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What are the uses of Picasa? What does it do?

Picasa is used to help people organize, edit, and share the photos and videos they have on their computer or imported from their camera in an easy, well-managed way. Once Picasa is loaded onto a computer, it will automatically combine all the videos and pictures, into one location that is on that computer to make it easier to edit and combine pictures. The program was designed to be very user-friendly. It will sort the photos and videos by the dates in which they were added,as well as by the name of the person that is tagged.

Once the photos are edited and organized they can be uploaded onto the internet, sent to the person that was tagged, or printed by pressing a few simple buttons.  After photos are uploaded to the internet you can choose from a variety of stores to get them printed.  On the other hand, Picasa allows you to keep your pictures private, so you can only see them on your computer.

Please click on the video below for an introduction to Picasa.


Who uses Picasa?

 Anyone can use this application because of simple functions and tutorial videos that guide users along the way.  To use the program it requires only a simple download and Picasa takes care of the rest for you.

I. History

    I.1 Development

Who developed Picasa?

Picasa was originally created by the California based photography company Picasa.
Picasa was owned by Lars Perkins, who currently works as a general manager for Google.

Who owns Picasa now?

Picasa is currently owned by Google.  Before Google took over Picasa, it was sold for $29.  Google now offers Picasa for free.  Originally the program was only for Windows users but they launched their software for Linux in 2006 and Macintosh in 2008.  Picasa can be downloaded from 1

I.2 How Picasa works?

Picasa is very simple to start and use.

  1. To start using it, one has to download Picasa from "It is an easy and FREE download that involves nothing but a few minutes of your time."
  2. Once downloaded, Picasa will automatically search the user's computer for every picture and video that has been saved onto the user's computer, commonly under the "My Pictures" file. It provides 1GB of storage for every user, which is enough space for about 4000 pictures wallpaper size.
  3. Picasa then will organize the pictures and videos by the date they were uploaded and store them in the photo library.
  4. Once Picasa has all of the pictures and videos, the user then can edit, organize, and share the photos with little to no trouble at all.

I.3 Getting more out of the application


Photos in Picasa are automatically arranged by date.

Sort Photos

Easily drag and drop images from one folder to another.

Photo Fix

Crop, fix red eye, adjust the contrast and color, or enhance your digital images.


Visual Effects

12 special effects make it easy to give your photos a different look. For example, try your pictures in sepia, black and white, or increase the photo saturation with handy slider controls.


Rotate and Zoom In

Zoom in and improve composition on loose shots and straighten tilted pictures.

Photo Captions

Your photos descriptions are stored using the IPTC Standard, so captions stay right with your photo when you use it on the web and when burning it to a CD or DVD etc.

Change Photo File Names

Change a picture's filename from 234567b.jpg to yosemite_falls.jpg. With Picasa software, you can re-name one picture or a group of pictures.

Create Photo Albums

Your pictures are grouped by keyword tags to form albums that you can share online with others or even show as slide shows and movies. Put a photo in as many albums as you want because Picasa creates only a new "occurrence" of each photo you tag without taking up more space on your computer.


Picasa incorporates a 5 Star rating system so that you can mark your favorite images, which helps you locate your best pictures fast.

Photo EXIF Display

This window shows you the camera data that is stored in a picture's original file. All information including camera model, date the photo was taken, and even if a flash was used is displayed.

Easy Photo Backup

Picasa keeps track of which photos are backed up to CD or DVD and which ones haven't, so you can stay on top of your photo archive just in case. Click on the "Export" button and move images to an external storage device or memory card.


Password Protected

Add password access to any of your Picasa photo collections.


Allows you to tag a location with help of a map, so you will always remember where the picture was taken.

Name Tag

This option makes it possible for you to tag people with their names. You only have to do this once because Picasa's facial recognition technology can automatically find more pictures of the person in your photo albums.



Name Tagging Tutorial

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II. How Picasa relates to other applications?

How Can Picasa Be Used With Facebook?

 There is an option on Picasa that allows the person using it to place a button on the Picasa taskbar that lets the person upload their photos directly to Facebook. This option is very helpful because the person can upload the Picasa-edited photo either to a new album or even a previously existing one.  This program has received a rating of 4.4 out of 5 from its viewers. The picture below shows the button option on the Picasa application:

Picasa can also be used with Blogger. It is as simple as using the "BlogThis!" button in the Photo Tray.  You can post up to 4 photos at a time to Blogger directly from Picasa.

    II.1 Comparison to Competitors

Flickr vs. Picasa, who would win?

