I am an on again and off again user of Picasa (the desktop software version, not the web albums). Everytime I keep coming back to it, I am reminded of how great the app is, why it should stay on my computer and why it should be on everyone’s computer.
There are things that Google does well and some things they do really well. Picasa is one of the ones they do really well and if you do a lot of image viewing and editing on your computer then you should use Picasa by default. It takes image viewing and editing to a completely new level and offers a lot of other features apart from letting you look at your photos.
Here’s five Google Picasa tricks and tips, the ones I found really good and ones which I am likely to use often.
Resize Images Properly For Frames
I am in the habit of framing a lot of my good pictures for the walls but other image editing programs can’t seem to get the photo resized properly. Even if you specify the exact size you want, the picture still seems to be too big or too small. Then you have to start cutting it down (if it’s too big) or having big gaps in the frame (if it’s too small).
But with Picasa, you don’t have this issue. When you resize an image, it gets the new measurements exactly right, straight away.
Just go to the photo then press the print button. It will then give you a variety of sizes available.
They give you the opportunity to add a border to the picture, under “Border and Text Options“. Choose how many copies of the picture you want and it tries to put them all on the same page (depending on the size). Then choose your desired size and off it goes to the printer. Very easy.
Turn Your Photos Into An Instant HTML Webpage
This one is extremely useful if you would like to upload your photos to a website but you are not too sure about your HTML skills. This is even easier than the Web Album Generator which I wrote about in December 2007.
Choose the pictures you would like on your page by clicking on the first one then using your left and right arrow keys to choose the rest. Then go to Folder–>Export As A HTML Page and you will then be asked some options:
Make your choices and then you will be asked what type of page you would like :
After making your choices, Picasa then very quickly makes the page and opens it in your browser. If you like what you see, save the page to your computer by going to File–>Save Page As in the browser menu :
Send The Photos Directly To Blogger
Now that I have started using Blogger again, this one will become especially useful for when I quickly want to send my snaps to my blog.
Just double-click on the photo you want to send to your blog and press the BlogThis! button at the bottom.
This opens up a window to log into Blogger (if you’re not already logged in). Log in with your Google account and when you are in, you will get size options and then the opportunity to write some text next to your picture.
Then press “Publish Post” as you would do in any normal Blogger post. The image will then instantly appear on your blog page. No waiting required.
Turn Your Images Into A Collage – Then Into A Desktop Wallpaper
This one is really cool. We have already covered how to make a collage on computer before but the Picasa method is really quite easy.
Again, highlight the photos with your mouse then go to Create–>Picture Collage. Your images will then appear as one of the collage styles and you will have options to try out other ones.
Once the collage has been made, there is an option to then make your creation into a desktop wallpaper.
This will make my girlfriend jump hen she comes home and finds me on the desktop!
Turn photos into movie slideshows with music then upload to YouTube
I was at a wedding on Saturday and the bride & groom’s friends wanted to show a slideshow of the bride and groom at various stages of their relationship. But the software program they were using to play the show from their laptop constantly stopped working. Looking at how Picasa easily makes movie slideshows with music, they could have used this instead.
Granted, this is not going to make anything Oscar-worthy but if you are just looking for a way to show photos along with a bit of music (or no music if you prefer) then this works perfectly well.
Put all the photos you want in the slideshow into its own folder. Then in Picasa, there are options at the top of every folder. One of them is Create Movie Presentation. Make sure the pictures are in the correct order in the folder as you want them to appear in the slideshow (just name them picture1.jpg, picture2.jpg…..or something similar)
Clicking the “Create Movie Presentation” button puts the pictures in the folder into a straight line with a screen above it so you can view what you have created.
On the top left hand side, you also have the option to add music. Just navigate to the music file’s location in your computer and choose it. Then underneath, choose your “transition style” which is how you want the images to change on the screen. Do you want them to fade out? Or cut from one to the other? Pan and Zoom? There are quite a few choices there for you to choose from.
You can then press the green “play” button for your slideshow to start. Go full screen for maximum effect. At the end, if you are really pleased with your slideshow, Picasa even gives you the ability to upload your creation to YouTube so everyone else can see it.
So those are the five features that jumped out at me. I did want to do the geotagging of my photos from Picasa to Google Earth but for some reason it didn’t work for me. Picasa told me to download Google Earth first but I already had it! So perhaps when I finally get that feature to work, I may write about it in a separate article.
We have done quite a few Picasa articles on MakeUseOf in the past. Here are a few to get your Picasa fix :
- Jim’s Five Part Introductory Series To Picasa – Part One, Two, Three, Four, Five.
- Ten Tips To Manage Photos Better Using Google Picasa – Shankar
- Send Your Photos To Your Picasa Web Album With An Email – Saikat
- How To Use Facial Recognition In Picasa Web Albums – Tim
Which features of Picasa do you like the best? Let us know in the comments.