Skip to main content
Workforce LibreTexts

8.7: Using the Built-In Photo Editor

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    The editor in Photos isn’t exactly incredible, but it can handle some light cropping and adjusting if nothing else is available. On the main interface, using the + and – buttons will zoom in and out, which can also be done with the mouse wheel (no Ctrl button necessary). Click and drag any part of the image to move it around or click the “Actual size” button (the box with corners in the lower-right) to see the whole photo maximized horizontally or vertically.

    The Crop and Rotate Tool

    The “Crop and rotate” button is the most prominent tool, as it’s visible always. Click it to open a dedicated cropping UI. You can click and drag the circles on the corner to manually select a cropping box or click the “Aspect ratio” button to choose a standard size. This is quite useful if you want your image to be viewed on semi-standardized devices, like a smartphone or TV (16:9), iPad (4:3), or a corporate projector (usually 4:3 as well). The “Flip” button will flip the image horizontally, but not vertically, and the “Rotate” button will spin it clockwise by 90 degrees. To get a non-square rotation, click the circle beside the right-hand menu and slide it up or down. When you’re finished, click “Done” to return to the full Edit interface. (How to geek, n.d.)

    The Enhance Tab

    Right below the Crop button is two tabs, “Enhance” and “Adjust.” Let’s look at Enhance first. The “Enhance your photo” tool is an all-in-one slider: click and drag the slider from left to right to apply automatically-selected filters to “enhance” the image, according to the Photo app. You can stop it at any point along the axis. Generally, this tool brightens up an image, smooths out shadows and highlights, makes a more ideal contrast, and just generally makes things look clearer. The rest of the “filters” on the Enhance tab work the same way: click one of the filters, then click the slider beneath “Enhance your photo” to apply the effect, with a left-to-right strength of 0 to 100. You can apply multiple effects by clicking on a new one and then adjusting the slider—rinse and repeat. When you’re done, click the “Adjust” tab. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    The Adjust Tab

    The controls for this page are similar, but you can adjust multiple factors at once. The “Light” sliders adjust the contrast, exposure, highlights, and shadows of the image, with the master “Light” slider being a combination of all four. The “Color” slider handles saturation, with 0 reducing the image to greyscale and 100 making it overly vibrant. More fine controls can be applied with the Tint and Warmth sliders. The separate “Clarity” slider will outline specific edges with darkened shadows or blend them into the background, and the “Vignette” slider will add a white (left) or black (right) vignette effect to the photo. Finally, the Red Eye tool will let you click on a subject’s eyes to remove the red glare from a camera flash, and the “Spot Fix” tool will let you click and drag around a specific area to obscure fine details. It’s good removing acne and other blemishes. (How to geek, n.d.)

    Saving Your Edits

    When you’ve edited your image to your liking, you have two options: “Save” will overwrite the original image file (not recommended), or “Save a copy” will let you save the edited version to a folder in Windows Explorer. The second is obviously better unless you’re sure you don’t want the original. At any time during editing, you can click “Undo all” to return to the original image and start over. (How to geek, n.d.)

    Editing Video Files

    To edit a video file, open it in the Photos app. You can do this right from File Explorer by right-clicking the video file, and then selecting Open With > Photos. The video will open and play in the Photos app. To edit the video, click “Edit & Create” on the toolbar. You’ll see a variety of video editing tools you can use. Click a tool to use it. For example, to cut a section out of a video, click “Trim” in the menu. To use the Trim tool, simply drag the two handles on the playback bar to select the portion of the video you want to keep. You can drag the blue pin icon to view what appears at that section in the video or click the play button to playback the selected section of the video. When you’re done, click “Save a Copy” to save a copy of the trimmed section of the video. To stop editing without saving your changes, click “Cancel” instead. The Photos app places the edited video in the same folder as the original with a similar filename. For example, we edited a video named Wildlife.mp4 and received a video file named WildlifeTrim.mp4. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    Draw Tool

