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!


How To Move Your Memory Vault To A New Computer

How To Move Your Memory Vault To A New Computer

I am embarrassed that I have not posted this information before now.  Besides creating a Shadow Copy, which is a post I plan to update later today, this is one of the most needed How-to's I can think of.  I honestly thought I had posted this previously, but a search through the site tells me I hadn't.

Here's what you'll need to get this process accomplished:

  • The old computer that has your original Memory Vault on it (either in Memory Manager or Historian). This computer still needs to be able to run to make this work.
  • OR, if you already have an up-to-date Shadow Copy on an external drive, you don't need to worry about the old computer.
  • An external hard drive for the transfer with enough free space to hold your Vault.
  • The new computer running an activated version of Historian with enough room to hold your Memory Vault when it's transferred.

Step One: Create/Update Shadow Copy on the Old Computer

To make certain that you are transferring the most recent version of your Memory Vault to the new computer, you need an up-to-date Shadow Copy.  If you have never set one up before, start now by plugging the external drive into the old computer and starting Historian. (If you are using Memory Manager 4 on the old computer, it will look very similar to the following screenshots.  If you are using Memory Manager 3.0, use the instructions in this post:

Once Historian is open, click on the Vault tab on the top menu ribbon and select Shadow Copy.

Shadow Copy

If you already have a Shadow Copy set up to work with your external drive, you should see something like this:

Shadow Copy

If  you don't have a Shadow Copy set up yet, instead of an Update Now button, you will see a Start Protection button.  Click on that, and then follow the steps in my previous post on Setting Up A Shadow Copy.

As you can see, I had 128 photos that needed to be updated on my Shadow Copy. All that means is that I made changes to some photos and/or added some photos and my external drive wasn't plugged in at the time that I did that, so I need to update. My favorite thing about the Shadow Copy feature is that if I do have the external drive plugged in when I close Historian, it will automatically check to see if the Shadow Copy needs to update and perform that update before it fully closes. That's a super easy way to make sure things are backed up.

So, while the Shadow Copy is working, I see a progress bar like this:

Shadow Copy

and when it's finished, I'll see this box.  Note down below the location that it verifies that No items require updating.  That means we're good to move on.

Shadow Copy

So go ahead and click Close, and then close Historian/Memory Manager on the old computer. To disconnect the external drive, please, pretty please don't just unplug it from your computer. This abruptly shuts down the spinning disc in there, and that could cause damage to your files.

Instead, please Safely Remove your external drive.  That's actually a thing.  Go down to little carat/arrow in the System Tray (bottom right) of your computer screen and click on that arrow.  You'll get all sorts of fun icons that pop up, probably at least something like this:

Safely Remove

Find that little white USB drive-like icon that the arrow points to in my picture above and right click on it.  That will open a box that lists any removable drives you have connected to your computer.  In my case here, I only have one.  If you have more than one, make sure you pick the right one, or you'll have to reconnect whatever you select.

Safely Remove

Go ahead and click on that drive and then wait for a notification that it's safe to remove the drive.

Safely Remove

If you get a different message that says that the drive is still in use, try the process of safely removing the drive one more time.  If it still persists, either try shutting down your old computer (if you don't need it anymore at the moment) and then unplug your external drive.  Or, it won't be the end of the world if you go ahead and unplug after a few tries.  At least, so I've been told by IT guys before.

Step Two: Restoring Your Memory Vault on the New Computer

We're almost done, I promise!  This is the good part.

On your new computer, open Historian.  If it's the first time you've opened Historian, it is probably asking you where you want to set up your new Memory Vault.  Just cancel out of that because we're going to designate a location for your Vault when we start this process.

Plug in the external drive that holds your Shadow Copy, and then from the Welcome screen in Historian, go to the icon that says Recover a vault.

Recover a Vault

This next box is important.  You first want to click on the three little dots “…” on the right side of the box that says “New location for the recovered media vault”.

Recover a vault

Clicking the … will open a box to let you choose where on your new computer you want to keep your Memory Vault.  I highly recommend creating a folder in your Pictures library to house your vault.  If for some reason down the road your hard drive fails and you don't have a Shadow Copy (please, please have a Shadow Copy) and you take your computer to the tech guys at the store, they will try to recover files from Pictures and Documents by default, so you're more likely to get your photos back.

Now, once you choose your new vault location, you'll notice that the OK button is still grayed out. That's because we have to choose one of those buttons in the bottom section of the box to tell it what source to use to bring in the old vault.  Here, you want to chose Use a Shadow Copy.  That will open another box that asks you to find your Shadow Copy.

