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One of the reasons I moved from iPhoto to Aperture was the ease with which I could view multiple images side-by-side at any zoom level for comparing shots. In the "Viewer" mode, as opposed to many-image "Browser", it's a simple matter of cmd-clicking or shift-clicking new pictures to present them on screen. This is fantastic, even if it leads me down the dark path to pixel-peeping, and I use it frequently.

However, what I don't know is how to keep actions from then applying to all photos in the multiple view. For a very common example, if I'm looking at three images and choose one to keep, two to discard, I don't know how to do that without recording which three images I was looking at, getting out of the multiple view, navigating to each one to score it individually.

It doesn't seem like this should be necessary. There's a concept of "current selected image" even when multiple are on the screen. But why do ratings apply to all? Worse yet, if I say "reset adjustments", how can I get the adjustments reset only on one image and not all?

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    I think the "primary only" button is what you are looking for; see, e.g., dpnotes.com/apple-aperture-3 and photo.rwboyer.com/2010/03/25/… for more information. – Jukka Suomela May 23 '12 at 22:42
  • @Jukka, that's it - thank you! I was looking at that just the other day, but I didn't notice that toggling it changed how images were outlined on screen. Perfect! I'm afraid I can't select a comment as the correct answer, but if you answer-ize this, I'll do it. =) – Michael H. May 24 '12 at 19:12
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As Jukka mentions in a comment, you can use the "Primary only" button:

Primary Only

This button is located just below the bottom-right of the main viewer window.

This ensures that any amendments are only done to the image you have selected (with a grey border). I've tested this and it works fine for me in Aperture 3.

  • Yes! I was trying to figure out what that was for the same day I posted this question. – Michael H. May 24 '12 at 19:11

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