How do I make a new SkyDrive photo album?

There are a number of ways of making a new photo album or folder in SkyDrive. Here are several of the procedures.

Create new folder in SkyDrive

imageWhen you are in your SkyDrive online, that is, viewing it in a browser,  there is a “New folder” link above the main pane. Click it to make a new folder or album. Instantly a new folder tile will be added in the main pane. The folder name will be highlighted indicating that you can just type the folder name. Type the name you want to assign to the folder or album.

imageThis folder will initially be set to Folder type Documents. You can see that when you expand the Information section in the pane on the right. There will be a Change link there. You can change it to Photos, or you can just leave it as is. When a photo is uploaded to the folder it will change to Folder type Photos by itself.

Create a new SkyDrive photo album from Live Photo Gallery

Sometimes the easiest way to add a new SkyDrive photo album is to do it as you upload photos from Live Photo Gallery. In Photo Gallery sign in to your Microsoft account (upper right). Then select the photos you wish to upload to a new SkyDrive photo album. Click SkyDrive in the Share section of the ribbon. A dialog pops up with the first option being the defining of a new SkyDrive photo album. Type in the name you wish to assign to the album and click Publish. Note the Publish button is not enabled until an album name has been typed. The SkyDrive photo album will be created and the selected photos will be uploaded to the album.

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Creating a SkyDrive photo folder in the desktop app

If you have the SkyDrive desktop app installed you can create a new folder for photos just the way you would create any other new album using Windows Explorer. Open Windows Explorer, click SkyDrive in the left navigation pane. Then click New Folder.

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Using the SkyDrive desktop app allows you to create the new folder anywhere in the folder hierarchy in your SkyDrive. Keep in mind that you cannot upload from Photo Gallery into any sub-folders.

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© 2012 Ludwig Keck

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How do I prevent creating sub-folders when importing photos?

When importing photos from a camera, Windows Live Photo Gallery, in the default mode, creates a sub-folder for each group of photos on the camera. imageThe import dialog looks like the illustration here. The photos on the camera are presented in groups, ordered by date and time, usually one group per day. The grouping is adjustable. There is an “Enter a name” box for each group, see the red pointer in the illustration. If a name for the group is entered, the import procedure will create a sub-folder by that name. image

If no group name is specified, a sub-folder is created with the date when the photos were taken as the name followed by a number. For most of us, this is just fine. But what do you do if you don’t want sub-folders, but all the photos imported into one folder? Can that be done?

The process described above is for the default setting in Windows Live Photo Gallery. You can change the way photos are imported in the Live Photo Gallery Options menu.image

Click the blue File tab, then Options. Click the Import tab in the options dialog.

Click on the Folder name: selection, it is probably “Name”. The last item in the drop-down menu is (None). Click on this, then click OK.

When folder name “(None)” is selected, no sub-folders will be made and all photos will be imported into the folder specified in “Import to:”. Note the Browse button which allows you to specify any folder on your system for storing your imported photos.

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© 2011 Ludwig Keck

What is the difference between albums and folders on SkyDrive?

Windows Live SkyDrive has a long history and carries a legacy of features. Currently the primary purpose is for storing and sharing files and photos.

SkyDrive in the root location, the first one you come to when you click SkyDrive in the top bar, can contain documents and folders. Folders in the root location have a Folder type parameter. Sub-folders, folders inside other folders, do not have a Folder type.image You can see the Folder type in the information pane under Information.

In the root location the Folder type may be fixed for some folders (legacy Documents, Favorites). Other folders, and all newly added ones, can be of Folder type Documents or Photos and the Folder type can be changed.

When you click Documents in the left pane, only folders of Folder type Documents (and Favorites, if you have any of those) will be shown in the main area.

When you click Photos, only folders of Folder type Photos will be shown in the main area. These are the albums.

There is one other distinction: Only albums, i.e. folders of Folder type Photos, will show in Windows Live Photo Gallery in the upload dialog. So you can only upload photos to “albums”.image

You can change the Folder type of folders in the root location. In the information pane, under Information, you can see the Folder type. There is a Change link.image

Click on Change and a new page allows you to change the Folder type.

The two options are:

  • ● Documents – Store documents, spreadsheets, and other files
  • ● Photos – Store photos to show on your Photos page

To summarize: Albums are folders of folder type Photos. They are located in the root of your SkyDrive. They will be shown in the main display area when you click Photos. These albums will also be shown as album options when uploading from Live Photo Gallery.

Other folders and subfolders may contain photos – by moving individual photos or folders into them. imageWhen a folder, or subfolder, contains a photo, the folder icon will show that photo. When a folder contains more than one photo, the folder will play a continuous little slide show of the photos inside on the folder icon. You can see this by clicking the folder illustration here.

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© 2011 Ludwig Keck

Can I send photos to a SkyDrive album via email?

Update 6 April 2012: As of May 2012 this feature will no longer be available.

Yes, you can send photos to your SkyDrive albums via email. Windows Live SkyDrive offers a large amount of free storage and some nice photo album features. Normally you upload with a drag-and-drop procedure or, even easier, directly from Windows Live Photo Gallery.

ULbE-01pSending photos to a prime-level SkyDrive album via email is another very useful option. The procedure must be enabled first.

Here is how:

Log in to your Windows Live account. In the upper right corner click on your name. In the drop down menu, click Options. See the red pointers in the illustration here.

imageOn the options page in the lower right corner find and click Email publishing.

This takes you to the Email publishing page. Most of the page is greyed out until you click the Turn on email publishing check box.image

When the form is enabled, there are four steps:

  1. Enter the email address (up to three) from which photos can be sent to a SkyDrive album. Note that photos sent from any other address will not be delivered to the album, the email will just be lost.
  2. Enter a “secret” word. This will become part of the address for sending the photos. This is just used to make the process more secure. (No spaces in this word!)
  3. Select album codes. This is an optional step, codes, three-digit numbers, are pre-assigned to your albums. You can change these, but the ones offered will work just fine.
  4. Click the Save button.

Once you have saved the information, there will be a display of the email addresses for sending the photos. Each album – and this is only for the prime-level albums, it does not work for albums inside other albums – has a unique email address. The address looks like this: name.album.secretword@spaces.live.com. Where name is a name derived from your name, it may be slightly different from your user name – be careful with that! The album will be the three digit album number (or other, if you changed it) to identify which album it is. The secretword is the word that you specified.

imageTo send photos to an album you must originate the email from an email address you specified on this page. Attach the photo or photos to the email. Do not use the Photo album feature in Live Mail. Do not “Change to photo album”.

Be sure to use the correct email address from your Email publishing page.

If using Hotmail use Insert: Attachments, do not use the Photos link.

Enter a subject and message if you like so you can find and see the email in your sent messages. Only the photos get to your album, no messages, no hint that they were sent via email. Only JPG photos can be sent to albums, this does not work for sending documents, just pictures.

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© 2011 Ludwig Keck