Organizing Your Pictures

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The goal of F-Spot is threefold: you use it to organize, optimize, and display images. To do your work efficiently, it's important that you select the right perspective first. You can do that using the button bar at the top of the window. Click the Browse button for a thumbnail overview of all your pictures. If you want to edit a specific picture, you can use the Edit Image button to open it in an editor.

You'll also see that the context changes with the function you choose. When you're in the Browse view, you can add tags to pictures, and you see a summary of information about the pictures. In Edit Image view, you see more details about the selected picture as well as some options that help you optimize the picture (see Figure 6-9).

Photo Edit View Find Jags Tools Help

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Fullscreen Slideshow

Photo Edit View Find Jags Tools Help

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Fullscreen Slideshow

^ Histogram m

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T Image Information Name IMG_4926.JPG

Version Original

Date 3/7/2009 6:51 PM Size 3888x2592 Exposure f/14.0 1/800 sec ISO 400

280 Photos (1 selected)

Figure 6-9. In the Edit Image perspective, you have direct access to options to optimize your pictures.

Before you begin to optimize your pictures, it's a good idea to organize them. Among the first actions you may want to perform is tagging the pictures. Five tags are available by default: Favorites, Hidden, People, Places, and Events. You can drag a tag to a photo or to a selection of photos (use Ctrl-click to make your selection).

After you've properly marked all your pictures with tags, it's not hard to find all those in the same category. To do so, select Find > Find Selected Tag, and select a tag; you then see all pictures that have this tag applied (see Figure 6-10). After locating all photos that have the same tag attached, you can drag the tag away from the brown bar above the thumbnails toolbar to return to the overview of all your pictures.

Figure 6-10. You can easily find all photos from the same category by using the Find > Find Selected Tag option.

If you think you have to make do with the default tags, you're wrong. Right-click in the part of the screen where you see all the current tags, and from the menu select Create New Tag. Next, specify a parent tag if you want to use one. For instance, if you've been on a holiday in Iceland, it makes sense to create a subtag with the name Iceland under the parent tag Places. But you don't have to use a parent tag; in that case, select (None) as the parent tag. Then, type the name of the new tag you want to create, and click Create (see Figure 6-11).

Figure 6-11. When creating new tags, it makes sense to place them under a common parent tag.

When you create a new tag, it's placed as a new item under the parent tag. It doesn't get an icon by default; the icon used for that tag is the first picture for which you use the tag, so you should choose a nice photo! If your pictures are too small for you to choose a nice picture to use for your tag, drag the slide bar at lower right. Dragging it to the right zooms in on the thumbnails. This lets you take a better look at them (see Figure 6-12).

Figure 6-12. Use the slide bar at lower right to zoom in on the photo overview.

■ Tip Tagging a picture is easy, and removing the tag is almost as easy. Just right-click the picture, and select the option Remove Tag. If the selected picture has multiple tags, on the submenu you can indicate which tag you want to remove.

The screen of a netbook computer normally isn't very large, so you may also want to work in fullscreen view when you tag your pictures. This is how it works:

1. Select the first photo you want to work on in fullscreen view.

2. On the toolbar, click the Fullscreen button. Use the arrow keys to view the photos one by one.

3. When you're ready to tag a picture, right-click it, and select Attach Tag from the menu. Then, choose the tag that you want to add to the selected picture.

4. Use the arrow keys to browse to the next picture, and repeat this procedure (see Figure 6-13).

Figure 6-13. If you don't see enough in Browse mode, use fullscreen view to tag your pictures.

Another way to organize your photos is by rating them. This also isn't hard to do. Right-click the photo you want to rate; the last option in the menu is the Rating option. By default, five dots are shown. You can indicate your appreciation of the photo by clicking one of the dots. If you click the leftmost dot, you make this a one-star picture. If you click the rightmost dot, you mark it as a five-star photo. You can rate individual photos; or you can select multiple photos, right-click the selection, and rate them all at once (see Figure 6-14).

Figure 6-14. You can rate photos to make it easier to find back your most beautiful pictures.

When you're finished tagging and rating your pictures, you can use the options from the Find menu to find them. This menu contains options to find pictures by tag, by rating, or by using a combination of multiple criteria. For instance, locate all photos tagged with People. Next, choose Find > By Rating > Set Rating filter to create a rating filter; use five stars as both the Min Rating and as the Max Rating. These options show you only five-star People pictures (see Figure 6-15). Don't forget to clear the rating filter to see all your pictures again.

Figure 6-15. To make sure you see only your most beautiful pictures, you can set a rating filter and combine that with specific tags.

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