Instructables
With a great digital camera comes great responsibility to manage thousands of photos. This can be a pain, especially if you want to use them to document a process for Instructables. I know my way around Photoshop, but more often than not I turn to Google's free Picasa program to do the heavy lifting.

With Picasa you can import a picture, straighten it, color correct it, crop it and resize it in under a minute. Here I'll run though these main processes, but there are still more tricks to play with if you want to check it out.
 
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Step 1: Download Picasa

Go to picasa.google.com and download Picasa. It's only for PC right now. Sorry, Mac users.

Upon installation, Picasa will catalog all of the images on your hard drive. You can take some time to organize and rename these folders if you want. It's a fun way to kill an afternoon, but let's move on to the processes we're after.

Step 2: Import a Picture

This is super easy. Picasa can scan a memory card and import new photos. It can also detect new photos on the machine so if you import a photo in a different way it will still appear in the top of the list.

Here, I shot a photo of my right hand to use as an example. The goal is to mimic the Instuctables hand icon. But the hand isn't straight so the first thing to do is...

Step 3: Staighten the Image

Click the Straighten button on the top left and a grid will appear on the screen. These are guides for your alignment. Now click and drag the slider on the bottom to rotate the image. The image will zoom in in the process to keep the same aspect ratio.

My hand had a big angle so I had to do this twice.
TheCalmDev28 days ago

Is it possible to put a logo (in PNG) over a JPEG while editing it on Picasa?

I love Picasa and have used it to edit photos nearly exclusively for perhaps all of my Instructables. You give a lovely overview to the software. That said, your instructable is a bit out of date! Is there an update for Picasa3?
Jayefuu2 years ago
Nice tutorial, I totally agree! A step about the white balance correction with shadow/highlight/saturation would be good. It's definitely the fastest way to get photos taken on a white background looking crisp and clean.
glycerinate7 years ago
this is a pretty good tutorial on picasa. I like it. Pretty good. But personally, i prefer the gimp. Its crossplatform (unlike picasa) and is truly amazing in what you can do with it. I use it to animate pics for my myspace, make name banners, edit photos where pupils are too large and look weird cause you just got home from the eye doctor, etc.,etc. Good job.
fungus amungus (author)  glycerinate7 years ago
Many other photo editors have a lot more features, but for quickly taking photos and editing them for basic uses, Picasa is much faster for me. When I need to do anything more serious I'll drop into Photoshop, but the vast majority of photo tweaking is pretty simple.
Picasa is a good free program forsure! I really like it for resizing images. Some body was asking about putting text on an image. I personally use Photoshop for that. Good idea on this instructable. I've used picasa for a while now and it becomes second nature so you don't really think about telling other people about it.
royalestel7 years ago
Yah, I really liked picasas channel mixer, but not so much the duplcated image list because I had my photos stored in a "my documents" folder. Grrr. Annoyed me so much I uninstalled it. Great instructable, though!
CameronSS7 years ago
Is there a way to put text over an image in Picasa? Not captions, but superimposed text that would still let you save as JPEG.
fungus amungus (author)  CameronSS7 years ago
Nope
The middle fingers of both of my hands turn outwards, too. I thought I was the only one! Thanks for this instructable, Picasa is just what I need!
never noticed before, but same here...
If you really get into photo manipulation, try The Gimp. The GIMP is arguably the best free, open-source raster graphics software on the net, and is relatively easy to get the hang of. Great stuff, fungus amungus!
fungus amungus (author)  Junkyard John7 years ago
Glad you like it. I've never tried out GIMP since I've always had Photoshop to play with (fiance is a graphic designer). I should check it out, though.
vader4067 years ago
phs & psp way better
fungus amungus (author)  vader4067 years ago
Linking to something you like is way better than leaving a random comment.
???
fungus amungus (author)  vader4067 years ago
well, what is phs & psp? Do you have any reasoning behind it? Otherwise it means nothing
PSP is PaintShop Pro, I don't know what the other one is. Vader406 forgets that Picasa is free where as PSP costs near a hundred dollars.
lebowski7 years ago
Picassa is also a great way for selecting images that you want upload to your instructable upload email. If you don't know your upload email address, view it now. Here's a few images of how it works if you're curious.

picassa.jpgpicassa_select_email.jpgpicassa_send_email.jpg
fungus amungus (author)  lebowski7 years ago
Good point. I didn't think of that. That's even cooler.
crestind7 years ago
Great instructable! Picassa is an awesome program for general photo-editing.
PetervG7 years ago
Simple, Contagious, Effective.
canida7 years ago
Picasa is awesome. Take fungus's recommendation, and make your instructables better!