    The “Draw” tool provides tools for drawing on a video. You can use a ballpoint pen, pencil, calligraphy pen, and eraser tools, and pick your favorite colors. Anything you draw appears smoothly on the screen during the video—as if you were drawing it—and then fades out and vanishes after a few seconds. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    How to Combine Videos, Add Text, and Apply 3D Effects

    To start creating a video project, you can click the “Create a Video with Text” or “Add 3D Effects” tool. You can also click the “Add to a Creation” button at the top left corner with a video open, and then click “New Video with Music.” You can also get started with a custom video project by launching the Photos app from your Start menu, and then clicking Create > Custom Video with Music on the app’s home page. The “Automatic video with music” option also lets you select your own photos or videos. The Photos app automatically combines them into a custom video for you. You’ll be prompted to add at least one video or photo to create a custom video. You can add photos to get a slideshow or combine photos with a video if you like. However, you can also just add one video to edit it, or more than one video to combine them. Whichever way you create a custom video project, you’ll end up on a screen with a project library, video preview, and storyboard pane. To add one or more videos (or photos) to your project, drag them from the project library to the storyboard. Click the “Add photos and videos” option under the Project library to add more videos to the library. You can then drag them to the storyboard. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    StoryBoard Pane

    Add a video and you’ll see some editing tools in the Storyboard pane. In addition to the standard Trim tool, you can resize a video with Resize, add visual filters with Filters, insert text with Text, apply motion effects with Motion, and insert 3D effects with 3D Effects. Even if you just want to edit a single video, you can add just that video to your project, use the various editing tools, and then export the video to a new file. Or, if you want to combine videos, you can insert them into the storyboard and edit them together. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    Editing Tools

    The editing tools are self-explanatory. The Trim tool works similarly to the Trim tool you see when editing an individual video. The Resize tool can remove black bars from a video, which is important if you’re combining multiple videos with different aspect ratios into a single project. The Filters tool offers a variety of filters—everything from Sepia to Pixel. The Text tool provides different styles and layouts of animated text that you can place at different locations in the video. The Motion tool lets you choose different styles of camera motion for the video or photo. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    3d Effects

    (How to Geek, n.d.)The 3D Effects tool provides a library of 3D effects you can apply to the video: everything from autumn leaves and winter snowflakes to explosions, fires, and lightning bolts. You can apply one or more 3D effects, and each one has different options you can use to customize it. Some 3D effects must be placed somewhere in the scene, while others apply to the entire scene. In the Storyboard pane, you can click the speaker icon to select a volume level for each individual video. This is useful if you’re combining multiple videos and one is louder than the others. Rather than customizing each individual option yourself, the “Themes” option on the top bar of the window lets you choose different themes. This will choose filters, music, and text styles that work together—complete with preview videos that show you how they will look. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    Applying Music

    To apply music to a video, click the “Music” button on the top bar. The Photos app includes a few music options you can choose from. You can also select “Your Music” to insert a custom music file. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    Aspect Ratio

    There’s also an “Aspect Ratio” button on the toolbar. You can use it to switch between different landscape and portrait orientations for your video. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    Exporting/Sharing Video Files

    When you’re done, click “Export or Share” to export your video project to a file. You can also click the “Add to Cloud” button if you want to upload your video project to Microsoft’s cloud. You can then resume editing it on the Photos app on another PC you’ve signed in to with the same Microsoft account. Your video projects will appear under “Video Projects” when you launch the Photos app. The Photos app exports the video and tells you where it’s saved on your PC. The Photos app placed the video in the Pictures\Exported Videos folder on our PC. While this isn’t the most powerful video editor you can get on Windows, it’s surprisingly capable, included on all Windows 10 PCs, and can do a lot of the basics with a simple interface. (How to Geek, n.d.)

    This page titled 8.7: Using the Built-In Photo Editor is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Nick Heisserer (Minnesota State Opendora) .

    • Was this article helpful?