“Publish” in Jeffrey’s Export-to-PicasaWeb Lightroom Plugin

This page documents plugin version 20130611.238 as of June 11, 2013

This page describes the Publish aspect of my export-to-PicasaWeb plugin for Adobe Lightroom. The “normal export” portions of the plugin work in all versions of Lightroom from Lr 2 on, but its Publish features, described on this page, work only in Lr3.3 and later.

Warning: The idea behind Publish is simple enough, but if you hope to avoid unpleasant surprises, you must understand important details before getting started with it.

The premise is simple: drag a photo to a special collection in Lightroom, and voila, it's sent to PicasaWeb. From then on, changes that you make to the photo in Lightroom are automatically kept up to date in the copy at PicasaWeb.

Ah, but the devil is in the details...

First of all, Publish is an extra feature in addition to the “normal” export offered by Lightroom via this plugin (and earlier versions of this plugin all the way back to Lightroom 1). Publish allows you to set up an ongoing relationship between specific images in your Lightroom catalog and their appearance at PicasaWeb. This kind of ongoing relationship makes a lot of sense for some situations, while the normal export we've had since Lr1 makes more sense in others.

Here's a hint: if it's a situation where you'd consider setting up an export preset that you'd use via “File > Export with Preset”, Publish is worth a look.

Because Publish involves setting up an ongoing relationship, it's more complicated than simply firing off an export. The length of this document, which covers only Publish and assumes you're already familiar with normal export, attests to the extra complexity. But once the initial up-front fee has been paid with your time and attention, you'll reap the benefits from then on.

Generally speaking, Publish functionality is provided by a Publish Service Provider. Lightroom comes with a few publish service providers: the built-in “Hard Drive” provider, a bare-bones Flickr plugin and a Behance plugin. You can add additional publish service providers by installing appropriate plugins, such as my fuller-featured Flickr plugin and this PicasaWeb plugin. (I have plenty of other publish plugins available on my Lightroom Goodies page, and there may well be other Publish plugins available on Adobe's Lightroom Exchange site.)

After installing the PicasaWeb plugin, you
can configure your publish service

Before you can use Publish to send images to PicasaWeb, you must first configure the particulars about how the exports are to be done, such as deciding on the size and quality of the exported images, and the details about which account at PicasaWeb they should be sent to. This configuration, which you generally do only once, creates a Publish Service in your Lightroom catalog.

You can have multiple PicasaWeb publish services (all provided by the one plugin), but it makes sense for most people to have only one. However, if you have multiple accounts at PicasaWeb that you'd like to send images to with Publish, you'll need to configure multiple PicasaWeb publish services.

Important details about creating a publish service are covered below, but for the moment, let's wave our hand and say that the publish service has now been set up as you like.

After you've configured a publish service in your Lightroom catalog, it is represented in your Lightroom library as one or more publish collections, each holding the group of photos that are to be sent to a particular album in your PicasaWeb account. Just drag a new photo to it, press the “Publish” button, and the photo is rendered and uploaded to the associated album at PicasaWeb.

Several publish collections in a
PicasaWeb publish service

Just like regular Lightroom collections, a publish collection can be either a regular publish collection that holds whatever photos you manually add to it, or a smart publish collection whose list of photos is computed by some criteria that you set up (e.g. “all five-star photos taken this year”).

A published photo is a photo that's part of a publish collection. At any particular time, a published photo is in one of four publish states:

  1. New Photos to Publish — photos that have been added to the publish collection, but have not yet actually been sent to PicasaWeb. They'll be sent to PicasaWeb the next time you launch Publish (via the “Publish” button).

  2. Published Photos — photos that have been sent to PicasaWeb and have not been modified in your Lightroom catalog since.

  3. Modified Photos to Re-Publish — photos that have been sent to PicasaWeb, but which have been modified in Lightroom since. They will be re-sent to PicasaWeb the next time you launch a Publish action.

  4. Deleted Photos to Remove — NON_FACEBOOK { photos that have ostensibly been removed from the publish collection, but have not yet been removed from PicasaWeb. (Whether to actually remove a photo from PicasaWeb when it is removed from your publish collection is controlled by publish-service options, discussed below.) }

Segmented grid showing photos in a publish
collection in various states of Publish

When viewing a publish collection in Grid mode, you can see the photos partitioned into their various states in the segmented grid with headers as listed above (and illustrated in the screenshot at right).

