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First time user questions (managing library, file size defaults, cropping,)

Update:10-11Source: network consolidation
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I'm on my first Mac, which I am enjoying and am also using iPhoto '08 for the first time which is a great tool. It has really increased my efficiency in editing a lot of photos at one time. However, the ease of use makes a couple custom things I want to do difficult. I'd appreciate any feedback;
1) I often want to get at my files for upload or transfer to another machine. When I access Photos with my Finder I can only see "Iphoto Library" (or something like that) which does not show the individual files. Very annoying. I have found that i can browse to one of the menus and select "Open Library" and then I can see all the files.
How can I make it default to this expanded setting? When I am uploading pictures via a web application, for instance, the file open tool does not usually give me the option to Open the library. By Default, I would like the library to always be expanded so I do not have to run iPhoto or select "open" to view the files.
Basically, I just want easy manual control of my files in Finder and other applications.
2) Where do I set the jpg size of an edited file? My camera will output 10MB files and after a simple straighten or crop, iPhoto will save them to 1MB files.
Ignoring the debate on file size, is there a way to control the jpg compression so I can stay as close to what came out of the camera as possible?
3) I crop all my photos to 5x7. If I do that once, it comes up the next time. However, once I straighten the photo and then choose crop, it always comes up with some other odd size by default (the largest rectangle that can be fit in the new photos size).
While I know this may be useful for some people, it is time consuming when going through hundreds of photos to constantly have to choose "5x7" from the drop down list. Is there a way to make this the default?
I'm sure I'll have some more questions, but thus far, I've been real happy with iPhoto.
4) The next task will be sharing this Mac Pictures folder on my Wireless network so my XP PC can access it. I'm open to any tips on that one as well....
Thanks!

The Best Answer

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toddjb
Welcome to the Apple Discussions.
There are three ways (at least) to get files from the iPhoto Window.
1. *Drag and Drop*: Drag a photo from the iPhoto Window to the desktop, there iPhoto will make a full-sized copy of the pic.
2. *File -> Export*: Select the files in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export. The dialogue will give you various options, including altering the format, naming the files and changing the size. Again, producing a copy.
3. *Show File*: Right- (or Control-) Click on a pic and in the resulting dialogue choose 'Show File'. A Finder window will pop open with the file already selected.
To upload to MySpace or any site that does not have an iPhoto Export Plug-in the recommended way is to Select the Pic in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export and export the pic to the desktop, then upload from there. After the upload you can trash the pic on the desktop. It's only a copy and your original is safe in iPhoto.
This is also true for emailing with Web-based services.
If you use Apple's Mail, Entourage, AOL or Eudora you can email from within iPhoto.
The format of the iPhoto library is this way because many users were inadvertently corrupting their library by browsing through it with other software or making changes in it themselves. If you're willing to risk database corruption, you can restore the older functionality simply by right clicking on the iPhoto Library and choosing 'Show Package Contents'. Then simply make an alias to the folders you require and put that alias on the desktop or where ever you want it. Be aware though, that this is a hack and not supported by Apple.
Basically, I just want easy manual control of my files in Finder and other applications.
What's above is what's on offer. Remember, iPhoto is NOT a file organiser, it's a photo organiser. If you want to organise files, then use a file organiser.
Where do I set the jpg size of an edited file
You don't. Though losing 9MB off a 10MB files is excessive. Where are you getting these file sizes.
I crop all my photos to 5x7. If I do that once, it comes up the next time. However, once I straighten the photo and then choose crop, it always comes up with some other odd size by default (the largest rectangle that can be fit in the new photos size).
Straightening also involves cropping. Best to straighten first, then crop.
The next task will be sharing this Mac Pictures folder on my Wireless network so my XP PC can access it.
If you use the hack detailed above be very careful, it's easy to corrupt the iPhoto Library, and making changes to the iPhoto Package File via the Finder or another app is the most popular way to go about it.
Regards
TD
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