14 photo-sharing tips for Mac OS X

Tips and tricks for photo sharing in Mac OS X, including some apps you can use to share photos for free

By

  • photoshare01 Cloud Sharing
  • photoshare02 Shared Stream
  • photoshare03 AirDrop
  • photoshare04 iMessage
  • photoshare05 Social Sharing
  • photoshare06 Share from Finder
  • photoshare07 Share from Contextual menu
  • photoshare08 Share from iPhoto
  • photoshare09 Facebook
  • photoshare10 Twitter
  • photoshare11 Flickr
  • photoshare12 Pinterest
  • photoshare13 Skitch
  • photoshare14 IFTTT
  • More stories
Next Prev

Cloud Sharing

There are two apps that currently support iCloud photo sharing in OS X - and that’s all about to change. In Mavericks, iPhoto and Aperture are the tools you use. Next year, both will be replaced by Photos for Mac. Already available on iOS devices, Photos is very much like iPhoto, only slicker - so we’ll use iPhoto here as the functionality we describe here should remain about the same.

First you’ll need to enable photo sharing for iCloud. On your Mac, go to iPhoto > Preferences and make sure “Photo Sharing” tick box is checked.

Read more of our Mac photo tips

Next »

Next Prev photoshare01

There are two apps that currently support iCloud photo sharing in OS X - and that’s all about to change. In Mavericks, iPhoto and Aperture are the tools you use. Next year, both will be replaced by Photos for Mac. Already available on iOS devices, Photos is very much like iPhoto, only slicker - so we’ll use iPhoto here as the functionality we describe here should remain about the same.

First you’ll need to enable photo sharing for iCloud. On your Mac, go to iPhoto > Preferences and make sure “Photo Sharing” tick box is checked.

Read more of our Mac photo tips

 

Step 2 of 14: Create a Shared Stream

Once Photo Sharing is enabled, you can create shared photo streams. In iPhoto, click to select the images you want to share. Next, click the Share icon on the toolbar and choose iCloud > New Photostream. Add the email addresses of the people you want to share the stream with (names will auto-complete from your address book). You can rename the stream and optionally add a message.

Subscribers with iOS devices or Macs with iPhoto will be able to access the shared stream, view it and add their own photos if they want. Click “Enable Public Website” and people without iCloud will be able to view your photos. To add more photos to the stream, select them in iPhoto, click the Share icon and choose the shared stream.

 

Step 3 of 14: AirDrop

Introduced in OS X 10.7, AirDrop enables you to wirelessly share files, including photos, between OS X computers or between iOS devices. Notice we said “or”. That’s all set to change with Yosemite (OS X 10.10) when the barriers between devices will be removed and you’ll be able to transfer files between iOS and OS X too.

In the meantime, you can transfer photos between two Macs running Lion or later with AirDrop by opening Finder and selecting the AirDrop icon. The other Mac should have AirDrop selected too. If you’re within 30 feet of each other, you should be able to drag and drop files between the two.

[picture credit: Apple]

 

Step 4 of 14: iMessage

OS X gives you several ways to share images with other iMessage users. Open Messages and add a recipient (or recipients). Next, drag and drop an image from anywhere on your Mac to the iMessage. Hit Enter to send it.

You can also CTRL click on any image file to bring up the OS X contextual menu and choose “Share”. Messages should be one of the available options. So should “AirDrop”, for that matter and, if there’s another Mac in the vicinity with AirDrop enabled - that’s another way to transfer files between the two.

 

Step 5 of 14: Add Social sharing accounts

You can add further accounts to the contextual menu (if you haven’t already). The crucial ones for photo sharing are Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. Open up System Preferences and choose the quaintly labelled “Internet Accounts”. Select the account you want to add and enter your login details.

With Twitter, Facebook and Flickr added, you’ll get notification updates in OS X’s Notification Centre.

Crucially, you’ll also be able to share any image direct from the Finder. We’ll find out how in the next step.

 

Step 6 of 14: Share from Finder

Click the Finder icon in the Dock and navigate to a photo file.  Select the photo then click the “Share” button on the toolbar. The choices available should be iMessage, AirDrop, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr - if you configured all your accounts at the last step.

We’ll walk through sending an image to Facebook. Choose Facebook from the Share menu and status update window pops up, with the image you selected already attached. You can type in a text message to accompany the photo and select which album it will be uploaded to - which is better functionality than you get from Facebook’s own app.

