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

How do I add 3D-effect text on a photo?

For a title slide or the cover photo of an album, you might want the title set in an attractive, 3D-effect text superimposed on a photo. How can you create that without an expensive special purpose application? Here is a method that uses Paint, a tool you already have on your computer. 

Load your photo into Paint. With the Text tool (see illustration) draw a text box starting approximately in the upper left position of the intended text. imageimage

The text box will resize when you release the mouse button. You will now see a dashed box in your photo and the Text Tools ribbon opens. Type your title.image

The Text Tools in Paint

imageAs long as you keep your pointer in the text box you can modify the text and the text box. There are resizing handles on the box – you know you can resize when the pointer changes to a double-ended arrow shape. You can select the text by dragging the pointer over it. You can change to any font on your computer. The font size box shows sizes from 8 to 72. You are not limited to these sizes. Just type in the size you want, even larger or smaller than the shown range, and the font will be changed to that size (note the size in the illustration above – it is set to 90).

The text will be set in the Color 1 selection. For 3D-effect, shadowed text, select the darker, shadow color. Position the text box to place the text. When the pointer is placed anywhere on the box outline, except near the resize handles, it changes to a four-headed arrow indicating that you can drag the box to another position. When you are happy with the text, font, and placement, click anywhere outside the text box. The text is now set. If it isn’t right, click Undo (or Ctrl+Z) and start over.

Next set the top color, normally a lighter shade, and open another text box and retype your title. Don’t worry about alignment, you can drag the text and place it precisely. image

Drag the text box to position the text just the way you like. When you are satisfied, click anywhere outside the text box.

There are applications that can do a nicer job, but for shadowed text, Paint is easy and probably just as fast.

Lagniappe

(A lagniappe, pronounced “lan-yap”, is a small extra given to a customer at no charge, mostly in Cajun country.)

imageIn Paint the selection of color is more flexible than you might think. There is an array of twenty colors to choose from. To set the color click the color number, Color 1 is the main one, Color 2 the “right-click” color, then click the box with the desired color. If that does not provide you with the exact shade, click Edit colors. imageThis opens an Edit Colors window. Here you have a wider selection of fixed colors and an opportunity to define custom colors. In the larger area you reposition the mark (drag it) to define the hue and saturation – color and intensity. The vertical slider control sets the luminance of that color. You can even enter numeric values in the fields to define the color. Click Add to Custom Colors and the specified color is added and will appear in the bottom row of color boxes. Click OK to complete the color selection.

When you open the Edit Colors window the color presently set as Color 1 will already be set in the custom area. I find this particularly useful when I want a lighter or darker shade of a particular color. The luminance control can be used to select the shade without affecting the hue or saturation. Remember that the Color picker tool (the eye-dropper in the Tools area) can be used to pick a color from any place in a photo. This color can then be adjusted with Edit colors. Neat!

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck

Can I re-import photos when the computer says no new photos were found?

On occasion you will get a dialog that says “0 new photos and videos were found” when you try to import pictures from your camera.Import-01 This happens if you already have imported those photos, even though you might have deleted or moved the pictures on the computer.

Can you re-import the photos? You can, provided that you did not erase them on the camera. We are assuming here that you have set up your computer to use Windows Live Gallery to import photos from your camera. Just click the Next button (see illustration). In the next window you will see the photos on your camera arranged by date. It will say “0 items selected in 0 groups”. Note that the check box in front of the groups is not checked.

Import-02Import-03

Click on the group check box that you wish to import again. There is also a “Select all” option. Make sure you have selected just the ones you wish to import once more. Click Import and the process starts.

Import-04While the photos are being imported you will see the progress in a dialog like the one shown here. Note the check box with the legend “Erase after importing”. This means “erase from the camera after the photos have been imported to the computer”. I always leave that unchecked, which is also the default. This way the photos stay on the camera.

So what happens if you already have the photos on your computer? A new set will be imported, if the file name already exists, the import process will add a number in parenthesis at the end of the file name for the new file. You will wind up with duplicated photos. No harm will be done to photos that are already on your computer. Of course you can delete the duplicates.

.:.

© 2011 Ludwig Keck