Now that you've created all of the iPhoto libraries you wish to use, it's time to populate them with master images from your original iPhoto library.
But before we start the export process, a word about iPhoto masters vs. edited versions. iPhoto creates and retains an image master whenever you add a photo to the iPhoto library. The master is the original image, without any of the edits you may perform later.
Early versions of iPhoto stored original images in a folder called Originals, while later versions of iPhoto call this special internal folder Masters. The two names are generally interchangeable, but in this guide, I'll use whichever term iPhoto displays in specific commands.
There are a couple of options for exporting iPhoto images. You can export the unedited master of an image or the edited current version. I prefer to export the master, to ensure that I always have the original image from my camera in my iPhoto libraries. The disadvantage of exporting the master is that when you import it into your new iPhoto libraries, you'll be starting from scratch. Any edits you may have performed on the image will be gone, as will any keywords or other metadata you may have added to the image.
If you choose to export the current version of an image, it will contain any edits you may have performed on it, as well as any keywords or other metadata you may have added. The image will be exported in its current format, which is most likely JPEG. If the original version of the image was in another format, such as TIFF or RAW, the edited version won't have the same quality, particularly if it's in JPEG format, which is a compressed version. For this reason, I always choose to export the master of an image when I'm creating new libraries, even though it means a little more work down the road.
Export iPhoto Images
- Hold down the option key and launch iPhoto.
- Select your original iPhoto library from the list of available libraries.
- Click the Choose button.
- Select the photos you wish to export to one of your new iPhoto libraries.
- From the File menu, select 'Export.'
- In the Export dialog box, select the File Export tab.
- Use the Kind pop-up menu to select the format for exporting the selected photos. The choices are:
Original: This will export the original image master in the file format used by your camera. (If the photo came a source other than your camera, it will retain the format it was when you first imported it into iPhoto.) This will produce the best quality image, but you'll lose any edits you performed or any metatags you added after you imported the image into iPhoto.
Current: This will export the current version of the image, in its current image format, including any image edits and any metatags.
JPEG: Same as Current, but exports the image in JPEG format rather than its current format. JPEGs can retain title, keywords, and location information.
TIFF: Same as Current, but exports the image in TIFF format, rather than its current format. TIFFs can retain title, keywords, and location information.
PNG: Same as Current, but exports the image in PNG format, rather than its current format. PNH does not retain title, keywords, or location information.
- Use the JPEG Quality pop-up menu to select the image quality to export. (This menu is only available if you set Kind to JPEG, above.)
- When you select JPEG or TIFF as the Kind, you can choose to include the image Title and any keywords, as well as Location information.
- Use the File Name pop-up menu to select one of the following as the name for each exported photo:
Use title: If you have given the photo a title in iPhoto, the title will be used as the file name.
Use filename: This option will use the original file name as the photo's name.
Sequential: Enter a prefix that will then have sequential numbers attached. For example, if you select the prefix Pets, the file names will be Pets1, Pets2, Pets3, etc.
Album name with number: Similar to Sequential, but the album name will be used as the prefix.
- Make your selections, and then click the Export button.
- Use the dialog box that opens to select a target location for the exported images. I suggest selecting the Desktop, then clicking the New Folder button to create a folder for the exported images. Give the folder a name associated with the final library destination. For example, if a set of exports is destined for your new Pets library, you could call the folder Pets Exports.
- Click OK after you select a destination.
Repeat the above export process for each new library you created in page two of this article.