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Quick Tips: Keeping Mail Organized & Hidden iPhoto Features

I try to keep my email as organized as possible, but sometimes I just can’t find what I’m looking for. Generally, the toughest emails for me to find are those that have an attachment (Spotlight can’t find everything!). I remembered that I used to have a column in my inbox that would show a paper clip next to messages with attachments, but I couldn’t figure out how to get it to show up.

Turns out it’s one of those quick and easy things: while in your inbox (or any folder in Mail for that matter), select Columns from the View menu and choose what you want and don’t want to see. Alternatively, you can right-click on the column headers and choose from there. I have Attachments, Date Received, Flags, and From in use. Discovering this feature was particularly nice because I actually removed some columns and reduced clutter.

When you click on View in the toolbar, under Columns you might have seen “Sort By.” This will automatically sort by the selected attribute—for most, sorting by Date Received is best, but it’s great to know you have the option to sort so many different ways.

Hidden iPhoto Features

By Ed Shepard   Small Dog Electronics Tech Tails Newsletter
I’ve recently spent a few hours cleaning up my iPhoto library. This included adding proper image titles, keywords, updating Places and Faces info, deleting duplicates (and redundant photos in general), as well as deleting albums, smart folders, and slideshows that have outlived their usefulness. Here are a few tricks I discovered that aren’t documented by Apple, and apparently little-known on the web.

Did you know know you can compare an edited photo to the unedited original? This only works in iPhoto’s Edit mode. In Edit mode, simply hold down the Shift key and you’ll see the photo in all its pure, unedited glory.

Also in Edit mode, it’s possible to quickly zoom in on a particular area of a photo. Simply hover your mouse pointer over the area of interest, and then press the 1 key to zoom to 100 percent in, or press the 2 key for a 200% view. Jump back to fit to view by pressing the 0 key.

Want to hide certain photos in your iPhoto library, but don’t want to actually delete them? Simply right-click (or Control-click) on the secret photos and select “Hide Photo” at the bottom of the list. If you want to see your hidden photos, select View > Hidden Files in the iPhoto menu bar.

I like Faces (though it’s not always amazingly accurate) in iPhoto ’09. Did you know you can change a person’s Key Photo in Faces? This is the photo that shows on the Faces corkboard. To do this, open a photo of the person in Faces. Right-click on the image you want to be the key photo and choose “Make Key Photo.”

You can also scroll your mouse over the Key Photo in Face’s corkboard view, and while the photos are flipping through, click the space bar on the photo of your choice. That will be the person’s new Key Photo.

Here are some more tips about Faces, from Macworld magazine.

I also enjoy Places, iPhoto ’09’s geotagging feature. It’s fun to see my photos on a map. iPhone photos are automatically geotagged, but my other cameras lack a built-in geotagging tool. It’s easy to manually add this information to a photo, but it’s a chore to do this for a big batch of photos.

However, I discovered that it is possible to copy Places information from photo to photo. Simply select a photo that has been tagged with the correct information, right-click (or control-click) on it and choose “Copy” from the contextual menu. Now select your batch of untagged photos, right-click (or control click) on them, and choose “Paste Location.” Now they all share the same location information.

When you delete a photo from your iPhoto library, it goes into iPhoto’s trash. This gives you a margin for error if you accidentally delete a photo. Over time, iPhoto’s trash can fill up with hundreds or even thousands of photos, stealing gigabytes of space from your hard drive. To see the contents of iPhoto’s trash, click on the trash can icon in the left panel of the iPhoto interface. In iPhoto 09, it’s under the “Recent” header. To empty the trash, click on iPhoto > Empty iPhoto Trash in iPhoto’s menu bar at the top of the screen.

I receive a couple newsletters from Small Dog Electronics each week in my email.  They never fail to include some useful tip to help me out.  If you are a Mac user, I strongly suggest Kibbles & Bytes and Tech Tails from Small Dog Electronics. Check them out.


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