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Relaxing with Windows 8’s Photo and Entertainment Apps : Enjoying Photos (part 3) - Sharing, Printing, and Searching

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Sharing, Printing, and Searching

Many common photo-related activities work consistently with similar features in other Metro apps, thanks to the new system-wide capabilities in Windows 8. For example, when viewing a photo, you can print it by accessing the Devices interface (Winkey + K) or, more directly, the Print interface (Ctrl + P). Or you can use the Share interface (Winkey + H) to share the photo with others using a compatible Metro-style app, such as Mail.

Figure 12: Multi-selecting photos from different folders.

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There’s no way to search all sources simultaneously, though that would be very useful.

Likewise, the excellent Search functionality in Windows 8 can be used in Photos to find particular pictures. If you access the Search charm (Winkey + Q) while viewing a photo or from within a particular folder, the Search pane that appears will search only that folder. Search at the source level and it will search just that source.

If you open the Search charm from outside the Photos app and then select Photos from the list of apps in the Search pane, you get a grid-based view of your Pictures library, filtered to the search term, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13: A Photos search results list

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Acquiring Photos from a Camera, Memory Card, or Other Device

If you’ve ever connected a digital camera, a camera’s memory card, or another device (like a smartphone) that contains pictures to Windows in the past, you know that Microsoft’s desktop OS has long supported basic photo acquisition (or what some people think of “downloading”) capabilities through desktop apps like Photo Gallery. You can still do this, if you’d like. Or, you can use the new Metro-based photo acquisition interface that’s available through the Photos app.

When you plug in a compatible device that contains photos, you’ll see a Metro-style notification flyover, or “toast,” like that shown in Figure 14.

Figure 14: Windows 8 asks what you’d like to do when you plug in this sort of device.

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If you select this notification, you’ll see a window similar to that in Figure 15; like the notification, this display can appear anywhere in Windows, including Photos or other Metro-style apps, the Start screen, or the Windows desktop.

Figure 15: Choose what you’d like to do with devices that contain photos.

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The easiest way to find AutoPlay is to use Windows Search: Type autoplay, select Settings, and then choose AutoPlay from the results list.

You may want to use Photos as the default choice when such a device is plugged into the PC, though we feel that you should examine your choices before making such a decision. Remember that you can always change what happens later using the AutoPlay control panel, though. So if you make a mistake, or want to change your selection later, you can do so.

For now, let’s just use Photos to manually acquire photos from an attached camera, memory card, or other device. To do so, launch the Photos app and then display the app bar. On the far right side of this app bar, you’ll see an Import button. Click this, and Photos will prompt you to choose a device, as in Figure 16.

Figure 16: Choosing a device with photos.

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Do so, and you’ll be presented with the full-screen interface shown in Figure 17. Here, you can determine which photos to acquire and what the folder name that contains them will be.

What you can’t do, of course, is configure other photo acquisition options, and this is why we noted previously that you may want to review your options first. Photos doesn’t let you name the acquired photos to your liking (unless you happen to like the default, which is to use awful, camera-based names). And it doesn’t let you choose whether to delete the photos from the device once they’re acquired. (They are not deleted.)

Figure 17: Choosing which photos to acquire.

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Click Import to acquire the photos.

When you’re done, you’re prompted to open the folder containing the photos you just imported. This will happen in Photos, of course, not in File Explorer on the desktop.

Put simply, the photo acquisition capabilities in Photos are, well, basic. And if you want more control over this process, as we do, you should consider using the free Photo Gallery desktop application instead.

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