As we discussed in Chapter 19, digital photos are made for sharing. These photo-managing programs, with their focus on organizing entire libraries of pictures, provide a natural conduit for sharing collections of photos as slideshows, Web sites, and albums. Sharing isn't limited only to consumer fun and family memories. After all, the purpose of professional programs is to maintain and leverage an accurate inventory of valuable photos, and sharing with clients, associates, and potential customers is certainly an important aspect of the business of photography and the photography of businesses. For example, Extensis Portfolio NetPublish or NetPublish Server (which are additional programs to Portfolio) can actually drive an interactive Internet catalog.

Here are some things to remember when you want to use these programs for sharing:

■ Emailing photos from these programs is usually so easy that it can become a mindless process. Be aware of what your program is doing to prepare your photos for emailing. Most consumer programs will automatically resize photos so they're appropriate for email, but others will allow you to send full-sized pictures, which we don't recommend as a rule (see Chapter 15). Just because you can send entire collections of pictures via email doesn't mean that you should. Remember: large or multiple attachments can bog down your computer and your recipient's. Worse yet, many network servers won't even let them through.

■ Some photo management programs will display a slideshow of your photos that can't be shared. If slideshow sharing is important to you, check the software before you buy to make sure that it will allow you to create and save slideshows that are viewable on systems that don't have the program installed.

■ Don't buy a program just because it offers a link to purchase a specific type of photo novelty (such as mugs or printed books). Most such items are available to anyone over the Web. On the other hand, the links do make it much easier to order, and the programs may help with assembling the appropriate layout of your photos for those specific items.

■ If you are creating catalog Web sites, the most popular ones are those that link thumbnail views to larger pictures. For those photographers who are concerned about having their photos pirated, most of these programs will resize even the larger views so they won't contain enough data to produce high-quality prints. But if unauthorized copying is an important issue for you, check to make certain that is really what is happening. (Large printable photos aren't really appropriate for the Web, because they have too much data for quick and easy page access.)

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