Many changes have been made to SkyDrive and the way you use it. Instead of rolling out a new version, updates have been released piecemeal and more can be expected. This article reviews how to use SkyDrive for your photos as it works in August 2011.
There are two ways to upload photos to your Windows Live SkyDrive: From SkyDrive – I call that pulling up, and from Windows Live Photo Gallery – my term is pushing up.
Uploading in SkyDrive
Even signing in has changed, so let’s start there.
When you go to home.live.com there is standard sign in with text boxes for your Windows Live ID and password. No longer can you select an ID from several choices. There is a “Keep me signed in” check box so you will be signed in automatically next time you open your browser.
On your Windows Live Home page the menu bar now includes SkyDrive. The drop-down menu offers choices for Documents, Photos and more. You can just click on SkyDrive and it takes you to a view of all of your contents. The contents may be shown as a list of “tiles” – small thumbnails. Tiles of photo albums play slide shows of the contents.
As the illustration here shows, document folders are depicted as folders. Each tile also shows the name of the folder or album. Click on an album tile to open the album.
It still is not possible to upload a folder with contents. You create an album or a folder by clicking the little folder icon above the contents listing.
To add photos, navigate to the folder where you wish to add files and click Add files.
If you have Silverlight installed a page opens that invites you to drop photos into the folder. This works beautifully. Open Windows Explorer to the pictures folder you want to upload. In Windows 7 you can clip Windows Explorer to one edge and the browser to the other and just drag the thumbnails from one to the other. You can select multiple photos and drag the “pile” over.
Note that there is a size control option in the upper right of the folder page. The default upload size is 1600 pixels (max dimension). You can also specify that the photos are uploaded in their Original size or a small size called Medium (600px).
Upload actually starts when you drop the thumbnails. Once your selection is complete click Continue and allow the process to finish.
If you do not have Silverlight installed, or if that option is no longer available on your computer, you will see an upload page that looks like this:
When a Browse button is clicked a “Choose File to Upload” dialog opens. Unfortunately, only one file can be selected at a time, so you have to go through this multiple times.
Uploading from Windows Live Photo Gallery
A much easier way to upload is the other method which uploads photos from Windows Live Photo Gallery. You do not need the browser open, but it works best when you have selected “Keep me signed in”. Similarly you should sign in to Photo Gallery – this too is “sticky” and you will not need to do it each time.
Select the photos you wish to upload. Remember that Ctrl+A will select all the photos being displayed. Then click on the SkyDrive icon in the Share group of the Ribbon (Home tab).
Caution: Be sure that you have selected just the local folder from which you wish to upload. You can inadvertently select photos from multiple folders and they will wind up in just one SkyDrive album.
A “Publish on Windows Live SkyDrive” dialog allows you to select the destination album. The first choice allows you to create a new album.
You can specify who can see your photos in a new album. The default is Everyone (public).
As with the other method, you can specify that the process resizes your photos or uploads in the original size.
Click Publish to start the actual upload process. On completion you will be offered to view the SkyDrive album.
Did you know that you can clip your SkyDrive to your Windows 7 taskbar? Drag the little SkyDrive icon that shows in front of the URL in your browser down to the taskbar and release. You can also release it on your desktop for a shortcut. With SkyDrive on your taskbar it is just one click away.
© 2011 Ludwig Keck