You can add and remove photos from a normal publish collection as you like (and they are automatically added and removed from smart publish collections as per the criteria that you've set up), but nothing is actually done with them until you launch Publish, via the “Publish” button. The Publish button appears in the lower left of Lightroom, in place of the “Export” button, when viewing a publish collection, as in the screenshot at right.

There's also a “Publish” button in the upper right of the segmented grid.

When you actually launch a Publish action, Lightroom fires up an export under the hood, and photos are rendered as per the various settings configured when the publish service was created (the details of which follow in the next section of this document). As each photo is uploaded to PicasaWeb, it's moved to the “Published Photos” section. You can click on each segmented-grid section's header to expand and collapse it; if they're all collapsed you can watch their photo counts, shown at the right side of each segmented-grid header, update in real time.

Before creating a Publish Service to reflect an ongoing relationship we'd like to have between this Lightroom catalog and PicasaWeb, it's probably a good idea to make sure that any information about photos at PicasaWeb already in the catalog is correct, and that it has all the information about all the photos at PicasaWeb that it should.

These catalog-maintenance features are not specific to Publish, but particularly worthwhile before setting up a Publish Service (though you don't have to worry about this if you just want to play around with Publish to give it a try).

Of course, if you're new to PicasaWeb, you don't need to worry about this section at all.

The PicasaWeb maintenance has two general steps, followed by one Publish-specific step:

  1. Refresh — Refresh the per-photo PicasaWeb data already in the Lightroom catalog.

  2. Associate — Add per-photo PicasaWeb data for images in your catalog that are already at PicasaWeb that the catalog doesn't know about.

  3. Populate — Pre-populate Publish Collections with appropriate photos on a per-album basis, so that Publish reflects the current status at PicasaWeb.

Steps #1 and #2 generally need be done only once, and are discussed in this section. Step #3, Populate, might be done every time you create a new Publish Connection, and is discussed later in this document.

File > Plugin Extras > PicasaWeb Extras

Steps #1 and #2 are accomplished via the File > Plugin Extras > PicasaWeb Extras dialog, which is shown at right. The two items we're concerned with for the moment are highlighted by the red outline.

The maintenance items in this dialog work with the PicasaWeb account that the plugin has most recently worked with. If you work with multiple PicasaWeb accounts in Lightroom (or have not worked with any yet), you'll want to first visit the normal Export Dialog or a Publish Service's Edit Settings dialog to make sure you're authenticated to the PicasaWeb account you want to work with here. The account name is shown in the upper-left of the dialog, under the logo graphic.

The “Refresh All Remote Urls” item in the dialog looks at every photo in the catalog that already has PicasaWeb-related data, and confirms with PicasaWeb that the data is up to date, correcting it if it's not. This "correcting" includes marking a Published photo to be republished if its copy at PicasaWeb is found to have been deleted.

If you've got a lot of PicasaWeb/Lightroom history it might be a good idea to do this once, but otherwise, you probably need to do it only after making sweeping changes at PicasaWeb “out from under” Lightroom, such as doing mass deletions of photos at PicasaWeb, changing album names, etc.

Because this involves contacting PicasaWeb for every photo, be prepared that this step can take a long time if you have a lot of photos. But it's important to do at least once if you have PicasaWeb history in this catalog, because the next step, “Associate Images” needs the currently-correct URL of each photo at PicasaWeb to work.

Step #2 involves checking every photo at PicasaWeb against every photo in your catalog, finding and remembering pairings that Lightroom didn't already know about. This also generally needs to be done only once, and only if there are photos at PicasaWeb that you uploaded outside of Lightroom.

There is some risk in this step, due to the ramifications that could ensue from mistakenly pairing up the wrong Lightroom/PicasaWeb photos. When Lightroom thinks that a particular catalog photo is already represented at PicasaWeb, subsequent exports of the photo to PicasaWeb could result in replacing the copy (it thinks is) already there. All exports via Publish are “replace” exports, as are normal exports with the “replace” option turned on.

The danger, therefore, is in replacing the wrong photo, thereby unintentionally deleting the unlucky unrelated photo at PicasaWeb, and associating the new image with any comment history the unrelated image had accumulated.

You can have the plugin inspect photo dates and/or filenames for the pairings. Because of the risks, the plugin is very conservative about it:

  • Photos that share the same capture time are paired up when there's an exact one-to-one correspondence.

    If there are multiple photos taken at the same time at PicasaWeb, or in Lightroom, none of them are paired up. Times are compared down to the second, but not sub-second, which means that shots taken during a high-speed burst can not be paired up.

