By Jason Snell
November 6, 2015 11:22 AM PT
PowerPhotos merges Photos 1.1 libraries
Warning: This story has not been updated in several years and may contain out-of-date information.
Because I wrote a book about Photos for Mac, a user group in Chicago asked me to give them a presentation about Photos, which I did earlier this week.1 At the end of the presentation, someone asked about merging the contents of multiple Libraries together, and I had to give them the bad news: There’s just no way to do it.
Less than two hours later, there was an email in my inbox from Fat Cat Software, makers of the go-to utility for merging iPhoto libraries (as well as a bunch of other iPhoto-related stuff), iPhoto Library Manager. Fat Cat has a similar utility for Photos, PowerPhotos, but due to the limitations of the Photos app itself, it wasn’t able to merge libraries together.
It turns out that a lot of those limitations of Photos were erased with version 1.1, released with OS X El Capitan. Now PowerPhotos has been updated to version 1.1, and it has added support for merging multiple Photos libraries together into one. (It’s got a bunch of other useful features, including the ability to detect and remove duplicates and to view the contents of a library as a list.)
There are some limitations, however. The merge feature can bring in the edited version of your photo, or the original, but not both; and manually assigned locations, faces, and projects aren’t supported. Still, it’s progress. And Fat Cat has simplified the connection between PowerPhotos and iPhoto Library Manager—a single $30 license works with both apps. (Users of iPhoto Library Manager 3 can upgrade for $15.)
Despite the limitations of this new approach, it’s good to know that there’s finally a way to merge the contents of two libraries together, short of dragging all the images into the Finder, changing libraries, and then dragging them back in.
Now you know, Chicago.
- Alas, via Skype, meaning that I was not able to partake of the city’s hot dogs or deep-dish pizza. ↩
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