How To Transfer Your Artisan Content To A New Computer

I honestly can't believe I haven't written this post before because I feel like I've explained it dozens of times.  I think I've left bits and pieces of this information in other posts, but I never fully wrote down the process to move Artisan, and more importantly, Artisan content, to a new computer.

I'm making a big assumption with this post that you still have access to the computer you are moving from.  If you don't, we need to have a different discussion.  I am also assuming that you have access to an external drive or something that you can use to backup/copy your content from one

The easiest way to complete this process is to first follow these steps on the computer you are moving FROM (the “old” computer).

On The Old Computer

1.  On the “old” computer, go to the Users folder on your C: drive and open Public.

2.  Under Public User, open Public Documents.

3.  Copy the whole folder called Commercial Art Kits to a backup drive.  You'll need something more than a flash drive unless you don't have much content.

4.  Open Artisan and go to the Content Manager (“Manage Content“, the top left icon on the Welcome screen).

5.  Click on Activation Codes in the ribbon on top.

6.  In the box that opens, click on Make a backup copy of my codes.  This will create a text file that you can save to your backup and then use to reactivate your content on the new computer.

On The New Computer

OK!  We made it!  Now comes the best part.

7.  Plug in that external drive with the Commercial Art Kits folder you backed up from the old computer.  Now, guess where it goes!  Yup, go back to Users on your C: drive, open the Public User and then Public Documents.  There won't be a Commercial Art Kits folder there yet (unless you already installed Artisan), so just drag the whole folder in there.  If you did already install Artisan, that's fine.  Just copy all of the contents of your backed up folder into the new Commercial Art Kits folder.

8.  Now, if you haven't done it already, install Artisan.  If you have previously activated two or more times, you may get a notification that Artisan is active on too many computers.  In this case, you will need to contact Forever (1-888-367-3837 or to get them to release your activation code so you can activate again.  I promise, this process is painless.  I've had to do it more times than I could count on 2 hands because I've changed computers, had hard drive crashes and just reinstalled Windows so many times.  Just let them know what your situation is and they will get you running in no time.  *  Be sure to have your activation code handy when you call to speed things up.  You can find it in your account under your Order History.

9.  Once you have Artisan installed and running, you may notice that it will pop up a progress bar showing that it's cataloguing the content you dropping into the Public Documents.  This is nothing to worry about, you WANT this to happen.  Now all you have to do (after it's done) is open the Content Manager and go back to that Activation Codes screen.  This time, you open that text document you saved with the backup of your codes and copy all of the text in that document, then click on Add a new activation code and paste it all in that box.  Hit OK, and you're set.  

I hope this little walk through helps.

One thing I like to suggest: if you have a regular backup set for your computer (which I HOPE you do), add that Commercial Art Kits folder in your Public Documents to your backup plan.  That way, if/when something happens, you don't lose your content.  Please also make sure that you backup those activation codes once in a while and save that in a place that will be part of your backup plan, too.

That's it!  Hope the process goes super smooth.  Please let me know if you have any hiccups or there's any way I can help.

My Apologies for Any Stray PDF Download Emails

My sincere apologies to any of you who may have found a PDF download in your inbox that you never requested.  It appears that the plugin software I use on my site to generate those is spamming somehow.  I have now deactivated and removed that plugin, and I hope that will stop the issue.

Please accept my apologies for any emails you received that you did not request.  Your email address is never added to my list unless you confirm that you want it, so you will not receive further emails.


How to Import Pages From Another Project in Artisan 5

Today I just want to share a quick tip about importing a page or pages you've already created in Artisan 5 into another project.  This might happen if you want to add a page you made for one book into another one.

To do this, you first need to create your new project and have it open.  From inside the project you want to import the page into, on the Home ribbon, go to the Add Page dropdown.

From the dropdown, choose Using a Page file from My Computer.  This will open a box to allow you to browse to the project that contains the page or pages that you want to import into this project.

NOTE:  This will not delete the pages from the original project, it will copy them into the new project.  

If you browse for the project you want to import from and the files look like this …

it's going to be hard to figure out which page you need.  So you need to change the view of your list.  If you click on the dropdown at the top right that says Change your view, you will see options to show small icons, medium icons, large and extra large icons.  

You can choose which icon size works for you.  Just change it to one of the icon options and you will be able to see a thumbnail of your pages so you can visually choose which page or pages you want to import.

The last step is to pick your pages.  Do this by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking one time on each page you want to import.  If you want to import them all, you can click the first one to select it, hold down the Shift key and click the last one.  Do not import the extra folders.

When you choose the ones you want to add, click Open and have some patience.  Depending on how many pages you choose, it's going to take Artisan possibly up to several minutes to add everything into your current project.  And once they are in the project, the pages you imported may not be arranged in the order you want them.  The cool thing is, you can just drag them around in the right hand panel in Artisan until they are in the order you want them.

I hope this helps and made some sense!  Please let me know if I can help with anything.