  • Photo filenames (without the filename extension) are compared, and if there's an exact one-to-one correspondence, they are paired up. If you change the name of the file during export to PicasaWeb, it makes no sense to attempt filename pairing, nor does it if most of your filenames are not unique.

This step can take a very long time. One test I did with 10,000 images in Lightroom and 5,000 at PicasaWeb took about three hours. At least it can now complete — plugin versions prior to July 2010 hit a Lightroom bug that often caused the process to essentially lock up, but with some pointers from Adobe, I think I've worked around that now.

Maintenance Step #3: Populating Images

This publish-specific step is covered below, beginning with the creation of a Publish Service...

Let's look in detail at configuring a publish service to export to your PicasaWeb account. Make sure that the PicasaWeb plugin is installed and enabled, then click on the “Set Up...” of the PicasaWeb header in Library's list of publish services.

This brings up the Lightroom Publishing Manager, a dialog that looks like a cross between the normal export dialog and the Plugin Manager...

Items show up in the list of Publish Services (highlighted in the upper left) when their plugin is installed and enabled in the Plugin Manager. Old Lr1 or Lr2 plugins won't provide this new feature, of course, but most of my “export to...” plugins, including PicasaWeb, do.

If any of the plugins you have installed provide export filters, they are listed in the middle-lower-left section of the Publishing Manager, just as they are in the normal export dialog. Lightroom does not come with any export filters built in, but they can add powerful features to your exports — both normal and publish — so it behooves you to know what's out there. Popular ones include my Metadata Wrangler for controlling exactly what metadata is included in exported copies, my geoencoding support shadow injecter for ensuring that the geoencoded location is properly included, and Tim Armes' LR/Mogrify plugin for advanced watermarking and image borders.

The main panel of the Publishing Manager shows the export/service settings for the Publish Service that's about to be created (an export-to-PicasaWeb service in the example above). Like the normal export dialog, it has numerous sections; let's look at them in detail....

The first section allows you to give your export service a name, so you can keep them straight if you have more than one.

If you have only one PicasaWeb account, you probably want to leave it at its default of “jf PicasaWeb”. It looks ugly in this dialog, but when left at its default it won't even be shown in the list of publish service in Library, as seen in the screenshots above. If you set your own name, such as “My PicasaWeb Stuff”, it shows up in the Library list as “jf PicasaWeb: My PicasaWeb Stuff”. So if you need just one PicasaWeb publish service, it's cleanest all around to just leave the name at its default. You can always change it later.

However, if you have multiple accounts, you'll want to name them, e.g. “PicasaWeb Work” for one and “PicasaWeb Play” for another.

The next section is where you authenticate to your PicasaWeb account. (Before starting the authentication, be sure that you are logged in to PicasaWeb in your system-default web browser, to the PicasaWeb account that you want to use with this Publish service.)

Once the publish service has been created, you can not change the associated account for the publish service, and this section becomes deactivated during a publish-service edit. (You can make another publish service for use with a different PicasaWeb account, or even for use with the same PicasaWeb account but with different export options.)

The next section is also available only at publish-service create time: setting the export location:

Most people leave the export-location setting at the default of “Temporary folder”, but you might set it to some specific named folder if you want to keep a local copy of all the images that have been published to PicasaWeb. Again, Lightroom does not allow this setting to be changed once the publish service has been created.

The next sections are all the same as in the standard Lightroom export dialog...

These settings, such as the image size and quality, can be changed later, but doing so means that you have to re-publish (re-render and re-upload) everything you'd already sent to PicasaWeb, at least if you want the setting changes to be reflected in the images already at PicasaWeb. More on this later, but it's best to pick the settings you want up front, so you don't have to change them later.

The next sections are for export filters you have installed and enabled, if any. Here's an example illustrating what some sections from Metadata Wrangler, Run Any Command, and LR/Mogrify might look like...

The blue rectangle marks Lightroom's controls for adjusting the order that the filters are applied, and for removing them altogether.

Each section can be opened to reveal the filter's particular settings, of course, but the filter details are not relevant to this overview about Publish, except to note that like the standard Lightroom settings (image size, etc.), changing these filter settings after a publish service has been established means that you have to republish everything if you want the changes to be reflected in images previously published to PicasaWeb.

Now we begin the PicasaWeb-specific sections. The first allows you to pick which existing albums at PicasaWeb you would like to appear in this particular publish service...

For each album at PicasaWeb, you can choose a normal collection, a smart collection, both, or neither.

