How to Move Artisan Content to an External Drive

I was asked an interesting question this week.

“Can I run all of my digital artwork from an external drive only?”

The simple answer to the question is yes, and I'll show you how you can do that.  However, please also read a few of my comments on that below after the how-to.

To move digital artwork to an external drive or any location other than the default location Artisan uses is fairly simple.

1. Start by creating the folder for the new content first.  If your plan is to move everything, drag the WHOLE folder to the new location on the external drive.  (The default location that Artisan stores your content in is in the Public Documents folder under the Public User.)

2. Now it's time to train Artisan to find the folder on your external drive.  To do this, open the Content Manager in Artisan and right-click on the Library dropdown.

Select “Add folder to library.”  A box will open allowing you to browse to the location of the folder that contains your Artisan content.

That's really all there is to it.  Artisan is now “pointed” to the new location for your content.  You shouldn't have to resintall anything or re-enter any activation codes.

A Personal Word of Caution:

There are a lot of factors that impact how Artisan will work for you.  The hardware configuration of your computer (the amount of Ram, the operating system, the amount of available storage space, the graphics card, etc.) as well as the details of your external drive (whether it has a USB 3.0 connection – which is faster – or an older 2.0 connection) will impact how Artisan is able to perform the tasks you give it.  I have frequently had external drives velcro'ed to my laptop lid for a consistent backup.  In fact, I have a 5 Gb external connected now.  One thing I have learned over the past decade is that you have to be gentle with that connection between the computer and the drive.  Eventually, it will get jiggled in place too much or otherwise unseated and it will disrupt the flow of information between the drive and your computer.  And just like inside your laptop, that external drive will eventually start to fail.  I'll have to take a picture of the dead hard drives I have stowed in my office.  I'm not sure I have enough fingers on both hands to count them.

In addition, I don't want to discourage you from working this way, with all of your content on the external, but in my experience, Artisan works a little better when it's pulling the big content files directly from the C: drive and not “long distance” through the cord connecting the external drive.  I've found the same when I've run my memory vaults in Historian from the external.

If you're running out of space, it's definitely a good option to try.  You don't really lose anything by trying this to see how it will work for you.  But please, make sure if you move all of your content to your backup drive that you have another backup method in place to save your content in the event that your external drive won't wake up one day.

Let me know if I can help!

Deb

Organizing Your Digital Content For Success in Artisan 5

Way back in the prehistoric days with Storybook Creator 2, we started managing our digital content.  The awesome thing then was that we could add keyword tags to our content to make it easier to find.

Then, along came Storybook Creator 3, and suddenly the new content we purchased was already keyword tagged for us!  That was amazing!

And that's when I stopped worrying so much about organizing my digital content.

Fast forward to the present day when we have Artisan 5.  The Content Manager changed a bit in Artisan 5.  We don't have the content carousel anymore, which is a little sad because it was nice to pull up one kit and see all of the content in it.  It was a fun visual.  But the carousel was really a big memory sucker … at least it sure was if you had more than a handful of art kits.

Now we have a streamlined Content Manager that groups everything in the sidebar on the left.  You see a Library section that lists the types of content you have: Built-in Kits, Commercial Art Kits, Font Kits, and Personal Art Kits.  This is where you can view the lists of everything you have in each of these content types.  These really don't change … when the content comes in, it gets assigned to one of these spots.

The next way to organize in the sidebar is My Categories.  This is what I'll be explaining more today.

And the third way to organize is Tags (which used to be Keywords in earlier versions, but it's the same thing).

Why You Should Use “My Categories”

In earlier versions, I really didn't see the point in categorizing my content.  I relied heavily on the Tags.  When I wanted something particular, I would filter through the Tags for what I wanted.

In Artisan 5, I just don't find my Tags to be the most useful way to find what I'm looking for.  Maybe with all of my recent re-installs, I've realized just how much awesome content I forget that I have!  It's way too cumbersome to scroll through my Commercial Art Kits list, and they are all listed in alphabetical order, which really is no help at all.

