Get more from Windows Photo Gallery

Get more from Windows Photo Gallery

Take control of your vast photo library with these handy hints for Windows Photo Gallery

These days, thanks to cameras attached to your phone, tablet and computer – as well as dedicated digital cameras – it’s easy to take hundreds of photos over a short period of time. It can be tricky to keep track of your digital memories, but you can take control with the help of Windows Photo Gallery on your Advent PC. We cover how to use it to tweak and fix photos elsewhere on the site – these tips are all about managing your pictures so you can quickly find the ones you want.

Rename lots of images at once by making a multiple selection.

1. Rename multiple pictures

You can rename more than one photo at the same time, which is handy for groups of images. Open Windows Photo Gallery and browse to the pictures you want to name. Click the first one, hold down the [Ctrl] key and click each of the other photos you want to select. Alternatively, to select a consecutive block of photos, click the first one, hold [Shift] and click the last one to select them all. Right-click one of the pictures, choose Rename and enter the name you want to use. Each picture will take this name plus a number (in brackets).

2. Use tags

Tags help you to organise your photos by who is in them, where they were taken – or any other useful piece of information – instead of simply using the file name. You can add multiple tags to a photo and use these later on to find it again. To add a tag, click the picture you want to tag and select the Home tab on the ribbon. Choose Descriptive tag, followed by Tag an item. Enter the tag you want to use.

Identify the people in your pictures by using people tags.

3. People tags

You can also tag photos by who appears in them. On the Home ribbon, click the People tag and choose Tag a person. Enter the name of the person you wish to tag – Photo Gallery uses face recognition to identify different people so you may see a number of suggested faces appear in the right-hand pane. Click Who's this? and type the person’s name. The more people you tag, the better Photo Gallery becomes at recognising them.

4. Use tags to find people

Once set up, tags make it easy to find photos containing either descriptive or people tags. Switch to Find tab on the ribbon, click Tags and select the tag you want to use for searching. Alternatively, choose a person you want to find from the People group to see all images that include that person. Select additional tags or people to narrow your search further until you find the picture you want.

5. Remove a tag

To remove a descriptive tag, select the photo and place the mouse pointer over the tag you want to remove in the right-hand pane. Click the red cross to the right of the tag to delete it. To remove people tags, click the photo and rest the pointer over the person in the right-hand pane. Click the down arrow to reveal more options and choose Remove tag.

This nifty Registry edit cleans up any incorrect tag suggestions from misspelled descriptive tags or other mistakes.

6. Remove incorrect suggested tags

If you've entered an incorrect descriptive tag, you can make sure it’s not suggested again with the help of a Registry tweak – if you’re comfortable editing the Registry , browse to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Photo Gallery\Library\PreviewPane\LabelAssignment\MRU key. Right-click the tag name you want to remove in the right-hand pane and choose Delete. Next time you open Photo Gallery the tag won’t appear in the suggested tags. You'll still need to remove it from the photos it appears on.

7. Batch people tag

Once Photo Gallery has some people tagged, it can detect pictures including those people using face recognition – you just need to confirm it's them. Click Batch people tag and select one of the people detected. This displays each photo that might include that person. If all – or the majority – are correct, click Select all. Untick any photos that haven’t been correctly identified before clicking Confirm.

8. Add a caption

In addition to tags, you can add captions to your photos. Select the picture you want to caption, click Add caption in the right-hand pane, and type the sentence you want to use. If you select multiple pictures you can add the same caption to all of them – you can then modify each one individually to make small changes if you like.

Your pictures don't have to be grouped by date. You can choose tag, place or file type too.

9. Group by

Pictures are arranged according to date. You can change this by right-clicking on any blank space in the main pane and choosing Group by, followed by the gauge you wish to use. Other choices include grouping by tag, people, geotag (place) and even by the camera used to take the original shot.

10. Use plug-ins

Extend the capabilities of Photo Gallery by adding plugins. Browse to Windows Live Photo Gallery Plug-ins and select the plug-in you want to use. There are plug-ins to help you create panoramas (Image Composite Editor), collages and large, detailed composite images (Photosynth) among others. You’ll need to download and install each plug-in from its related website.