Three Not-So-Obvious Tips

by Josh Anon

Hello everyone! Allow me to introduce myself, Josh Anon, and my mother, Ellen Anon. We're the newest members of the Inside Aperture blog, and we're excited to be posting here.

In case you're not familiar with either of us, we co-authored the book Aperture Exposed (Wiley, 2006) and are both (primarily) nature and wildlife photographers. In fact, Ellen is the co-author of Photoshop for Nature Photographers (Wiley, 2005, with an updated-for-CS3 version coming this June). We're also both instructors at, a great source for online photography and digital imaging courses. If you're really curious about us, feel free to read our bios here or check out our websites at and for expanded bios and samples of our images.

To kick things off, I'd like to share three really useful tips I've found while working in Aperture. I hope that you find them useful, too!

1. Come Hither, Loupe
I leave the loupe detached from the cursor, so that I can leave it somewhere and make adjustments to the image, not worry about bumping the mouse, etc.. When I want to move the loupe, I don't want to have to go pick it up, drag it, and drop it to the new location--that's annoying. Thankfully, Aperture has a great solution! Move the mouse to where you want the loupe to move and press and hold the ` key. The loupe will slide to where the cursor is, no clicking or dragging required.

2. Hide the Viewer When Browsing For Images
I've found that when viewing images, I really prefer to work in full screen mode. It lets me focus more on the image with no distractions. However, since you can't switch projects or albums in full screen mode and because the film strip is small (which makes it hard to browse large albums), I really like using the browser to locate images. To get the best of both worlds, I hide the viewer window by pressing the v key. In addition to giving more screen space to the browser, making it easier to locate a specific image, I've found that Aperture runs faster with the viewer hidden, especially when toggling in and out of full screen mode.

3. Removing Keywords from Multiple Images
As much as I try not to do dumb things, I sometimes mis-label animals and plants in groups of images or misspell keywords. If you look under the menus, the only "remove" commands for keywords will either remove the keyword if it's in the current keyword set or remove all keywords from the image. It's possible to remove individual keywords from individual images by using the "Keywords" button in the metadata inspectur, but It's not very clear how you can remove one specific keyword from multiple images, without first adding it to a keyword set. However, there is a way to just remove 1 keyword:

  1. Make sure the keyword controls are visible
    • Show the control bar (Window > Show Control Bar)
    • If the keyword controls aren't already there, select Window > Show Keyword Controls. If that option is grayed out, you'll need to show the viewer first, then show the keyword controls, and then re-hide the viewer (this seems to be a bug).
  2. Select the image(s) with the keyword to remove
  3. Type the keyword to remove into the text field in the keyword controls
  4. Press Shift+Return, and Aperture will remove the keyword from the selected image(s).



2007-03-27 13:49:32
OMG! That loupe trick is so cool! I love the detached loupe, but yeah, it's a pain to move around. Being able to center it on the mouse is very cool! Thanks for all three! I look forward to reading more.
J Pease
2007-03-27 15:59:31
Welcome! I check this site several times a I look forward to your posts.


2007-03-27 16:27:29
I thank you much for the "remove Keywords" hint. Fabulous. Thanks much.
2007-03-30 02:10:58
Love your book! I just downloaded and printed the updated material for your book as well. Glad to see you here as well! I am recommending your book to all my friends and touting it on forums and such. Nice tips. Wrote them on my "tips" index card (and oly the top tips go there!)

Thanks again for a great book!

Josh Anon
2007-03-30 08:15:51
Thanks for the comments, everyone! I'm glad that you liked the book, marieboyer, and that I was able to share these tips with you all. Yet the real credit goes to the brilliant Apple engineers who thought to include cool, subtle features in Aperture like the sliding loupe :)
Mihalis Tsoukalos
2007-07-21 00:40:00
Many thanks for the "remove Keywords from Multiple Images" hint!
Adrian Walls
2007-12-03 16:49:05
Cheers this was the answer I was looking for and better explained than elsewhere. However the first attempt to delete a keyword off a multiple selection failed with only the principal selected image having the keyword remove. Whilst browsing the Apple discussion forum in an explanation about bulk adding a keyword mentioned the need to have 'Primary Only' turned off, you do this by toggling the s key to ensure all the images in the viewer with a white selection border. Hope this helps the next person along ...
Josh Anon
2007-12-03 19:29:54
Hi Adrian, glad this was helpful! Good point about primary only--that holds true for rotating images, adding keywords to multiple images, etc.. Always a good thing to check if you only notice actions happening to 1 image!