I originally wrote this article back in 2007, but am now updating it for 2014 because a lot has changed in seven years. First, Picasa Web Albums no longer exist. Since the release of Google+, all photos are stored in Google+ Photos. However, you can still use Picasa on both Mac and PC to upload images to Google+ Photos.
I’m a big fan of Picasa because of its ease of use and the way I organize all of my images. The thing is, I can store my photos locally as I like, organize them in Picasa in different ways using albums, and then upload them directly to Google+ Photos. I don’t like Flickr because uploading photos is difficult and they don’t have a desktop program to organize all my thousands of photos. So if you are trying to pick the best photo management software I would go with Picasa!
Okay, here’s how you can customize Google+ Photos using Picasa (and in turn customize Picasa itself) STEP BY STEP!
Step 1) Download the Picasa software. Go to http://picasa.google.com/ and click the Download Picasa link. A dialog box should appear asking you to save the file or run it. You can simply click “Run” so that after downloading it will automatically start the installation. As mentioned earlier, it is available for both Mac and Windows, which is really nice.
Step 2) Then, before launching Picasa, you can move all of your images to the My Pictures folder in the My Documents section. This is where Picasa looks for your photos first. Now, if you have a ton of images and it takes too long to move them, or you just don’t want to, just open Picasa and you can tell it to look in other folders for your images.
Step 3) Launch Picasa. After downloading, a dialog box appears asking you to scan the entire computer or only “My Pictures”, “My Documents” and the desktop. I usually choose the latter option (My Photos, My Documents, Desktop) because otherwise, when scanning the whole computer, it will collect a lot of unnecessary images that you probably don’t need (Office icons, etc.). So even if your photos aren’t in these folders, just select it and I’ll show you how to add folders later.
Step 4) Give time to find all the images and you will see the folders are loading from the left side. When you click on one of the folders, all images are loaded on the right as thumbnails. By default, it is smart enough to sort all images by year, month, etc.
Tip. If the date is incorrect in Picasa, just right-click the folder and select Edit Description. Here you can change the date and also add the location if you like.
Step 5) When everything is downloaded, you can click any of the folders in the left pane and it will highlight that folder and display the images for that folder. Then just right-click the folder and the Upload to Google+ Photos option will appear. When you click on it, it will ask you to enter your login details, so you need to create a Google account if you don’t already have one. There is an option to register, so click on it if you don’t have a Google account.
Step 6) Once you have done that, another dialog will open asking for the album name and other information. For the most part, this is understandable, but leave the Upload Options at the default, Best for Publishing. You can choose “Original” if you want to back up all your images at the highest resolution.
Now that Google+ Photos are the new Picasa Web Albums, you can share them with your Google+ circles. If you don’t add anyone, it will be a personal album. Now click Upload and you have successfully uploaded your first Google+ Photo album from Picasa.
Step 7) To view your photos on Google+, visit the following link: https://plus.google.com/photos
Storage plans have changed since 2014. You now get 15GB of free storage for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. Google+ Photos also has a great feature that doesn’t charge you storage fees if the images you upload are less than 2048 × 2048. So if you choose Best for Sharing, you can theoretically upload unlimited photos for free.
You can buy additional storage space that is used for Drive, Gmail, and Photos starting at $ 2 / month for 100GB, $ 10 / month for 1TB, and more. Here’s a link to Google’s new storage plans:
https: //support.google.com/drive/ansver/2375123? hl = en
For this article, I just focused on using Picasa to organize your photos and upload them to Google+ Photos, without even mentioning all the other cool features of the program and Google+ Photos. I’ll save this for another post, but Picasa is a great photo editing tool if you want to edit your photos before uploading.
Overall, it’s an impressive program and is the best option for those who already have a Google account and don’t invest in other services like Flickr. If you have questions, do not hesitate to post them in the comments. Enjoy!