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Google's free software program Picasa is now available in version 2.1, which adds support for RAW files from a number of manufacturers including Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Kodak, Sony, Minolta and Fuji. The new version also supports the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (350D), Pentax *istDS and Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D (Dynax 7). The update also offers several new language options including Chinese, Russian, Korean and Dutch. Other new features allow you to publish an image to your photo Blog, print CD covers and find photos on external hard drives.
What's new in Picasa 2.1?
We have internationalized the software as well as made several improvements. Here's what's new:
Multiple interface languages
Picasa is now available in Chinese (simplified and traditional), Dutch, English (U.S. and UK) , French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. When you start Picasa, the software will automatically match your system's native language. To change the language in Picasa, go to Tools > Options. Change the language using the pulldown menu on the "General" tab. You will need to close and re-open Picasa to see your changes take effect.
Post a photo to your blog in one click. Picasa's new "BlogThis!" button replaces the "Blogger" button and allows you to upload your photos directly to the Blogger web editor, without the need for a Hello account. To use, select a photo in Picasa and click the "BlogThis!" button. (If you do not have a Blogger.com account, follow the steps on-screen to create one.) When you are signed in to Blogger, the web editor will open. Click "Publish" to post your photo to your blog.
Print CD covers
Turn any photo into cover art. Click the "Print" button. Go to Tools > Options > Printing. Select "CD Cover Size" and apply. "CD Cover Size" is now one of the print layout choices.
Improved RAW handling
Picasa supports more RAW formats and cameras in this release, with improved color-balance support and faster speed. Work with your highest quality files from these camera manufacturers:
- Canon (.CRW, .CR2)
- Nikon (.NEF)
- Olympus (.ORF)
- Pentax (.PEF)
- Kodak (.DCR)
- Sony (.SRF)
- Minolta (.MRW)
- Fuji (.RAF)
New models supported include the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT (aka the 350D), Pentax *istDS, Konica/Minolta Maxxum7D (aka the Dynax 7D).
Find photos on external drives using Picasa. Simply go Tools > Folder Manager to choose whether Picasa should scan a connected external drive to find pictures. When you unplug and reconnect, Picasa will find your pictures instantly (with no scanning), and will also preserve your labels.