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Using Tags and Ratings to Organize Your Collection

Tags and star ratings are two ways to organize your collection.

A tag is a word or phrase that helps describe the contents of the photograph here's an example: a photograph of your aunt Elizabeth Smith in front of the Eiffel Tower Experience restaurant in Las Vegas can be tagged with all of the following:

  • Elizabeth Smith
  • Aunt Elizabeth
  • Las Vegas
  • Eiffel Tower Experience
  • Nevada

After you add tags to your photos, you can find photos by specifying matching tags, regardless of what folder the photograph is stored in (Figure 1). In this figure, you can see that clicking on the "Reenactment" tag on the left displays the photos tagged with the "Reenactment" tag on the right.

Figure 1 Using Tags to find matching photos in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Another popular method for organizing photos is to use star ratings (Figure 2). By assigning star ratings to your photos, you can find the best photos regardless of the folders they’re stored in.

Figure 2 Using Star ratings to display the best photos in Photoshop Elements’ Organizer.

Some programs, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery and Adobe Photoshop Elements Organizer, use a 1-5 star scale, while Google Picasa uses a star off (default)/star on toggle.

When you use a tag or star rating to see certain photos only, it’s easy to upload the photos you want to a photo sharing website or use them for a scrapbook, CD, or DVD project.

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