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How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs

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How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 3/9/09 11:53 AM
After much trying, a friend figured out a relatively easy way to upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums without them turing into JPGs. For those who don't know, any sort of bulk uploading will not work, nor can you upload them from the Picasa program on your computer. Here's how to do it:

1.) Don't bother having the Picasa program open on your computer, but do make sure you have tweaked it to recognize all the file types it can - especially PNGs - and have it always scan all your picture folders for contents. (see instructions for Picasa program settings elsewhere here in the help files)
2.) Go to the Picasa Album website and log in.
3.) Go to your albums directory page.
4.) Click on the the "upload" link (a little square box with a plus sign in it) near the top of the page.
5.) Pick either an existing album or "create a new one".
6.) When you are ready to upload, DO NOT use the default "Upload Control" box that you can normally drag a bunch of JPGs into. Look instead for the link on the right-hand side of the page that says "Basic Uploader" and click on it.
7.) In the first "browse" box, navigate to the ONE PNG file you want to upload.
Once you have that ONE item selected, click on "start upload".
8.) When it has uploaded, start over at step #3, above.

Any other method tried has resulted in the PNG file being turned into JPG.

Really, that is the above is the only straightforward way it can be done. Another person posted a help tip some time back that said one must upload from a Blogger account, with a complex explanation. I feel this is a much better work-around.

Thanks to my friend Wenchie for working this out!2009-10-18

EDITED TO ADD: One must be using Internet Explorer NOT Firefox for this method (see discussion in other comments below) - Patty P

Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs nuvolari 4/1/09 2:43 AM
Have tried to do this but as of December 08, when click on the UPLOAD link on this page. None of my albums show up. If use Internet Exlporer, comes up with errors on the page. If use Firefox, page is just blank.

I have another Picasa web Album account and it works fine from this one. Tried to contact Picasa Tech Support but they do not seem interested in resolving this. I understand quite a few other users are encountering this problem.
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs tom.ohaver 4/1/09 6:06 AM
I tried this and it works, for both PNG and GIF file types, but not for TIFF.  Interesting.  I guess since Picasa is primarily a photo, rather than an image, tool, it focuses on JPG format, perhaps a little to singlemindedly.  
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 4/2/09 10:37 AM
Tom, thanks so much for your input! I was hoping someone else would confirm this method would work for them too. Sorry, I have no solution for TIFF uploads. That's not a format I use, so haven't tried to find a work-around. Yes, it does seem that Picasa's makers lean heavily in the photo direction, not images in general. I belong to a small circle of friends who are sharing PNG cut-out graphics for art work, along with JPG backgrounds to place them on. Uploading JPGs is a snap. Not the other stuff, obviously. We have to convert all PSDs to PNGs to share since Picasa doesn't support PSDs. PITA!

Nuvolari, I don't think I have a helpful answer for you. The only time that happens to me is when I sign in with the wrong email account. I have eight email accounts for various purposes and occasionally (accidentally) sign on with the wrong one to access Picasa, and there are no albums, giving me a fright! If you have multiple email addresses, I would try each one and see if possibly the albums are under another ID. If it is possibly under another email ID, but you don't know what the password is, you could use the "I cannot access my acount" on the log in page and submit each of your email addresses. You will probably get responses saying most of the emails are not registered with Google, but one may give a positive result if you are mistaken about which acount the pictures were under. If the pics in the missing albums are all JPGs, and you have them on your hard drive, it would just be easier maybe to drag them all into the account that is working. Good luck!

Patty P
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs gdsst 6/23/09 11:35 PM
where is the basic uploader link? can't find it
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Onion Zwiebel 6/24/09 1:47 AM
I don't see a Basic Uploader link either. I think the website has changed since Patty posted in March.

This page doesn't seem to be correct either: http://picasa.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=39499
Step 4 says "Once you create a new album or select an existing album, you can select the photos you'd like to upload. Depending on the browser you're using, there are a two options: the 'Basic Uploader' and the 'Upload Control.'"

In Firefox, I don't see any words that say Basic Uploader. But I do see a place to upload 5 photos by clicking the Browse buttons.
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 6/26/09 7:59 AM
I was using Internet Explorer when I first posted the info. Firefox will not show the BULK uploader. There is a Firefox add-on here:
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1419 that installs a tab that will allow you to use IE in a Firefox session. A friend swears by it, but I can't guarantee it doesn't contain malware. I will be switching to IE manually when I want to bulk upload.

The link to both the BASIC Picasa uploader (that only shows five individual slots) and the BULK uploader (one can drag multiple files into the window) are arrived at from your main album page, where it shows the thumbnails representing each album.  Above the thumbnail section in the middle is a small rectangle that says "Upload" and has a plus (+) sign. Click there.

