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What is Image Capture?

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Image CaptureDid you know there’s more than one photo management tool on your computer? In addition to iPhoto, Image Capture is a little program in your Applications folder that has big power.

Image Capture controls what happens when you connect your iPhone, iPad, and digital camera to your computer. For example, you’ve noticed that iPhoto always opens as soon as you plug in your iPhone. This action is actually managed in Image Capture, NOT iPhoto!

Image Capture also allows you to use your scanner without any other software.

So let’s explore this wonderful little program. Go ahead and open up Image Capture now. Then, plug in your camera, iPhone, or iPad with pictures on it.

In the upper left corner (1), you can see your scanner and any other cameras or devices you have plugged into your computer. Click on each one to access its tools. Here you can use your scanner, even if you don’t have the original software!

In the lower left corner (2) is a CRUCIAL place to set what happens when you plug anything into your computer. If you find it annoying when iPhoto opens every time you plug in your iPhone, change this drop-down to None!

I used this setting to troubleshoot a problem with iPhoto. I had a customer whose iPhoto ’11 was hanging up every time she opened it – the spinning beach ball wouldn’t stop, and she had to Force Quit the application every time. I changed the setting from “None” to “iPhoto”, and the problem was solved!

The option at the bottom (3) is set when you use Image Capture as your import utility. It gives you MUCH more flexibility than iPhoto, or any other method of importing your pictures into your computer. Here you can tell it to import your pictures into a folder, iPhoto, Aperture, Preview, or even Mail. You can also assign any other application, such as Photoshop.

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