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Click here for simplified notes on the basic Picasa procedures

Picasa is a photo-editing program. It is completely free to download and use and works with all digital cameras.


Importing photographs from your camera

When you plug your camera into your computer, the Picasa import window may open automatically. On the left hand side of the screen is the Import Tray, which shows small versions of all of the pictures that you have on your camera.

To import pictures from your camera:

  1. Click the "Import All" button at the bottom of the Picasa window.
  2. A new window will open, titled "Finish Importing". The cursor will be flashing in the top field of this window. Think of a good name for the collection of photos you are importing, and then type it in to this field. For example, you might want to type in "Holiday 2006" if the photos you are importing are of your holiday.
  3. Next, make sure the button towards the window that says "Safe delete" is selected: this will ensure that only the pictures you import from your camera are deleted from it.
  4. Click "Finish"; a new window will open titled "Confirm Remove": in this window, click the "Yes" button". Your photographs will now be imported.
  5. When your photographs have been imported, the Picasa import window will be replace with a window displaying all of the photos you have imported. You can double-click on any one of these photos to edit and print it, or send it to a friend!

Importing images from a CD

  1. Put the CD into the computer.
  2. Click the "Import" button in the top left of the Picasa window.
  3. A new window opens, titled "Import". In the top left of this window, click the "Select Device" button and then click on "CD Drive".
  4. The rest of the process is the same as importing photos from a digital camera, so simply follow the instructions above marked "to import photos from your camera".

Scanning images

Picasa can also be used to scan images. To scan an image using Picasa, follow these steps:

  1. Put the original image into the scanner, and make sure the scanner is switched on.
  2. Open the Picasa program.
  3. Click the "Import" button at the top-left of the main Picasa window.
  4. A new window will open. Click the button labelled "Select Device" in the top-left corner of this window, and then click on the name of your scanner.
  5. Another new window will open. In this window, select the type of image you are scanning (for example, "Color picture" or "Black and white picture or text", and then click "Preview".
    1. Note that the "Color picture" setting scans images at a low quality, so that they are suitable to view on-screen. If you want to scan your images so that you can print them out, you will need to scan them at a higher quality. To scan at a higher quality:
      1. First, select "Color picture".
      2. Then click "Adjust the quality of the scanned picture".
      3. A new window will open, titled "Advanced Properties". Change the number in the "Resolution" box from 75 to 300, and then click "OK". Click "Preview" to perform a preview scan of your image.
  6. Your scanner should perform a quick scan of your image. When it has finished, a preview of the image will appear on screen and Picasa will automatically change the scanning area to select the image. If you want to change the scanning area yourself, simply drag the red squares at the corners of the scanning area.
  7. Click the "Scan" button. Your scanner will now scan your image.
  8. When your scanner has finished scanning your image, it will appear on screen. Click the "Import All" button at the bottom of the window.
  9. A new window will appear titled "Finish Importing". Fill in the first box in this window ("Enter a folder name for these photos") or select a folder to import to from the second box (Location where these photos will be saved).
  10. Click the "Finish" button. Your scanned image is now in your Picasa image libary, ready to be edited, printed, or scanned.

The Picasa library

Picasa displays all of your photographs in its "library". The library screen looks like this:


The grey rectangle marked "1" on the right of the screen allows you to scroll up and down through your photos: simply click on the rectangle, hold the left-button on the mouse down, and then move the mouse up or down to scroll. Release the left-button when you have scrolled to the photo you want.

To display a larger version of one of your photos, just double-click on the photo you want to see enlarged. Once the photo is enlarged you will also be able to edit and print it.

Editing photos

Once you have got your photos onto your computer from your camera, you might want to edit them a little bit: for example, you might want to remove "red eye", or sharpen an image that is a little out of focus.

The three photo-editing controls

Picasa allows you to edit your photos in lots of different ways.

