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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

iMac Newbie Here!

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mrarroyo's Avatar
Member Since: Jun 29, 2008
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
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Hi guys and gals, after being a PC user for about 26 years I finally received my new iMac 21.5 3.06 gHz on Friday, May 29. My biggest problem so far has been iPhoto. I have about 7 gigs of pictures fully organized on an external USB HD that I used w/ my previous PC. Well I imported them in and iPhoto re-organized the files and set up a bunch of folders in the events section.

How can I set up iPhoto to keep the same type of ordering I have on my USB HD? Thanks.

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TomTomTuning's Avatar
Member Since: Sep 26, 2008
Location: Camp Hill, Pa
Posts: 497
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What kind of ordering did you have on the USB HD?

You could probably create Albums, then drag the files from finder into that album.
But i doubt there is a way to maintain the file structure.

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Member Since: Mar 15, 2010
Location: Metro Detroit
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i have to admit that i avoid using iphoto whenever possible. i find it to be quite stressful to use..

-27" iMac. Core 2 Duo, 1TB HD, 4GB Ram.
-13" MacBook Pro. Core 2 Duo, 250GB HD, 4GB Ram.
-iPhone 3GS 32GB.
-AirPort Extreme.
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MYmacROX's Avatar
Member Since: Mar 17, 2009
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If you cannot find a reasonable solution within the iPhoto app, you can always store your photos in folders (in Finder) just like you would on Windows. iPhoto is just an option, it's not written in stone that you have to use it. I use it. I like it. But for your needs, you might want to stick with the standard folder structures you already have in place.
Look in Finder in the directory that has your name and there is already a folder there called "Pictures". Just use that folder if iPhoto doesn't work out for you.

64GB iPhone 6, 64GB iPad Air 2.

Reminder: Please include your Mac's specs. This will make it much easier for the other members to assist you.
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Member Since: Nov 09, 2009
Posts: 149
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iphoto is incredibly stressful for a new switcher and really annoying but get used to it's quirks and it might work for you...or probably not.

perhaps if you have a one-to-one service option you can book an iphoto session?
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Member Since: Jun 29, 2008
Location: Miami Beach, Florida
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I will try iPhoto for a few more days, if I don't like it by then I will go the "finder picture folder" route. Thanks.

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Member Since: Sep 07, 2008
Location: Shakopee, MN
Posts: 311
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I'm not sure why, but iPhoto seems to throw off a lot of switchers the first time they use it. I think the likely cause is that it works so different from anything on Windows. I often describe it to people as iTunes for pictures. What exactly do I mean by that? Allow me to explain.

I'm assuming you've used iTunes and you know how it works. You open up the app and it shows you all of the music in your library. The music is sorted in a number of ways: song title, artist, album, and genre to name a few of the big ones. If you want to play a song, you find it in the library within the app itself and hit play. Simple and easy. You don't have to dig into folders upon folders in the Finder (or Windows Explorer on Windows) and locate the file itself in order to play it. In fact, you can even have iTunes organize the library in the Finder for you automatically so that you know exactly where everything is.

iPhoto works in a similar fashion. Rather than access all of your photos by digging into a file hierarchy system, you simply open up iPhoto, which will display all of the pictures in your library automatically. Photos are primarily sorted by Events, which is really not that different from what most people use on their Windows PC. (Example: I put all of our Florida vacation photos in this one folder.) It's just called something else and looks a bit different. With a little extra effort you can also sort photos by who is in them (Faces) and where they were taken (Places). You have the ability to manipulate the Events however you like. You can add pictures to them, split photos off into a separate Event, or delete them from the library altogether. However, you do this in the app itself, not in the Finder.

This may sound disturbing at first until you realize that once you have everything all set up, you'll always go into iPhoto to look at your pictures in much the same way you'll always go to iTunes to listen to your music. It's just easier to have a visual representation of each of your photo events rather than rely on thumbnails in the Finder to locate everything. In the end, there's little need to have access to the actual files themselves in the Finder. If you want to share a photo, there's a number of ways to do so built right into the app. If you want to create an external folder in the Finder with the pictures from an Event, you can Export them. It's really a powerful and useful tool. I consider it to be one of the best apps included on the Mac.

