Do You Know about the Control Key in iPhoto?

When a new version of software comes out, it is a good time to learn about its new features. However, it is also a great time to review features that you may have missed or forgotten about.

This has certainly been the case with iPhoto ‘09. I really love the Faces and Places additions. I am excited by the updates to the Edit features and because I am looking through photos that I may not have viewed in a long time, I am finding photos that I want to print out, edit, and even add to my web pages.

One of the iPhoto features that many users may not be aware of is the ability to edit photos in different picture editing program simply by selecting the photo and then clicking the Edit button in the toolbar at the bottom of the iPhoto window.
When a new version of software comes out, it is a good time to learn about its new features. However, it is also a great time to review features that you may have missed or forgotten about.

This has certainly been the case with iPhoto ‘09. I really love the Faces and Places additions. I am excited by the updates to the Edit features and because I am looking through photos that I may not have viewed in a long time, I am finding photos that I want to print out, edit, and even add to my web pages.

One of the iPhoto features that many users may not be aware of is the ability to edit photos in different picture editing program simply by selecting the photo and then clicking the Edit button in the toolbar at the bottom of the iPhoto window.



However, in order to use a different editor, you must make some changes in the iPhoto Preferences window.





Choosing In application… will bring up a dialog box to enable you to navigate to the application you want to use. Some choices might be Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or GraphicConverter.

Now, whenever you click the Edit button, iPhoto will automatically launch whatever external editor you chose.

Problem solved, time to end this entry…not really!

While there are some times that I want to use an external editor, there are probably more times that I would prefer to use the editing tools in iPhoto since they are fast to use and very powerful in the later releases of iPhoto.

I mentioned the Control key in the title of this blog entry. Have you ever used it in iPhoto?

That Control key is very powerful in iPhoto and it acts differently, depending on where you are in the iPhoto. However there is a small “gotcha” too. The first time that you use the Control key in iPhoto, you may see the spinning beach ball for at least a few seconds. However, after that use of the Control key, the program will react promptly. But if you quit iPhoto and re-launch it, the beach ball will appear again.

Be patient, good things appear in the Control key pop-up menu!



Just look at all the commands that appear! This menu is a real time-saver for me.

Probably the best feature is that I can go back to the iPhoto preferences to change the setting for Edit back to the editing in the Main window, but I can still get to my external editor quickly and easily.

While the Control pop-up looks like the above picture when you are looking at a group of pictures, it will have different commands when you use it in other locations.

This is the Control pop-up if you are working in the iPhoto Edit.



This is how it appears in the Faces cork board



The surprising change took place when I used the Control key in a slideshow:



Notice the little white hand. It can be used to rotate or straighten the image! I suspect that this is one of those “Easter Eggs” or hidden, undocumented commands that you will occasionally find in computer programs.

--Pat

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