The publish-collection version of a PicasaWeb album starts out empty, which is perfectly fine if the album at PicasaWeb is actually empty, or if you don't mind that the publish-service manifestation of the PicasaWeb album shows only images you add from here on in.

However, if you'd like the current collection of images in the PicasaWeb album to be reflected in the newly-created publish collection, it's a three-step process. The first two steps, discussed above in “First Things First: Knowing Your Current Vantage Point”, need be done only once per Lightroom catalog, but this third step should be done each time you create a new Publish Collection, at least if you want it to be populated to reflect images already at PicasaWeb.

By enabling the

Populate newly added normal (non-smart) collections from your PicasaWeb account

option (or clicking on the “repopulate now” links that appear when editing Publish settings), the plugin fetches the list of images for each album from PicasaWeb, finds the associated image in your Lightroom library (via the knowledge gleaned from steps #1 and #2), and adds it to the publish collection for you. As a bonus, it puts it into the "Published Photos" section, to reflect that it doesn't need an initial render and upload.

(If you had modified the photo in Lightroom after the earlier upload to PicasaWeb, those changes won't be reflected in the “published photo”, so you'll want to “Mark to Republish” those photos, via the thumbnail right-click context menu while viewing the photos in the publish collection.)

Unfortunately, limitations in Lightroom 3's publish architecture prohibit step 2 from being applied to smart publish collections, so photos that get computed into a smart publish collection must be rendered and uploaded to PicasaWeb, even if they already exist at PicasaWeb. If the smart collection has many initial images, this could require substantial time when you first publish it.

If you ask the plugin to create a smart publish collection, it does so with a dummy rule that matches no photos. Once it's been created and the publish-service dialog is dismissed, choose "Edit Smart Album" from the collection name context menu to replace the dummy rule with whatever rule or rules you want.

Do not attempt to create smart collections via the “Import Smart Collection Settings...” item in the Publish Service context menu. A bug in Lightroom causes this to create a corrupt publish collection, and the plugin infrastructure doesn't offer me a way to disable that menu item.

You can remove a publish collection from your publish service via the “Delete” item in the publish-connection name's context menu. Doing so does not remove the album or its photos from PicasaWeb: for such a major operation, please visit PicasaWeb directly.

Moving along to the next section, we have photo-deletion options:

The first option covers what happens when a photo is removed from a collection in this publish service, but still retained in the Lightroom catalog.

If you delete a photo from PicasaWeb, you can always upload it again, but all its “value add” at PicasaWeb will have been lost forever — comments, ratings, history, etc. — will be disassociated from the photo and lost. On the other hand, if you don't delete it at PicasaWeb, it's still there, which is perhaps not what you want if you're deleting it from a PicasaWeb-related publish collection.

I strongly recommend that you leave this option at “Ask” until you're so comfortable with the idea that photos at PicasaWeb will be deleted when you delete from a PicasaWeb-related publish collection that you become annoyed at the “Ask” dialog.

This automatic deletion is not something yet familiar in the Lightroom world, and just a bit of forgetfulness about these new things can lead to a very unpleasant sinking feeling.

Actually, to be clear, when a photo is removed from a PicasaWeb-related publish collection, it goes into the collection's “Deleted Photos to Remove” section, as mentioned above. It's only when you then initiate the Publish action on the collection that this option comes into effect, and that photo copies at PicasaWeb are deleted (if you've so instructed).

The second option covers the case where a photo that happens to be published via this service is deleted altogether from Lightroom. If you want to protect photos that have been published at PicasaWeb, choose “Disallow”.

For a more general way to protect images from deletion from the catalog, you might also want to consider my PhotoSafe plugin, which allows you to specify specific photos that can't be deleted from Lightroom, and/or rules describing the kinds of photos that can't be deleted (e.g. “all five-star photos”). You have to explicitly remove the restriction to remove a protected photo from the catalog, making it highly unlikely to do accidentally.

The next section configures various PicasaWeb-related metadata options, just as in a “normal” PicasaWeb export.

Phew !

Finally, you can press the “Save” button to create the publish service and the publish collections you selected.

You can edit the publish-service settings via the “Edit Settings...” item in the publish-service name's context menu. You can change all settings except the account at PicasaWeb and the export location, but there's a catch: if the change relates to something about how each image is exported and uploaded (such as the size or image quality, metadata settings, etc.) and you want those changes to be reflected in photos already at PicasaWeb, it won't happen magically: you'll have to republish them all.

Republishing can take a long time if you've got a lot of photos, and not all changes necessarily need to be reflected in every photo, so it is not done automatically.

