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Pics Checkout - Data Association Made Easy


If you wish to view the getting started page click here.

How do I FTP my school photos on to the server?
You will need to use the following FTP settings:

Hostname: {GLOBAL_IP}
Username: {FTP_USERNAME}
Password: {FTP_PASSWORD}
You will then see a folder for each school. Upload your images into the relevant school folder and the system will automatically find them for you.

What browser should I use?
Firefox is the only browser to use. Other browsers do not have the sophisticated print drivers that Pics Checkout depends on.

How do I test a school or new features of the system?
When you create a school you can set it to a "Test" which means it isn't chargeable. Obviously these types of schools have limitations for example, the word TEST will appear on all print outs.

How do I set up my computer to display and print barcodes?
The system will format the relevant sections to display barcodes. You simply need to install this font: click to download. Mac users will need to leave the font on the desktop for it to install properly.

How and when am I billed?
Our billing cycle is monthly. The system will calculate charges accordingly and automatically send out an invoice on the 1st day of each month. Invoices become due 14 days later.

What is Archiving and Super Archiving?
Archiving is when you remove all of the larger images from our database and take down the online sales service. You are still able to access the database and see your thumbnails and all of your information, but you are no longer able to sell online. Archiving is not reversible. You cannot switch back to selling online at a later date if a parent suddenly decides that they want to buy a photo a year later. By archiving you reduce your monthly charge for storing your data on our service to a nominal charge.

Super Archiving is removing the whole school job from the system. You will no longer see the school in your list and will no longer be charged for it. You are unable to revive it though so be certain that you are ready to Super Archive. It is recommended before Super Archiving that you download a CSV of your data and do a Sims download of your images naming them by all the fields: Barcode, Forename, Surname, Year, Reg / Class, admission number & password. Using FTP or our App download these onto your computer & keep them as reference thumbnail images. Super Archiving is irreversible.

How do I create and print Group proof cards?
When creating proof cards please be aware that Sibling, Staff, Student & Group proof cards are all produced separately on our system. If you have shot individuals and class groups on one job, you will be distributing two separate proof cards to the pupils.

Creating Proof Cards
Normally when you shoot Sibling, Staff & Students, all the products will be relevant to all of the photographs. However there are 2 steps to being able to create a proof card for a Group photos.
Firstly you must upload the images and assign who is in the image. You do this by clicking "Group photo associations" on the school home page. Assign a year, a class or even individual people either by typing part of their name into the search box, or by scanning their barcode.
Secondly you must assign products to the images. You do this by clicking "Create a product" and go to the box "Who can buy this product?"

If a product is a "Group photo" then select the photo(s) the product applies to. A group photo is a photo which has been uploaded without a barcoded name and doesn't match anyone specific. If you select this option the product will only show for that group photo. An example is a photo of the Nursery year group named "Nursery_2011.jpg" which has a specific product such as a photo within a brightly coloured mount which is only available to them. The rest of the school might get a photo in a standard mount.

If a product is "Sibling, Staff or Student" by selecting this option the product you create will only be available to the ticked classes, years or individuals. An example is that you wish to offer a pack of 2 Fridge Magnets to the sixth form only so you tick Year 12. Only that year would then see, and be able to buy, that product. If you don't tick any years or classes then everyone, except group photos, will see it.

How do I print the background colours on proof cards?
This is a browser setting that needs to be tweaked. By default browsers, such as Firefox, turn off background printing to save on ink when printing web pages, but it needs to be activated before printing proofcards and using other features of the system. Please also tick the box "shrink to fit page".

It's quite simple to activate:

  • Firefox: Print>Page Setup>Print Background

How do I use print preview to review my proof cards prior to printing?
When you are viewing the proof cards page you should try a "print preview" before actually printing. This enables you to see how the pages will print without actually printing and potentially wasting paper. It's easily done via File>Print>Print Preview in Firefox. In print preview it is really important to scroll down and check that the proof card prints on one page. If not, and if you are showing 4 proof images which are unlikely to fit on one page, you need to return to the Create Proof Cards page. Tweak the percentages of the photo size, product size, font size and barcode size (not recommended) and press “Save and Update”. Keep going until the layout is to your taste by checking it each time in print preview. Press the page break button if you want to force the system to add a page break between the products and the text on the proof card.

The system defaults to printing 50 proof cards at a time as many printers cannot handle more. When your first 50 proof cards have printed press the "flag as printed" button to update the system and load the next 50 proofcards.

How do I print proof cards to photographic paper?
When printing to photographic paper you traditionally have to export to JPG and then print the resulting image. To do this using the Pics Checkout proof card system follow the steps below. You will need Adobe Acrobat installed to enable full functionality.

  1. Firstly adjust your page until ready to print.
  2. Go the print menu option and press print to bring up the print prompt box.
  3. Change the printer to Adobe PDF in the first drop down selector.
  4. Click Print and you will be prompted to name your new PDF file.
  5. Once saved, open the PDF and click File>Save As. Change the drop down file type selector to JPEG.
  6. This will generate the JPG files you need to send to your photographic printer.

How do I use the system to automatically notify parents, by email, that their children's photos are available online?
When you upload a CSV of children one of the columns can be an email address. If this field includes an email address it will be stored until you set the school live. Once the school is live a message box will appear allowing you to click to send the emails if you want.

Once you click "Send Now" you will be presented with a list of emails about to be sent. Press the button "Send Live Emails" and they will all be sent.

How do I make the magnifier facility that parents see zoom more?
When you have uploaded and processed photos the parent's zoom facility uses images within the "Source" folder as the magnified portion of the image. If the magnifier does not zoom enough then you can manually overwrite the Source image by connecting via FTP to your school photo folder and uploading a new, larger Source image. This new larger image should overwrite the existing IF IT IS NAMED IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. Chess Group 123 is not the same as chess group 123. If you have trouble overwriting the image you may have to delete the existing image first and then upload the new one.

How do I copy products from one school to another?
From within the home page click "Create A Product". Then click "Copy An Existing Product". You will then be able to select an existing school > product to copy. This will copy the image associated with this product and all of the text and fill the "add product" form with all of the existing information. You can then modify this text and proceed to create this new product. The product's image has been copied across into this school's folder.

Can a parent print a proof card?
Parents are able to print proof cards as long as they don't contain any home delivery only products and as long as they are within the free delivery to school period. A link for them to be able to print the proof card will appear in the left menu. When parents print proof cards they wont have the barcode font installed so the print will be unscannable. Here is a sample of how it will appear.

Proof card with barcode.

Proof card without barcode.

When despatching orders what is the despatch date used for?
The despatch part of bulk processing doesn't detect future despatch dates. If you put in a future date such as 1st August and today was 9th July it would still just send an email saying "Your order has been dispatched". The date you enter is only stored within admin for your reference.

How do I refund an order?
The actual financial refund must be performed via your payment gateway, for example Sagepay. Once complete you need to log the refund by going to Invoices and clicking the order number in question. You will find a "partial refund" and a "full refund" button within.

Any tips on printing QR codes or barcodes?
Please ensure that Barcodes or QR codes are printed on matt paper to reduce flare, with a minimum weight of 90gm to reduce bending.

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