Create smart galleries based on keywords

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Smart galleries put your photos where you want them. They automatically sniff out photos with a common trait and collect copies of them wherever you wish.

Make your galleries smart by specifying rules they'll follow to populate them. When you upload new photos to your site, the rules will apply so your newly added photos can display in multiple galleries without you copying, moving, or uploading them again.

It takes some time for the magic to happen because this trick uses keywords that need time to index in the background, but be patient and check back on the progress. If you already use keywords, this feature might sound familiar. But smart galleries provide more flexibility in how you can pick your photos.

Let's say you want to create a new gallery of Mickey Mouse photos from one of your annual trips to Disneyland. Create a new gallery with a rule to pull the keyword "Mickey" and another rule to pull only photos taken during June 2009. The gallery will automatically fill with photos tagged with that keyword and taken in that date range. They won't disappear from the gallery where you originally put them, so you can have multiple galleries that display those same photos if you wish.

Important: Photos from Private (Only Me) galleries won't show up in smart galleries.

Create a smart gallery.

In the Organizer, choose a gallery and click the Settings button.

Or you can browse directly to a gallery on your site and then click the Settings button in the section bar.

Click Smart Rules and Setup.

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Set smart gallery rules.

Set your rules. Next, preview your changes by clicking the Refresh link in the lower part of the screen. When you're satisfied, click the Save button.

Smart gallery settings

The gallery will display all photos that follow your rules. Each one will link back to the source gallery under the photo-information field, so you'll always know where you've stashed the original.

Important: A photo collected with smart rules will be removed from the gallery if you delete the original source photo.

Tip: For details on which gallery settings are inherited from the source gallery versus honored from the smart gallery's settings, visit this article.

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Defining rules.

When you make a gallery smart, you're giving it specific instructions to pull photos that match the rules you define. You can create, edit, or delete rules for any gallery.

  • Include or Exclude: By default we'll set this to Include, but if you choose to set a rule to leave out specific photos, choose Exclude instead.
  • Keyword: Type in the keyword you're looking for, or pick one from a list of all your available keywords. One per line, please. If you want to do multiple keywords, click Add New Rule for each one.
  • Date: You can choose the date the photo was taken (if that information is contained in the file information) or when you uploaded the photo to your account. We give you a handy pop-up calendar to select your date range.
  • Popular: Choose this to include photos that have been commented on or collected by others.
  • Geography: Use this option to search through your geotagged photos. You can either specify a location or drop a pin on our map.
  • Gallery: If you want us to draw from a specific gallery, indicate that here.

Tip: The beauty of smart galleries is you can have up to five rules at a time. Click the little plus button to add a line or the minus button to take one away.

Finally, you can toggle to match Any or All your rules, or include your Unlisted and/or Password-Protected galleries in the search. We max out at 1,000 qualifying photos, but you can shrink that number to taste.

Important: If new photos you upload to your site follow a smart gallery's rules, give us a few minutes to put them in the right places. They'll get there, we promise!

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