Aperture 2 Quick Tip - Custom Image Sequence

ApertureQT_Custom_Seq.jpgThis tip is really quick and I assume obvious but I still get dozens of questions that somehow are connected to the sequence or order that Aperture displays in the image browser. I mention in the PDF Aperture Organization Guide that it's easy to use any order that you want for images in the browser, not just the preset orders provided in the drop down list but literally any order that you want. If you have ever used the sort order drop down in the upper left corner of the image browser you may have noticed that at the very bottom there is the "custom" option that is grayed out. The way to make it active is as simple as dragging any image in the browser to a new location. After doing that the "custom" sort order will now be active. Not only is the order that you put your images in sticky - meaning that Aperture remembers it but if you use the drop down to sort by date, rating, etc. you can always go back to your custom sort by choosing the custom option.

The real power of custom sort orders in the browser is that you can have as may as you want for whatever purpose you need. Yet another thing in Aperture that is great but not well documented, each album that you create can keep track of it's own custom sort order, sort of like an "album pick" in each stack being specific to each and every album. Since albums are almost free in terms of performance and storage space I create albums for the specific purpose of just another sort order. A couple of ways that I use this capability constantly is for Aperture slide shows. In fact I have short slide shows, long slide shows. slide shows with just portrait oriented images, slide shows with only landscape oriented images. I most cases I use a sort order that  makes more logical sense, more aesthetic sense, or both. If you ever used the "three up" type slide show o an HD display for portrait images you probably know that the order of images is critical. If you haven't used it you may want to try it.

Another thing that I use custom sort orders for is for image naming and export. I create an album anytime that I need to export a set of specific images, the really cool thing is that when you use a custom sort order for that album in combination with a custom export naming template you can achieve just about any image order that you want built right into the file naming scheme.

Hope this helps those of you who haven't stumbled on to this Aperture feature save some time in your photographic endeavors. As usual comments on how you use this or will and questions are always welcome.


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