Categories allow me to loosely group my content by its use.  I say “loosely” for a reason.  Categories are not meant to take the place of keywords/tags, so I'm not going to get really specific with them.  That would just create another huge list.

Here's how easy it is:

When you open your Content Manager, the My Categories folder is below the Library folders.  When you first look at it, you see just two options … Kits not in any category, and Sample.  I clicked on the drop down next to Sample and deleted it.

organizecontent2

To create your first category, click once to select My Categories and you'll see an arrow on the right side.  In the drop down box that appears, select Add a category.  Then just type your first category in the box.

organizecontent3

Once you have some category folders set up, click on Kits not in any category.  This will show all of your uncategorized kits in the field on the right.

organizecontent4

You can select and drag kits individually into categories, or select multiple kits and drag them all into one category.  The cool thing is, you can add a kit to more than one category.

Once you've worked through some kits, go ahead and click on Kits not in any category again and it will remove the kits you've already categorized.  This way you won't have to keep scrolling and scrolling.

Now that you have some kits categorized, this is what it looks like when you want to search by category when you're working in a project.

organizecontent7

Instead of scrolling through all of your Commercial Art Kits or scrolling through Tags, you can select a category and search content from there.

This isn't a completely necessary task, but one that I plan to complete this evening before I go to bed.  I want to make better use of my content.

Hope that helps a little.  I'm getting my audio problems fixed, so check back because I may have a video up soon to show this in action.

Until then, Enjoy!

~ Deb

 

What About Backing Up Artisan Content and Projects?

Yup, the photos aren't the only thing you want to make sure you have backed up.

In my last post, I mentioned how I make sure my photos are double backed up for use with Historian.

Artisan contentBacking up content and projects for Artisan is a little bit different.  Historian is built to protect and save your photos, and has features that help make sure you get that job done.  Artisan is not geared the same way, so there are no automated features that help with backup.

It's not difficult at all to save your Artisan Projects folder to OneDrive or another cloud drive service like I mentioned in my last post.  Your Artisan Projects folder is most likely currently located in your Documents folder on your PC, because that's the default location when you set up Artisan.  Whether you've moved it or not, it's pretty simple to just drag the Artisan Projects folder from your Documents on your C: drive to the Documents folder in OneDrive.

But your projects aren't the only things you need to consider backing up.  One of the most crucial things I would recommend backing up your content and activation codes.

I've been through a lot of operating system issues in the past few years, and this past weekend I realized that I was missing some of my old content from before I upgraded my laptop two years ago.  The amazing thing is that I had the missing packages backed up, in the same place, and I was able to restore them very quickly.

If you only have a few dozen packages, maybe this isn't a huge issue.  But if that number is in the hundreds, this becomes a little more serious.  You paid some good money for these things!  Let's make sure you can use them.

What You Need To Know About Your Content Files

Most people think that you need to reinstall your Artisan content packages if you change computers or have to reinstall your software for any reason.  This is not exactly true.

The easiest and most complete way to backup your content for easy transfer is to backup the folder that Artisan installs it in when you activate it.  You'll find it under the Public User in Public Documents/Commercial Art Kits.  (If you have previously used Storybook Creator on the same computer, you may have a Creative Memories Art Kits folder in there as well.  I would recommend combining the two, and setting the Commercial Art Kits folder for backup.)

I would not recommend trying to move the Commercial Art Kits folder to OneDrive because it's just best to leave the content where Artisan wants to find it by default.  This means that you will want to setup this folder for backup with your regular backup method.  (Please tell me you have one!  You don't?!  Ok, read on …)

It's time to employ that handy dandy external hard drive that you've been using for your Historian shadow copies.  Yeah, pull that out.

There are many ways to setup backup systems using your external drive.  Most drives come with software loaded on them that will allow you to create a routine backup plan.  If you like that software, go ahead and use it.  If not, you can always use the File History (Windows 8.1/10) or Windows Backup (Windows 7) that's part of your operating system.  (Find those in your Control Panel under System and Security.)