I suggest you take a look at the video tutorials on the Apple website to get a better idea of how iPhoto works and exactly what you can do with it. Most of all give it a fair shake before throwing up your hands and admitting defeat. I really do think you will find it a better way to enjoy the photos you take. Good luck.

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Location: Wisconsin
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Originally Posted by J.Fo View Post
I'm not sure why, but iPhoto seems to throw off a lot of switchers the first time they use it. I think the likely cause is that it works so different from anything on Windows. I often describe it to people as iTunes for pictures. What exactly do I mean by that? Allow me to explain....
Excellent post! I think you've really nailed it. The frustration comes with not understanding how the application works, and trying to get it to work a different way, which it is not set up to do.
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Member Since: Mar 11, 2009
Location: Washington & Arizona
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I think the hardest part of using iPhoto is giving up the idea of Folders... I know it was for me. In a few years it's starts to get difficult to remember what year it was that you took the photo you want to find, was it 2006 or 2007, was it at a Birthday party or another holiday? Then you have to start digging in folders and subfolders and scrolling around looking. In iPhoto with just a few key strokes in the Search box at the bottom it will find any photo you want... I don't scroll though Events that iPhoto put's all you pictures in to start with, that is a lot like using folders, you still have to scroll around and look in different Events to find a photo. I use Smart Albums and Key Words for all photos, also now that iPhoto has Faces and Places I'm stating to use those also to find pictures I want. Th first thing I do after importing a photo is assign at least 1 Key Word to each photo (this can be done in Batches by selecting more than 1 photo). Lets say I have a photo of Uncle Bob with a crazy hat on that I took on vacation in 2003 at Blue Lake in Idaho, I would add the Key Words, Blue Lake, Family, Vacation and Idaho (we travel a lot so I have Smart folders for each State), I would put crazy hat in the description, make sure Faces finds him too.
I can now search, using the Search box at the bottom of iPhoto, for that picture several ways and not have to remember what year it was. I can find him by typing Uncle Bob or Family or Idaho or Blue Lake or Vacations or crazy hat or use Faces, I also have a Smart Album for all States we travel in so Bob would also show up in the Idaho album. I could even sort my whole library by Date and scroll down to about the time I took the picture. That is just some of the many ways to find a photo fast. Uncle Bob would show up in several Smart Albums, but you would still only have two Pictures of him, the Original and a Modified, well there is a small thumbnail of each too. iPhoto doesn't mess with your Original photo so you can always go back to it if you mess up making adjustments on it.

After you get your photos into iPhoto you will want to use them to send to friends and family. You are just one button click away from E-mail or uploading them to the web. Select the photo you want to send and click the e-mail button and it will open your email app and insert the photos for you, and you can choose the size of the photo from there. You can do just about anything you need to from inside iPhoto, set up an external editor inside of iPhoto if iPhoto won't do all the types of editing you need, but if you need to do something outside of iphoto just use export from the File menu or just drag it to the desktop. I add photo frames to mine sometimes to upload but don't want to keep a copy in iPhoto so I just click on the photo in iPhoto and drag it to the Dock and drop on the ImageFramer icon and it opens up in ImageFramer, I do what I want with it then drop the copy that is on the desktop in the trash.

Iphoto is a very good way to organize your photos once you stop thinking in terms of Folder and start thinking Data Base.

Never ask a man what computer he uses. If it's a Mac, he'll tell you.
If it's not, why embarrass him?'"
..: (Tom Clancy)
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Member Since: Feb 03, 2009
Location: Duns. Scottish Borders.
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Mac Specs: 27" i7 iMac. Intel Quad Core. 16 GB Ram.

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I think J Fo put it very well.

When I first got my Mac I was a bit lost with iPhoto but after just and hour of trying different things out I sharp got the hang of it. Now I find it the best photo organising program I have ever used.
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Member Since: Jun 04, 2007
Location: Long Beach, CA.
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Mac Specs: iMac 21" 2.4G 320G HD OS Snow Leopard. Win7 on Dell PC Inspiron i5 8g Ram 1TB HD

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I created events and that groups all the pictures in an event folder-works for me. Van
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