Viewing Aperture Images in iPhoto

by Derrick Story

Aperture manages my main catalog of images, but I like to use iPhoto 6 too. iPhoto is much easier on my older computers -- plus it has some great output options, and I like its casual workflow.

You can tap your Aperture library from within iPhoto. First, make sure you have the current versions of both applications. Then launch Aperture. Finally, launch iPhoto. In the File popup menu in iPhoto, you'll see Show Aperture Library...

Note: You'll only be able to use Aperture images that have previews. Also, make sure you have "sharing your previews with iLife applications" turned on in the Aperture Preferences window.

You can browse your images from your Aperture library in iPhoto until you find what you're looking for. The browse window is adjustable, so feel free to resize as needed.


Now, all you have to do is drag the image you want from the Aperture Photos window into your iPhoto Library.


Great way to keep a master catalog and have fun with your pictures too.


2006-11-21 13:19:01
Nice feature. For me it will be nicer to look at Aperture pictures in iPhoto but WITHOUT import them.

Thank you for the tip

2006-11-21 14:14:40
Well you can view pretty decent sized thumbnails if you maximize the Aperture Photos window...
Mark Thomas
2006-11-21 16:02:05
It's nice having that "Show Aperture Library" menu item in iPhoto, but what would be cooler is if iPhoto just magically displayed the contents of the Aperture vault so that you could tweak the images (which would automatically create a new version in Aperture) and use all of iPhoto's cool little doodads without having to actually copy all those photos into the iPhoto library.
Mark Mayo
2006-11-21 18:07:31
I'm new to Aperture coming from iPhoto and this tip is great! Thx!
2006-11-21 22:19:01
Derrick: yes, you can see descent sized thumbnails but it's only thumbnails. But you can't do more (without importing pictures). I have a good desktop machine but an old PowerBook. So no Aperture on my BP. If I can just synchronize my Aperture library on my PB and browse it (make diaporama, research, ...) on iPhoto, whithout having a big iPhoto library, it will be nice !
2006-11-22 01:48:12
if you want to import photos into iPhoto without importing them (duplicating the image) into iphotos library, go into iPhoto's preferences, advanced tab and turn off the option that says import photos to iphoto library. In theory, it should just reference the preview in the Aperture project file - then if you change the image in aperture, the preview will update and next time you open iphoto, it'll reflect the change.
2006-11-22 01:52:23
yep, i've just tested that, it works - however, two things you need to note - 1) iphoto has to be restarted to notice any changes you've done to the original file in Aperture, ie, switching between the apps won't reflect changes 2) the image will change in iphoto, but not the thumbnail - as you aren't storing the file in the iphoto library, it seems that the only thing that is being stored is the thumbnail and iphoto won't know when the file is changed to then update the thumbnail as its kept outside the normal library file
2006-11-22 02:53:10
Thank you Jason. Another (bad) point is that there is no synchronisation between Aperture and iPhoto. So new photo in an Aperture project will not shown in iPhoto. You have to "redo" an import.
A good thing will be that iPhoto can be a sort of viewer of Aperture library.
2007-07-06 15:30:06
Have you noticed that the order of the photos in the Aperture library is not preserved when you open the Aperture library from iPhoto (or other applications such as iDVD)? It seems to randomize the pictures a bit - quite disturbing when you want to create a DVD with a slide show directly from your Aperture library. I have to import the photos from Aperture into iPhoto, where they regain their numerical ordering, and then re-import that slideshow into iDVD.

Am I loosing my marbles or my observation is correct?

2007-08-26 08:44:51
Is there something I'm doing wrong if my Aperture Photos window images simply do not drag? I can open the window and see the tiny thumbnails but cannot get them into iPhoto.