Windows Photo Viewer and the Pictures library in Windows 7

Windows Photo Viewer is a feature in Windows that you can use to view and print your digital pictures.

Windows Photo Viewer

Windows Photo Viewer is designed to be used with the Pictures library, the main storage location for pictures on your computer. Any pictures in the Pictures library—which includes those you’ve imported—appear in Photo Viewer. To open the Pictures library, click the Start button , and then click Pictures.

Windows Pictures library

The Pictures Library

Windows Photo Viewer and the Pictures library can do some of the same things. For example, you can view pictures, print pictures, and see a slide show of your pictures from either the Pictures library or Photo Viewer. So, which one should you use?

In general, the Pictures library is the best place to find and organize your pictures. The Picture library lets you see all of your pictures in one place and makes it easy to view them by date, tag, and other criteria. Using Windows Photo Viewer, you can rotate pictures, zoom in, view pictures at full size and view your pictures as a slide show.

Add tags to pictures

You can use the Pictures library to add tags to your pictures—meaningful words or phrases that describe who or what is in the picture and where the picture was taken. Tagging your pictures makes them much easier to find in the future, because you can easily display all pictures that have a particular tag.

If adding tags to every picture sounds time-consuming, don’t worry—you can add tags to a whole batch of pictures at once. For example, you could add a "Birthdays" tag to 20 or 30 pictures of a birthday party. To add tags to pictures, follow these steps:

  1. In the Pictures library, select the pictures that you want to tag. To select more than one picture, hold down the Ctrl key while you click the pictures.

  2. In the Details pane, click Add a tag, type the name of the tag in the box, and then press Enter. The tag is added to all of the selected pictures. You can add as many tags as you want.

Try to get in the habit of tagging your pictures immediately after you import them. That way, you won’t end up with a backlog of pictures that need to be tagged.