In theory, updating from an earlier version of iPhoto should be merely a matter of installing iPhoto 6 and letting it upgrade your iPhoto Library. However, a few simple actions can prevent future problems.
Tips when updating to iPhoto 6:
Make sure to back up your iPhoto Library folder (located in your Pictures folder) before installing iPhoto 6. Then, if something bad happens, or if you need to revert to your earlier version for some reason I can't imagine, you won't lose all your photos. I'm sure you have a backup anyway, but another one can't hurt.
Run Software Update and download the latest version of iPhoto 6 before updating your iPhoto Library.
If you have installed third-party export plug-ins (see the "Export Plug-ins" sidebar on "Exporting to Web Pages" in Chapter 5, "Showing Photos Onscreen"), it's best to remove them before updating (and to install new versions that are confirmed to work with iPhoto 6). To find them, -click iPhoto's icon in the Finder, choose Show Package Contents, and navigate to the PlugIns folder. Drag any third-party plug-ins to the Desktop.
For a clean installation, move the com.apple.iPhoto.plist file and the iPhoto application to the Trash, but leave your iPhoto Library folder alone. Then install iPhoto 6.
If you have trouble immediately after updating, delete the files mentioned in the previous tip, then reinstall iPhoto 6.
New Features in iPhoto 6
iPhoto 6 came out at the very beginning of 2006; a year after iPhoto 5 and two years after iPhoto 4 (see the pattern?). iPhoto 6 offers a number of welcome enhancements that are covered throughout this book. Here are my favorite new features:
Full-screen mode for editing photos at the largest possible size
Comparison of up to eight photos in full-screen mode
Photocasting of albums for sharing your photos with others, whether or not they use iPhoto
The addition of professionally designed and printed calendars and cards alongside iPhoto's books
Integration with Apple's new iWeb, replacing the HomePage button
An Effects panel that enables you to apply common effects to your photos, replacing the B&W and Sepia buttons
The capability to leave photos imported from your hard disk in their current folders
Better support for RAW files
A pop-up panel that displays film roll names and dates as you scroll through your library
The capability to print photo titles on contact sheets
Automatic zoom and crop for full-page and standard-sized prints
A functional Check Spelling As You Type command, finally!