Each Shoebox catalog has a "Pictures folder" where most of its photos are stored. The default is ~/Pictures, but you can choose a different folder in the Catalog preferences. Regardless of your choice, catalogs can include photos in any folder. (Keeping all your photos in the chosen pictures folder make it easier to move them to a different disk or computer later.)
Photos are added to the catalog whenever you add them to a category. Browse to a folder, select a photo, and add it to a category.
If you add photos in this way, you'll probably want to categorize them by date. Photos imported using the methods below will automatically be added to a date category.
Adding Photos in a Folder
Choose File ▶ Add Photos in Folder to add all the photos in a given folder to the catalog.
If you choose "Make categories for all subfolders", you can leverage the time you've already spent organizing your photos in the Finder. Categories matching the subfolders in the chosen folder will be created inside the "Imported" category.
If you choose "Copy photos to Shoebox folder", all the photos will be copied to the Shoebox folder and organized by date. For example, a photo created on February 25, 2005 would be copied to ~/Pictures/Shoebox/2005/02/25. Or you can leave the pictures right where they are—the choice is yours.
If you choose "Create thumbnails", Shoebox will create custom icon previews for all photos that don't already have them. Otherwise, thumbnails can be created as you view photos in thumbnail mode.
Adding Photos on a Disc
Shoebox can catalog photos on CD and DVD. You can browse your entire photo collection just as if it were all on your computer.
Choose File ▶ Add Photos on Disc to add all the photos on a disc to your catalog. You can choose whether to create a "shrunk" version of each photo on your hard disk, or to copy the original photo.
Downloading from a Camera
Choose File ▶ Download from Camera to download photos from a camera. This is the same as choosing Browse ▶ by Camera.
Importing from iPhoto
If you choose File ▶ Import from iPhoto, all your pictures from iPhoto will be added to the catalog. Categories will be created for all of your albums and keywords in the "Imported" category. Your ratings will be preserved as well.
Importing from Cumulus
You can import photos and categories from Canto Cumulus. First, create a Cumulus record export (.cre) file for the photos you would like to import. Choose File ▶ Import from Cumulus, and select the record export. (You can also drag the record export to the Shoebox icon.) The exported photos will be added to the appropriate categories in Shoebox.
To remove the selected photos from the catalog, choose Photos ▶ Remove from Catalog.
To delete photos, choose Photos ▶ Move to Trash. If you don't want Shoebox to warn you every time, uncheck the "Warn before moving to Trash" checkbox in Photos preferences.