Then you either click on an existing album's name in blue or the blue words "create a new album" above the albums. One you have indicated which album, the basic uploader appears, with five slots. You can upload up to five PNGs but must browse and add each individually, then you can upload all five.  


Now, when you are using IE, (if I remember correctly) if you look at the upper right, you will see blue words saying something like "use bulk uploader". It may say something more general like "use another method". (Can you tell I'm answering this in Firefox and can't see it, snicker?) Clicking on that link will change the screen to the bulk uploader.

So, in conclusion, you must use the BASIC 5-slot uploader to upload PNGs, whether in Firefox or Internet Explorer.
To BULK upload, you must use IE, or use a Firefox add-on that will run IE under Firefox.

There is more than one add-on for Firefox with IE in the name (I just did a quick search). I found out about the Firefox problem only yesterday and have not investigated the IE add-ons for Firefox.

I hope this info helps!
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Paul in Maryland 10/17/09 1:49 PM
I wish I could upload a video directly within PicasaWeb. As far as I know, the only way to do so is to use Picasa, a program I avoid because I find its workflow so clumsy. Even the Firefox plugin FireUploader can upload still images only. Has anyone found an alternative way to upload a video to PicasaWeb?
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 10/18/09 6:53 AM
Paul, Sorry I cannot be of any help on uploading video files to Picasa. I hope someone here can. Maybe a separate post (new thread) might get more results?
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs dlp454 4/27/10 8:17 AM
I was just able to follow these directions.  I use Firefox, but just opened in IE and uploaded one png that was 5.5 gig.  It appears to have worked fine.
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs SunshineCowgill 5/17/10 8:24 PM
Hi - I have tried uploading my image with transparent background both as a .gif and as a .png, using the basic uploader, but I always get a white background, no transparency.  When I use the other uploaders, it converts it to a .jpg and makes the background black.  Isn't there any way to get an image in there with transparency?
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 5/18/10 10:56 AM
Sunshine, when you upload a PNG (I do not know about GIFs) with a transparent background as I have explained above, the PNG should load with a HIDDEN transparency. On the Picasa website, the PNG will display with white around it even if the background is transparent and look exactly the same as if you had uploaded a JPG. One can only truly verify that is actually has a transparent background (after uploading it) by clicking on the download button, saving it again to one's system and opening it in a graphics program to see. The Picasa site does preserve the transparency when it is uploaded as I describe, but cannot display the fact that the background IS transparent, so it will look exactly the same as a JPG with a white background.

Does that solve it for you? If not, let me know.
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs SunshineCowgill 5/18/10 11:55 AM
Hi, Patty.  Thanks for your reply - but that's not how it is.  The backgrounds are not transparent.  When I upload a .gif, it shows up with a black background, and that background persists when I use the image on my blog.  When I upload a .png, it shows up with a white background, and that background color persists when I use the image on my blog.  So I have a green background, with a white thing on top of it, the green does not show through the part where it should be transparent.  I have tried using the "regular" and "basic" uploaders to get the images in there.
http://lh3.ggpht.com/_VIblNCAJpFY/S_Lhi3p5qvI/AAAAAAAAAdM/gyGuHc8Hmic/s800/navbartop.png
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_VIblNCAJpFY/S_LhjMU2f0I/AAAAAAAAAdQ/dOoJqDeP4Rg/s800/navbartop.gif
(Now that I'm using the basic uploader, the .gif has a white background.)
Please see my blog here for the two examples:  http://gardenannex.blogspot.com/.  The bar at the top is hosted on photobucket and it's a .png.  The next one down is a .png uploaded to picasa using the basic uploader.  The last one down is a .gif hosted on picasa.

Thanks for checking it out!
Sunshine
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 5/18/10 9:29 PM
By the "bar at the top" I assume you mean the text bar? Okay, yes I see the PB one  displays fine. Well, the first thing I can say is that Picasa is not a picture "host" for hotlinking (remote hosting of items to display elsewhere) pictures to blogs, websites or other locations, and Photobucket is. Picasa is supposed to be a gallery of pictures to share for downloading, not a host for linking images to websites. That is the source of your difficulty. Just because you can upload a picture to a site does not mean it can be linked to other websites and properly display.

Most importantly, when a PNG is displayed in a Picasa gallery online, the picture you see displayed in the gallery is NOT the PNG. Trying to save that "display" picture, you will get a JPG. It only represents the PNG file that one can download. The ACTUAL PNG file can only be gotten by clicking "download". So you are linking to the visual representation of the PNG file (which is  actually a JPG Picasa makes to represent the file to be downloaded), the "preview" that Picasa displays, not the actual PNG file you uploaded earlier.  

