Windows 7 does not come with any digital photo management software as standard unless the Windows Live bundle of applications is already installed for you – in which case you will have Windows Live Photo Gallery. This is a basic package that enables you to tag and categorize your photos, and make minor edits, e.g. to remove red-eye.
Macs come with iPhoto, which has lots of useful extra features. For example, iPhoto can recognize people’s faces. Pick a photo of someone, tell iPhoto who it is, and it will scan the remainder of your photos for that face, adding the name tag to any it finds.
Buying photo software
If you have a digital camera it’s worth investing in good software for photo editing and management because of the volume of photos you’ll acquire over time. You’re unlikely to have the energy to go back and re-catalog all the pictures if you later discover that something didn’t work as expected.
Consider investing in Photoshop Elements (available for laptop and desktop computers and Mac). It’s a cut-down version of Adobe Photoshop and it has a professional editing screen in addition to an organizer with advanced features, such as face recognition. Its tagging is logical and very easy to use.
Cheaper alternatives you could consider
• Picasa – free photo management software from Google. If you also sign up for a Picasa web photo album account, then you can automatically publish any changes of photos from your computer to the web. Check the latest version of Picasa to see whether it stores tag information in photos.
• Flickr – an online photo management website that enables you to manage and display your photos to other people. By using this you don’t need photo software at all.
Check the photo download options in whichever software package you decide to use, as you can usually change the default photo file name from a meaningless random number to a date, time, number in order taken, or combination of all three.