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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Putting a Caption on a Picture in Picasa

Picasa is a free program owned by Google that will organize and store all of your photos and images. You can download it at http://picasa.google.com/. The program will allow you to edit your photos and even put captions on them.

When the program opens it looks all over your computer to find the photos on your computer. It then puts copies of them  into the program (It does not move them from where they are found) and organizes them by date and name of the folder that they are found in. It can be disconcerting to open Picasa and see that immediately it begins going through all of your files. It is reassuring to know that they are not being moved from where you saved them, just cataloged and organized how Picasa thinks that they should be.

Like many photo programs now Picasa tries to protect the original photo that it finds. It does this by forcing you to create a copy each time you change the photo. If you resize a photo it will still keep an original the larger size. However, when you put a caption onto your image the caption does not change the image, but adds information to the code that is in the background of your image. For this reason when you save that image or burn it to a CD it will seem that the caption is gone. It is not gone. It is just hiding in the background. To see the caption after it is saved you need to get the properties of the image.

On my computer when I click on an image file it opens up with the program called "Preview". Under the Tools Menu is something called the Inspector that I can hide or show by clicking on it. When I clicked on Show Inspector a window opened up that said INFO and had an i in a circle as one of the choices. When I clicked it there were 4 choices and under the one called IPTC I found the caption! It still did not show on the picture, but it was there hidden in the code.

If you want your caption to show on the final image you need to copy it and then paste it directly onto the picture. Then when you burn it to a CD or Export it somewhere on your hard drive the caption will stay on the picture.

Another way is to add words directly onto a photo. There is a button under the words "basic fixes" that has ABC written on it and says 'text' underneath. When you click on this button you can use it to type something right onto your picture. You can change the color or font of the letters and drag and drop it to where you want it to show up.

Final Photo with Text Edit
I was able to go back to Picasa, select that picture and choose PICTURE from the top menu and Undo All Edits from the list below. I kept the picture with the edits in my folder where I had saved it, but Picasa still has the original, so if someday I want to edit it a different way I can.

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