~ Deb

How To Clean Up Content Tags in Artisan

How To Clean Up Content Tags in Artisan

I have been meaning to clean up my Content Manager in Artisan for a while.  But it's one of those things that gets put on the back burner and I still haven't done it.

So I'm very glad that Mendy asked me this question today because I can explain how to fix a messy bunch of tags in the Content Manager.

Back when Storybook Creator 2.0 first came out and we could start tagging our content, it was awesome.  We all jumped on board and tagged all of our content in so many ways, and it was awesome.  (I know, I already said that.)

And then, Creative Memories started tagging content before they sold it to us, and sometimes, the tags were similar, so we had two that were nearly the same.  Like “black and white” or “Black and White.”  Or, one was singular and another was plural, like “Title” and “Titles.”

So now we have a long, scrolling list of tags and it's not really an organization method anymore.  It's just another messy, complicated way of finding content.  And that's not really useful.

It's SO easy to fix this!

Deleting Extra Tags

Open your Content Manager and click on Tags to expand the list.

For this example, I have one tag called “button” and another called “Buttons.”  To determine which one I want to get rid of, I need to see which one has the smaller set.

When I click on the “button” tag, this is what I have:


and when I click on “Buttons” this is what I have:


So, I'm going to make sure the content in “button” is also in “Buttons”. To do this, select the “button” tag to display all of the content tagged with “button.”

From this screen, click on the first piece of content and hit ctrl+A to select all of the buttons on the screen.  You'll notice when you do that that a list shows up on the right hand side with all of the Tags with checkboxes in front of them.  The “button” tag is selected.

button to Buttons

To change the Tag from “button” to “Buttons,” all you have to do is uncheck the checkbox in front of “button” and then make sure to check the box in front of “Buttons” to add it to that list.

So now, if you click on the “button” tag, there's nothing that will show in the Content tab.  But the “button” tag still shows in the list.

The second step to this process is to delete the now un-used “button” tag.  To do this, all you have to do is right click on the un-used tag “button” in the tag list on the left and select “Delete.”

Delete empty tag

Voila!  That's all there really is to it.  Now you have one less Tag in the list.

I'm ready to go clean up my list because I prefer to use Tags to find my content.  How about you?

My Experience With My First Phone-Only Vacation

I am the first to admit that although I really like new technology and software, I am really old school when it comes to how I take my photos.  Up until this point, I almost always use a camera, and if it can be my DSLR camera, that's my preference.  I grew up with a big camera around my neck (in high school as a yearbook photographer) and it's just what I'm comfortable with.  My phone photos have been just snapshots, and often not very clear.

But this year I knew that my family was going to be heading to Florida for a huge family reunion, and I wasn't going to lug my big camera with me on the plane.  I was going to be “stuck” with just my phone camera.

At first, I planned to upgrade my four-year-old Galaxy Note 5 so I would at least have a phone camera upgrade.  But that didn't work out for me.  So I was stuck with the Note 5 (my “computer in my pocket”).

So a couple of months before the trip, I started learning how to better use my phone camera.  Novel idea, huh?  I also found some ways to make my trip a little more “safe” for my aging phone.

The best thing I did by far was pick up a Calicase Waterproof Floating phone case.  I had seen a friend post pictures from inside waterfalls and in the rain, and I figured that could work in the ocean to keep the water and the sand off of my phone.

CaliCase Phone Photos

We took a total of 101 photos at the beach that day, mostly in the surf.  The Calicase actually does float well, and it came with a lanyard to wear it around my neck when I was out in the water.  (My daughter took some of these photos – I swear my arms aren't that long.)

Enough about that.

I survived a 9 day trip with just my phone (and my husband's phone) for a camera.  Between the two of us, we took 774 pictures.  I have to say, ever since we got our first digital camera, my husband has been a “why take only 1 photo when 12 will capture it” kind of person.  So, once I pared down the photos to share with family, I am now sharing just 309 photos.  I did share more photos in the album than I would use in my book, but I wanted to give them options.  Plus, since the trip was for a large family reunion on my father-in-law's side of the family, I shot nearly 100 photos just of the 15 different family groups (we were all color-coordinated … it was mind-boggling!).

The coolest thing, though, was that we had wifi at the house we rented, so each evening, my phone uploaded all of our pics to my Forever account and I didn't have to worry about losing them.  I know I beat this drum a lot, but it is so worth saying.  Just the sense of peace knowing that I won't lose the photos is really nice.

There was one more HUGE plus to my Forever account while we were there.  I found out two days before the reunion that our family (meaning my husband's father's family) had to have a poster board with family pictures to represent their family.  Since I have had all of the old photos from my husband's family stored in an album in my Forever account since I first bought the storage, I was able to pull up all of the old photos and have my mother-in-law and sisters-in-law pick the photos they wanted for the poster.  Then I just quickly uploaded them to a local Walgreens and we had our poster.  No one else in the family has these photos outside of my storage account, but I've been able to give all of them access to the album in my account, so they can access them any time.