These two applications are very similar to one another that it is very hard to pick one over another. According to, a credible website with many sources and posts agreeing with the information, Flickr, owned by Yahoo!, is a more socially based form of picture sharing. However, Flickr does not have a good program for organizing the pictures like Picasa does. Additionally, Flickr does not work quite as well if the yearly fee is not paid, whereas Picasa is up to par with solely the free version available online. Flickr only allows the photographer to upload 100 MB of photos a month if the fee is not paid. This can be quite irrational considering that most photographers do not wish to pay the fee and are taking this many pictures weekly. Picasa's program is able to be used offline without hassle. The program keeps the photos already on the computer organized into neat albums. Flickr simply limits the amount of options available to free users. When it comes to Flickr versus Picasa, in many cases, Picasa comes out on top for the free users. Picasa can also hold the pictures you want to send till a later time. 3

    II.2 Unique Uses

The Picasa application also gives the users the opportunity to:

  • Not use up a lot of space on their computers with its 1MB plug in
  • Preview their photos before posting them for others to see
  • Make the images smaller sizes before transferring them so the process goes faster
  • Upload their own captions to the different pictures that they create 5

Picasa can also be used to edit photos. Text can be added, red eye can be removed, photos can be cropped, effects can be added, and many other aspects of a picture can be edited or added. There is even a way to adjust the tint and contrast in pictures. This would be useful if a picture is too dark, or colorless. Once one edits the photo they can save the photo with a different name. One unique thing that can then be done with the edited photo is that it can be added to a movie. Not only can the edited photo be added to a movie, but it can also be added into a photo collage. In this collage one can maneuver the picture by rotating it and even dragging the pictures into the position they like.       


  Pictures from 6

Creating a Collage

There are a series of different collages that can be created:

Picture Pile

The picture pile collage can be created with any pictures which one desires to use. Within a picture pile there are many different aspects that can be edited. The background of the collage can be changed to a color or a picture. The pictures can be moved, resized, and the angle the picture is in can be changed. One can also choose to add a border on all of the pictures.



The mosaic collage fits all of the pictures you choose on one page with the pictures arranged in a random order with different sized pictures. Within a mosaic collage, a grid spacing can be added, which can be in a color or a picture. A frame mosaic collage can also be created. In this collage one can choose a picture to be enlarged in the middle of the mosaic. All of the other pictures are then arranged surrounding that picture. Within a frame mosaic one can also change the grid spacing, which can be a color or a picture.



In a grid collage all of the pictures you have selected are arranged into regular rows and columns. The grid spacing can be changed in grid mosaic, which can be changed to a color or a picture also.


Contact Sheet

This collage can have a colored background with the title of the album, the number of photo in the album, and the date in which the pictures were added. The pictures can either have no border, a white border, or an instant camera border.


Multiple Exposure

This collage overlaps all of the pictures in which one has selected.


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III. Real World Application

    III.1 Educational Lesson Plans

Picasa can be used in many ways within an educational or learning situation. It can be used in all ages of education, from elementary to post-secondary.

        i. Elementary

Elementary students still developing their reading skills are able to use their strong visual learning skills using Picasa. Teachers can take pictures of objects and challenge the students to identify the object and spell the name of it. Also, the elementary school teachers can use the Picasa to develop a slideshow with pictures they took throughout the year. 7

Below are just a few examples of lesson plans for elementary students that incorporate the use of Picasa:

Early Inventors Lesson Plan .docx

Early Inventors Lesson Plan .pdf


Lesson Plan.docx

Lesson Plan.pdf


Great Barrier Reef Lesson Plan.docx

Great Barrier Reef Lesson Plan.pdf

Picasa can also be used at the next level of education, middle school. Students have now developed their reading skills and need less dependence on the visual aspect of learning. Picasa can still be used to help teach and learn. For example, in a history class, students could make an album of pictures they have taken of themselves in different historical costumes and settings. Using the multiple effects and editing tools, the students can turn a normal picture into a picture that looks as if it was taken back in the day. 7

This lesson plan uses Picasa's collage function to teach students differentiate between different species of birds. Students must use the birds' physical characteristics to identify its' scientific name.

This is a S.T.E.M. based Lesson Plan.

Middle School Lesson Plan

Middle School Lesson Plan. pdf

        ii. Secondary

The Picasa application can be used at the secondary level as well. Several, if not all, high schools have a school newspaper. Picasa can store all of the photos taken by the newspaper photographer, and also edit the photos to include captions and effects to describe the picture.

One example of a lesson involves students learning about 17th and 18th century pirates and using Picasa to make a Pirate Wanted Poster.  The lesson plan is provided below: 

Pirate WANTED Poster.doc

Pirate WANTED Poster.pdf

This lesson challenges students to use Picasa's collage function to put together pictures in order to portray themselves to their fellow classmates:

Secondary Education Lesson Plan.docx

Secondary Education Lesson Plan.pdf

        iii. Post Secondary

How many pictures are taken on a weekend on a college campus? Post-Secondary Education (College) has multiple opportunities to use a photo editing tool such as Picasa.

