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How to maintain photo order in folders and albums

 

Photo order in Folders

What you want to do:
Arrange Photos in a Folder into an order that tells a story and keep them in that sequence.
 
The Problem:
When you drag photos around in a Folder to tell a story, they don't remain in the order you dragged them into:
  • If you add photos to the folder they will be added to the end.
  • If the folder is re-scanned or re-sorted, the photo order can become jumbled.
The Solution
Rename the Photos in such a way that they remain in the desired order.
  1. By drag-and-drop or sorting, get the photos in the folder into the order you want them to be.
  2. click on the first photo then type Ctrl+A (hold Ctrl key and push the A key) to select all photos in the folder.
  3. Push the F2 key to get the Rename dialog box.
  4. In the Rename Files box, enter the name you want all the files to be named, followed by -001
    - Example: "Animals at the Zoo-001"
    - Make the name descriptive of what all the photos are for.
    - Make sure the name doesn't contain any dots (.)
    - Note: Numbering doesn't have to start at one (-001), it can start at any number, for example -121 (or -1001 to make all suffixes 4 digits)
    Note: The complete rename name including the - (dash) cannot be exactly the same as any photo in the folder. See Notes below.
  5. Ensure that the Date and Image Resolution boxes are not checked.
  6. Press the Rename button and the files will be renamed in the order they appeared in the folder.
  7. IMPORTANT: After renaming, Right-Click on the Folder name and click Sort Folder By -> Name.
    This ensures that they are shown in the correct order.
If the folder ever gets out of order again you can Right-Click on the Folder name and click Sort Folder By > Name to correct the order.

If you want to rearrange the folder or add photos repeat the above steps and the photos will be Re-renamed.

Note: The complete rename name including the - (dash) cannot be exactly the same as any photo in the folder because Picasa will think you are renaming with the same name and may renumber incorrectly.
  • Make the rename different somehow by changing some spelling or anything to make the name different. Example: If the first Photo is named "Name-001", make the rename be "AnotherName-001" or "Name(space)-001", Any difference will do.
  • If you really want the name exactly the same as before, rename twice, first to a different name like "Temporary-001", then rename them again back to your original name.

Photo Order in Albums

What you want to do: 
Collect Photos from multiple folders into an album, and then drag them around into an order that tells a story.
 
The Problem:
When you drag photos around in an Album to tell a story, they don't stay in the order you dragged them into.
At some undetermined time in the future when you come back to the Album, the photo order will be jumbled.
 
The Solution:
Rename the Photos in such a way that they remain in the desired order or can be easily sorted by name to get them back in order.
It is possible to rename photos directly in an Album, but there are a number of problems with this including:
  • The actual photos in their source folders will be renamed, probably messing up the folder's photo names.
  • If a photo is in more than one album, that photos name will be re-changed each time another Album is renamed.
  • If an Album has photos from more than one folder (which is the reason for albums) the renumbering starts over for each folder.
The Solution presented here is called the Export Solution, since it uses the export tools in Picasa to make a copy of the photos and rename them into alphanumeric order in one step. 
Advantages:
- The original photos remain unchanged in their original folders.
- All edits are incorporated into the photos.
- Multiple albums can incorporate the same photos.
- Photos retain their previous name with a number prefix for sorting.
- If the photos get out of order, a sort by Name returns them to order.
 
Disadvantages:
- The Photo "Albums" made here are really folders and the Photos take up disk space just like the originals.
- Every time you change the "Album" (folder) by adding Photos or re-arranging them you have to rebuild the "Album" (folder).
Export Method of Maintaining Photo order
    1. Put all the photos you want to show in a "blue" Album.
    2. Arrange them in the proper order by dragging them to the order you want them to end up in.
    3. Select the album name in the Album collection (go to another name and back if necessary so the album name shows in the tray in lower left).
    4. click the "export" button in bottom middle of Picasa.
    5. In the export box name a new folder name, select "Use Original Size", and select "Add numbers to files to preserve order"
    6. Click the export button to export the pictures to the named folder.
    7. Go to the Exports collection at the bottom of the folders list to find your new folder.
    8. Right click on the folder name you just made and click "sort folder by" - Name.
The Exported folder now has the photos from the album in order and can be used any way you would use the album..

If in the future the photos get out of order either because they were dragged or sorted, simply Right-Click on the folder name and select Sort Folder By -> Name.
If you want to re-arrange the photo order in the future there are two choices:
  • Erase this folder, and rebuild it using this  Export Method of Maintaining Photo Order.
  • Re-arrange and/or add photos to this folder, then use the Photo Order in Folders topic to rename them in order.
If you must have an Album, click any photo in the new folder and type Ctrl -A (Hold Ctrl key and type A) to select all photos in the folder, then Right-Click on any of the photos and select "Add to Album -> New Album. Give it a new name and that will be your new album. You may need to sort it by name.