Creating a Portrait Index

In order to flow portraits onto pages in Pictavo, a PSPA-compatible portrait database needs to be loaded to the program. The portrait database has two components: a folder containing portraits and a text file containing information which matches names to specific portraits.

If you are not provided with a compatible portrait database, there are three options available to get portraits into Pictavo.

  1. Use a spreadsheet program that is capable of saving tab delimited text files to create the index file.
  2. Create the database directly within Pictavo – uploading each portrait and then entering the portrait information one by one.
  3. Upload and place the portrait images as candid images and manually place a text box underneath each one. This is the least desired option, due to the amount of time and attention to detail that would be involved. This is really only a viable option for a school with a very small student body or very few portraits to place.

Generally speaking, taking the time to create a database text file will deliver the most efficient result.

This article will guide you in creating the index file in a spreadsheet program that is capable of saving tab delimited text files, such as Microsoft Excel® or Google Sheets. The examples below will show Microsoft Excel, but you may use any program capable of saving tab delimited text files. 

Begin by opening a new spreadsheet. 

In this spreadsheet, each row will represent a single person or portrait in the database and each column will represent information about that person.

The columns must be in this order or the database will fail to upload:

  1. Volume Name: This can be anything but must end in a number. Example: You could call it “VOL1”
  2. Image Folder Name: The name of the folder the pictures are in. This needs to be exact.
  3. Image File Name: The name of the image, with file type. Example: “06934.JPG”
  4. Grade: The student’s grade. Example: “10”
  5. Last Name: The student's last name. Example: “Johnson”
  6. First Name: The student's first name. Example: “John”
  7. Teacher / Homeroom: The student’s teacher / homeroom. Example: “Mrs. Smith”

In the example below, the student Alexis Valente (F & E) is in first grade (D), in Mr. Lemr’s homeroom (G), and her picture is called 1H02092.JPG (C). The portrait is in the folder name Folder1 (B) within the volume name Vol1 (A). These details are organized into columns A-G, as specified above.

The Image File Name (C) must match the file name and extension EXACTLY. It is also case sensitive.

For example, Pictavo will not be able to locate the image if the file name is a variation of the file name (e.g., “1.JPG”, “0001.JPEG”, “0001.jpg” or “0001.jpeg” when the image file is actually “0001.JPG”).

Create each person in the database individually and make sure that all the necessary columns contain the correct information.  You only need the information for a Grade or Teacher. The columns for both should be present but one of the two can be left empty. It is often helpful to have the information for both especially for combined K-12 schools where the younger grades may flow by homeroom and the upper classmen may flow by grade.

The finished spreadsheet will look similar to the one pictured below.

Make sure to save your file on a regular basis! This is a labor intensive process and no one wants to do it twice. When all information has been entered, save the final document in two different places so there is a backup. 

Click Save As, name the file ‘index’ and choose the file type Text (Tab delimited). This option will add ‘.txt’ after the file name. The name of the file must be “index” and needs to be be saved in the volume folder which also contains a folder with the portraits.

In the example below, the index file is saved in the folder Vol1 and the portrait folder (Folder1) is also in this folder. If the portraits are on a disc, save them locally on your device and in the same folder the index file was just saved in. 

When uploading your portrait database, select the folder containing the index file. You'll find detailed instructions to upload portraits here