Windows Live Photo & Video Blog

Official blog for the Windows Live Digital Memories Experience team

Windows Photo Gallery Introduction

Windows Photo Gallery Introduction

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My name is Scott Dart, and I'm a Program Manager on the PIX Team. By now, some of you may have heard bits and pieces about the new Windows Photo Gallery in Vista, but that has probably been pretty light on details. Over the coming days and weeks, we’ll be posting a number of articles to fill that in.

Let’s start with the name – Windows Photo Gallery. That’s actually not entirely accurate. The Gallery is not just for your photos, but also for your personal videos. We like to think about the Gallery as a place for your digital memories. Not your clip art, not some movie trailer you downloaded somewhere, but content that was authored by you (or someone you know). You’ll hear us talk mostly about photos (just for convenience), but pretty much anything that you can do with a photo can also be done with a video. We'll try to point out the differences as they come up.

Before we start talking about the Windows Photo Gallery in too much detail, I thought that it would be helpful to give you a visual overview of the various parts of the Gallery, so you can see how they all come together.

You can think of the Gallery as having two modes: a Gallery mode where you can browse through all of your digital memories, and a Viewer mode, where you can get a closer look at individual photos and videos.  Roll over the picture below to see what's what.

  • The Navigation Tree is what you browse your digital memories with. Clicking anywhere in the tree shows you all the items under that branch.
  • The List View is where you see the actual thumbnails of your photos.
  • You can type in the Quick Search box to find items that have a particular word or phrase.
  • The Toolbar is where the most important tasks are exposed. Some act as menus, as well.  
  • The Info Pane shows additional information about the item or items selected.
  • The Navigation Bar is used to move through your photo collection, zoom in and out, rotate your photos, or delete them.

When you open a photo, the gallery enters Viewer mode, showing you your picture as large as will fit. The Viewer can either show the Info Pane or the Fix Pane (illustrated below), which allows you to make simple fixes to your photos.

That’s it for the visual roadmap. We'll be going into more detail on each of these areas shortly.

Scott Dart - Program Manager