Aperture lessons tips, tricks, techniques and tutorials

First published on: Wednesday, 18 March 2009

This post is a compilation of annotated links to Aperture lessons tips, tricks, techniques and tutorials.

Re-generate broken thumbnails within a project

Sometimes, you might notice that thumbnails disappear when you move images from one project to another, and in their place, you’ll see a gray representation of the photo with a white, dashed border.

Instead of clicking on the missing thumbnails one by one, or selecting several of them, and then re-generating the thumbnails via the Menu, try to change the project name to something else, and then back again.

I did the project re-naming trick several times to rebuild just the missing thumbnails, and it worked like a charm.

The best way to apply image adjustments

In order to make the best use of your computer’s processing cycles and reduce the occurrence of “beach balls” or the system hanging up, RB advises to turn off all other adjustments while working on the current adjustment. This is especially true of some adjustments such as noise reduction, sharpen, straighten, highlights and shadows:

So what to do about it? Simple do some of these things last. If you want to tweak one of these turn the others off while you are doing it. For instance if you want to tweak noise reduction there is no reason to have edge sharpen turned on while you are playing around with noise. I picked those two because some of you may instantly react that there is a reason — of course there is a reason to look at the over all effect when everything is added together — What I am getting at is that it may be more productive to get the optimal settings for these processing intensive heavyweights individually while getting real-time feedback rather than having Aperture reprocess all the pixels through all of them while driving you insane that there is a 5 second delay between you moving the slider and anything happening.

How to efficiently apply keywords to all images within a Stack

Apply keywords to all images within a stack in Aperture

Bagelturf’s methods are the best.

If not already open, you’ll need to expand the stack with shift+k, then hit cmd+e to select all the photos in the stack, then apply the keyword or keywords.

Another efficient way is to go directly to the next stack via option+page-up or option+page-down (option+fn+arrow-up or option+fn+arrow-down on Mac notebooks or Apple keyboards which do not feature the Page Up and Page Down keys), which will not only open up the stack, but select all the photos therein in one fell swoop.

Hit option+; to close all stacks.

How to manage Previews

O’Reilly has a screencast on managing previews in Aperture.

How to Manage Previews in Aperture

The 13.27 MB screencast can be downloaded as a Quicktime .mov file.

The most helpful thing I got from the screencast is understanding how preview images are used by applications outside of Aperture.

In the example, Derrick Story shows you how you can integrate Aperture preview images with iPhoto in order to make postcards and greeting cards with them.

Some of the highlights of the movie are:


  1. 0:000:22 — How to define the quality and size of the Preview images.

  2. 00:03:18 — The difference between Update Preview and Generate Preview. Update Preview tends to get processed in the background. Use Generate Preview if you want the Preview to be updated immediately.

  3. 00:04:49 — Show the Aperture Library from within iPhoto.

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