Photo editing, and filing, as well as online photo albums has never been easier!

Picasa is a free photo organization and editing tool from Google, and for a free program, it really has a lot to offer. Picasa is desktop software that runs on Windows, and it can be downloaded from
Once you install Picasa, it will scan your entire computer (it is polite, it does ask first) or if you’d like to scan just the desktop, my photos, and my documents folders. Unless you have photos on other drives or odd locations, I’d really suggest restricting your search to just those folders.

If you scan your entire computer, Picasa will find cached Internet files, graphics from computer programs, and other images that you probably don’t need in your photo album. You can remove files later, but it’s easier not to import them in the first place.

You can also import photos directly from a digital camera, which is a handy way to keep them organized from the start.

Picasa will organize your photos by date and initially retains the same file structure as your hard drive. The main area shows thumbnails of the images, and along the right side is a scroll bar to navigate. Thumbnails in the library are grouped by folder, but they’re all displayed (with some scrolling.) This means that you don’t have to repeatedly click to navigate to a new folder, which is a nice touch.

You can move thumbnails from folder to folder directly from Picasa, and it will confirm and then move the corresponding file on your hard drive. This makes it much easier to organize albums.

It also now has face scaning which will help you tag people quickly and easily to find them later… cool feature!


You can also label or star photos to make them easy to find later. You can even geotag photos by location.This lets you view the photos geographically in Google Earth.


By simply double clicking on a photo, you will enter an editing room to crop, fix red eye, straighten photos, adjust color, and apply special effects like film grain or soft focus. The editing room even has an I’m Feeling Lucky button, just like the Google search engine, which automatically applies recommended effects. It also has an undo I’m feeling Lucky button!

You can also very quickly and easily upload your photos to a free online gallery.  You can make it public, share with a few or make completly private… lots of choice.

Did I mention that it’s all FREE!

One of my favorite uses of Picasa is to help me organize all my powerpoint graphics and clip art!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

<>< UthGuy Craig McCourt