Starting from the Picasa "Library" window, where all your photographs are displayed:

  1. Double-click on the photo you want to edit. It will enlarge to take up most of the screen.
  2. Towards the top-left of the screen are three tabs, marked "Basic Fixes", "Tuning" and "Effects". Clicing on on one of these tabs allows you to make particular edits to your photograph. "Basic Fixes" allows you to make simple adjustments to your photo, like taking out red-eye or cropping; "Tuning" allows you to make more subtle adjustments to your photo, like increasing the amount of shadow or light; and "Effects" allows you to do some special effects to your image, such as making it sepia or soft focus.

Basic Fixes

The Basic Fixes controls look like this:

Basic Fixes

The simplest thing to do is usually to click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, which will make Picasa automatically adjust your image.

Reducing redeye

A really useful feature is the "Redeye" feature. This allows you to remove "redeye" from photographs. Do the following to remove redeye from a photograph:

  1. Open the photo from which you want to remove redeye.
  2. Slide the lozenge towards the bottom right of the screen to the right, to zoom in on the photo. This will allow you to see the eyes better.
  3. Click and drag on the photo, so that the eyes are clearly visible.
  4. Next, click on "Redeye" in the "Basic Fixes" panel on the left of the screen.
  5. Use the mouse to drag a rectangle around the first eye - this is just like cropping a photo in Picasa. When you release the mouse button, the redeye will be removed automatically.
  6. Repeat step 5 for any other eyes you want to remove redeye from.
  7. When you have removed all of the redeye, click on "Apply" in the left hand column.



The Tuning controls look like this:




The Effects controls look like this:


Saving your edited image

Once you have finished editing your image, click the "Back to Library" button at the top-left of the Picasa window. This will take you back to your collection of images. Notice that you now have the option to "Save Changes" at the top of the folder which contains the photo you were editing. Click this button to save the changes you made. Picasa may ask you to confirm that you want to do this, and it will always make a copy of your original photograph as a backup.

Printing images

To print an image from Picasa:

  1. Double click on the image in the Library, so that it enlarges to fill the screen.
  2. Click the "Print" button at the bottom of the Picasa window. Picasa will now display its printing screen.
  3. In the left-hand column of the Picasa printing screen, there are various settings you can change which tell your comuter how you want your images to be printed:
    1. The first section allows you to select how big you want your image to printed.
    2. The second section allows you to slect whether images should be cropped or shrunk, if they are too big to fit on the page.
    3. The "Printer Settings" section allows you to change the following:
      1. The printer you are printing to: usually you will only have one printer, and will not need to change this setting.
      2. The "Printer Setup": this allows you to change the size of paper you are printing to, and also the quality you wish to print at.
    4. Finally, you are able to select the number of Copies of your photo you want to print. Picasa automatically aranges your photos on the page so that they fit together using the least amount of paper.
  4. Click the "Print" button at the bottom-right of the screen. Your photo should now print.

Emailing images

Once you have finished editing a photograph, you might like to email it to a friend. Picasa makes this really simple; just follow these instructions:

  1. Ensure that the photo you want to email is opened, so that it fills the entire screen in Picasa - to do this, just double click on the small version of the photograph displayed in the library;
  2. Click the "Email" button at the bottom of the Picasa window. Picasa will now automatically create a new email for you, with your image attached. Just write and address the email, and send it!

Exporting images to be used on eBay

If you want to sell something on eBay, a good way of making your sale stand out is to include a photograph of what you are selling on your eBay listing. Often, however, digital photographs are too big to be included in an eBay listing, so you'll need to use Picasa's "Export" function to create smaller versions of your photographs:

  1. Find the photographs you want to export in your Picasa image library.
  2. Click on the first photograph you want to export.
  3. Hold down the "shift" key.
  4. With the shift key held down, click on the last photograph you want to export. The first and last photos, and al of the photos in between, should have blue boxes round them to show that they are selected.
  5. Click the "Export button", on the far right of the row of buttons at the bottom of the Picasa window. A new window should open titled "Export to Folder".
  6. Type a name for the folder that will contain your exported photos into the white box marked "Name of exported folder".
  7. Under "Image size options", make sure the "Resize to:" option is selected, and then enter "400" in the box marked "pixels".
  8. Under "Image Quality", select "Normal".
  9. Click "OK". The folder in which your resized photos were created will open. Close it down, and have a look in your Picasa list of folders to find it in Picasa.
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