The tricky part to this is that most of your backup programs will default to backing up the files under your personal User profile in Windows, but the content I'm suggesting that you backup is under the Public User.  You'll want to look for a link like “Advanced settings” and find a way to include that Commercial Art Kits folder in your Public Documents.  Or, if for some reason that is just not an option, at least make sure you manually backup that whole folder on a regular basis.

And please, please, please use the built in feature in Artisan to backup your activation codes!  This is super quick and easy to do, but you need to make sure that you have those codes saved in more than one place.  I have them backed up with my content on the external drive, but I also have them backed up to cloud storage (OneDrive) so that I can retrieve them later.

I hope this has helped.  Until the next time, may your photos and content stay safe, and may you have a fabulous photograph-able weekend!

~ Deb

How To Use The Content Manager In A Project

The more I use Storybook Creator Plus 4.0, the more I find to like.  I have to say that the new Content Manager definitely makes it simpler to find the papers and embellishments that I want to use without a lot of extra clicks.

Take a look …

So, when you click on what would have been the drop down in 3.0 to show the list of content packages, now a separate box pops up to give you access to the complete Content Manager.

Content Manager Pop up
This is so much handier than the original Search function in 3.0.  You can click on one of those packages or opt for Tags and pull up your keywords.  It shows you everything that  is available under that designation, and you can just click Select kit at the bottom and you're all set.

Way cool!

Did I mention yet that I LOVE this?!  Find exactly what you want to use with just a few clicks.

But wait, there's more!  You get the same cool options when you want to change a page template.  Just click on Change Template and select the first option, Using a template page from an art kit …

Change a Template

And this is what you'll see when you want to choose that new template.  Take a look at a whole package of predesigned pages all at once, making it so much simpler to choose which set you want to use.

Change template

I'm still finding quite a few new things in Storybook Creator Plus 4.0.  I hope you join me on the adventure … and until next time,

Enjoy!

Converting Your Keywords to Storybook Creator 4.0

The Content Manager in SBC4.0 looks quite a bit different than it did in the 3.0 version.  The ability to designate keywords for individual content items in Storybook Creator Plus 3.0 was one of the HUGE benefits to that version.  It gave us the ability to look for content based on a characteristic, instead of just by what package it belonged to.  I spent hours and hours going through content and assigning keywords that I believed I could use to later find these items.  I know that many of you did that, too.

When I began using Storybook Creator Plus 4.0, I didn't look to verify if my keywords came across.  However, a friend contacted me frantically wondering if the upgrade had wiped out all of the meticulous keywording that she had done.  In an effort to help her out, I took a look and found that the keywords don't come across automatically, they have to be converted to 4.0.  The good news is, it's a super easy process.

To convert your 3.0 keywords to the 4.0 version, simply

  1. Go to Manage content on the Welcome screen to view the Content Manager.
  2. Click on the File tab in the top left corner.
  3. Click on the Tag icon that says Convert keywords

Convert Keywords

Really, that's all it takes.  Your keywords come across and are totally usable in the new version.

My next posting will be about how to remove keywords from your content smoothly and easily in 4.0  Until then,

Enjoy!

~ Deb

Using The Content Manager

The more I use Storybook Creator Plus 4.0, the more I find to like.  I have to say that the new Content Manager definitely makes it simpler to find the papers and embellishments that I want to use without a lot of extra clicks.

Take a look …

So, when you click on what would have been the drop down in 3.0 to show the list of content packages, now a separate box pops up to give you access to the complete Content Manager.

Content Manager Pop up
This is so much handier than the original Search function in 3.0.  You can click on one of those packages or opt for Tags and pull up your keywords.  It shows you everything that  is available under that designation, and you can just click Select kit at the bottom and you're all set.

Way cool!

Did I mention yet that I LOVE this?!  Find exactly what you want to use with just a few clicks.

But wait, there's more!  You get the same cool options when you want to change a page template.  Just click on Change Template and select the first option, Using a template page from an art kit …

Change a Template

And this is what you'll see when you want to choose that new template.  Take a look at a whole package of predesigned pages all at once, making it so much simpler to choose which set you want to use.

Change template

I'm still finding quite a few new things in Storybook Creator Plus 4.0.  I hope you join me on the adventure … and until next time,

Enjoy!