Section 7.14. Deleting Photos


7.14. Deleting Photos

As every photographer knowsmake that every good photographernot every photo is a keeper. So at some point, you'll probably want to delete some of your photos.

7.14.1. The iPhoto Trash

iPhoto has a private Trash can that works just like the Finder's Trash. It's sitting there at the bottom of the Source list. When you want to purge a photo from your Library, simply drag it to the Trash. Instead of deleting the photo immediately, iPhoto lets it sit there in the Trash "album," awaiting permanent disposal via the Empty Trash command. This feature gives you one more layer of protection against accidentally deleting a precious picture.

In the main thumbnails view, you can relegate items to the Trash by selecting one or more thumbnails in the Library (not in an album) and then performing one of the following:

Figure 7-19. When you dump a photo into iPhoto's Trash, it's not really goneit's just relocated to the Trash folder. Clicking the Trash icon in the Source list displays all the photos in the Trash and makes the Info panel show the total number of trashed photos, their date range, and their sizes.


  • Drag the thumbnails into the Trash.

  • Control-click a photo and choose Move to Trash from the shortcut menu.

  • Press -Delete or choose Photos Move to Trash.


Tip: To delete a photo from a smart album or from Edit mode, press Option- -Delete.

To view the photos that you have sentenced to the great shredder in the sky, click the Trash icon, as shown in Figure 7-19. However, if you suddenly decide you don't really want to get rid of any of these trashed photos, it's easy to resurrect them: Just drag the thumbnails out of the Trash and onto the Library icon in the Source list. (Alternatively, you can Control-click the photo or photos and, from the shortcut menu, choose Restore to Photo Library.)

You've just rescued them from photo-reject limbo and put them back into your main photo collection.


Tip: You can also move photos from the Trash back into your Library by selecting themyes, in the Trash "album"and then pressing -Delete. Think of it as the un-Trash command.)

To permanently delete the photos in the Trash, choose iPhoto Empty Trash, or Control-click the Trash icon to access the Empty Trash command via a shortcut menu. iPhoto then displays an alert message, warning you that emptying the Trash removes these photos permanently and irreversibly.

(Of course, if you imported the photos from files on disk or haven't deleted them from your camera, you can still recover the original files and reimport them.)


Note: As you might expect, dragging photos into the Trash doesn't reduce the total size of your iPhoto Library by a single byte, because iPhoto is still storing a copy of each photo in its Trash folder. Only when you empty the Trash does the iPhoto Library folder actually shrink in size .

Whatever pictures you throw out by emptying the Trash also disappear from any albums you've created. (Deleting a photo from an album is different.)



7.15. Customizing the Shoebox

iPhoto starts out looking just the way you probably see it now, with each picture displayed as a small thumbnail against a plain white background. This view makes it easy to browse through photos and work with iPhoto's various tools.

But hey, this is your digital shoebox. With a little tweaking and fine-tuning, you can completely customize the way iPhoto displays your photos.

Start with a visit to iPhoto Preferences and click the Appearance button.


Tip: You can open the iPhoto Preferences window at any time by pressing -, (comma). This keystroke is blissfully consistent across all the iLife programs.

7.15.1. Changing the View

The controls in the Appearance panel of the Preferences window let you make some pretty significant changes to the overall look of your Photo Library. See Figure 7-20 for an example.

Here are your options:

  • Add or remove a border or shadow . The factory setting, Drop Shadow, puts a soft black shadow behind each thumbnail in the photo-viewing pane, a subtle touch that gives your Photo Library an elegant 3-D look.

    As pretty as this effect is, however, there's also a decent reason to turn it off : It slows iPhoto down slightly, as the program has to continually redraw or resize those fancy shadows behind each thumbnail whenever you scroll or zoom. Switch to either the Border or No Border setting and you'll be rewarded with faster scrolling and smoother zooming whenever you change the size of thumbnails (as described in the next section). The Border setting puts a thin white frame around each picture. You won't see this border unless you change the background color , as explained in the next paragraph.

    Figure 7-20. Here's a typical Library with a very different look. Instead of the usual white background with drop- shadowed thumbnails, this view presents large thumbnails, with borders, against a dark gray background. The Source list is hidden, but the titles for each photo are displayed.


    Figure 7-21. The "Align to grid" option does nothing if all photos have the same orientation. But with mixed horizontal and vertical images, photos stay in strict rows and columns (right) despite their shape differences. At left:- an "unaligned" version of the same thumbnails.


  • Change the background color . Right under the No Border radio button, a slider lets you adjust the background color of the photo-viewing pane. Actually, the term "color" is a bit of an overstatement, since your choices only include white, black, or any shade of gray in between. Not exactly a rainbow of colors.

  • Adjust the Alignment . Turn on the"Align photos to grid"checkbox if you want the thumbnails in your Photo Library to snap into evenly spaced rows and columns, even if your collection includes thumbnails of varying sizes and orientations, as shown in Figure 7-21.

  • Change the date order . Turning on "Place most recent photos at the top" puts them at the top of the main iPhoto window. It's sort of like seeing your most recent email messages at the top of your inbox. If you turn this checkbox off, you'll have to scroll all the way down to see your most recent pictures.

  • Choose text size . The pop-up menu at the bottom of the Appearance panel lets you choose Small or Large for the album names in the Source list, depending on your eyesight. As for keywords and the other text in the iPhoto window, you're stuck with one sizetiny.

7.15.2. Showing/Hiding Keywords, Titles, and Film Roll Info

If you want to display thumbnails along with the titles and keywords you assign your pictures using iPhoto, you can switch these view options on or off by choosing View Titles (Shift- -T) and View Keywords (Shift- -K). Titles and keywords appear under each thumbnail.

As with most of iPhoto, your formatting options are limited. You can't control the font, style, color, or size of this text. Your only choice is to either display the title and keywords or to keep them hidden.