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:
126.96.36.199. 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.
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.)
188.8.131.52. 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.
184.108.40.206. 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.
220.127.116.11. 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!
18.104.22.168. 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.
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.