Can’t change Text Alignment in iPhoto

iPhoto '09Description:

In iPhoto ’08 or iPhoto ’09 you are creating a calendar, album, photo book or postcard and want to change the alignment of some text like say on one of the captions and there is no buttons or menu options to change the text from say centered to left justified or right justified.


Even the ‘Show Fonts’ dialog box doesn’t have a way of aligning the text.


Have a look at the sample in the screenshot of ‘My Photo Book’ down the page a bit to see what I mean.



  • You created a photo book/photo album in iPhoto and discover that the text alignment beneath the photos cannot be changed to the way you want.
  • You created a calendar in iPhoto and cannot adjust the alignment of the text for the calendar title, subtitle or author on the front page
  • You created a postcard in iPhoto and cannot change the alignment of the text that will appear inside the postcard such as the title and your greetings.



The world knows at this stage that Apple make some great products and iPhoto is one of them, especially for the casual point ‘n shoot photo maniac so why deny the user as simple a task as aligning the text on their special photo projects?  It’s a mystery.

The fact is, the option to align text doesn’t exist in iPhoto’s Projects so we have to find another way of doing it.  Read on.

iPhoto Photo Book Album
Screenshot of iPhoto ’08 Photo Book with title text aligned right


Solution – Align the text in another program

  1. In iPhoto, create your photo project as normal (i.e. your album, postcard, calendar or photo book)
  2. When you come across a piece of text or caption that you want to change the alignment of do the following:
    1. Select/highlight the text with your mouse
    2. Press CMD+X to cut the text to clipboard
    3. Open TextEdit or another preferred editor capable of editing rich text such as Word, Pages, NeoOffice, etc. In this example, I’m using TextEdit.
    4. Make sure TextEdit is set to Rich Text Editing.  This is evident by the toolbar at the top as shown in the screenshot below.
    5. If you can see the toolbar for editing text then it’s set to Rich Text.  If you can’t see the toolbar then click Format menu > Make Rich Text
    6. TextEdit Set To Rich Text Mode

    7. Now press CMD+V or click Edit > Paste to paste the contents of your clipboard into TextEdit
    8. On the toolbar, click the alignment button of your choice; left, right, centered or fully justified
    9. When the text is aligned as you would like it, highlight/select all the text again
    10. Press CMD+X to cut the text to your clipboard
    11. Open your project in iPhoto again
    12. Click into the area where you originally cut the text from within your project
    13. Press CMD+V to paste the text
    14. iPhoto Photo Book With Caption Aligned Center

    15. Now your caption should be aligned as you want it.  As you can see from my screenshot above.  I’ve aligned mine in the center.


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    • kit – that’s what I’m doing, aligning with spaces – does it hold the spaces when it goes to print? just a bit worried – it’s a history of my grandparents w/ 300 photos and family will be purchasing. I will do a trial print first, but don’t want to spend $100 unnecessarily! thanks.

      • Hi Lynn,

        I’m pretty certain that the PDF the trial print produces is identical and is in fact what gets uploaded to Apple for printing so if it looks well there then it will look the part when printed.


  1. YAY! Thanks – The pdf trial looks great. I have struggled with the fact that I can’t caption per-photo in iphoto and from what I can tell, Mypublisher (expensive) is the only provider for this luxury. With space alignment the captions can fall below the photos line per line – it looks good and reads well.

  2. Amazing that I am writing this at the end of 2011 and the Droids at Apple STILL have not corrected a deficiency as significant as this. Just another reason to consider going back to the security hassles of Microsoft. If it is not mainstream Apple then do not expect any solutions!!