How to make my iPhoto thumbnails display correctly?
March 2, 2009 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Why don't the thumbnails in iPhoto match up with my images?

After getting a new Mac, I decided to try organizing all my photos with iPhoto. After uploading photos from my camera to iPhoto, I almost always go in and edit them in Photoshop. I do this by highlighting (within iPhoto) and dragging the files to Photoshop, then saving them as their original files names. My problem is that iPhoto is displaying the thumbnails of the original files, and not my edited versions. However, when I double click on the pic in iPhoto, it opens as the edited version. So I guess the thumbnails are based on the original files? How do I get my thumbnails to display only the new versions? Am I missing a step in the editing or saving process, or doing something in a backwards way? And in the interest of space, is there a way to make iPhoto NOT save the original files as duplicates, and only use my hard drive space for the edited versions?

I feel like there is something obvious I'm missing, but when in doubt, turn to the hivemind.
posted by kidsleepy to Technology (4 answers total)
I edit my photos in iPhoto with Photoshop and changed the preference to edit with external editor, so I just click the "edit" icon in iPhoto. After fiddling with the image, I save it and when I go back to iPhoto the revised (usually cropped) thumb shows up correctly.

Perhaps your thumbnail database is out of whack and you need to rebuild it.
posted by birdherder at 3:23 PM on March 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

In iPhoto's dream world, it would be your one and only photo management tool. It doesn't expect you to edit your photos outside of iPhoto and rebuilds the thumbnails based on what you do to the images in iPhoto. There's a key command that you can do to get iPhoto to rebuild ALL your thumbnails which was holding opt-cmd-shift while starting up iPhoto (I htink it's just opt-cmd on newer versions, check your help) but that takes a lot of time and you don't need iPhoto to do that to every thumbnail every time.

There also used to be an application called iPhoto Diet that would remove the originals for edited files. Again this might vary depending on what version of iPhoto you're using and your workflow.

I'm not a super power user, but to the best of my knwledge unless you rebuild the thumbnails by hand with the key commands, you're not going to be able to match the thumbnails with the images you've edited externally but someone else might know better than I do.
posted by jessamyn at 3:24 PM on March 2, 2009

birdherder - both of your suggestions worked (for fixing past thumbnails and preventing future problems). and jessamyn, your explanation helped me realize why the problem was happening.
posted by kidsleepy at 6:36 PM on March 2, 2009

watch out for iPhoto Diet: it basically ruined my collection - I am not sure if it was the keywords or whatever it was, but after using it, I had to spend several days to resurrect the details. I also use an external editor (Lightzone) and use it by change of iPhoto preferences.
posted by KimG at 2:39 PM on March 6, 2009

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