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3 simple settings for improving your Picasa experience

Categories: Software Review    Tags:   5 Comments

Picasa is a powerful program that provides lots of ways to customize your experience making it suitable for your specific needs. By learning how to change working parameters for your Picasa installation, you can use Picasa the way you want to. You can not only make Picasa work faster, but you can also learn how to configure it so that Picasa provides greater convenience on the most common tasks. Today’s article will focus on three simple Picasa settings that will help you see your image folders, import your pictures more conveniently and identify your pictures easier.

Transfer your pictures with Picasa in 3 simple steps
3 simple ways to speed up Picasa
How to export your best pictures with Picasa

See your entire folder tree

Picasa used to drive me crazy. When Google purchased Picasa and released it for free, Picasa would only show you a simplified folder view without allowing you to see the actual folder tree on your hard disk. Picasa has changed that and now you can choose to see the simplified folder view or the full folder tree view.

I make sure I set it up so it shows me all my folders. Well, not all my folders on my entire computer, but the entire folder structure for the photo folders I chose to import into Picasa.

Setting Picasa to show the entire folder tree makes it very easy to locate your folders.
Arrange your folders by name in Picasa.

You can also use these buttons to only show your folders by date. Pretty useful.

Set the import folder in Picasa

This setting doesn’t speed up Picasa but it makes life a lot easier when using the Import function of Picasa. I want Picasa to import all images from my camera into a specific folder called 00-Transfer. As a side note, I added 00 in front so that Picasa will put this folder first in the folder hierarchy. So, in order to ensure that Picasa always picks this folder when importing my pictures, I have to specify this folder in the Save imported pictures in: section of the General options tab.

Setting the import folder in Picasa is very convenient.
Set the picture import folder in Picasa.

Set the thumbnail caption to something useful

Any visual cues are helpful when searching for pictures, especially if you have lots and lots of pictures as I do. Therefore I like to add whatever information I have to the thumbnail captions. In my case I add the image tags to my pictures. This way I get a quick description of some of my pictures. This is another setting that doesn’t speed up your computer but it provides extra convenience.

In order to set the thumbnail caption go to View --> Thumbnail Caption and choose one of the existing five options: None, File name, Caption, Tags or Resolution. By default Picasa selects None so you can pick something more useful.

Personally I use Tags and Resolution and switch between the two depending on what I am trying to do at that moment.

Picasa allows you to insert useful data in thumbnail caption
Set the thumbnail caption in Picasa.

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Updated: April 17, 2014  Categories: Software Review
Tags:    Comments: 5 Comments
Read related articles:
Transfer your pictures with Picasa in 3 simple steps
3 simple ways to speed up Picasa
How to export your best pictures with Picasa

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue/the view from great island February 8, 2014 at 11:32 pm

My picasa used to save my exported (watermarked) photos in the original import folder, which I liked for convenience. Now it asks me to choose a folder, and doesn’t allow me to save them in the original spot — any ideas on how I can get that default setting back? Thanks


Vlad February 9, 2014 at 7:41 am

Sue…I hope I am understanding your question correctly. As far as I remember many versions ago Picasa would always prompt you to choose a folder for exporting your photos.
You can still export them in the same folder as the originals. In the export window in the Export Location field choose the parent folder of the original source folder. In the Name of exported folder, Picasa should pick the source folder name by default unless you want to change them.

Hope this makes sense. If not let me know because I am not sure I understood your question exactly.

For reference please read my article about exporting photos with Picasa:


Kenny Shuck August 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm

When I export a photo to a file on my desktop or computer, Picasa will send a copy of configurations settings too which I don’t want it to do


Vlad August 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm

Make sure first that your desktop is removed from the Folder Manager in Picasa.


Vlad September 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Kenny…if you have Picasa set to watch your export folder, then Picasa will create a picasa.ini file in that folder as well. I think this is what you mean by configuration settings. This is normal. If you don’t want the picasa.ini in the export folder, then make sure you exclude that folder via the Folder Manager tool in Picasa.


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