I have been a Mac user for over 6 years. I love everything about Apple computers, especially iPhoto. My pictures have been stored in this application for years and when I started to dabble in digital, I started putting all of my digital supplies in iPhoto as well.
Soon my collection of photos and digital supplies have grown to over 20,000 items in iPhoto (yes, there are 5 zero’s after the 2). Needless to say, I noticed a bit of a slowdown when opening iPhoto and it was time to do something about it.
I will admit that I have been a little jealous of those who use ACDSee to organize their digital supplies. ACDSee does make a professional version for a Mac, but it is pretty pricey for what I needed it for. I knew there there just had to be a way to separate my photos from my supplies in iPhoto. So when I upgraded to iPhoto ’11, I made the commitment to myself to also purchase David Pogue & Lesa Snider’s “iPhoto ‘11: The Missing Manual.” If anyone could explain the ins and outs of setting up multiple libraries in iPhoto they could. This is what I learned:
There are three things you should know before diving into the following tutorial:
- I do not consider myself an expert in iPhoto at all. I am just excited to share with you some tips and tricks I learned that are working for me.
- I am using iPhoto ’11 in the tutorial.
- In the book, the authors highly recommend downloading a free software application called iPhoto Library Manager (IPLM) from fatcatsoftware.com. BUT, if you want to unlock advanced features of the program you will have to pay a $20 registration fee. The free version is just fine for ease of opening up your different libraries. However, because I wanted to just drag and drop my digital scrapbook supplies from my current library to the new one, the drag and drop feature was one of those advanced features. Believe me, the 20 bucks was sooooo worth it! This software is not required to create and use multiple libraries in iPhoto, but it sure makes things a lot easier! Please read through the entire tutorial first before deciding whether or not you want to download or purchase the registration for IPLM.
So before you begin, make sure you have an external hard drive, the iPhoto Library Manager (IPLM) from Fat Cat installed on your computer (optional), and iPhoto is closed.
Plug your external hard drive into your computer. While holding down the "option" key open iPhoto on your computer. You have to keep the option key pressed while the program is opening and this window opens:
Click “create new”. A drop down window will appear (photo below). Give your new library a name and save it to your external hard drive. You need to make sure you click on your external hard drive icon that is located in the left-hand side of the drop down window (please note that the library you see in the photo below is the library that is already located on my EHD. I am making a new one for the purposes of this tutorial.)
It will take a few moments, but a new iPhoto library window will open as you see below.
Step Three (version 1):
It is nice and empty, just waiting for you to fill it up with digital goodies! Now remember, the purpose of me creating two libraries was to remove all of my digital supplies from my main library, where I keep all of my photos, to one all its own. You would think it would be as easy as closing my new library down, opening up my main library and just dragging and dropping the various “events” of supplies into the new library on my EHD. But it is not. Believe me, I tried dragging and dropping one of my events from my main library to the new one on the EHD and all it did was copy the items from the event to the EHD itself. The library icon in the EHD window isn’t like a folder or an application icon you can just drag something on top of it and it would automatically open. So how does one go about transferring digital supplies from one library to another?
If you opted not to download the software from Fat Cat you can do this (which is basically what I was describing above):
- Close the new iPhoto Library you just created on your EHD (do not eject your EHD), but keep your EHD window open.
- Reopen iPhoto keeping the “option” key pressed.
- Choose the library where your digital supplies are currently located. Wait for it to open.
- Make sure your “Events” icons are showing in your iPhoto window. Click on an event with digital supplies (or several if you want) and drag it to your EHD window. Note: the items from the event may be stacked on top of each other
- Close iPhoto. Reopen iPhoto with the “option” key pressed. Choose your digital supply library on your EHD
- Once iPhoto is open, go back to your EHD window and select all of digital supplies and drag them over to your iPhoto library to import.This way is fine and dandy but there is a HUGE drawback to it. Say the event that you dragged from your main library to your EHD was called “September Blue-Turn the Tassel.” All of the items from that event show up individually on the EHD, right? Right. Now when you imported them into your new library they do show up as one event, but you will have to go back and rename the event. By default, a date will show up under the event. This wouldn’t be a problem if you were importing only one event at a time. Just change the name of the event to the title of your choice. But what if you wanted to get things done a little more quickly and drag a bunch of events from your current library to your EHD and then import them into your new library? All of those supplies are going to show up as one event in your new library. Depending on how you organize your supplies, you will have to go back a separate that one event into several (that is a whole other tutorial topic).
Step Three (version 2):
Version 1 is fine and dandy but there is a HUGE drawback to it. Say the event that you dragged from your main library to your EHD was called “September Blue-Turn the Tassel.” All of the items from that event show up individually on the EHD, right? Right. Now when you imported them into your new library they do show up as one event, but you will have to go back and rename the event. By default, a date will show up under the event. This wouldn’t be a problem if you were importing only one event at a time. Just change the name of the event to the title of your choice. But what if you wanted to get things done a little more quickly and drag a bunch of events from your current library to your EHD and then import them into your new library? All of those supplies are going to show up as one event in your new library. Depending on how you organize your supplies, you will have to go back a separate that one event into several (that is a whole other tutorial topic).
Enter Fat Cat’s iPhoto Library Manager (with the $20 registration fee) I have to be honest and say I have only had this software application on my computer for 3 days and I don’t know all of the in’s and out’s, but I am thrilled at how quickly I was able to transfer my digital supplies to a new library.
If you downloaded and installed the software, set up a new iPhoto Library as explained in Steps One and Two. Then do the following:
- Close the new iPhoto Library you just created on your EHD (do not eject your EHD).
- Locate the IPLM program on your computer and open it. You should see a window like the one below. Notice the box on the left of the window shows all of your iPhoto libraries. A bit about the IPLM window. You can double click on any of your libraries and open them from here. The program will close the current library you are in and open a new one. You can also create new libraries from here or add other libraries you may have on your Mac as well!
- Double click the library that currently contains all of your digital supplies. It may take a few moments for the library to open. Just be patient. It will open.
- Once opened, click on all of the events in your library that contain your digital supplies. Drag and drop them over to the library in the left hand column of the IPLM window. OR you can also locate the events within the IPLM window. Just select “events” from the small drop down menu located above the middle column. Click the events you want in your new library and drag them over to it!
- Now, once you drop them into your digital supply library, there will be a lot of bells and whistles going on. Don’t be alarmed! It is doing what it is supposed to do. Depending on how many things your are transferring, it may take a while. The program will eventually close your current library and then open the library you transferred your files to!
- Voila! All of your events transferred, with their original titles!
No matter if you transfer via Version 1 or Version 2, there is one more step to do!
Open up your library that you transferred files from. Notice your digital supplies are still there. You will have to move them to the trash manually as the transfer of files is only copying them from to the new library and not deleting them. And then make sure you empty your iPhoto trash!
And there you have it. I know this was long! Thanks for hanging in there with me! Again, I am not an expert in iPhoto or with IPLM. I just wanted to share my excitement of some new-found techie stuff with you!