If you want to republish all or some previously-published photos, select them in their various publish collections and invoke the context menu's “Mark to Republish” item.

If you have another PicasaWeb account you'd like to publish to, or you'd like to publish with different settings (e.g. your first PicasaWeb publish service had full size exports, but you'd like to be able to upload to some collections with smaller sizes), choose

Create Another Publish Service via “jf PicasaWeb”...

from the existing publish service's title context menu (where “Set Up...” had been before the first one was created.)

The following issues are inherent shortcomings in Lightroom's initial version of Publish, and apply to all publish services:

  • There's no way to tell which publish collections have photos awaiting action except by visiting each publish collection in turn and viewing the grid to see whether the “Publish” button is enabled or disabled.

  • There's no way to invoke publish on all your publish services in one go; the best you can do is address each publish service in turn, selecting all its published collections and then invoking Publish on them.

  • The photo-thumbnail “Go to Collection” context menu item does not list any kind of smart collection that the photo may be part of, including smart publish collections.

  • The use of undo with publish-related operations is likely to not work and perhaps even corrupt the publish parts of your catalog. Take care.

  • You can't import smart-collection settings to a publish smart collection; doing so creates a corrupt smart collection.

  • I have not tested export-to-catalog yet, but I would expect that Publish information does not go along with the images.

The 30 most-recent comments (out of 62; see all), most recent last...

When I try to associated images from my picasa web account it seems to miss a lot. I havent renamed anything, why would it do that?

It’s hit-n-miss, mostly due to limitations with the metadata matching between Lightroom and PicasaWeb, or missing metadata at the latter. It’s an unsatisfying situation to be sure. —Jeffrey

— comment by Kyle on April 5th, 2012 at 12:36am JST (10 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

I just noticed that this comment (#1 issue) seems to be the same as mine…
some photos are associated and populate collections in lightroom. but many are missing..

— comment by Kyle on April 5th, 2012 at 1:30am JST (10 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Jeff, thanks for the plugin! It would be great if we could make a “publish” just an attribute to an existing collection. That way one can maintain consistency between the collections names and the published collection names in your plugin. The picasaweb album would be created with the same name as the collection name. The current manual approach via “Edit Settings” works, but it’s a hassle. Am I misunderstanding how things are designed to work ?

You’re not misunderstanding, except that you can just go ahead and use a PicasaWeb publish collection as a regular collection as well, then your problem is solved, at least for ones you create from here on out. What you’d like to do (ascribe Publish attributes to a pre-existing collection) isn’t a crazy idea, but is not something Lightroom supports. —Jeffrey

— comment by PK on April 9th, 2012 at 5:54pm JST (10 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

First off, thanks for the great LR plugins! I’m using the Flickr, Metadata and Picassa versions and am very happy with all of them.

One question though as it relates to Picassa. I have a “smart” publishing setup to go to one particular album, which works perfectly, but a copy of the image is also put in the “Photos From Posts” album. I’d prefer for this to not happen. What did I miss in the plugin setup that’s causing this?
This is the first I’ve heard of this, and is not something the plugin is doing. Wouldn’t surprise me if Google add stuff like this from time to time. Perhaps find that album and make it private? —Jeffrey

— comment by Mark Sinderson on April 11th, 2012 at 8:06am JST (10 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

Like this plugin very much! Can you also use it to publish to a Google+ Page? Did not find anything pointing in that direction yet.


No, not yet, Google has not yet published a G+ API. —Jeffrey

— comment by HW on August 20th, 2012 at 6:13pm JST (9 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey, I’m looking for a way to sync back photo captions I wrote on picasaweb into Lightroom. Your picasaweb plug-in offers this functionality for the comments and I’m wondering how to do the same for the captions? Thanks and kind regards,
Thomas (Lille, France)

Sorry, it’s not possible. Lightroom is intended to be the master source for your photo stuff… if I could get the world’s population to enter their comments directly into your Lightroom, I would. 🙂 —Jeffrey

— comment by Thomas on August 27th, 2012 at 2:37am JST (9 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I have reached the limit of my free Picasa webalbums account, but since I have a Google+ account I should be able to continue to load images smaller than 2048 pixels as longest dimension. But, when I specify in the settings to resize the longest edge to 2000 pixels, I still receive an error stating that I have exceeded my data-storage quota.

What am I doing wrong?


