Searching for files on your hard drive

Getting photos from your hard drive is fine and dandy, if you know where everything is. But what if you were a little lapse on your file housekeeping, and items are scattered high and low on your hard drive?

Being the wonderful organizer it is, Album provides a way to search for files on your computer and then allows you to pick and choose what you want. Album can find photos and video clips, but not audio clips or creation PDFs (for more on creations, see Chapter 18).

Album cannot search CDs and DVDs or network drives (like a server). But it can search external media such as Zip disks.

Here are the steps to get photos into Album by searching your hard drive:

1. Choose FileOGet PhotosOBy Searching.

The Get Photos by Searching for Folders dialog box appears.

2. Select one of the following search options from the Look In dropdown menu:

• All Hard Disks: Finds all the files on your computer, which includes all installed and connected hard drives.

• Drive C: Searches only the main hard drive, which is usually the C drive.

• My Documents: Searches for files in the My Documents folder and its subfolders only.

• Browse: Allows you to navigate and pinpoint specific locations on your computer.

3. Deselect the Exclude System and Program Folder option, if desired.

By default, this option is checked, so Album searches all the folders on your computer except for System and Program folders. This relieves Album, and you, from looking through folders that probably don't contain photos and video clips. On the other hand, if you have really bad file management practices, or if someone else who uses your computer does, you may want Album to search every nook and cranny for possible rogue images.

Files that you are using for your Windows wallpaper reside in the System folder. And sample images supplied by programs like Photoshop Elements live in the Program folder. If you want to have these files included in your catalog, then you will want to deselect the Exclude System and Program Folder option.

4. Deselect the Exclude Files Smaller than 100K option, if desired.

By default this option is checked so Album ignores any file smaller than 100K. The reasoning behind this option is that any files that small are too low in resolution to be of any significance. This assumption may not be true, however, if you prepare a lot of images for to display on the Web, because such files are smaller in size by nature. You can enter in your own size criteria or uncheck the option altogether.

5. Click the Search button.

Depending on your search option and the number of files you have, the search may take a couple minutes. Take a break and get a beverage or click the Cancel button if you want to end the search.

When Album has finished its search, it displays a list of folders that contain photos and video clips in the Search Results section of the dialog box, as shown in Figure 4-3.

If, like me, you have a bazillion folders with files, you may be a bit overwhelmed when you see the search results. My head spun, anyway.

6. If you decide you just want to browse the folders on your own and navigate to a particular folder, click the Take me there link at the bottom of the dialog box.

The Search dialog box transports you to the Getting Photos from Files and Folders dialog box. See the section, "Importing Files from Your Hard Drive" earlier in this chapter.

7. Select one or more folders that contain files you want to import.

When you select a folder, Album thankfully gives you a preview (on the right side of the dialog box) of the first few files in the folder so you can get an idea of what's in it, in case your memory is a bit foggy.

8. Click the Import Folders button.

Album retrieves the files and imports them into your Photo Well.

You also can use the Quick Guide to search for files on your computer. Choose HelpOQuick Guide. Click the Get Photos button or tab. Then click the Search Drive button. From there, follow Steps 2 through 4 above.

Figure 4-3:

You can have Album search your computer for folders containing photos and video clips.

Figure 4-3:

You can have Album search your computer for folders containing photos and video clips.

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