Organizing your digital pictures can be a daunting task if you are an avid collector and have hundreds of digital pics to keep.Moreover you may want to retouch/edit/print/backup your pics on the fly while arranging them.Google Picasa gives you a great tool to reduce your image handling hassles in a major way.
After getting frustrated for a long time i decided to finally do something about my pics and tried Picasa from the Google stable.Its a handy tool which lets you manage your images in a really cool way.Let’s take a look at what it can do for you.
1. At first instance when you install Google Picasa your whole computer is scanned for images and all folders containing images are shown to you in a neat and user friendly interface.It can scan for videos as well but i will suggest you to keep it to pics only as not many video functions are available in the software. Picasa can be configured to scan selected folders (scan options are available under Tools menu by the name of ‘Folder Manager‘) or you can exclude folders which you don’t want to be shown in Picasa.
2. Clicking on images opens them in a picture viewer -in Picasa itself-and lets you browse through all pics in that folder.Standard features like zooming etc. are available here.What enhances the experience is the fact that almost all you may want to do to an image is possible in Picasa.You can edit image for brightness, color and contrast related adjustments.If the image is dark you can use ‘Fill Light‘ option to light it up.You can tune the image for colors and shadows and you can choose image version from various applied effects to the selected image which are shown as thumbnails under ‘Effects‘ menu.Beside this, images can also be edited in batch mode.
3. In same window in Picasa as above, you may find a picture tray where you can place pics from various folders by pressing the hold button.when you have selected images you have the option to email them(from Outlook or Gmail) them,print them in various sizes or save them to the disk.
4. A cool feature of Google Picasa is Collage (available under ‘Create‘ menu) which allows you to make a collage of images placed in the picture tray.You can also create a Screensaver or movie of selected images.I tried all compression methods offered and in my view X-vid MPEG-4 option works best.You can also upload images to blogger directly.However it would have been great if uploading to image sites like flickr.com would have been provided.
6. Images can be viewed in a customized slide show or in a time line view which shows you time of image creation.
7. Images can be imported/exported from/to external drives and mediums.
8. Images can be saved to CDs and DVDs as burn disc option is available with picture tray.A thoughtful functionality is ‘Gift CD‘ which allows you to choose images to be written to a CD which you can gift to someone special.
9. Backup facility lets you backup you images by writing them to a portable media like CD or DVD.
10. You can print images as contact sheets to be used with brochures etc.A really nice feature is ‘Export as web page‘ which automatically saves selected images to a nice web page which can be directly uploaded to a site and made available online.
Besides this Picasa can show you EXIF (exchangeable image file format) data if available with the image.
Google Picasa can be downloaded here.
Google Picasa is for anyone looking for a clean and easy way to simply organize images and get the most enjoyment from them.Its not for someone wanting professional editing features but for general purpose users its a boon.So don’t wait to handle your digital image collection in a better way.