Recover a Vault

Navigate to the external drive (in the list on the left-hand side of the screen) to open the files on that drive, and then navigate to the folder that holds the Shadow Copy you just created.  Mine was in a folder called Main Vault Shadow Copy, and inside it you see a file with my vault name and (Shadow copy) in parenthesis.  This part is important: make sureto just click that file folder one time to select it and then click the Select Folder button below. If you double-click the Shadow copy folder above, it takes you into the structure of the Shadow Copy, and that won't work.

Now you'll notice that the OK button is highlighted and you can click it.  Go ahead and do that now.

Depending on how big your vault is, this could be quick, or it could take quite a while.  Just relax, go read a book or do something else and let it do it's thing.  You really don't want to interrupt this part of the process.  That Shadow Copy is carefully reconstructing your whole Memory Vault just the way you left it, but on your new computer.  Which is why this Shadow Copy thing is so awesome.  I just love it!

I really hope this has helped!  Don't forget to restart that Shadow Copy once you get your vault fully recovered.  Let me know if you need help.



How to Easily Add Photo Mats to Your Page

How to Easily Add Photo Mats to Your Page

Question: I can't find where I could add a photo mat. I see customized special mats but I simply want to accent a color on the page with adding color around the photos on the page. Can you point me in the right direction?

Answer: Yes, absolutely!

(These captures were made using Artisan 5.)
You first want to select your photo and then go to the Photo tab on top.
Making sure the photo (or photos) you want to mat are selected, click on the Mat icon on the right side of the ribbon.
This opens up a side panel so you can select the options you want for your mat.  At the top of the list is the style of mat.
You can actually click different ones and you should be able to preview what it will look like.  Nothing is set until you hit Ok at the bottom.
You can even change the shape of your photo using this tool.
When you've selected the style, be sure to scroll down.  This lets you select the color or paper you want to use for a mat (Mat Fill).
Here also, you can select a shaped mat with the Cutout dropdown.  If you just want a traditional mat, once you've selected the Mat fill you want, you can adjust the width and the relief with the sliders and preview it on the screen.
When you have it the way you like it, click ok.  If you want all of the mats on the page to be the same, be sure to select each of the photos and you can apply this to all of them at the same time.
Very cool tool …

Want to Save this Post for Later?

Is It Forever? Or Panstoria? I’m Confused.

The answer is yes, and yes, and so am I.  Although it is starting to get more clear.

Before I go any further, I want to try to clarify something, if I can.  Forever purchased Panstoria about a year ago. The two companies have been operating distinctly for the past year, but that's really beginning to change, as you may have noticed.  Currently, there are actually three different entities all operating under the Forever umbrella – Panstoria (the digital store with Artisan, Historian and the digital content), the Panstoria Print Shop (where the Artisan projects are printed), and Forever, which up until now has offered mostly permanent, guaranteed digital photo storage and conversion services.

There's a plan in the works at Forever to meld the three entities into one unified site at Forever, eventually.  But it will take some time.  Right now, you can rest assured that whatever the name that shows up, the same people at Panstoria are still servicing our Artisan and Historian software. Some of the new features to Artisan 5 are awesome, and if you haven't noticed, even Historian now has some capability to make page prints that you can print directly at the Print Shop.

So, What Does Forever Offer?

When the announcement was first made that Forever had purchased Panstoria, I looked into it a bit, and then set it aside.  I didn't see the connection yet.

Fast forward a year, and the digital world has changed enough that I do SEE it now.  Forever's flagship service is permanent photo storage.  As they tell it, it's a bit like a storage unit.  But instead of renting your space on a month to month basis (which you could potentially lose if the rates go up or your can't pay one month), you buy your permanent photo storage.  Once it's paid for, the funds are kept in a trust to ensure that the storage not only stays available to you, but that the servers and even the digital format of your photos are updated for your lifetime plus 100 years so you will still be able to access your photos and use them “Forever.”

foreverI have purchased some Forever digital storage myself, and it has already given me some peace of mind.  I'm actually the keeper of all 454 photos from husband's parents and his growing up years.  Those were the first photos I uploaded to my account, because it would be nearly impossibly now to collect most of them again.

Once you have some photos uploaded to Forever, you can sort them into albums, tag them and search by date.  The price for lifetime safety may seem a little steep, but let's take a look at that.

