Shadows, or Color Temperature. Highlights will bring out any lost lighting or details. Color Temperature, is the same as Hue in other editing programs.

Effects offers quite a few tools for you to try. My two favorites are Saturation and Sharpen. You might also like to see what your photo looks like in Sepia tones or even as a Black and White image. There are 12 different Effects edits that you can try.

Even if you don't want to use Picasa photo editing to manipulate your images, you still may want to add captions to individual photos. Under your photo you will see "Make a Caption". Here is where you might like to write an image description. If you have uploaded an Album to Picasa Web Albums, remember that changes made in the software will also be made to your online Album (as long as you have checked Sync to Web at the top). So now your captions will appear online too!

Here is a great video that explains some of the simple Picasa photo editing you can do with this software.

Saving Your Edited Photos
Many people find it confusing how saving photos works in Picasa, particularly when you edit a photo. The main thing to know is that Picasa never alters your original photo (unless you specifically tell it to).

There are different ways to save your edited photos, but here are the two easiest methods.

File - Save a Copy
This will place your new edited photo in the original folder, along with the original picture. Your original remains exactly the same without any edits. The new copy will have a 1 after it, such as vacation-1.jpg. Once you have edited your picture, go to File, then Save a Copy to choose this method.

File - Save As
This will place your edited picture in a completely new folder. You can add it to an existing folder or create a new one. Your original photo will stay in its original folder with no changes.

There are other options that you can explore with more controls. For example, with the Export option your pictures will be exported to a separate folder, just as in File - Save As. The difference is that you can change both the file sizes and the photo sizes.

If you want to change the image file type, such as from a JPEG image file to a TIFF image file, you will have to type in the extensions during your Save As. If you look at the offered file types, only JPEG appears. You may be interested in visiting my page on Image File Types.

You can explore all the Picasa photo editing options, as there are some I have not mentioned. For general photo editing information, please visit my other pages, Edit Photos or Photo Editing Programs.

Another nice feature you can take advantage of with Picasa photo editing is the ability to add watermarks to your photos. Watermarks are good to add for a couple of reasons: If someone downloads your photo and want to re-use it, your name and/or copyright info is embedded into the photo and it cannot be removed. If you want someone to know that your photo came from your website, this is a great way to add your website name right to the photo. You can learn more about watermarks on my page Watermark Software.

Picasa photo editing offers watermark software.
Picasa will add your watermark as white text to the lower right corner of your digital photo.

There are two way to add watermarks in Picasa 3. You can do this while exporting them to a new folder on your computer. Choose the photos to export and click the Export button at the bottom. Check "Add a Watermark". Then type the text you want to use.

You can also add a watermark to be added to your photos while uploading. If you choose this option, all uploaded photos will have the watermark on it. Go to Tools - Options. Then select the Picasa Web Albums tab. Check the Watermark box and enter the watermark text.

In either case, your original photos in the original files on your hard drive will never change. They will be preserved without the watermark. New JPG copies with the watermarks are created. The watermark cannot be removed from these copies.

What happens if you just want to upload and watermark some photos when performing Picasa photo editing….not all of them?
You have two options.
  • Before uploading, go to Tools - Options, and follow as above. The next time you want to upload images without the watermark, go back to Tools and uncheck "Add a Watermark".

  • Export the pictures and check "Add a Watermark". These pictures will be in a new file and they will have the watermark. You can now upload them to the web as a folder, or create an album out of them and upload the watermarked album.

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