So, do not use Picasa as the picture "host" that it is not. As I suggested earlier, try downloading the PNG file (with the transparent background you uploaded earlier) from the Picasa gallery by clicking on "download". Save it to your system. Open it in Photoshop and you should see, yes, it is transparent. But that is not the file you are linking to on your web page! The one you are linking to your webpage is the "preview" of the PNG file. Using Picasa, you cannot link to the PNG and have it display on a website.

So the main problem you are having is that Picasa is not a picture host and will not work properly as one. It is even possible that the Picasa site has software to detect hotlinking and it may sever the connection to any graphics being linked to in that fashion since that is not how the Picasa site is supposed to be used.

Move the pictures you want to use on your web page to PhotoBucket, Image Shack, a Live Journal "scrapbook" or other picture host that allows hotlinking. Most ordinary sites that allow you to upload pictures (Flickr, Picasa, more) do not allow hotlinking and are not set up for it.

I hope that helps. Just remember there are two basic kind of pictures sites - ones that work as hosts and ones that don't.

Let me know if you have more questions.
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 5/18/10 9:32 PM
The GIF files probably display in the same way - you see a JPG with a black background representing it, but the GIF can only be gotten to by clicking "download.
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs SunshineCowgill 5/18/10 10:04 PM
Thanks, Patty.  Well, that is definitely very interesting information.  I am using the pictures on my Blogger.com blog, which is directly owned/linked to/whatever to Picasa.  When we add an image to our blog, the place the image is always stored is Picasa web albums and nowhere else.  If one wants to use a different host, such as Photobucket or other private webhost, one must go to the extra effort to host the picture there and then use the address from that other site (as I did).  

It was my impression that Picasa was part of Blogger and that we were supposed to be using it as the place to put our pictures, since that is where our header and blog post images are automatically stored.  Is this not the case?  Truthfully, I have never understood completely how Picasa works, and would probably not have chosen it except that it was chosen for me by Blogger.com.  It took me some time to figure out where Blogger was storing my pictures, as I wanted to erase duplicates and couldn't find out where they were, so this was not a choice I made to start with.  Once I figured out how to access the pictures, I deleted the duplicates and continued to use Picasa as storage for images in the sidebars and widgets on my blog, since it seemed to be the default location and I thought it best to have all the pictures stored on Blogger/Picasa so that the reader wouldn't get security alerts when viewing the blog.  Is this not the right thing to do?  

Obviously, from this point I'll have to use another host for any transparent images, but should I be using Picasa/Blogger to host my Blogger pictures?
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 5/19/10 2:35 AM
Sunshine,  I am not familiar with Blogger and did not know about it's relationship with Picasa. It is apparent to me now then that Google expects a certain amount of hotlinking using Picasa. However, Google Picasa has always seemed to have an assumption that most images people use "should be" JPGs and sounds like that assumption carries over to it's connection to Blogger. I am not Google Picasa staff, just an individual who has found a workable way to upload PNGs, and wanted to share that info with individuals who share graphics with their online friends. I have been happy to help anyone with a question though, and I think we both learned something in the process!

Personally, I use Photobucket for various graphics and Live Journal for my artwork and find both so easy to use, but your mileage may vary. It matters not where you host your pictures as long as the site allows the linking and is dependably "up" all the time, and whether you are using material copyrighted to someone else since PB will remove any it finds.

Either of the two hosts I use have security measures so a viewer can't go look to see where your pics are hosted and go look at your whole gallery. I use Live Journal only because I am active in art groups there and a paid account gets me plenty of extra storage.

I have a paid account in Picasa so I can upload multiple galleries whole folders of source pictures for photo manipulations (like 400 to 500 pics in each folder)  to share with my small circle of online art friends. My friends who have the Picasa software installed on their systems can click and download entire folders of my uploads here without having to download each picture one at a time Picasa is the only place I know with that feature (other than using a zip in a file sharing service where the viewer cannot look at the pictures first). When we want to share PNGs though, the work is more tedious. We knew others sharing PNG resources were having a problem getting them uploaded here so we shared our method for doing so.

I hope that gives you the info so you can understand why I can't answer your questions about Blogger. I hope I have been of help.
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs SunshineCowgill 5/19/10 10:09 AM
Thanks so much, Patty!  Yes, that helps a lot and that's great advice.  Thanks for the tip about Live Journal too and other hosts!  The basic uploader is something I would never have noticed if it weren't for the comments here, and that's helpful too.  :)
Re: How to Upload PNG files to Picasa Web Albums so they don't turn into JPGs Patty P 5/20/10 2:54 PM
I'm glad to be of help!