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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Automatic Face Recognition Helps Tag Your Photo Collection

Automatic Face Recognition Helps Tag Your Photo Collection

Managing a collection of digital photos on a PC isn't always easy.  How should you arrange the folders and directories?  Should the pictures of dad at your wedding be filed under dad, or wedding, or last June?  

There are some great freeware applications available to help manage, sort, display and print all the images stored on your PC.  Google's Picasa is one well-known example, and others include Irfanview and FastStone.  

If it's a while since you last looked at such programs, you may have failed to notice the latest new feature.  Namely, automatic face recognition.  It's now possible to get free software which not only lets you view and print your pictures, but also attempts to automatically recognise people's faces.

One such example of this genre is the current version of Picasa (  Once you've downloaded and installed it (it runs on all recent versions of Windows and the download is around 11 MB), it'll automatically start searching your PC for pictures.  You can choose whether to search the entire machine, or just My Documents and the desktop.  The face recognition feature is easy to use, and automatic.  A pane on the left hand side lists all the people in your collection.  At the start, this will be empty, so click on its top line to see all the unique faces that Picasa has found.  Give each one a name, and the program then does the rest, gradually filling that pane with a list of people.  Click on a name, and quickly view every picture of that person.

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