Aperture 3 Quick Tip - Deleting Versions In A Stack

Wanted to pass on something about the behavior of Aperture 3 stacks that all of you may not be aware of. If you have been taking advantage of Aperture's albums and album-pick features for organizing your images (the key to good work-flow and organization) you can take advantage of a subtlety in the behavior of stacks when you need to delete all of the versions that happen to show up as an album pick in any particular album.

Let's assume we are starting out with an album that happens to have duplicate versions as album-picks of some images with a set of adjustments applied like this…

In this album all of the image stacks are closed, In most cases this is when stacks are most useful as they are only showing you images at the top of the stack for a particular album. As you can see I have selected all of the images with command-A. If I were to delete all the versions using either the context menu or command-delete every single image version in the stack would go away. This behavior is different that most other things in Aperture like "duplicate version" or "new version from master", etc, etc. In these cases Aperture 3 assumes that I only want to affect the versions that are showing at the top of the stack. With delete version Aperture 3 assumes that I want everything to go away.

What happens if I only want the versions at the top of the stack to go away??? Simple enough just open all the stacks via the stack menu or better yet use option-single-quote instead, like this…

Now with all of the stacks open you can see that only the album-picks are selected. If you delete-versions now using the context menu or command-delete only the album-picks will be deleted. Like so…

I know this seems a little esoteric to be of much use but it is an important and subtle behavior that not only should all Aperture users be aware of but it actually serves as an illustration as to the power of stacks and album picks when used to their full advantage. The whole point of Aperture's stacks/albums/album-picks along with the selection behavior and search tools is to wire them together in ways that suit your own work-flow needs. You will find that once you get used to creating albums with specific album picks for various steps in your work-flow that they can help speed things along quite nicely. I pretty much create a new album for just about every selection I have ever made for any reason. That way I never have to make that selection again or remember what images I did what with and for what reason.

One last thing that I should mention is that it is imperative to set the Aperture preference "Automatically stack new versions" for albums and album-picks to be efficiently used. If you are not comfortable with Aperture 3's image stacks yet you may want to check out my e-books… Specifically the Organization e-book.


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