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I have a number of users who are uploading large quantities of pictures into a picture library. The other users are unable to see the pictures that have been uploaded because they are remaining "checked out". Is there a way to force the pictures to always be uploaded checked-in by default?

I don't know if they're using the "Upload Multiple Pictures" feature or the "View in Windows Explorer feature" (and would rather not enforce them to use just one).

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Not sure if i understood you correctly, but do you want to disable checkin/check out all together?

List Settings -> Version settings -> Require Check Out = No

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It seems that the pictures no longer require "check-in" now that I removed the "Require that this column contains information" constraint(s) from the required fields of the Picture Library. Previously I had a single required field that referenced which item, on another list, the picture(s) were referring.

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