Organize Your Photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery


By Jonathan Wylie

Most families have a lot of digital photos stored on their computers. In fact, we probably have a lot more digital versions than we do print versions these days. However, finding the ones you want can be time consuming, especially when your camera uses obscure file names like DSC_4325. Thankfully, the free Windows Live Photo Gallery is here to help.

You may not know this, but Windows already knows quite a lot about your digital images. For instance, it knows the day, month and year that they were taken on, and can even identify what kind of camera you used. This is because your camera embeds this data into your images at the time you take each photo. It’s called metadata.

As useful as this metadata can be, it doesn’t always help you find those vacation photos from Hawaii that you have buried in your Pictures folder among a thousand other photos. However, you can add metadata of your own in the form of tags. This way you will always be able to find the photos you are looking for quickly and easily.

There are three main types of tags you can use to help find and organize your images – people tags, geotags and descriptive tags. With people tags you can identify faces in your images to quickly recall photos of individuals. Geotags let you add a city, country or other geographic location, while descriptive tags let you add words that describe things that are specific to a given image like flowers, school, or vacation.

So, how do you add tags? Simply open Windows Live Photo Gallery and click on the image you want to tag. A sidebar on the right-hand side reveals your tagging options. Click on the tag(s) you want to add to your image.



Tagging each individual photo could take a long time, but you do have the ability to tag groups of images. You can select multiple images by checking the box in the top left-hand corner of an image, or by left-clicking and dragging a box over the images you want. Now all you have to do is add a tag as before, except this time your tag will be applied to all the images you selected.



To search your tagged images, simply click the Find tab at the top of Windows Live Photo Gallery. Here you can filter images by date, month or year. You can also choose from people tags and descriptive tags, or try the text search function to scan through all available metadata.



Tagging images will take a little time and effort, but the rewards are definitely worth it. Furthermore, once tags are added to your images, they become a permanent part of that file. So, even if you transfer these images to another computer, their tags will go with them. In this way, your digital images can stay organized for years to come.


Jonathan Wylie

Jonathan Wylie

Jonathan Wylie is the owner of The Education Technology Blog, a website dedicated to helping teachers advance the use of technology in the classroom. He is a teacher, husband, and proud father, but also works as a freelance writer for several online publications. Jonathan is originally from Scotland, but now lives and works in rural Iowa. He has a love for education, photography, computers, and just about any gadget that he can get his hands on.



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