Send Photos Directly From Picasa To Flickr, Facebook, and Photoshop

Picasa, the excellent, free photo-management tool from Google, recently added support for add-ons that allow programmers to connect Picasa to third-party programs and services like Flickr, Facebook, and Photoshop. Here's how to get started.
Published: Apr 20, 2008
Author: Jordan Running
Related OS: OS X / Windows / Linux

Google's Picasa is by far my favorite photo-management tool, and not only is it free but it's available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Until recently, however, it was an island unto itself: You could use it to send photos to Picasa Web Albums or to the Picasa Hello chat program, which is handy, but it did not offer any integration with other tools or web services.

But nowadays Picasa is looking a lot more open. Google recently created the Picasa Button API (Application Programming Interface) and the Web Uploader API, which allow third-party programmers to add new buttons directly to Picasa and upload photos directly from Picasa to third-party web sites. While the APIs are young and haven't seen widespread use yet, a few very useful applications have popped up, and I'm about to tell you about my three favorites.

Picasa for Facebook

Every photo that comes off my digital camera I import into Picasa before I do anything else with it, even if it's merely destined to end up on Facebook where I can share it with friends. Picasa Uploader utilizes the new APIs to connect Picasa directly to your Facebook account. To get started, take care of the following first:

  1. Get a Facebook account and make sure you can log in.
  2. Install the latest version of Picasa on your computer.

Now go to the Picasa Uploader page on Facebook and follow the instructions. You'll click on the Install Plugin button, which will launch Picasa with the Configure Buttons dialog open.

Configure Buttons in Picasa

Here you'll want to select the Facebook button on the left and then click the Add >> button in the center to add it to Picasa's button bar. You can then use the Move Up and Move Down buttons to change its position and finally click OK to save your changes. You may have to restart Picasa before you proceed. Once the button is installed, it's easy to use. To send photos from Picasa to Facebook, just select the photos you want and then click on the new Facebook button on the button bar in the lower right. A window will appear where you'll need to log into Facebook in order to give Picasa permission to upload photos to your account.

Now Picasa will prompt you to choose a Facebook album to put the photos in, or create a new one, and then it will upload the photos to Facebook along with any captions you've given them. Once it's finished, there's one more step: A browser window will be launched and you'll be taken to Facebook, where you'll have to "approve" the photos that have been uploaded. This is to prevent malicious applications from uploading photos without your permission. It's as easy as clicking on Select All and Approve.

Once your photos are uploaded, they live on Facebook just like photos you uploaded directly through Facebook's web interface, and you can go through and edit them, tag the people in them, and so on.

Picasa to Flickr

I long lamented Picasa's inability to upload photos to my favorite photo-sharing site, Flickr--not that I should expect Picasa's maker, Google, to provide integration with it's competitor Yahoo's service. With the debut of the Button API, however, I need lament no more: A third (or rather fourth) party has employed the API to build Picasa2Flickr, a simple bridge between Picasa and Yahoo's Flickr Uploadr. To make it work you must first:

  1. Get a Flickr account and make sure you can log in.
  2. Download and install the latest Flickr Uploadr and make sure it works by testing it with a photo or two.

Now, using it is much like using the Facebook button. You go to the Picasa2Flickr page and follow the instructions to install the button, using the Configure Buttons to add it to Picasa's button bar. The difference is that instead of using Picasa to upload the photos to the web, when you click on the Send to Flickr button, Picasa2Flickr merely sends the files to the Flickr Uploadr program, which does the heavy lifting. The Flickr Uploadr step also has the advantage of giving you Flickr-specific options before uploading, such as privacy and sets. Once again, before uploading you'll be prompted to log into Flickr to give the Uploadr permission to upload photos to your account.

Picasa to Photoshop

Picasa has some very good basic photo-editing tools built in, but if you're used to editing photos in Adobe Photoshop that "basic" might translate to "creatively stifling" to you. Now there's a way to send photos directly from Picasa to Photoshop for more advanced editing, and unlike the Facebook and Flickr buttons above, this one doesn't require any logging in or other fussing. Just make sure Photoshop is installed and working and then go to this page to install the (unofficial) Photoshop button for Picasa. By now the drill is probably familiar: Add the Photoshop button to your button bar, then select the photos you want to send to Photoshop and click on the Photoshop button. Done!

About Jordan Running

Blogger since 1999, Jordan Running went pro in 2005 and never looked back. Sometimes programmer, occasional photographer, and serial tinkerer, he decided to to switch to Linux in 2001 but just hasn't quite gotten around to it yet.

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