  • For $349 you purchase 10Gb of permanent storage with the Saver package.
  • That guarantees your photo files are safe for your lifetime plus 100 years.
  • Let's just do the math with your lifetime.   I'm 42 currently, and if I live for 35 more years (I hope)

$349 divided by 35 = $9.97 per year

Hmmm … I'm pretty sure I have paid more than that for magazine subscriptions I never look at.

Ok, let's be realistic.  I do have more than 10Gb worth of photos.  However, not every photo on my hard drive needs to be kept Forever.  I'll probably upgrade to a larger service package in the future.  But to put it in perspective, I pay $99 a year for 100 Gb of online backup, and it won't even allow me to sync my memory vaults.  (I have an alternate way to do that, which I'll tell you about in another post.)

If I upgraded to 100 Gb of storage with Forever, that would be a $999 one-time payment.  Over the same 35 year period we used above, that would be:

$999 divided by 35 = $28.54 per year

For the 100 Gb of storage space I currently “rent” for backup, that would be:

$99 times 35 = $3,465.00

Yeah, I'm totally dropping the rented online storage.  :0)

What Else Can You Do With Forever?

In addition to permanent photo storage, Forever offers conversion packages and has also now added Forever Projects.  This is essentially like many of your other photo project sites where you have the ability to use your uploaded photos to create photo books, calendars and other photo gifts. They offer different template options, but the experience is not (yet) as robust as using something like Artisan. That's asking more than what most web-based software will manage.

You can view all of what Forever currently offers through my special link here:

So, the choice is really up to you.  I don't know what the entire transition plan will look like, but currently there is still a lot more creative control using Artisan and Historian for digital projects and organization.  But as our lives continue to shift towards the cloud and away from complex software applications, who knows?

One thing I do know: I'm here to help you with Artisan and Historian for the duration.  Please keep the questions coming!

Until the next time, Enjoy!

~ Deb

Covering Some FAQs

Question and Answer Q&A Sign And 3d Character Is Symbol For Support

I realized when I was talking with someone last week, that there are some things about digital scrapbooking that I feel like I've covered before, and I always feel that I don't want to rehash something.

Of course, I haven't sat down and cropped through every single photo and page with each and every one of you.  I've been making some assumptions that are not helpful, and I apologize for that.

So, here are a few of the FAQs that I've thought of recently.  If there's a question that you have that comes up, leave me a comment and I'll tackle that one, too.

Scan Quality

My first “digital” scrapbook (created in Microsoft Word in 2000) was completely compiled of scanned photos.  I've since scanned thousands of photos, both for myself and for others.  I've learned a few things from those photos.  There are several factors to consider when scanning photos to use in a digital book.

  1. Consider the size of the photo you are scanning.  If you are scanning a 3×5 photo, like many printed in the 1970s and 80s, it will create a different resolution image than one scanned at the same dpi from a 4×6, 5×7 or 8×10.
  2. The second thing to consider is that size you'll want to re-print or use it at.  I scanned hundreds of old photos of my grandparents that were about 3×3 in size.  I wanted to be able to use them on digital pages in a larger format without losing quality, so I had to increase the dpi (dots per inch).  I scanned those photos at 600 dpi, which according the handy-dandy calculator I found here, made those photos about 1800 x 1800 pixels.

Memory Manager 4.0 or Historian?  Storybook Creator 4.0 or Artisan?

If you're still running Memory Manager 4 or Storybook Creator 4 and your computer is still running fine, you're in good shape.  Any time I refer to Historian, it's the same thing as Memory Manager 4, just with a different logo.

The same goes for Storybook Creator 4.  It's the same as Artisan, just a different look.

The issue will be, though, that once your computer decides to flash you the blue screen of death, or just suddenly won't boot at all, you'll need to upgrade to Historian and/or Artisan.

Upgrade or reinstall your operating system?  Yes, again, you will have to upgrade.  Any major changes that will require you to reinstall the program, will push you to upgrade.

The upgrade process is not tough.  In fact, if you upgrade to Artisan on a computer that currently runs Storybook Creator, the software will recognize SBC when the installation is complete, and ask you if you want to import your settings and content.  If you have this option, it makes the transition super easy.

If you do have to switch computers before installing Artisan, there's a little more of a process, but it's still relatively easy.  Most of the battle is locating your content, which could be a bit scattered if you've used more than one version of Storybook Creator in the past.  I have a few posts on finding your content, including one with a video.


I'm sure these aren't all of the FAQs I need to cover, but it's all for today.  Until next time, Enjoy!

~ Deb