I am so forever grateful to have this storage, to be able to access my pictures anywhere and not have to worry that something will happen to them.  If you've ever contemplated storage and you have any questions, please let me know.

Hope you are having a memorable, fantastic summer so far!



How To Import Creative Memories Content Into Artisan 5

How To Import Creative Memories Content Into Artisan 5

Today, I did something I haven't done in two years.

I shot a YouTube video for you.  Woohoo!

It's all about how to import/use Creative Memories' digital content (or digital content from any site other than Forever) into Artisan 5 for use in your photo projects.  You can view the video below, or scroll down to read about it.


I had a similar video to this one that I recorded almost three years ago in one of my DebsDigitalTips YouTube channels, but I wanted to update that.  Plus, I made the mistake a couple of years ago of forgetting how to login to my YouTube account and I actually have two of them now.  They are both me, but I had to make a decision about which one I would move forward with.

Step 1 – Download and extract your content.

Creative Memories puts out some great digital content, and I realized this past weekend at my retreat that quite a few folks don't know how to take advantage of that.  It's not that complicated, and something that can be utilized with different digital content creators, so it's a helpful tip to learn.

You'll want to start out with the .zip file that you download from Creative Memories.  They provide a nice page in your account called My Downloadable Products where you can access all of the digital content purchases you have made (with this current CM company.  This will not give you access to downloads from the former Creative Memories that went out of business in 2013.)

My Downloadable Content

Once you download the .zip files, you need to Extract them from the compressed file before you can use them.  To do this, find the downloaded .zip folder, select it, and then click on the Extract option in the top menu ribbon.

Extract files

Once you do that, the Extract All button will appear in the menu ribbon.  Click on that and it will extract all of the files from the compressed folder.

Extract All

Once the files are done extracting, you may have a new window pop up with your extracted files.  (Whether this happens depends on your computer's settings.)  In my opinion, this extra open folder window is just unnecessary, and I close it.  That newly extracted file will be sitting pretty right there in the original folder you were just extracting from, no worries.

The .zip folder that was just extracted is no longer really necessary, so I delete it.  Otherwise, it's like having double the content on your computer and you can run out of space quickly.  There's no real purpose to that .zip file once it's extracted, so it's safe to delete it.

Step 2 – Create a new art kit in the Artisan Content Manager

There's one thing to remember about getting non-Forever content into Artisan's content manager: DO NOT use the Import content button.  That will not work for non-Forever content because it's packaged differently.  (And that's why we have this tutorial. ;0)

Instead of clicking on Import Content, click on Manage Content to open up the Content Manager screen.

Select Manage Content

Once you have the Content Manager open, you want to click on Create art kit.

Create art kit

This will open a box that allows you to name your new art kit and designate where it will reside in your content library.  I recommend naming the kit in a way that will let you know who the content was purchased from.  For example, I have named all of my Creative Memories kits starting with “CM – nameofkit” so that they are all grouped together and I can easily find them.  And I recommend designating any commercially purchased artwork, whether it's from CM or another vendor, under the Commercial Art Kits section.  These are still rightfully commercial kits, and it will be a lot easier to remember that you have them.  If you put them in the Personal Art Kits section, you may not see them and therefore use them as often.

Step 3 – Add the content to your new Art Kit

We're in the home stretch now.  Once you've created that art kit, you will be presented with the blank screen waiting for your new content to be added.

Here's how easy it is to do that.

Adding elements to art kit

Start by clicking on the Paper icon on the top left side of the menu at the top.  A window will open allowing you to browse to those newly unzipped file folders that hold your content.  Since we picked Paper to start with, make sure that the folder you select is the one that contains only the digital papers.  It's important to keep the type of elements separated so that you get the right type of element to show when you need to use it in your project.

Digital Paper Pack

It's a lot quicker to select all of the paper elements at once before clicking Open.  That way it will bring in all of the paper elements in one pass and you won't have to keep going back to add more.  You can select all of them by clicking on the first one, holding down the Shift key and then selecting the last element.  OR, you can select the first element, then hold down the Ctrl key and click A.  Then click the Open button and all of those items will start appearing under the Paper tab in your content screen.

Wait!  You're not done yet!  Now you have to do the same thing, but with the Embellishments.

Import Embellishments

Click on the Embellishment icon in the menu ribbon and repeat the same process you did for the papers.  Again, just make sure you import embellishments on this step (things like mat packs, alphabets and “stickers”).

Step 4 – Tag it!

This is a totally optional step, but the final thing I like to do once I bring all of my content in is to quickly tag the elements while I still have the content window open for that kit.  This is something you can go back and do later, but why not just get it done?

Tag content

You can select just one element or multiples and click on the checkboxes next to the appropriate tags on the right side.  You can also type in your commonly used tags in the box at the top and the + sign to add.  I tend to just click the checkboxes, but it works the same for both.  Then you can use the Tags feature to quickly drill down to the kind of content you want to use when working in your projects.

That's really all there is to it!  Happy creating!