Google Picasa 3 is freeware image-cataloging software. With Picasa 3 you can archive and find all of your photos. In addition, the software also includes options for editing images. So it is a good package for photographers to have.

Adding Photos to Picasa

To begin adding photos to Picasa 3, press the import option at the top left of the software window. When you select Import Photos, you will also need to connect a USB cradle with camera. Then select Import from camera, and select the photos to add from your camera. When you have done this, select a destination folder for the photos. Usually, it’s good to add your photos to a my pictures folder.

Browsing the Picasa Library

Browse Picasa’s library of images by selecting folders on the left-hand side of the software's window. This will display all the folders Google has found with images included in them. Select the folder that includes the image you want to display, and then select the image from the thumbnails displayed.

At the top of each folder, you may note a few options that Picasa includes. Among these is the play full-screen slideshow which will display all the images in the folder as a slideshow. Or alternatively, select the images to include in the slideshow by holding the Ctrl key and selecting them with the mouse icon. Then select the Slideshow option, and they will be displayed as slideshows.

In much the same way you can also set up a collage from the photos included in the folder. To do so, select the photos to include in the collage and then the Photo Collage option at the top of the folder. When you have selected the images to include, you can also select from a number of photo collage options and settings. Select an appropriate collage for your photos and then the Create Collage option.

Editing Images

When you select an image from the picture library, it is displayed closer to full-size, along with potential image-editing options. These options include tabs for basic fixes, tuning and effects. Select the Basic Fixes tab and you can select Crop, Straighten, Text and Redeye. These are good options for some basic fixes.

If you want to enhance the image with further effects, then select the Effects tab. Here there are editing options such as B&W (black and white), Graduated Tint, Glow, Saturation and Sepia tat can make a big difference to certain images. However, if not then you can still undo any editing by selecting Undo below the editing options.


Note that you can also add captions. Select where it says Make a caption with the cursor and you can then input your own caption. This will then be included with the image in slideshows.

Picasa Starred Photo Album

The software also includes its very own starred photo album that you can add images to. As such, you can select your favorite photos and add them to this album. To do so, select the photo that you intend to add to the album and then right-click the image. After right-clicking, you can select Add to Album, which is second on the list of options. Click Starred Photos, and it will be in the Starred Photo album. Open this album by selecting Starred Photos, which is under albums on the left side of the Google Picasa window.

Google Picasa Timeline

The timeline displays Picasa folder updates as a timeline. When new image folders are added they, are included on the Google Picasa 3 timeline. To display this timeline, select View from the toolbars. Then select the Timeline option that opens the timeline.

This brief guide to Google Picasa covers a number of the options, but not all of them. For further details, Google Picasa includes its own help topics and index, which provide further guidelines for the software package.