Picasa can be used...

  • On a college campus is to create an assignment in a computer technology class requiring the students to use Picasa.
  • In a photography class by aiding in the production of collages, albums, and several other photographic organizers.
  • On fliers promoting clubs by helping add pictures with captions, effects, and other editing tools to enhance the appeal of the club.
  • On sporting event advertisements by adding effects, cropping, captioning, and coloring posters.

College campuses are overflowed with pictures, be it in albums, assignments, fliers, collages, and many others, where Picasa can enhance the quality and creativity of the images.

    III.2 Business/Industry

Presentations are very common and important to a company or corporation trying to promote their work. 

Picasa can be used...

  • To organize and edit photos for a professional presentation.
  • To display a product or idea in an eye pleasing way.
  • To allow captioned information to be presented with images.
  • In conjunction with PowerPoint presentations, posters, albums, etc.  

"Whether it’s photos from a recent corporate offsite or holiday party, or visuals for insertion in a document or blog post, Picasa Web Albums allows you to store your images in the cloud and access them from any browser on any device. Sharing with colleagues is easy as well using your Google Apps account with email address autocomplete linked to your existing Contacts list.

Uploading, storing and sharing your photos is just the beginning. Picasa Web Albums is also integrated with other Google products such as Google Docs, Google Sites and Blogger, which allows users to seamlessly insert images stored or shared with you in Picasa Web Albums into documents, sites or blog posts in just a few clicks. It’s never been easier to compose a multimedia document using nothing but the web.

Stop sending photos to colleagues as attachments and load them into the cloud instead. Just like Google Apps, Picasa Web Albums runs in your web browser so your photos are at your fingertips anywhere you have an Internet connection."

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IV. Demonstration of Educational Value

Picasa can be used in many ways in the classroom through means of presenting information through pictures. When giving a presentation, one wants their information to have a clean and professional look. By having pictures of low quality in a presentation, it makes the presentation look unprofessional. Picasa can edit photographs to one's desire. They can be cropped, rotated, and retouched. One can also change the colors of the photos and add captions.

      PowerPoint Slide with Standard Picture              VS.               PowerPoint Slide with Edited Picasa Picture

Pictures from 8
The viewer can easily notice how different the two pictures from the same website look. The Picasa-edited picture has better color, sharpness, shadows, and appears closer.  The second picture gives the viewer a better idea of how the pyramids really look and the different depths that are incorporated in them.  Additionally, the second slide has wording on the top of the picture, which was added through Picasa, which specifies exactly where the pyramids are.  In the first picture, the audience would have no idea where or what these pyramids are.  Picasa enables the creator to get a more vivid view of the objects that are in the picture.

Picasa also has the movie maker feature, which could be used by both teachers and students to make a slideshow of photos that can be played throughout a lecture or presentation.
Picasa has a Screen Capture feature which allows teachers to take a picture of what is on their computer screen. If teachers are introducing a website or software to students, they can see what their screens should look like, making navigation easier for them. Picasa can automatically import the screen captures you take:

1. Open Picasa. If Picasa isn't open, screen captures won't be imported.
2. Press PrtScn on your keyboard to take a screen capture of the entire screen. Press the Ctrl and PrtScn keys at the same time to limit your screen capture to the selected window on your screen.

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V. How Picasa is used Internationally

Picasa is a great program that can be used internationally. In education, students can be connected with students across the globe. Students can share and edit pictures through Picasa also. For example, if students in China wanted to show students in the United States some cultural landmarks, they could take pictures, upload them, and edit them using Picasa and then send the pictures to the other students. The edited pictures will give a better perspective of what it is really like there. If students are internationally working on a project, they can also exchange their pictures through Picasa.

Picasa can also be used by teachers internationally. Teachers can share pictures, collages, and movies that can be used within a lesson. Teachers across the world can take pictures that show the culture and different aspects in their country and share them with other teachers that wish to teach that culture to their students. Picasa allows for communication of teachers across the world.

Picasa can be used in 38 different languages. Once Picasa is uploaded it will function in the language in which your computer is functioning. The languages which Picasa can function are English (U.S. and U.K.), French, Korean, Russian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), German, Norwegian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil and Portugal), Italian, Polish, Taiwanese, Danish, Japanese, Finnish, Turkish, Dutch, Swedish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Slovak, Czech, Hungarian, Romanian, Greek, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Catalan.

Change your language settings

      1. Open Picasa.

      2. Click the Tools menu.

      3. Select Options.

4. Click the General tab.

      5. Select the language you would like to use.

      6. Click the OK button.

      7. Click the Yes button in the confirmation dialog box.

      8. Close and restart Picasa to apply the new language. 9


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VI. References


3. " Flickr vs. Picasa Deathmatch » Blog Post » SuperSatellite." SuperSatellite. 21 Nov. 2008 <>.

