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PICTHELP.V8

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PICTHELP.V8

 

Saving Inventory and Repair Picture Files

=========================================

 

[please note that the standard Shopkeeper backup does *NOT*

backup pictures. Occasionally backup the INVPICT folder to

a CD or DVD and check that the pictures are on there.]

 

The picture importing procedure has been significantly speeded up

in Shopkeeper 9.7 and above, but nearly all previous versions

also have the ability to add pictures.

 

Instructions for saving inventory picture files. This feature works

with the Shop-Pro version of the Jewelry Shopkeeper 8.2 and higher.

For notes on equipment - go to the end of this document

 

   Make a Folder for the Pictures

   ------------------------------

1)   Make a folder for the picture files called INVPICT (from the root

   directory of the drive where Shop-Pro is installed) An easy way to

   do this is to open the COMMAND MENU using the JS-MENU icon, then at

   the black and white screen with the Enter Your Choice-> prompt type:

       MD \INVPICT       and press <Enter>

   or, from Windows, open My Computer, then open the drive where

   Shop-Pro lives, then at the top of that window choose File,

   New, Folder. Then rename the new folder as INVPICT

 

   Please note that this INVPICT folder is NOT contained inside

   the COMPLINK.JS folder

 

   Select a Filename for the Pictures

   ----------------------------------

2)   Determine the filename for each inventory item's picture file.

   The file name is usually the SKU number of the item, but

   without the '-' in the middle and with '.JPG' (or .GIF or

   .TGA or .TIF or .BMP   Also replace the .JPG file extension

   noted below) added to the end.

   If the major class code of the item is one digit wide, add

   two '0's (zeros) before the filename. If the major class

   code of the item is only two digits wide, add one '0' before

   the filename.

   For example, the picture for the SKU number 121-10201 should

   be saved with the filename \INVPICT\12110201.JPG  The

   picture for the sku number 3-00211 should be saved with the

   filename \INVPICT\00300211.JPG  The picture for the SKU

   number 22-10233 should be saved with the filename

   \INVPICT\02210233.JPG

 

   Note: If your major codes have letter equivalents such as LGE

   for major code 150 Ladies Gold Earrings - the picture filename

   that you use needs to contain the numbers NOT the letters - e.g.

   15010001.JPG not LGE10001.JPG

 

   Note: *sometimes* a photo program or Windows will automatically add

   a filename ending of .jpg or .gif at the end of the filename. So,

   if Shop-Pro doesn't seem to find your picture file it's possible

   that it got saved as something like \INVPICT\02210233.JPG.JPG  !!

   If you go to the COMMAND MENU (js-menu icon) and type DIR \INVPICT

   and press Enter you will see the real, full filenames so you can

   verify if that happened or not. If it is happening, just leave off

   the filename ending and let it be assigned automatically.

 

   You should also fix the Windows view of this picture folder so you

   can accurately see the file names. Open My Computer, open the drive

   where Shop-Pro is installed, Open the INVPICT folder, Choose Tools

   (from the top of the invpict window) Choose Folder Options, Choose

   View then UN-check the 'Hide file extensions for known file types'

   option. Choose Apply, OK. Choose View, Details.

 

   Save or Copy the Picture Files

   ------------------------------

3)   Shop-Pro will accept pictures from almost any source and any type.

   JPG files are by far the most common but GIF, TIF, BMP, PCX files

   are also acceptable. Save and/or copy the picture files in the

   INVPICT folder with the appropriate filename.

 

   The files can come from a variety of different sources so you can

   take some pictures yourself with a digital camera (or even a

   scanner, video capture card or a graphics program) and you can

   copy pictures from the jewelry manufacturer's website or catalog CD

 

   Where to see Pictures in Jewelry Shop-Pro

   -----------------------------------------

4)   You can view the pictures from Display an Item Status from

   the Inventory screen when you search by SKU number. Also,

   you can view all the pictures by choosing FILE,

   MISCELLANEOUS, PICTURE SHOW at the Main Menu of Shop-Pro.

