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Batch Processing in Apple Photos

You may have shot a lot of photos in a particular area, or with specific lighting, and want to process them all in exactly the same way. For example, you may want to apply the same adjustments to correct color, heighten contrast, and tweak brightness. With some advanced photo apps, you can perform “batch processing,” where you apply the same settings to a group of photos.

Apple’s Photos app does not allow you to perform batch processing. However, there is a way that you can quickly apply the same changes to multiple photos.

Start with any photo in edit mode; to edit a photo, select it and press Return. Photos switches to its editing interface with controls at the right side of the window. Make whatever changes you want to the photo: adjust the color, contrast, brightness, or apply a filter.

Next, choose Image > Copy Adjustments, press Command-Shift-C, or right-click on the photo and choose Copy Adjustments. Photos places all the adjustments that you have made to this picture on the clipboard.

Copy adjustments

You can then switch to another photo in edit mode and paste these adjustments. To do this, choose Image > Paste Adjustments, press Command-Shift-V, or right-click on the photo and choose Paste Adjustments. Photos applies all the adjustments you made to the first photo, with the exception of cropping or rotation.

There are ways that you can streamline this process. Create a new photo album (File > New Album), and add all the photos you want to batch process to that album. Edit the first photo, copy its adjustments, then press the right arrow key to move to the next photo — you will still be in Edit mode — and paste the adjustments. You can go through all the photos in this album paste in the adjustments with just a few keypresses.

While this isn’t as efficient as the way more powerful apps perform batch processing, it is a great way to apply the exact same adjustments to a group of photos. Try this when you have spent a lot of time tweaking, say, one of your vacation photos. If you have other photos that were taken in the same light at the same location, you can probably just paste the adjustments he made from one photo onto them and save time.

How to Report Abuse and Harassment on Twitter

If you use Twitter, you know that abuse is rampant. Mindless trolls and bots reply to your tweets and insult you, even threaten you. Twitter has been very slow to come up with procedures for dealing with this, and lots of people just give up on Twitter because they have bad experiences.

Fortunately, the company has rolled out new ways to report tweets and direct messages, and presumably has a team that will examine these reports and suspend or remove accounts guilty of abuse or harassment. Here’s how you can let Twitter know when you or someone else has been a victim of abuse.

Read the rest of the article on the Mac Security Blog.

How to Post to Instagram from Safari on a Mac

It is well known that Instagram only really works on a smartphone. There are apps for iOS and Android, but there isn’t even a tablet version of the app. You can, of course, view Instagram from the desktop or on a tablet, in any browser (check out my photos on Instagram), but you can’t post or manage your photos.

Well, actually, you can, with a bit of trickery. If you use Safari on macOS, you can do anything that you can do in the Instagram app. Here’s how.

Start by going to Safari > Preferences, then click the Advanced tab. At the bottom of the window, checks Show Develop menu in menu bar.

Safari prefs

Next, go to the Develop menu and choose User Agent > Safari – iOS 10 – iPhone. This tells Safari to pretend that it is the iPhone version. It will reload the current web page, but in its mobile version. This is the way Instagram displays its content in its app, and loading its page like this allows you to do everything you can in the app.

Instagram safari

Click the camera icon at the bottom of the page, and you can upload a photo. Select it from the dialog that Safari displays, then add a filter, edit it, or click Next to add a caption or tags. The page will offer to auto-complete any tags you begin typing, as the mobile app does.

Instagram upload

Click Share, and Safari sends your photo to Instagram.

This is very useful if you want to add a lot of tags to your photos; it’s much easier to do this from a keyboard than in the Instagram app.

When you’ve finished, return to the Develop menu and choose User Agent > Default (Automatically Chosen).

A Look at New Features in Apple Photos for High Sierra

Apple’s macOS High Sierra is due out in a couple of months, and beta versions, both to the public and for developers, have been circulating for a while. We’re up to the third version of this beta software, and we can now see many of the more obvious improvements in the operating system, and in specific apps.

Photos sidebarPhotos is one app that is getting an overhaul. The sidebar that lets you browse your library has been updated to include sections, as in iTunes:

The Library section includes Photos, Memories, Favorites, People, Places, Imports, and Recently Deleted.

The Shared section shows Activity and Shared Albums; a top-level Shared Albums folder contains all the albums you have shared.

The Albums section contains two top-level folders:

  • Media Types, which houses everything other than regular folders, such as Videos, Selfies, Live Photos, and more.
  • My Albums, which includes all the albums you’ve created, though the All Photos album is no longer present; it now shows at the top of the sidebar under Library.

Finally, a Projects section displays with a My Projects folder, which contains any card, book, calendar, or print projects you may be working on.

The more visible changes in the Photos app are apparent when you edit a photo. The interface has been rearranged, with three tabs at the top of the window: Adjust, for editing tools, Filters, to apply preset filters, and Crop, to trim your photos. You can access these three tabs quickly with keyboard shortcuts: Command-1, Command-2, and Command-3.

Here’s the Adjust interface:

You can see that some of the tools have been moved to the toolbar: the Rotate button and the Auto Enhance button are near the right side of the toolbar. Other buttons have been moved around, and the Adjust interface displays all the various tools with both icons and names. You can click disclosure triangles next to each one to display their options. This version of Photos also adds two new adjustment tools: Curves and Selective Color.

One tool that has been demoted is the Histogram. Most Photos users don’t use this tool, and it is no longer visible by default in the Adjust tools, but you can display it by choosing View > Show Histogram.

A useful tool is the Before/After button at the left of the toolbar. Click this to show your photo without any adjustments, so you can see if your tweaks really make for a better image. This feature exists in the current version of Photos, but without a button: you need to know that by pressing the M key, you’ll be able to toggle back to your original.

Photos for High Sierra also extends the use of external editing tools, which you have been able to access from the … button for a while. While some editing tools will still run as extensions via that button, you can also right-click on a photo and choose Edit With, then select an app, to edit it directly in that app’s window, rather than in a modified Photos window. Edits you make in that external app are saved to your Photos library, and you can, of course, revert to your original photo at any time. This means you can use apps that haven’t hooked into the Extensions system – such as Photoshop – directly on photos in your library.

If you’re a casual photo shooter or a more serious shutterbug, you’ll find that Photos for High Sierra improves a lot of the app’s features and interface. If you don’t work on your photos much, you may be a bit overwhelmed by the new Edit interface, especially since you cannot hide the tools that you don’t use as you can in the current version of Photos. I would like to see that option returned to the app; many users never use Levels, Curves, and some of the other tools, and it would be practical if they weren’t visible.

These changes show that Apple is trying to bring Photos up a notch toward what Aperture used to be, while retaining the simplicity of the app for users who don’t need those extended features. Adding full access to all third-party editing tools is a big step up for those who want to store their files in Photos – notably to take advantage of iCloud Photo Library – but also use more powerful tools to edit their photos.

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Writings about Macs, music, and more by Kirk McElhearn