We have mentioned this tip in the past, but I was reminded of it last week when I had to put my data back together on the new computer. I had a backup of my iPhoto Library I wanted to restore, but I also wanted to keep the new one I had created in the meantime. At home, I use two iPhoto libraries in order to save space–one on the iMac’s internal hard drive and one on my external hard drive.
Here’s how you do it:
– Hold down the Option key when you launch iPhoto
– A dialogue box will appear telling you to:
a) choose an existing iPhoto library, or
b) create a new one
If you want to create a new one, it will prompt you to name the new library, pick a location, and thus, will give you a blank iPhoto interface to load new photos. Keep in mind that any apps that reference iPhoto (such as Pages, iWeb, etc.) in their Media Browsers will show only the last iPhoto library you selected–not multiple ones simultaneously.
Side note: In the past (up to iPhoto ’06), photos were stored on the back end in a folder, and they were accessible by going into User/Pictures/iPhoto Library. However, anyone who has ever made the mistake of editing/managing photos this way knew it was a bad idea (iPhoto would become very unhappy if its folder/file names were changed there–all changes were meant to be made in the iPhoto application window only.) iPhoto ’08 uses a package-type system (similar to iWork), so that nothing is viewable on the back end–only in iPhoto itself, making the need for multiple iPhoto libraries more apparent.