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“Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course” Now Complete

In April, we published an early-bird version of former Macworld lead editor Jason Snell’s “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course” to provide an overview and import help for those testing the public beta. The beta period didn’t last long, and everyone can now upgrade to OS X 10.10.3 Yosemite and the 1.0 release of Photos. If you need help with the transition process or in learning Photos, we’re pleased to bring you the full book now for only $10.

In it, Jason helps you decide whether to transition to Photos right away, walks you through importing photo libraries from iPhoto and Aperture, explains the Photos interface and how you can organize your images, gets you going with the editing tools, and assists you with copying photos to iOS devices and Apple TVs. He also shows you how to create books, cards, calendars, and slideshows.

Particularly helpful is his explanation of how Photos works with iCloud, including using iCloud Photo Library to create a centralized photo library for all your devices and sharing photos with friends and family via iCloud Photo Sharing. While we now think it’s safe to turn on iCloud Photo Library, beware that it may overwhelm your Internet connection. Jason has some advice for dealing with that, but after the book was wrapped, we came across a geeky technique that might help; see “How to Throttle iCloud Photo Library Uploads” (20 May 2015).

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course” answers a bunch of burning questions, including:

  • If I import a library into Photos, can I still edit photos in Aperture or iPhoto?
  • Will Photos require a huge amount of disk space to import my iPhoto library?
  • What should I do about iPhoto or Aperture metadata that doesn’t map to Photos?
  • Where’s the sidebar?
  • What is the System Photo Library, and why is it important?
  • What should I expect if I turn on iCloud Photo Library?
  • Can I delete iPhoto? What about my old iPhoto library?
  • How do I interpret (or turn off) the icons that overlay my photos?

You’ll find directions for editing photos, including help with:

  • Using basic editing controls, like rotation and crop
  • Taking advantage of the blue checkmarks on the Adjustments pane
  • The utility of each of the special adjustment controls
  • Creating a default set of adjustments
  • Applying a specific set of adjustments to more than one photo
  • Removing a blemish from a face in a photo
  • Editing a raw file (instead of the JPEG)

You’ll also get advice about:

  • Why the search field is so important in Photos
  • Working with keywords, and using the heart-icon Favorite button
  • Training Photos to recognize a particular face
  • Setting up albums and smart albums
  • Sharing an album online via iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Configuring the Ken Burns effect in a slideshow
  • Exporting a slideshow as a video file
  • Using Apple’s print service for printing photos
  • Editing a photo while working in a book, card, or calendar

Like our other Crash Courses, “Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course” has concise chunks of content so you can read quickly, all wrapped up in a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF that morphs to a reflowable design for EPUB and Mobipocket. Each chapter ends with discussion and sharing buttons, making it easy to ask a question or share a chapter with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others (please do!).

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