Photo Tagging and Management with Windows Live Photo Gallery

March 8, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Windows Live Photo Gallery is a great tool for viewing photos, editing them and even repairing them. You can also share snaps online and send galleries via email – but what do you do when you have thousands of photographs listed in the application? How do you find the photo you’re looking for?

Luckily, Windows Live Photo Gallery comes with various useful tools for indexing and finding the photos you want. However to get the best results from this you will need to spend a bit of time organizing the photos you have saved.

Photo tagging and management with Windows Live Photo Gallery

Searching Windows Live Photo Gallery with Quick Find

If you haven’t got time to sit indexing and tagging photos and want to find the image you want right here, right now, use the Quick find tool on the Home tab. With this tool you can filter the images by Month, how it is Rated and whether or not you have set a Flag for the image. Each of these has a drop down menu with various different options within – for instance the Rated menu lets you filter by star rating, so you might display only images with 5 stars or only images with 1 star. Note that an image with 5 stars will also fall into the 1 star filter.

In addition to these filters you might also use the Text search tool, which will return results based on folder and filename. For instance if I search for “Ingrid” then an image of the late scream queen actress Ingrid Pitt will be returned from my library.

However there is a much more effective way of managing your Windows Live Photo Gallery snaps, using tagging.

Tagging Images in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Probably the best way of finding an image in Windows Live Photo Gallery is to first tag it. This might seem like a lot of work, but thankfully the software is equipped with a couple of useful tools to help with the task.

On the Home tab in the Organize section you will see a couple of tagging options that are particularly useful, namely People tag and Batch people tag. With the first of these you can go through images one at a time and answering the question Who is this? which is displayed on the right-hand side of the application window. All you have to do to answer is click the question and type your answer; the entered text will search against any known names in your address book (if you have one synced from your Windows Live Mail account) or give you the opportunity to Add new person.

For a quicker people tagging experience, however, the Batch people tag tool will scan all of your images looking for faces. When you select a face from the menu, all images that appear to display the same tag will be displayed – all you need to do then is use the Confirm and Not this person buttons. After a while of using the batch tagging tool you should be able to run through all of your photos with the help of Windows Live Photo Gallery’s face detection tool and assign names to faces, making search for images much quicker in future!

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