Monthly Archives: October 2008

How to Tile Windows Vertically

How to Tile Windows Vertically (or Horizontally) in Windows XP

If you are just learning Windows XP, or are starting an ambitious project of getting your photos organized, it is helpful to know how to move your Windows Explorer windows around on the screen. You might compare this to sorting laundry inside the basket, or being able to create piles on the bed or a table. Windows XP allows you to move your explorer windows around so they are easier to use.

When I am organizing my photos, I like to tile the windows vertically. For example, if you have two explorer windows open, and they are stacked on top of each other like below, you’ll have a hard time ‘dragging & dropping’ photos between the two folders:

Before Tile Vertically

So what we want to do is select the two windows so that we can tile them vertically. We do this by clicking one of them in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen (notice that only one is darkened, or selected):

One Taskbar Button Selected

Then to select the other window, we hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard and then click the other button in the taskbar for the other window. This will select both windows (they will be dark).

Control Click

Then you right-click with your mouse over one of the buttons and a menu will pop up giving you the option to Tile Vertically:

Tile Vertically

After you click Tile Vertically, the selected windows will fill the screen and be visible. Now you can drag and drop!

After Tile Vertically

How to Batch Resize Photos in Photoshop

How to Batch Resize Photos in Photoshop

Resizing groups of photos is very easy if you are using Photoshop. I am using Photoshop CS3 on a Mac in this example. Though I am not sure if this works in Elements, I do know that it works in CS2 on both a PC & a Mac.

Here’s the concept: you have a folder full of JPG files and they are all very large. You want to resize all of the photos at once, or you want to create small copies of all of the photos at once, but save it to another location. No problem.

Just click the File menu, and hover over Scripts, then select Image Processor:

Script Image Processor

Be sure to check out my Photoshop site
with High Resolution Video Tutorials

How to Show Picture Tasks in Windows XP

How to Show Picture Tasks in Windows XP

If you are trying to manage your digital photos using Windows Explorer, the built-in file manager for Windows XP, you’ll want to have a helpful tool turned on called “Picture Tasks” (officially called “Common Tasks”). Open up your official My Pictures folder. It should look like this:


Notice the menus on the left? There are a lot of helpful tools that you can use in there. But if you opened up My Pictures and didn’t see the Picture Tasks, yours probably looked something like this:


So if your Picture Tasks aren’t showing up, do this:

  1. Right-click on My Computer (usually found on the desktop) and click “Properties”:
  2. ComputerProperties

  3. Then select the Advanced Tab and click the Settings button under Performance:
  4. PerformanceSettings

  5. Scroll down in the white box until you find “Use Common Tasks in Folders” and check that box. Now click OK.
  6. CommonTasks

And you’re done! You should now have Picture Tasks when you open My Pictures.


How to Show Hidden Files & Folders in Windows XP

How to Show Hidden Files & Folders in Windows XP

If you are trying to track down hidden folders full of original photos in Picasa, it helps to show your “hidden files & folders” in Windows XP. Here’s how:

  1. Open an Explorer window by double-clicking My Computer or by clicking Windows-E. On the “Tools” menu, select “Folder Options”.

  2. On the box that comes up, click the “View” tab, and in the box below, click “Show Hidden Files and Folders.”

  3. Now, when you go into one of your folders, you’ll see the original photos inside a hidden folder called “Originals”:

Create Aliases in Ubuntu

How to Create an Alias in Ubuntu

If you run the same commands in Linux (or Ubuntu) all the time, you can add what is called an “alias” to your user account. For example, I regularly type:

ls -alh

So I setup an alias so that I can just type la. (also, see my Top 10 Aliases list) To do this, simply edit your “profile”. Bash is the program that you typically use when you are in a command shell, so it may be called your “bash profile”. Your profile is in your Home folder and stores all of your preferences. Just edit the “.profile” or the “.bash_profile” if it exists.

cd ~
pico edit .profile

Add the following code to the bottom:

alias la='ls -alh'

Now when you are typing at the command prompt, you just type la and it acts like you typed ls -alh. Pretty handy.