iPhoto 6 allows Multiple Libraries

iPhoto 6: Multi-Library Dialogue

There is one feature that I’m betting almost every iPhoto user has wanted since day one… the ability to have multiple libraries. Well, Apple has put this feature in to iPhoto 6 (part of iLife ’06). But, it’s a little hidden, and a little clunky.

If you hold down the option key while launching iPhoto, you’ll get a dialogue box that will allow you to either create a new library, or select which library you want to open. If you create a new library, iPhoto will prompt you for a location to create the new library, and you’ll end up with a nice new empty library, without disturbing your current library.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any way of toggling between libraries while in iPhoto. If you want to switch to a different library, quit iPhoto, and then relaunch it while holding down the option key. Select the Choose Library… option, and navigate to your previous iPhoto library (in your Pictures folder by default), or select any library you’ve created.

You can also use this method to move your library, if you don’t want it in your Pictures folder. Simply quit iPhoto, then move your library to the new location. Now just hold down the option key when launching iPhoto, click Choose Library…, and point the resulting dialog to the new location.

I’m glad to see this feature make it in to iPhoto, but I’m hoping this clumsy implementation is just the first step towards a more user-friendly version.

UPDATE: Thanks go out to Chris, for clueing me into the fact that iPhoto 5 also has this feature. Who knew?

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2 thoughts on “iPhoto 6 allows Multiple Libraries”

  1. Actually, this isn’t a new feature. I have iLife ’05 and I receive this prompt when no iPhoto library can be found.

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