When iPhoto ’09 was introduced as part of iLife ’09 back in January, its facial recognition feature “Faces” received a lot of attention. With Faces, you simply put a name to a face in just a few photos, and iPhoto will then suggest a set of possible matches you can confirm with a click. iPhoto then uses the information to sift through your library and find even more potential matches. This makes it easy to find photos of specific people.

Back when Faces was introduced, I checked it out, played with it for a bit, then promptly forgot about it. However, a few incremental updates to iPhoto have made Faces faster and easier to use, as well as more reliable. Also, I’ve realized that Faces can be a very useful tool—especially when you have a giant iPhoto library.

For example, I’ve known that you could flip a snapshot in iPhoto and add a person’s last name and Facebook ID. However, I just learned that when you tag a person’s face with Faces, then publish that photo to Facebook, the person will automatically be tagged on Facebook. Even cooler, if your published photo of the person is tagged on Facebook, then the photo in iPhoto will automatically be updated (pending your approval to protect your iPhoto library).

Faces makes it incredibly easy to create people-based Smart Albums, which will automatically stay up to date with pictures of family and friends. From the Faces cork board, drag one or more snapshots to the Source list, and iPhoto will generate a Smart Album that automatically updates every time you name and confirm more photos of those people.

Want to quickly navigate your iPhoto library to tag Faces? Browse photo to photo with the left and right keys. Switch between recognized photos with the tab key.
And as long as the person’s name has been previously entered in iPhoto, all you have to do is press enter on the correct name in the drop-down list.

Macworld has an excellent article with 7 tips for getting more from Faces. If you’re interested in Faces, it’s a must read. Click here to see this.

Meanwhile, Apple has a posted some useful iPhoto Keyboard Shortcuts

Don’t have iPhoto ’09? Get it for 10% off as part of Life ’09 buy clicking here.


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