   (If you press 1 immediately after pressing P, the pictures

   display one at a time, or press 4 to have them display four

   at a time.) You can also search for pictures of merchandise

   with certain price or category criteria from the Inventory

   Reports section of the program. (from the Main Menu, press

   6,5,A,A,A,A). You can see pictures by choosing More Options

   while highlighting the item on the sales screen.

 

5)   If you want to store images in a directory other than

   \INVPICT (e.g. C:\IMAGES or F:\PHOTOS ), add to your

   C:\AUTOEXEC.BAT file the line:  SET   INVPICT=C:\IMAGES or

   SET   INVPICT=F:\PHOTOS

 

*************************************************************

 

Pictures for repair jobs should have the same name as the repair

number. Pictures should be stored in the directory

 

JOBPICT

 

For example a repair with a job number 54001 could be stored with

a file name C:\JOBPICT\54001.JPG   for a picture stored in JPEG

(JPG) format. As with inventory pictures, you can choose the file

format which will change the file-name extension.

 

If any repair job needs a second picture (e.g. for a different

angle or for before and after pictures), the second picture

should be stored in the directory

 

JOBPICT2

 

As with the inventory pictures, the folder name is off the Root

directory of the same hard disk drive where the Jewelry

Shopkeeper is stored. If you want to store pictures in a

different directory or even on another hard disk drive, you can

add a line to your AUTOEXEC.BAT file such as

 

SET  JOBPICT=C:\PICTURES\REPAIRS

 

and you can specify the location for the second picture by adding

a line such as

 

SET  JOBPICT2=C:\PICTURES\REPAIRS2

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Equipment Notes.

 

The picture files can come from a variety of different sources so you can

take pictures yourself with a digital camera, webcam, scanner, video

capture card or a graphics program. You can also copy pictures from the

jewelry manufacturer's website or catalog CD.

 

Compulink doesn't sell equipment and it's hard to give you current

information on something that changes as fast as digital photography.

 

The things to consider are what kind of quality are you looking for and what

kind of speed and convenience and price.

 

If you want good (catalog) quality and want something that's pretty much

ready to go, get something like the Kassoy or Gesswein lightbox system.

It should include a lightbox and semi-invisible jewelry mounts, cables,

instructions etc.

 

Without a lightbox quality drops but may well be good enough for on-screen

use or for flyers - especially if you can fashion a small area on the desk

with white paper that's well lit - with halogen or specialty lights.

 

If you want on-screen/flyer quality but would like something that's as quick

as possible then you'd look for a 'webcam' type of camera. That means the

camera is connected to the computer - you see the 'viewfinder' on screen and

click a button to save.

 

A regular digital still camera can have super-high quality - in terms of

megapixels (they can easily make catalog quality 8"x10" photos and larger)

however the lighting and posing are still key. Also you take the photo onto

the cameras chip and then transfer to the computer as a separate step

(whereas the webcams take the picture directly to the computer)

 

Webcams generally have mediocre quality and manual focus so at the very

least find one with either a USB 2.0 connector or a firewire connector.

E.g. We have tested the $70 "Creative Webcam Live! Pro" with USB 2.0 using

the Webcam Center software they include on their CD to capture pictures

which is simple enough and yields decent low-resolution pictures.

 

Better to get a good quality camcorder that can function as a high-quality

webcam. In that case you get a fully functioning digital DV video camera

(think off-duty hours) and a 'webcam' that offers higher quality optics, and

auto-focusing. Many of them are in the $500 range ($300 and up - 4 years ago

that would be $2000 and up)

Double-check sure that the camcorder has the webcam option with streaming

USB and firewire connectors. Check that you can preview the picture

on-screen and click a button to take the picture. Firewire is the

better connection if your computer has that option..

 

Whichever camera you get (cheap webcam, digital still, camcorder) - be sure

that it has a real macro mode so you can focus down to a few centimeters.

Some cameras say "macro down to 40cm." While that's close for a person it's

too far for a ring.

 

In all of the above it may be worth taking a ring down to a store and

testing it out in person - even if it costs a bit more than mail order.