5 super-quick iPhoto tips to make your photos even better

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Don't overlook this great bit of free software for your photos. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac
Don't overlook this great bit of free software for your photos. Photo: Stephen Smith/Cult of Mac

iPhoto is a free download for everyone these days, making it a basic bit of kit for anyone dealing with the deluge of photographic data we seem to collect. Still, it’s often overlooked by the best of us because of its limitations.

That’s unfortunate, because the simple program offers some pretty useful features that can quickly let you get on with enjoying your photos rather than tweaking them.

Here are five simple tips for using Apple’s built-in photo “shoebox,” letting you make your photos better and more organized even more quickly.

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
iPhoto makes it simple to make the same adjustments to multiple images. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Copy and paste adjustments

When you make a great adjustment to one photo, you might want to make the same adjustment to another photo, perhaps one taken with the same environmental lighting and camera. While iPhoto won’t let you create a preset like Photoshop does, you can copy and paste your adjustments from one photo to another.

While in Edit mode, go to the Edit menu and select Copy Adjustments in the photo you want to source the tweaks from. Then select the photo you want to apply the adjustments to and select Paste Adjustments. There’s even a keyboard shortcut for each menu item to make pasting to multiple photos a breeze — just hit Option-Command-C to copy and Option-Command-V to paste. Slick!

Edit multiple photos

First up, you can edit multiple photos at once. Simply shift-click (for a contiguous series) or command-click (for a non-contiguous series) all the photos you want to edit, then hit the Edit button in the lower right-hand corner of the iPhoto window. You’ll then get to apply any of the Quick Fixes, Effects or more advanced Adjustments on a per-picture basis, just all in the same window. It’s a time-saver when you need to fix up a few photos at once.

Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Missing or inaccurate geolocation info? You can fix that quickly in iPhoto. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Manually add location data

If you’re fond of geolocated photos and the way iPhoto puts them on a cool map of the world, you’ll be happy to note that you can manually enter this information if, say, your iPhone gets the location wrong or you’re importing images from a dumb camera without a GPS chip in it.

All you need to do is select the photo or photos you want to add location data to, click on the Info button in the lower right of the iPhoto window, then type in the location in the field at the top of the little location box with the map in the right sidebar that appears. Voila! Now all your photos will be included in your geolocation map.

Quick and magical Enhance

The Enhance button is a great way to make a lifeless picture pop. The one-click adjustment magically adjusts your photo for maximum effect without you having to know much about Levels, Saturation or the like. Simply select the photo you want to enhance, click on the Edit button in the lower right, then click Enhance, which looks like a magic wand.

View your unedited photo

Wonder what a photo looks like without all your crazy adjustments? Simply hit the Shift key while in Edit mode — either with one photo or multiple — and iPhoto will show you the original image, with the selected photos losing all the adjustments and enhancements you’ve applied. Pretty handy when you’ve made one (or four) too many fixes and need to make sure it’s not too garish.

It’s the little things that make life pleasant; here’s hoping that these five quick tips make your iPhoto use just that much more useful and fun.