Section 7.2. More on Film Rolls


7.2. More on Film Rolls

iPhoto starts out sorting your Library by film roll, meaning that the most recently imported batch of photos appears at the bottom of the window. Your main iPhoto window may look like a broad, featureless expanse of pictures, but they're actually in a logical order.


Tip: If you'd prefer that the most recent items appear at the top of the iPhoto window instead of at the bottom, choose iPhoto Preferences, click Appearance, turn on "Place most recent photos at the top," and close the Preferences window. This option also affects the Sort Photos by Date option described below.
Sort Photos submenu, you can make iPhoto sort all the thumbnails in the main window in a number of useful ways:
  • by Date . This sort order reflects the creation date of the photos (rather than the date they were imported).

  • by Title . This arrangement is alphabetical by the photos' names . (To name your photos, see Section 7.8.1.)

  • by Rating . If you'd like your masterpieces at the top of the window, with the losers way down below, choose this option. (To rate your photos, see Section 7.14.)

  • Manually . If you choose this option, you can drag the thumbnails around freely within the window, placing them in any order that suits your fancy. To conserve your Advil supply, however, make no attempt to choose this item when you're viewing one of the film rolls' contentsdo so only in an album . See the box on the facing page for details.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
Your Own Personal Sorting Order

I want to put my photos in my own order. I tried using View Sort Photos Manually, but the command is dimmed out! Did Apple accidentally forget to turn this on ?

No, the command worksbut only in an album, not in the main Photo Library. If you create a new photo album (as explained later in this chapter) and fill it with photos, you can then drag them into any order you want.


7.2.1.

7.2.1.1. Displaying film rolls

If you choose View Sort Photos by Film Roll, iPhoto returns to sorting your photos by film roll, even if you had previously chosen to sort the photos by rating, title, or date. (This option is available in the menu only when youve clicked Library or one of the "__Rolls" icons in the Source list.)


Tip: To hide or show the film roll dividers , just choose View Film Rolls. Better yet, use the keyboard shortcut Shift- -F. (The presence or absence of the dividers doesn't affect the sorting order.) You can see these film-roll dividers in Figure 7-2.

Figure 7-2. This tidy arrangement is the fastest way to use iPhoto. Display the photos grouped by film roll, and then hide the photo batches you're not working with. Click the triangle beside each header to expand or collapse the film roll, just like a folder in the Finder's list view.
Note that the header for each roll lists the date that you imported this batch. If you dragged a folder of files into iPhotoor if you named the roll as the pictures were importedthe film-roll header also lists the name of the enclosing folder.


You'll probably find this arrangement so convenient that you'll leave it on permanently. As your Photo Library grows, these groupings become excellent visual and mnemonic aids to help you locate a certain photosometimes even months or years after the fact.

Furthermore, as your Photo Library becomes increasingly massive, you may need to rely on these film-roll groupings just for your sanity . By collapsing the flippy triangles next to the groups you're not looking at right now (Figure 7-2), you speed up iPhoto considerably. Otherwise, iPhoto may grind almost to a halt as it tries to scroll through ever more photos. (About 25,000 pictures is its realistic limit for a single library on everyday Macs. Of course, you can always start new libraries, as described in Chapter 12.)

7.2.1.2. Collapsing film rolls en masse

On a related note, here's one of the best tips in this entire chapter: Option-click a film roll's flippy triangle to hide or show all of the film rolls' contents. When all your photos are visible, scrolling is slowish, but at least you can see everything. By contrast, when all your film rolls are collapsed , you see nothing but their names, and scrolling is almost instantaneous.


Tip: Click anywhere on the film-roll divider lineon the film roll's name, for exampleto simultaneously select all the photos in that roll.

By the way, even if you opt not to display the film-roll divider lines in the photo-viewing area, you can still sort the pictures in your Library by film roll. Just choose View Sort Photos by Film Roll. You wont be able to see where one film roll ends and the next begins, but the photos will be in the right order.

7.2.1.3. Creating film rolls manually

Film rolls are such a convenient way of organizing your pictures that Apple even lets you create film rolls manually, out of any pictures you choose.

This feature violates the sanctity of the original film-roll concept: that each importing batch is one film roll, and that albums are what you use for arbitrary groupings. Still, in this case, usefulness trumps conceptand that's a good thing.

You just select any bunch of pictures in your Photo Library (using any of the techniques described on Section 7.3.3), then choose File Create Film Roll. iPhoto creates and highlights the new roll, like any normal film roll. It then gives the newborn roll a generic name like "Roll 54 or whatever number it's up to, but you can always rename it, as described on the facing page.

7.2.1.4. Merging film rolls

You can merge film rolls using this technique, too. Just select photos in two or more existing film rolls, and then choose File Create Film Roll. iPhoto responds by removing the pictures from their existing film rolls, and then placing them into a new, unified one. (If you selected all the photos in a couple of film rolls, the original film rolls disappear entirely.) The power and utility of this tactic will become more attractive the more you work with big photo collections.


Tip: Speaking of cool film-roll tips: You can move any photo (or group of selected photos) into another film roll just by dragging it onto the film roll's row heading!
7.2.1.5. Renaming and dating film rolls

As you know from Chapter 6, iPhoto gives you the opportunity to name each film roll as it's createdthat is, at the joyous moment when a new set of photos becomes one with your iPhoto library.

If you don't type anything into the Roll Name box that appears at that time, though, iPhoto just labels each film roll with a roll number. In any case, you can easily change any film roll's name at any time.

To edit the name of a roll, see Figure 7-3.

Figure 7-3. To rename a film roll, click anywhere on the divider line, like on its name. Open the Info panel, if it's not already open, by clicking the little i button below the Source list. You'll find that you can now edit many of the data bits here, like Comments, Date, or Title (that is, the roll's name).


Using the same technique, you can also change the date that appears in the film-roll header. This date usually identifies when you imported the photos, but for most purposes, that date is relatively unimportant. What you probably care more about is the day or month that the photos were actually taken .

Once again, start by clicking the roll-of-film icon in the film-roll divider. This time, type a new date in the Information pane's Date text box. You can type the date in a variety of formats 4 September 2005, September 4, 2005 , and 4/9/05 all workbut you must use a complete date, including day, month, and year. If you don't, iPhoto will take a guess, filling in the missing information for youand sometimes getting it wrong.


Tip: Another effective way to redate a bunch of pictures at once is to use iPhoto's batch-processing feature, described on Section 7.8.1.