Tips for organizing your digital photos
Find tips and ideas to sort and organize digital photos on your PC
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Digital photos provide a fast, easy way for us to revisit our favorite memories. However, if your digital photos are clustered randomly on your computer's desktop or in your image library, they will be much harder to browse through, locate, and enjoy. We'll show you simple ways to organize your digital photos for easy image searching and sharing.
Thin your photo library
With several ways to delete photos on a Windows PC, it's easy to clear your image library of unwanted pictures.
The first step in organizing your digital photo collection is eliminating all of your unwanted pictures (such as shots with your thumb over the lens)
There are two easy ways to delete digital photos on your Windows PC:
- Right-click the photo and choose Delete from the menu options.
- If you're using the free photo management software Windows Live Photo Gallery, open a photo from the gallery by double–clicking the image, and then select the red "X" in the lower right corner of the screen.
You can also save time by deleting photos from your camera's memory card before downloading to your PC.
Tips for naming your photo files
Use important or obvious elements within a photo to help you create a useful file name.
Be specific when naming your image files; choose Eiffel_tower_2007.jpg rather than
Vacation_2007.jpg, for example.
There are a few key things to remember when naming your photo files to ensure easy image searching:
Use descriptive file names
- For example, who would recall that HPIM0007.JPG is their favorite shot of the kids from a family vacation to Paris
- Add details in the title for easy retrieval later on. For instance, use Eiffel_tower_2007.jpg rather than Vacation_2007.jpg.
Name as you download
- Name your photos immediately after you download them, or you may be left with folders full of obscure numerical file names, such as Untitled_0264.jpg.
- If you only have a few photos to rename, click each file name once to highlight and edit.
- If you have dozens to rename, try batching your photos. Read on to learn more about this simple method for renaming large groups of photos.
Rename photos in batches
Add names to multiple photos at one time (or change existing ones)by right-clicking the first photo in the folder and selecting Rename.
It's easy to automatically rename many files at once (called "batching") using Windows Live Photo Gallery:
- Open a folder of images you want to rename.
- Highlight all the images in the folder by selecting Edit and Select All (Ctrl A) from the menu bar.
- Right-click the first photo in the folder and select Rename.
- Enter a name that describes every image in the folder. For example:
- All the files in the folder will automatically be renamed.
Tag your photos with keywords
Tagging photos with key words or phrases makes it much easier to search for (and organize) them later.
Tagging a photo is the process of attaching descriptive keywords or phrases to an image file.
Tags offer another way to search for photos. For example, if you're looking for a photo of your daughter Celia playing in the snow, but can't remember that the exact title is Winter_sleds_2008.jpg, you can still find the image by searching for the tag Celia, which will bring up every photo in which she is tagged.
Learn more about how to tag your photos for easy organizing.
Create descriptive folders
Creating well–organized folders for your images is another way to keep your digital photos sorted.
If you don't have time to add tags to your images, you can still keep things organized by creating digital photo folders:
- There are many different ways to organize a folder system. One efficient method is to organize your folders by year, and then create subfolders for each month.
- You could also organize your folders by season (for example Summer '09) and use important events as subfolders.
- No matter which way you decide to arrange and label your folders, remember that consistency is key.
Use inspiration as a starting point
Start your organization process with photos that inspire you–such as pictures from a favorite trip.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of photos you have to sort through, pick a photo theme or a series of pictures that inspire you, and use that as a starting point for organizing your images. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Family baby pictures
Create a special album dedicated to all the members of your family when they were young. Or, use the birth of a new member as the inspiration to start organizing.
Think of a top–ten theme, such as top–ten favorite concerts or top–ten scenic photos, and make folders for all your top shots.
Comb your photo library for pictures of the places close to your heart.
Get organized with the right tools
Whether printing your best shots or organizing and archiving them for safe-keeping, the right tools can help you manage photos with ease.
- Store photos, home videos, and music on one handy, spacious, and portable device
- Connect via USB cable to any PC
- Back up fast with high-speed USB 3.0 transfer rate and integrated software
Find more external storage devices, including flash drives, DVDs, and memory cards.
- HP ePrint—now, print from a smartphone or tablet from virtually anywhere1
- Wireless web printing on 4.3" touchscreen2
- ISO print speed up to 13.5 pages per minute (ppm) black, 9 ppm color3
- Versatility with eFax (send faxes without a phone line) and automatic photo tray
It's easy to print high-quality photos, fast! See how.
- Done organizing your photos? Explore this introduction to archiving to preserve them for safekeeping.
- Organized photos are much easier to find and share—now create an organized space to print.
- See two easy ways to transfer and print high-quality camera phone pictures, including using HP ePrint
- 1Requires an Internet connection to the printer; may require a wireless access point with usage fees/data plans, registration, firmware upgrade, etc. ePrint setup requires email and internet access and works with any Internet-connected, email-capable device. Print times and connection speeds may vary. Some smartphones and tablets require data plan purchase. For HP ePrint details, see www.hp.com/go/ePrintCenter.
- 2Requires a wireless access point and an Internet connection to the printer. Services may require registration. App availability varies by country, language and agreements. For details, www.hp.com/go/ePrintCenter.
- 3Display-permanence rating by Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc., or HP Image Permanence Lab. For details, see hp.com/go/printpermanence.