Even the best photos need a little editing. You could purchase expensive desktop software or you can use the editing options in Google Photos. These options include color filters, basic adjustments, and the all-important cropping tool. Photos that don't make quality control standards can be deleted.

Please note that Google Photos is not open for students under age 13. Teachers, however, do have access to the app. One solution is to have authorized student editors use the teacher's computer (without knowing the password) to organize the yearbook photos. As discussed on Sharing Photos page, the albums are then linked to the yearbook Google Sheets Table of Contents so that the remaining students can access them.

Edit Photos

One benefit of using Google Photos is the ability to edit the photo. Using a third party app negates the privacy savings of using Google Drive. A Google Photo can be edited and saved multiple ways AND those edits can be copied to other photos.

Open the Edit Menu

  1. Go to photos.google.com.
  2. Select a photo.
  3. Click on the pencil icon.

Color Filter

The first of three tabs allows the user to choose color filters. Filters can be used to bring out the best color using a particular style such as Auto, West, Palma, Metro, and more. What is the theme of the yearbook? Choose a filter that supports the theme or just the Auto option to have the sharpest images.

Edit photos

Basic Adjustments

Use Light to make the image lighter or darker. This option includes exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks and vignette. With Color, change the photo's saturation, warmth, tint, skin tone and deep blue. Pop sharpens the image.

Crop Image

Images can be cropped with aspect ratio. This includes freehand cropping, squares, and pre-determined ratios. Google Photos crops to ratios, not specific dimensions. We can specify size directly in Google Slides.

When cropping an image, keep the rule of thirds in mind. A rule of thirds grid will appear as the photo is cropped. Where is the action in the photo? The intersecting lines should cross it.

Copy Edits

  1. After making your edits, select the three dots for more options.
  2. Select Copy edits or use the shortcut CTRL C.
  3. Open a different photo and Paste edits.

Photo Information

In the Caption Writing section, we discussed adding the best captions to the Description section of a Google Photo. You can also add searchable tags and edit information such as the date and location. We will talk about searching in Google Photos and Google Drive on the next page.

Add a Description

  1. Open the photo and select it i icon.
  2. In the Description box, write a tag.
  3. When done, click on the x.

After a reasonable processing time, you will be able to use the Search box with words in the Description box.

Additional Information

  1. View the albums where the photo is stored.
    • Make sure to use the photo only once in the yearbook.
  2. When was the photo taken? Do you see the pencil? View that information here.
    • Edit the date if desired.
    • This is particularly helpful with historical photos.
  3. View the size of the photo and type of camera.
    • This information cannot be edited.
  4. Tag the location of the photo or remove it.


Additional Options

Favorite Photos

Some photos are just perfect! You know that this photo needs to be somewhere in the yearbook but you are not sure where. In this case, favorite it!!!!

  1. Open the photo and select the star icon.
  2. The photo is automatically added to a Favorites album.
  3. You can also search for Favorites to view all the starred photos.

Delete Photos

Sometimes our favorite photos cannot be salvaged. In this example, the light from the windows behind the excited #Mex16 Google Innovators greyed out everyone's face. Delete the photo.

  1. Select the trash can icon on an individual photo or check multiple photos from the main view.
  2. You will be prompted with a message stating how and where the photo(s) will be deleted.

Archive Photos

In this case, the screenshot of a script I was working on and had emailed to a colleague was automatically added to Google Photos. I can archive that photo. Archived photos still show up in photo albums, but will not be added to any collages, animations, or videos

  1. Open the photo and select the three dots.
  2. Select Archive or CTRL + A.

Learn more about archiving photos here.

Additional Resources

YouTube Playlist

  • How to Use Google Photos to Edit Pictures on Computer by Geeks on Tour
  • Google Photos Editing by Train The Brain Videos


Search Features

Google has made searching in Google Photos and Google Drive even more powerful!