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I use Picasa on my laptop to organize personal photo albums that I share with friends, and work photo albums that I use for project photos. I don't need any sort of heavy photo-editing software, so Picasa has worked great as a simple solution to organize my pictures.

However, I would like a separate installation of Picasa for each, corresponding to my separate personal and work Google accounts. This is for a whole list of reasons, for instance I don't want tags to be shared, and I don't want to accidentally open pictures of my friends drunk at a bar when I'm trying to show coworkers how my last engineering project turned out. You get the idea.

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All of the answers so far seem to be very manual and not worth the trouble. So I'm looking at options for another photo management program to do the trick. See… – NoCatharsis Feb 15 '10 at 18:44

There is an application for that: PicasaStarter. It allows you to create multiple separate Picasa databases (set of pictures, tags etc.) and to select which one will be used during Picasa start. You can create different shortcuts to start Picasa with different databases.

The software also allows sharing of a database between multiple users and it automates backup of the database.

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I'm not going to say the solution listed on picasa help is elegant. Sounds like they are missing a feature, but you could follow their suggestion then just write a batch file to automate the database copy. You could even make a 4 directional batch files so that you would never have to go through the clunky process again of rebuilding the databases, just update the export of the appropriate one. In other words after the 2 databases are built (though it isn't clear from the answer in the help, if this would indeed work. Nice thing is that if something gets messed up you can always just re-index the photos.

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How about using a virtual machine, with active shared folders, and adding the picture folder as a shared folder between the host and the guest?

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I'm not sure if I understand what you're saying here. Are you talking about sharing one folder between separate installations of Picasa? Because that's the opposite of what I'd like to do. But then I think I may be misunderstanding. – NoCatharsis Feb 15 '10 at 15:18

You can use separate Windows accounts.

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