Secret (And No-So-Secret) Gestures In iPhoto For iPad | Cult of Mac

Secret (And No-So-Secret) Gestures In iPhoto For iPad


The help labels in iPhoto will help you learn your way around
The help labels in iPhoto will help you learn your way around

IPhoto for iPad is pretty amazing and, like most of Apple’s iApps, much of the functionality is hidden away like the sweet, sweet meat of a walnut hidden inside its shell. Much of the app is gesture based and, while many actions have menu-driven alternatives, some tricks are gesture-only. Here’s a long list of ways that you can navigate and control iPhoto, using just swipes, taps, twists and pinches.


You can use the little three-bar “gripper” to resize the thumbnail view from one to three columns wide.

To hide the thumbnail column completely, touch one of the pictures and swipe to the left. To get it back again, swipe in from the left or right, just as you do from the top of the screen to see notifications.

Long press a photo in the sidebar to add it to the light-table. Up to 12 photos can be compared at once. You can also flick a photo into the main view.

To select a continuous range of photos in the thumbnail grid, touch the first and last photos in the range at the same time.

Tap any of these photos to zoom in, and then swipe to flip between only the selected images. Tap again to make it sit back in the stack.

To remove a photo from the stack, either long tap its thumbnail again, or just flick it off the bottom of the screen.

Touch and hold the image with two fingers. A loupe will pop up between them, and you can twist the loupe to change the zoom level.


A long press on the “undo” button lets you “redo” an action.

In crop mode, you zoom the image in and out by pinching. To rotate the image, either swipe the dial that appears at the bottom of the screen, or twist your two fingers. Both do the same thing.

Long presses on the various icons will reveal extra options. Long press the “Flag” icon, for example, and you can choose to flag all photos in an album, all taken in the last 24 hours or last seven days, or manually tap the photos you want to flag.

In the “Exposure” settings, tap and hold the part of the photo you want to adjust. A four-way arrow will pop up and you can drag to affect the contrast, highlights or shadows.

The same works in the “Color” panel, only for saturation, “Greenery”, “Blue Skies” and “Skin Tones”

When using the adjustment brushes, one finger applies the brush, so use two fingers to zoom and pan around.


First tap the “Edit” button, and then:

Tap a photo to highlight it, and drag the border to choose how much of the photo is shown in the grid view. Tap “Edit” here to edit that photo in th regular edit view.

Tap and hold a photo and you can move it.

Use two fingers to zoom and move a photo. Its sizing will snap to fit the grid.

Tap and hold between the images to get a popup and add weather, a map, a note and more.

Double tap these special items to edit them. Drag on the maps after double-tapping to change locations.

That’s all I have got. Remember that many of these gestures are covered deep in iPhoto’s help files, and that tapping the little “i” icon at any time pops over a set of labels telling you what everything does.

Do you have any other tips or tricks? Leave them in the comments.