What you suggest should work (it works for me… I’m currently over my limit as well, but continue to upload 2048-pixels-on-the-longest-side images). I can only suggest to doublecheck the settings (make sure it’s longest edge and not shortest edge, etc.) —Jeffrey

— comment by Rutger on October 24th, 2012 at 4:11am JST (9 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I am using your Plugin and Picasa – works great. One question: Is there a way to export captions (in my German language Picasaweb, it’s called “Bildunterschriften”) from Lightroom, e.g. from the Title or Caption metadata so they are visible with the picture?

The plugin offers ways to tell PicasaWeb what the caption should be, but if you want to actually write it ONTO the picture with a watermark, you can look at the Watermark section (which is from Lightroom… I never use it, so I don’t know what features it offers). If it doesn’t let you do what you want, check out the Mogrify plugin. —Jeffrey

— comment by Christoph on October 24th, 2012 at 8:57pm JST (9 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
I am using your plugin for a day now and it is fantastic. I don’t need to export my photo’s to jpg, sync them in Picasa en then do the upload. I can do it now directly from Lightroom. I only have some trouble with my large amount of photo’s. Ik want to upload maps with at least 500 photo’s and everytime I get this massage:

Debug 1205. ‘Unrevereable server error at Google. It returned a normal webpage instaed the proper API reply”
Do you know what I have to do?


Arend Jan Zwarteveen

They’re probably having “issues”… hopefully it goes away, but it could also be your ISP or even your local security software sticking its nose into things. You can send a log if you like, and I’ll take a look. —Jeffrey

— comment by Arend Jan Zwarteveen on November 1st, 2012 at 8:25am JST (9 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Appreciate your efforts Jeffrey, I am a heavy user.
Recently a problem developed. I deleted albums at Picasaweb (using Picasa), but these remain visible in Lightroom. I can find no way to re-synchronize. Also the list in the jfPicasa settings panel under “Albums in this publish service” behaves strange, it shows exactly the albums that are still there on Picasaweb, so did not show items from the list in Lightroom. The tick boxes in the panel show ticks next to “normal collection” but the ticks are greyed out and I cannot modify them. The tick boxes next to “smart” are still there. I have deleted the “ghost” albums in Lightroom, but this does not change the situation. Publishing a new album works fine still..
Any suggestion what to do?
rgds, Cees

I’m not sure I understand. Deleting the albums at Picasa won’t delete publish collections, but right clicking on them and choosing “Delete” should remove them from Lightroom. If you then refresh the list of albums, all traces of the deleted albums should be gone. If that’s not the case, after doing the refresh, send a log along with a note describing the problem, and I’ll take a look. —Jeffrey

— comment by Cees Wouda on November 9th, 2012 at 6:23pm JST (9 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

I upgraded to LR4 from 3. I am tyring to add photos from a Picasa Web album that I uploaded using another tool, into Lightroom’s Picasa Web publish, so that I can see what is already there. I tried repopulating, associating links refresh etc. to no avail.

How do I get photos already in an album in Picasa to appear in Lightroom’s Picasa plugin?

The one-by-one manual association (File > Plugin Extras > PicasaWeb Extras) may be your only hope. The automatic stuff is very fragile and often can’t work. —Jeffrey

— comment by Andrew on April 9th, 2013 at 5:34pm JST (9 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink


I’ve run into the cookie issue when trying to publish a collection to picasa. In your FAQ you mention deleting the collections and then using a “Claim” feature. Where is this feature? Can you explain this procedure in more detail? Thanks.

Oops, the FAQ used “Claim” incorrectly… it should be “Populate“. I’ve fixed it, thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve on May 5th, 2013 at 3:45am JST (9 years ago) comment permalink

I have been going through my collections and comparing them to my Picasa albums and finding in some cases that they aren’t matching up, mostly due to the Picasa albums being set up outside of LR. So I’ve gone through the manual match process to link the two. However, what I’ve found is that some photos will still not appear in the jf PicasaWeb collection. I’ve tried to clear the metadata for those photos and re-copy the URL’s and re-populate but they still won’t show up. I’m using LR5 and the latest plug-in.

After relinking (matching up photo in Lr and on PicasaWeb), you still need to “populate” (matching up photo with album). —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve on June 26th, 2013 at 5:24am JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Yes, as I mentioned in my original post, I did go through the populate step. However, these photos still do not show up. In one case, 47 of 49 of a Picasa album properly are reflected in a PicasaWeb collection after going through the manual match process but the other two will not, even through the URL’s have been set and reset and populated and repopulated multiple times. In another collection only 29 photos of 43 will show up.