4. "Ikony - zbiór najlepszych ikon." Ikony - zbiór najlepszych ikon. 21 Nov. 2008 <>.

5. "Picasa." Facebook. 12 Nov. 2008

6. "Wild Animals With Glowing Eyes - The Firefly Forest." 21 Nov. 2008 <>.

7. "Picasa in the Classroom." Google. 21 Nov. 2008 <>.

8. "Giza Pyramids." Greenwich Meantime. 11 Nov. 2008

9."Using Picasa: Change Language." Picasa and Picasa Web Albums. 01 Dec. 2008.

10. “9 Basic Fixes to Jazz Up Your Pictures in Picasa.” GilsMethod. 17 Oct. 2011 <>.

11. "Picasa Let's You Go Crazy with Photos and Clip Art." Wordplay. 18 Oct. 2011 <>.

12. “Resizing images in Picasa.” Create-A-Scape. 17 Oct. 2011 <>.

13. "Now available with google apps: Picasa Web Albums"  Google small business blog.  18 Oct. 2011 <>

14. “New Picasa Lets You Use Name Tags.” WebProNews. 17 Oct. 2011 <[|]>.14.

15. "Picasa." RKM. 18 Oct. 2011 <>.

16. "Picasa 2 Blog." Search Engines News. 18 Oct. 2011 <>.

17. "How to Create Photo Collages with Picasa 3." GilsMethod. 18 Oct. 2011 <>.

18. "Bala Vidya Mandir - Batch 2006." La Galaxia de Estrellas. 18 Oct. 2011 <>.

19. "How to Make a (FREE) Photo Collage on Picasa." MamaCheaps. 18 Oct. 2011 <>

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  1. Unknown User (scole)

    Hey group!! I just stopped in to say that I am really excited about working with all of you. We are going to do an awesome job!!

  2. Unknown User (scole)

    Hey group!! Im your project manager!! Im a freshman majoring in Elementary Education and Special Education. Im in Kappa Kappa Gamma and love everything about it!! Im just an outgoing person that is ready to do good on this project!!!

    1. Unknown User (tgille)

      Hi group! My name is Tara Gille and I am a sophomore, but this is my first year at Purdue. I absolutely love it here and I am excited to finish studying education here. I cannot wait for the final product on our project, I know it is going to be awesome!

  3. Unknown User (scallina)

    Hey group!  My name is Shannon Callinan and I am a freshman majoring in Elementary Education.  I am from Connecticut and play lacrosse here at Purdue!

  4. Unknown User (cgass)

    Hellloooo I am Cassia! I am a freshman here at Purdue and am lovin every second of it! I am on the Purdue Golduster Dance Team and I am also a Deltz Zeta. We dont have a lot of time to get this done but we are gonig to do so good!(big grin)

  5. Unknown User (vvinson)

    Hi I'm Virginia.  I am a sophomore and my major is elementary ed w/ a minor in psychology.  I transferred here from USI this year.  I am in Tri Delta and the Purdue Cheer and Stunt Club! 

  6. Unknown User (slorentz)

    Hey guys, i'm Steve Lorentz. I am a freshman majoring in Elementary Education. I am from Crown Point, Indiana, and I am a pledge at Kappa Sigma. Lets make this project perfect!

  7. Unknown User (krlichte)

    Hey, I'm Kurt Lichtenberg. I'm a sophomore from Wheaton, Illinois. I am a Law and Society Major and play football.

  8. Unknown User (scole)

    hey group!! We need to assign some jobs. Feel free to volunteer because if you dont volunteer I am assigning jobs by 11pm tonight. One job we need is a developer. The developer will be working along with me to get our videos done. Another job we need is either one or two people to work out our presentation items (such as hand outs and the poster). Another job we will need is an organizer/designer. Either one or two people will be taking out wiki chapter and organizing the information and making our chapter look nice. We will need presenters which cassia has already volunteered as one so I would like to have a couple more volunteers for that. Right now we are all researchers, which information needs to be posted for your question by friday lab. If you feel there are any other jobs that is should assign please let me know, these are just the ideas i came up with.

  9. Unknown User (scole)

    Cassia and Shannon are going to be in charge of organizing and making our chapter look good.

    Me and Virginia are going to be the developers.

    Kurt and Tara are going to work on our presentation items.

    Steve and Tara are going to be editors that will work along side with organizing.

    Cassia, Virginia, Shannon, and I will be the presenters.

    Kurt and Steve will be in charge of ongoing research.

  10. Unknown User (mcneal)

    hey guys!  this is the facebook group.  we peer reviewed your project and this is what we have.  we know that you still have to finish it, but we still had to review it.  here it is.

    peer review