Uploading Your Portrait Database

IMPORTANT: Before using the Portrait Upload Wizard, you'll need to install Java. If you need a little help, check out this article (links to Pictavo + Java for Portrait Database Uploads).

Once you’ve received your PSPA-compatible portrait database from your photographer, (probably on a disk, USB drive or via file sharing service) it’s time to load it into Pictavo!

Navigate to Manage Photos (1) and select Portrait Database (2).

Click Upload Database at the bottom of the portraits panel.

Pictavo will let you know that a file needs to be installed in order to begin uploading your portrait database, click OK.

Downloading the file will trigger this warning, click Keep, click on the file to open and then click Run.


Click on the downloaded file to trigger this warning, choose Keep and click OK.

Now, navigate out to your Finder and open System Preferences and choose Security & Privacy.

Make sure the General tab is highlighted. In the lower half of the window, you’ll see “Allow apps downloaded from” with the “portraitDBUpload (##).jnlp” mentioned in a statement below it. Choose Open or Open Anyway.

This will trigger a pop-up asking if you are sure you’d like to open this file. Click Open.

Java will then run and give you a security warning window. Check the box and click Run.

This will get the Portrait Upload Wizard started and the rest is a piece of cake!


You will then have to locate an index file on the CD/DVD or hard drive.  This file is most frequently called index or PSPA, and will have a file ending of .txt.  Once you have located this file, select it and click Open


Pictavo will show one student from the database and determine what column (within the index file) to use for the first name, last name, grade and teacher/homeroom fields.  All of these fields have drop-down menus.  If you do not recognize the person shown or the portrait does not have complete information, click Change Person.  

If the right option is not chosen, as shown in the first image below, you can click on the drop-down menu to select the correct one.  You will see in the first image below (top left), the Courtesy Title field contains the first name of the student and the First Name field contains the last name.  To correct this, choose "Not Assigned" (which means the column is empty and doesn't contain any data) for the Courtesy Title, and then choose the appropriate option for the First and Last Name fields, as shown in the second image (top right).  Don't forget to verify the Grade and Teacher fields also. 

After changing this information for one person, you can click Change Person to view a different person and verify that the information is in the correct place.  The final image shows, after clicking Change Person, the next student's information is now correctly pulling from the specified columns. 


Once you have verified this information is correct, click Finish


The final step is to choose whether you want to sort your portraits by Grade or by Teacher/Homeroom.  Make this choice and then press Finish.


The database will begin uploading to your book.  This process may take awhile depending on how many images you need to upload, the size of the images, and the speed of your computer/internet connection.  You will see a progress bar as it uploads, with an estimate of the time remaining. 

Don’t let the upload slow you down, navigate to other areas of Pictavo and keep working while portraits upload in the background. Keep an eye on this window in case Pictavo finds a duplicate and asks if you’d like to keep the current, new or both portraits.

Once the database is imported, you can make any necessary changes or start flowing the images onto pages.  For instructions to make changes to the database or flow portraits, please review the articles Editing the Portrait Database or Flowing And Editing Portrait Flows