 

Step 7 of 14: Share from Contextual menu

Now that you’ve configured additional accounts, these will also appear when you CTRL click on a file to access the Share option from the contextual menu. For example, to tweet an image from your desktop you can select the image, CTRL click on it, then choose Share > Twitter.

A window pops up that allows you to compose a tweet to go with the image, then all you have to do is click send. You don’t have to open any apps or even browse to Twitter from Safari.

 

Step 8 of 14: Share from iPhoto

In one of those annoying user interface inconsistencies, you can share to Facebook, Twitter and Flickr from iPhoto as well - but you may have to connect up your accounts again.

In iPhoto, select the image that you want to share then click on the Share icon. Choose the social network you want to use. In the case of Facebook or Flickr, you’ll be prompted to connect your account to iPhoto even if you’ve them up in Internet Accounts. Once that’s done it’s easy to share images direct from your photostreams though.

We’re hoping that this glitchy behaviour will be streamlined in Photos.

 

Step 9 of 14: Facebook

Direct sharing via Facebook is, oddly a bit more clunky than it is from Finder in OS X. On your Facebook newsfeed, you have to choose Add Photos/Video from the status box, then choose Upload Photos/Video and find an image on your local machine. Alternatively, click “Status Update” then the Image icon. You’ll be prompted to upload a picture.

Is there a faster way? Try DropBook. £1.99 from the App Store, it’s an icon that sits on your desktop. Drag an image from any program, web browser or the Finder and it uploads to a Facebook album of your choice.

 

Step 10 of 14: Twitter

There’s no need to use third party image storage with Twitter; it has integrated image support. From the browser based version of Twitter, you click the “Compose New Tweet” icon and then the “Add Photo” icon. Twitter hosts the image and embeds a shortened URL into your tweet (you lose 23 of your 140 characters when you post an image). You’ll see that your character count has gone down to 117.

You’ll notice that the “Add Photo” button has changed to “Add More”. You can add a total of up to four images to every tweet, without hitting the character count. It’ll stay at 117.

 

Step 11 of 14: Flickr

In a world of Instagrams and Snapchats (not included here because they are stubbornly mobile-only) Flickr seems a bit old school. But you may not have noticed that it had a successful revamp in 2013 - and has its own social networking features that still make it popular among amateur photographers.

It’s closest, as an organisation tool, to iPhoto. Though it lacks the editing features, it has album creation tools and sharing features built in. The Share button on every image enables you to share your own or other’s photos to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest. Two better than OS X.

 

Step 12 of 14: Pinterest

There’s no Pinterest integration built into Mavericks, but there should be. One of the fastest growing image sharing networks of the social age, Pinterest is all about image curation - creating themed boards full of photos and other images that you share with your followers. It’s a bit like Instagram and a bit like Tumblr and combines the cool of both.

Pinterest comes bundled with tools that make image sharing easier from OS X, including the Pin It button that installs in your browser to enable you to pin images you find online to Pinterest boards without leaving the page

Read:

 

Step 13 of 14: Skitch

Skitch is a tool explicitly made for sharing images. Although originally developed as a screenshot making tool, it has evolved into a screenshot sharing tool following acquisition by Evernote. There’s Facebook and Twitter integration built in and, of course, it plays nicely with Evernote too.

Images no longer have to be screen grabs either, though that’s a powerful part of the workflow. You can use images saved locally on your computer or on websites. The feature that now sets it apart from other image sharing tools is the ability to annotate and mark-up photos that you share using Skitch image editing tools before you share them.

Read: Best cameras for 2015

 

Step 14 of 14: IFTTT

And finally, If This, Then That reaches the parts that other image sharing tools and features cannot reach. IFTTT connects your social services together, to automate - among many other things - image sharing.

For example, you can use IFTTT to automatically publish Instagram images with a specific hashtag to other social services. Tumblr, perhaps, or Twitter. To enable integration you’ll need to sign up at IFTTT then activate the services you want to use with it. The more you explore the tool, the more applications you’ll find.

We also have a number of other articles about sharing photos. Read the following:

Elsewhere on IDG sites
Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

Awful clip art from 1994 is being tweeted every hour by a bot

Awful clip art from 1994 is being tweeted every hour by a bot

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Les meilleurs navigateurs internet 2017

Les meilleurs navigateurs internet 2017