Creating Tags and Categories

The Organizer's got a great system for quickly finding photos, but it works only if you use special keywords, called tags, which the Organizer uses to track down your pictures.

A tag can be a word, a date, or even a rating (as explained in the box in Section 8.2.3). When you import photos into the Organizer, the photos are automatically tagged with the date of import, but you may want to add more tags to make it easier to search for the subject of the photo later on. You can give a photo as many tags as you like.

Elements gives you a few generic tags to help you get started, but you'll want to learn how to create your own tags, too. After all, by the time you've got 5,000 or so photos in the Organizer, searching for "Family" probably isn't going to help narrow things down.

As you create tags to organize your photos, you can organize your tags by grouping them into categories. Again, you get a certain number of preset categories, like People, Places, and Events, and you can create your own categories, too. You can also create as many subcategories within categories as you like. You may have a category of "Vacations," with "China trip" and "Cozumel" as subcategories, for instance. Your photos in those categories may have the tags "Jim and Helen," "silk factory," or "snorkeling."

ORGANIZATION STATION Special Tags

Elements starts you off with two special kinds of tags:

• Favorites. Favorites let you assign a one- to fivestar rating to your photos. It's a good way to mark the ones you want to print or edit. Ratings are a great searching tool since you can tell Elements to find, say, all your pictures that have ratings of four or more stars. (See Section 8.6 for details on how to perform a search.)

• Hidden. When you apply the Hidden tag to a photo, the photo isn't displayed in the Photo Browser until you click the search square next to the Hidden tag icon. The Hidden tag is useful for archiving those photos that didn't come out quite right but that you're not ready to trash. You can save these pictures (just in case) without having them cluttering up your screen while you're working with your good photos.

You create new tags and new categories in the same place: the Create Tag dialog box. Here's how:

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