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Multiple External Editors in Aperture 3—a Work-around

PhotoJoseph's picture
October 1, 2010 - 9:34am

The ability to have multiple external editors in Aperture 3 is an oft-asked for feature, and hopefully it will come properly in a future release. What we really want is to ability to have a list of external editors to choose from, just like we have a list of plug-ins to choose from, right? But in the meantime, we need a work-around. Here’s one I’ve come up with. It’s not ideal, but with a little setup it can be relatively quick and painless to execute.

Basically, create a folder and fill it with aliases of all the applications you might want to configure Aperture to open in, make that folder easy to get to, and then when you need to switch, open the Preferences in Aperture, and the list of apps is only a click away.

Here’s a step-by-step…


Understanding Luminance vs RGB in Auto Levels & Curves, and Assigning Keyboard Shortcuts in Aperture 3

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 30, 2010 - 12:34pm

Aperture 3 is full of fantastic Adjustments that you can apply to your images. It’s also full of fantastic keyboard shortcuts. And better still, you can make your own keyboard shortcuts for nearly any command that you like. But what happens when there’s no command to apply a keyboard shortcut to? Why, you make one, of course!

In this tutorial, we’ll look first at understanding auto Levels and auto Curves, then at creating Adjustment Presets for them, and finally at applying Keyboard Commands (shortcuts) to the lot of them. Let’s get started!


Finding Adjusted Images in Aperture 3

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 13, 2010 - 9:06pm

Recently in the forums, a user asked about how to find the images in their library that they’d spent time working on already. (The reason in this case was to locate all images from a recent iPhoto conversion that they’d adjusted, so they could get rid of everything else and start over with a new strategy—but maintain the work they’d already done).

One of Aperture core strengths is its searching capabilities. You can search by just about anything in Aperture, and combine search criteria to perform exceedingly precise searches, and even save those as Smart Albums that will update in real-time as your library changes.

In this case, the search criteria is just one option away—Adjustments.


Importing to Aperture as Referenced—with Drag and Drop

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 11, 2010 - 12:11am
By now you all know that you can drag-and-drop files into Aperture to import them. That imports them as Managed (meaning the master file is stored inside the Aperture Library). But did you know that you can drag-and-drop files into Aperture and have them imported as referenced? It’s a simple trick, and you already know how…

Aperture Has Tabs—Easily Compare Projects

PhotoJoseph's picture
September 8, 2010 - 3:29am

We’re all familiar with tabs in Safari and Firefox, but did you know that Aperture has tabs, too?

You can not only have stacked tabs, but even better, open two tabs (just two, sorry) side-by-side. All it takes is an option-click.

Here’s a series of commands and results:

Side by Side Tabs

Select a Project. Option-click a second project. You’ll see this:

Option-Click to open two projects in two tabs side-by-side. (click to view screenshot larger)

Once those two tabs are open, you can click in either window to make that “in focus”, then select any other project, and it will load into that tab. Close the tab with the (x) in the tab itself. Also notice that the two tabs can show the images in different sizes.


From Aperture to SmugMug to Squarespace

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 30, 2010 - 10:12pm

I’ve been a long-time SmugMug user, and have always appreciated the quality of their service. The fact that I can sell prints to clients without having to do anything other than watch my bank account grow, and that when you send a question to their tech support, real people respond — and quickly — makes it a fantastic service. It’s not free, but as they say—you get what you pay for.

There are a couple of plug-ins for Aperture that allow you to upload to SmugMug directly, and I’ve always used ApertureToSmugMug, which was OK… bare-bones, but it worked. My frustration with SmugMug and the plug-in (and this hasn’t changed, as you’ll see in a moment) is that I have to make changes in several places to complete my gallery upload, before it’s ready to share with a client, my blog, or whatever.


Recently the author of SmuginProForAperture, Richard Laing, contacted me and asked if I’d have a look at his new plug-in. Regrettably I kept shoving the email to the bottom of my inbox, in one those “I know, I know… I will” continuous moments. Today though I needed to upload some images to SmugMug for a client and decided that was a great time to try out Richard’s new plug-in!

In fact, I liked it so much that it quickly earned the coveted Command-S keyboard shortcut in Aperture. Since there is no Save in Aperture, this is the closest thing to “saving” a photo I could think of! And it really is “saving” it, isn’t it… saving it to the cloud.


A Good Reason For Larger Previews

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 23, 2010 - 4:21pm

I’ve been extolling the virtues of setting preferences for smaller preview images in Aperture 3, and also recommending turning OFF automatic preview generation for many users, for some time now. However Derrick Story, of has just posted an article related to making slideshows that give a very good reason to use larger previews.


Several New User Tips!

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 21, 2010 - 4:30am

I’m thrilled to see the new User Tips section starting to gain some traction. Remember, I opened this part of the site so YOU guys can post your own favorite tips on there to share with the world. A pile of ‘em just got posted, so be sure to check those out!


Using Third Party Backup/Sync Utilities with Aperture 3

PhotoJoseph's picture
August 20, 2010 - 10:30pm

I’d be interested to hear your opinions/experiences on this one. Martyn Greswolde of Greswolde Photography in the UK posted advice to his readers that if you run a backup (on referenced masters) while Aperture is running, not only will it not back up those masters, but it could actually corrupt your backup file. The backup solution he’s using is Chrono Sync.



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