Oops, sorry for not reading your first note carefully enough. After restarting Lightroom and doing the “repopulate” step, please send a log with a detailed note about what image (filename locally, url at PicasaWeb) didn’t get populated. —Jeffrey

— comment by Steve on June 27th, 2013 at 12:03am JST (8 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffery,
I’m looking for a way to publish albums directly to one of my google + pages that I manage without having them appear on my personal page. Is this possible?

Currently Google has no third-party access to Google+ except via PicasaWeb, so if you can access your pages via PicasaWeb albums, you can do what you want; otherwise, no. It’s sort of surprising that there’s no API yet, but I guess they don’t feel the need. —Jeffrey

— comment by Matt on August 1st, 2013 at 1:00pm JST (8 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Really like your picasaweb plugin. Use it on my desktop computer with no problems.

However, I’m installing LR5 and picasaweb20131106.251 on a new Lenovo 11s Windows 8.1 laptop and having some problems setting up my account. When I click the authenticate to picasaweb button, no link ever opens in my browser. I also do not have the username and password entry like your screenshot shows.

Can you help me out? Thanks!

Yikes, the username/password stuff changed some time ago… I guess I forgot to update the docs, sorry. I’ve removed that screenshot; thanks for the heads up. As for “no link pops up”, I’m guessing that the Lightroom’s URL handler is not installed properly… check out this FAQ for ideas. —Jeffrey

— comment by John on January 3rd, 2014 at 10:32pm JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Still having issues with the authenticating to picasaweb, and no link appearing. Tried reinstalling LR, now using the 20140204 version. Maybe a Windows 8 or permissions issue? Should I send a log?


— comment by John on March 26th, 2014 at 10:50pm JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
Got the authentication working. Needed to have the ‘default’ browser open already, rather than just any browser.


— comment by John on March 27th, 2014 at 1:39am JST (8 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

First of all, as everyone else has said… thanks for a great plugin.

I’m likely missing something very obvious, but I can’t figure out how to add a photo to a published collection after the first selection. I’ve been successful with selecting the photos I want and creating a new publish collection the first time … but after that I can’t figure out how to drag or add additional photos to that same collection for publication.

There’s no magic… it’s the same as with other collections. In grid, select what you want and click-n-drag one of the selected thumbnails onto the Publish Collection name. Of course, you can’t do this with a smart collection because its photo set is rule based. —Jeffrey

— comment by D Lewis on June 25th, 2014 at 10:47am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Thanks for the great plugin. Althugh I have a question on creating a smart collection. I am not able to create a new smart collection under the publish service, There is a message about a bug in Lightroom prevents from creating smart collection from context menu, however, this is working fine for the out-of-box flickr plugin. Any workaround to create a smart collection? This is critical for my work flow, as I always create smart collection from lightroom first, then publish to picasaweb.

You can create a smart collection from the Plugin Manager. In the list of your albums, there are checkboxes to create normal and smart collections. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tony on July 1st, 2014 at 9:30am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey

Thanks for a great lightroom plugin! A couple of questions..

1) Can album names be changed (post publish) either in Lightroom or in google+/picasweb
(I tried changing name in picasweb. The albums still appear linked but ‘visit album at picasaweb’ doesn’t appear to work anymore.)

2) How do I update images with watermark for associated images. (I was thinking of using this to identify unmatched images).

3) Any progress on adding Albums directly from lightroom?

Best Regards

After updating the name at PicasaWeb, visit the plugin settings and refresh the album list. The name in the list will then update in place, and you can enable the “forcefully rename…” option just below it. I don’t understand the Watermark question, but you can enable or disable Lightroom’s watermarking features as you see fit. You can add an album from the plugin via the “Create Album” context menu, or from the Publish/Export dialog. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tim on August 10th, 2014 at 11:07pm JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I have been manually uploading to PicasaWeb for a couple of years. I recently started using Lightroom and used jfPicasaWeb export a few times, but mostly I continued to upload manually (outside of Lightroom).

Today I decided to commit to the jfPicasaWeb publish service for ongoing uploading to Google+.

I followed all the directions above, making sure to Refresh and Associate before configuring the jfPicasaWeb publish service. I checked off eight albums. When I clicked SAVE, the publish-collections were populated. I was surprised that none of the collection counts matched the number of photos in the corresponding PicasaWeb albums. It was always a lower number (in two cases, zero).

I understand that automatic association has limitations, so I’m guessing that I need to go back to Extras and do the association manually. Is that what you recommend, or could it be another problem?

Thanks for your work!

