Free and effective photo editor
Picasa is a useful piece of free software for photography fans. It functions in several different ways – as an image organizer and viewer for managing and editing digital photos. Accessible and geared toward beginners, it's easy to use Picasa's photo editing tools to enhance images, remove red-eye, and correct contrast and color. Despite being discontinued, it's still available to download.
Is Picasa still available?
Although it is now discontinued, Picasa is still available to download and use offline. Picasa was created by a company named Lifescape in 2002. In July 2004, Google acquired Picasa and began offering it as freeware. In February 2016, however, Google announced it was discontinuing support for Picasa Desktop and Web Albums. Picasa Web Albums, a companion service, was closed in May 2016.
Despite this, Picasa is still available and continues to work anywhere it's already installed. It is fully compatible with Windows 10 although there won't be any new updates made. Picasa software no longer works online, however, so you will not be able to add or sync albums or individual photos.Picassa is also available for Mac.
Alternatives to Picasa
As an alternative to Picasa, Google recommends using their Google Photos service to create albums, share photos, edit photos, and search your photos.
There are also other alternatives to Picasa. For a simple photo organizer, Fotobounce does a decent-enough job, although its interface isn't very user friendly. FastStone Image Viewer is both an image viewer and editor, although it lacks Picasa's top-notch editing functionality. Ribbet Photo Editor provides intuitive photo editing services across platforms.
IrfanView allows for the robust viewing of images and the editing (and batch editing) of photos, while ACDSee is an image organizer, viewer, and image editor program.
For those who want more powerful photo editing, Adobe Photoshop is one of the most advanced and popular image editors in the world. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, meanwhile, is simpler and easier to use but still features advanced tools.
What can I do with Picasa?
Downloading and installing Picasa is easy using the Windows installer. Upon launching the program, users can choose where Picasa import pictures from on their PC: select to either search through only My Documents, My Pictures, and the Desktop, or search the whole computer.
At this stage, you can also opt-in to use the Picasa Photo Viewer to view photos directly from Windows Explorer. The viewer can open various file types including .jpg, .bmp, .gif, .png, .tga, .tif and .TIFF, .webp, and .raw extensions.
Picasa also lets you select the drive and folders to scan and gives you the option of synchronizing automatically each time you open up the software. You don't have to manually import new pictures.
Once your photos have been added to Picasa, they are organized into albums that will appear in folders with the same names from which they were taken. You can reorganize and move photos from one location to another by simply dragging and dropping.
Picasa also lets you add tags to your pictures so that you can sort them easily, including adding the location in which the photos were taken (although this has to be inputted manually nowadays). You're also able to tag the people in the photos so that you can easily find them.
Picasa's interface is fairly basic and looks quite boxy and old fashioned now. You can change how photos are displayed and switch easily between Library View and Edit View (found under the View menu). Tabs within the interface separate different projects from the library and import sections.
Quick, effective no-frills editing
Picasa isn't specialist editing software, but it does provide an interesting array of features that you can use to perform basic edits, either image by image, side by side, or in batches. Enhancements include cropping, straightening, auto-adjusting light, color and contrast, enhancing sharpness, and red-eye correction.
You can also use the Fun and Useful Image Processing options to apply filters. There are lots of fun filters available, all of which are fully customizable and made our photos look pretty cool.
Picasa is extremely easy to use for editing photos tooltips appear as you mouse over icons, while for more complicated tools, such as red-eye removal and retouch, full instructions appear in the toolbar at the left-hand side of the screen. Beginners should find it a breeze to produce beautifully enhanced photos.
Other features are built into Picasa so that you can use your photos to create posters, collages, screensavers, and videos. In a nod to the age of the Picasa program, you can even create a gift CD by selecting and burning images to a compact disc using a disc burner.
We loved Picasa's intuitive functionality when making creative projects. The program provides easy to follow instructions, and we were quickly able to put together a video from our photos, adding audio and basic transitions. We liked the fact that it was simple to change the video's dimensions and to adjust the length of the video to match the audio
Finally, Picasa also includes some very useful options to detect duplicate and empty albums and compress your photos.
Accessible photo editing software
Picasa is ideal for organizing your photo albums, doing the first retouches of your images, and creating fun projects such as videos and collages. In addition to being free, the beauty of Picasa is that it is both comprehensive and accessible. It doesn't offer many advanced settings, but the editing tool is easy to use and fully customizable for users who want a bit of flexibility.
Its interface is intuitive and gives immediate access to all the options in the program. Less experienced users will benefit from the extensive help that's built into the software so that they can better understand its features and how to use them.