Forget iPhoto. Use Pixa To Organize Photos On Your Mac

Nancy Messieh 26-09-2012

If you’ve been looking for a way to keep photos on your Mac organized, and iPhoto isn’t cutting it for you, a new beta app might have you covered. Free for as long as it’s in beta, Pixa is an easy to use app that makes it easy to keep your photos organized, back them up to the cloud, and open photos in external apps.


In addition to keeping you organized, Pixa comes with a few pretty cool features which make it easy to stay organized, inspired and more.

Get Started With Pixa

The first step to getting started with Pixa, is that like iPhoto, you have to import your images into the app, but the process is far more intuitive. Drag and drop your images into the app to save them to your library. If your photos are already organized in folders on your computer, the best way to import your photos would be one folder at a time. If they’re not, you can simply drag them all into the Pixa library and start organizing from there.

Creating Projects With Pixa

To create a new album (or ‘folder’ as Pixa calls them) you can simply drag and drop the folder into the Pixa sidebar, and they will be imported into the app. If there are a lot of large photos in the folder, you can definitely step away and let Pixa do its job. If there are sub-folders within that folder, those folders will automatically be converted into ‘projects’.

organize photos on mac

This feature is especially useful for freelance photographers, graphic designers and more, who are working on large projects with several layers to it. In short, Pixa is an organizer’s dream. The app also detects if you’re importing duplicate photos, a key feature for anyone who’s trying to get a mangled folder full of photos organized.


At the same time, you can browse all of your photos from the ‘Library‘ tab in the sidebar, so if you want to search through your entire collection, it’s possible. You can also view the most recently imported photos, as well as screenshots you’ve taken. You can also browse photos by tags.

best way to organize photos on mac

Photo Tags & Information

When you import photos in Pixa, it automatically tags your images for you, and you can add more tags manually as well. Pixa’s automated tags relate mainly to the colours in the photos and the image size. If you don’t want to automate tagging, you can toggle it on and off in the app’s settings.

In addition to the tags, Pixa also displays a lot of information about the image What Is EXIF Data? 3 Ways to Remove Metadata From Photos Most cameras embed hidden information ("metadata") in photographs taken. For privacy's sake, here's how to remove that metadata. Read More . Basic information includes file format, dimensions, size and date taken. Delving in a little deeper, Pixa displays metadata including colour model as well as complete EXIF data if available.


best way to organize photos on mac

Save Your Photos To The Cloud

Right-clicking photos brings up a context menu with several options, one of which allows you to upload the photos to one of two services. You can either save your photos directly to Dropbox or CloudApp, but have to of course grant Pixa access to your account in order for it to do that.

best way to organize photos on mac

Once you’ve done that, uploading one or multiple photos is one click away – but you can’t upload an entire folder or project at a time.


Exporting Files

If you want to export your files back out of Pixa, you have the choice of exporting it in its original size, in its original format, or as a png, or half its size as a jpg. In addition to png and jpg, Pixa supports psd, ai, jpg, png, tiff, pdf, bmp, gif, ico, icns and eps.

organize photos on macbook

Save Screenshots

One recommendation from Pixa is to use the app as more than just a place to save your own work. It can also be used to save screenshots or images from elsewhere, making it easy to create virtual inspiration boards for various topics or ideas.

To take a screenshot, use the Pixa icon in the menu bar – from there you can choose to snap a specific area, window or take a full screen snapshot. Each option also comes with a dedicated keyboard shortcut.


organize photos on mac

Screenshots are automatically saved into the Screenshot folder, but you can drag and drop them into dedicated folders to keep the organization going using Pixa.

Would you ditch iPhoto in favour of Pixa? Let us know in the comments.

Related topics: Image Editor, Organization Software, Photo Album, Photography.

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  1. sigits Sigit
    October 1, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    nice info..i'll try it thx

  2. macwitty
    September 27, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Looks nice, better than iPhoto, but I think it need to support RAW format to be a real killer

    • Nancy Messieh
      September 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm

      Very true - if you shoot RAW that's definitely a dealbreaker.

    • Drew
      September 28, 2012 at 2:03 am

      Any recommendations for working with RAW on Mac OS? New Mac user here after 27 years working with Windows - BIG learning curve...

      • macwitty
        September 28, 2012 at 11:40 pm

        What do you want to do?
        Open and "easy" editing - iPhoto
        Take the "good" out of RAW format - Aperture (Apple) or Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop incl their Camera Raw

        • Drew
          October 11, 2012 at 3:11 am


  3. bonioloff
    September 26, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Really great apps, I hope I can have a new MacBook.. :D

  4. salim benhouhou
    September 26, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    i like pixa i just downloaded it and i intend to use it on " macbook air " that i am going to buy

  5. Dimal Chandrasiri
    September 26, 2012 at 5:16 am

    is this only for MAC systems?

    • susendeep dutta
      September 26, 2012 at 9:49 am