It’s such a fragile (easy to not work) process that it doesn’t surprise me. If you can identify photos that didn’t appear in the collection for a gallery, but see that they are already associated to a Zenfolio image in the gallery, then I guess I’d like to see a a log of the population attempt (along with a note about exactly which photo didn’t show up). Thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by John Isner on August 24th, 2014 at 9:24am JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,
installed the new version of JF LR to picasaweb and cannot authenticate with my picasaweb account.
I granted access and the browser said: “Authentication successful…. please return to Lightroom. ” But then LR 5.6 says:
“PicasaWeb login aborted: Unrecoverable server error at Google (it returned a normal web page instead the proper API reply)”

What can I do?


A number of folks have reported this suddenly. I suspect a bad server at Google. Hopefully the problem will just go away sooner than later. —Jeffrey

— comment by martin jehnichen on August 26th, 2014 at 7:49pm JST (7 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink

I see this was asked before, but not answered: I have a few miss-associations (basically filename association fails with wrap-around dsc_xxxx counters). Is there a way to dissociate a single picture, so that I can retry with time only? Thanks!
Yup, see the “clear” option in the “File > Plugin Extras > PicasaWeb Extras” dialog. —Jeffrey

— comment by Iustin Pop on November 7th, 2014 at 6:49am JST (7 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Firstly, You are my hero. These plugins are amazing. You should be sainted.

Secondly, is there a way to configure this to upload to my Business Google+ page? You did an awesome job with the Facebook business page plugin, but I don’t see this option in the Picasaweb plugin. Perhaps I missed something, but this would be a widely used feature.

Humbly Thankful.

The plugin, like Google’s API, works only with PicasaWeb…. any overflow to Google+ is something done by Google outside the knowledge or control of the plugin. I have no experience with Google Business pages, but if you can get it linked to your personal PicasaWeb page (or maybe make a PicasaWeb account for your business?) perhaps it’s possible. —Jeffrey

— comment by Craig Adams on December 8th, 2014 at 8:42am JST (7 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

Hi. I’m in Richardson, Texas (across the street from Dallas). I installed Publish for Picasa last night and have been very pleased. Thank you!
I have encountered a problem though that may be easy to fix. Included in one of the collections that I uploaded are several video files. Publish gave me a message that the first one was over the maximum size that Picasa permits (the message included a size, I think 100M) and said it couldn’t do it an gave me an option to skip other files that are too big. Picasa does not have that size limit. After all the stills were uploaded I have manually uploaded all the videos that Publish says are waiting to be published. It works with out a problem. Perhaps Publish still has a limit built into it that has been invalid for some time now? The album with the videos is at https://picasaweb.google.com/111342677058865064270/PanamaAndCostaRica?authuser=0&feat=directlink

Sadly, it’s a Google limitation… see this FAQ. —Jeffrey

— comment by Bernie on March 6th, 2015 at 8:56am JST (7 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey. Just updated to lightroom 6 and also refreshed your picasweh plugin (ie donated). I’m now having trouble uploading new photos. I get google errors. eg Unrecoverable server error at google (it returned a normal web page instead the proper API Reply ) (sic) . Regards Tim

— comment by Tim on April 25th, 2015 at 1:16am JST (7 years ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey. I removed some .mov files from the smart album and it is now syncing to picasaweb. Is there no support for video files? Regards Tim

It should handle movies up to 100MB (even though they say up to 1GB, it’s only 100MB when using the 3rd-party API). If you can reproduce the error every time, I’d appreciate reproducing it once then sending the plugin log so I can take a look. Thanks. —Jeffrey

— comment by Tim on April 25th, 2015 at 1:29am JST (7 years ago) comment permalink

Hi, Jeffrey. Can you please add a tif file extension option for upload, as google photo seems to support it.

They might support it with their own uploader, but not via the API that the plugin has to use. —Jeffrey

— comment by Ivan Volodkovich on March 10th, 2016 at 2:00am JST (6 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Jeffrey, I have just installed and started using your plugin for LR Classic CC to PicasaWebAlbums/Google Photos.
I am wondering if you have developed anything similar for uploading to Ipernity, or perhaps have something in hte pipeline?

Try searching for “Iperniy” on the same page you downloaded the PicasaWeb plugin from. (And on that same PicasaWeb plugin page, read how Google abandoned PicasaWeb a year ago, so you’re not likely to have much luck with it.) —Jeffrey

— comment by James McNie on December 31st, 2017 at 3:10am JST (4 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink
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