Backing Up

Shoebox lets you burn photos to CD or DVD, or add photos on discs burned in other programs. Shoebox remembers which discs each photo is on.

To save space on your hard disk, you can keep a "shrunk" version of each photo on your computer as a placeholder for the original photo on disc. If you insert a disc of photos, Shoebox will automatically display the original photos from that disc as you browse your catalog.

You can also backup photos to an external hard disk, while keeping a shrunk version of each photo on the internal disk. This solution allows laptop users to travel with all of their photos while saving space on their internal disk.

Burning Discs

You can burn the displayed photos to disc by choosing Photos Backup Burn Disc (⌘B). As a shortcut, you can also choose File Burn Photos to Disc.

You can burn photos whether you are browsing by folder, category, or search. If you do not want to burn all of the displayed photos, you can can select the photos you do not want to burn and choose Photos > Remove from List.

Shoebox will estimate how many CDs or DVDs you will need to burn the photos. When you click burn, you will be prompted to insert discs until all the photos have been burned. You can even use a mixture of CDs and DVDs.

You can enter a name for the first disc. If the first disc is called "Photos 1", the next disc will be called "Photos 2", etc.

You can choose to back up your Shoebox catalog. It will be added to the top level of the last disc. This is a convenient way to make sure that this important file is backed up periodically. If you're burning a disc for someone else, you may wish to uncheck this option.

You can choose to shrink photos after backing them up. Once the original photos have been burned to disc successfully, the copies on your hard disk will be shrunk to save space. If you don't want to shrink all the photos, you can shrink selected photos later.

Adding Discs

You can add a disc of photos by choosing or Photos Backup Add Disc. As a shortcut, you can also choose File Add Photos on Disc.

To copy all the photos to your computer, choose "Copy full-size photos to hard disk". Otherwise, a shrunk version of each photo will be created. You can always restore selected photos later.

If you're reading an existing backup disc and you don't want to add photos that you've since deleted, choose "Ignore photos that aren't in catalog". Shoebox will connect photos in your catalog to their copies on disc, but won't add any new photos to the catalog.

Shoebox creates a category for each disc in the "Backups" category. You can rename disc categories, and Shoebox will still be able to find the original photos. This may be necessary if some of your discs have the same name.

Backing Up to an External Disk

You can also backup photos to an external disk. Choose Photos Backup Backup to Folder, or click the Backup icon in the toolbar. Then choose a folder on an external disk where you would like to backup the photos. To backup more photos to the same folder, choose Backup to Recent Folder (⌥⌘B).

You can choose whether to shrink photos after they are backed up. You can also shrink selected photos later. Shoebox will display the original photo if your external hard disk is plugged in, otherwise it will display the shrunk photo. If you open a photo in an external editor or burn a photo to disc, Shoebox will also try to use the original photo.

Shrinking Photos

To save space on your hard disk, you can shrink photos that have been backed up to disc. Select some photos and choose Photos Backup Shrink (⌘\). You can also add a Shrink button to the toolbar.

In the Photos preferences, you can choose what resolution to shrink photos to. For example, if you shrink a 6.0 megapixel photo to 640 pixels, it will take up only about 10% of the space on disk but will still look fine on screen. Shoebox will not try to shrink photos that are already less than 200 KB.

You can also choose to only shrink photos rated less than a certain number of stars. This lets you save space by shrinking most photos, while preserving your best ones at the original resolution.

If you try to shrink some photos that aren't burned to disc, Shoebox will warn you. You can choose to skip the photos that aren't backed up (only shrinking the photos on disc), or shrink all the selected photos. You can turn off this warning in the Photos preferences. If you shrink a photo by accident, you use the Finder to recover the original photo from the Trash.

The Backups section of the Info window shows you which discs the selected photo is on. If you insert one of the discs, Shoebox will automatically display the original photo.

Restoring Original Photos

To restore the original, full-resolution version of a photo from disc, choose Photos Backup Restore Original (⌘/). If a disc containing the original is not in your computer, Shoebox will prompt you to insert it. If the selected photos are backed up to different discs, Shoebox will prompt you to insert discs until all photos have been restored.

You can also use this command to restore missing photos, which are indicated by a broken file icon.


You can use the Filter menu to find photos to burn or shrink. For example, to show photos that need to be burned, choose "Photos not on Disc". To find photos you can shrink, choose "Photos on Disc" and "Original Photos".

Sharing Photos

Burning a disc is an easy way to copy photos to a Shoebox catalog on another computer. When you burn a disc in one catalog and add the disc to another catalog, all the categories for the photos on the disc will be imported automatically. So if you give a disc to a friend, they won't have to recategorize each photo.