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Anyone have some ideas for 'good' and simple photo software for creating photos essays of an inspection?

I use the term 'good' and simple carefully. I know there's lots of great photo software you can pick up for reasonable cost, however I can't find something to just do simple layout:

a) download from the camera

b) re-size as needed for physical size AND digital size (for emailing purposes)

c) paste onto a page - 8.5 x 11.5 letterhead - usually 4 pictures to a page

d) insert text underneath photo for description

e) draw arrow or circle to highlight the defect

Full Photo essay could be 30- 50 photos and take up to 10-12 pages.

I currently have Adobe Photo Deluxe (worthless for doing these 'essay' projects) - I've tried several other 'home' friendly software

MS Word is a great tool that can insert photos, however is very tedious and formatting multiple photos on the page for some reason is very difficult

I use Inspectit ReportPlus report software, which is basically MS Word, so same problem just mentioned

A big smooch to the person who might have the magic program - did I just get too personal with the smooch thing - don't worry I'm happily married.

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Randy,

I don't know which version of Word you are running, and I know Word can be "temperamental", but I learned how to throw pics onto text pages easily and quickly with word, and do it all the time.

For photo shuffling a simple browser is best. I use ACDSee, available online free as shareware w/registration.

In Word, the secret is in the formatting. Insert picture, then select it, then right click to format. Resize it as you like. Then choose "no wrapping" to put it where ever you want it in relation to text. If your version of Word won't let you choose wrapping style, select the picture and click text box, which can be "wrapped" selectively.

Good luck!

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http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/down ... rtoys.mspx

Go there, scroll down, & download the Image Resizer. It is the slickest little tool there is for quickly & easily resizing photos; right click on any photo, chooose "resize image" from the menu, it pops up a dialog, choose what size, and bingo, you got a small file.

Word & photos are problematic, especially if you are talking about 50+ images; I don't know why anyone would mess w/it when there are better options.

I "built" my own in about 5 minutes w/Filemaker Pro v.7; it is a fully featured relational database software program that allows you to build your own templates. I'm going to be showing some folks my stuff @ InspectionWorld in a couple weeks; if you're there, look me up.

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Jim and Sue:

I'm running Windows XP. Office 2003. Everytime I start pasting multiple photos, the photos jump around the page and don't hold their position.

Jim, I choose 'tight' on the wrapping command - I don't have a 'no wrap' option - I wonder why. But photos still jump around the page. This also happened on my older machines running Windows 98.

This happens on both my desktop and laptop - Dell and Gateway.

So I'm frustrated as I can't get the pictures to hold position and spend way too much time trying to get everything looking good. Thus, trying to find something else.

Mabye I'll dink around more with Word - thanks for both your considerations.

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Originally posted by kurt

There are many better ways to include photos than messing w/Word.

Kurt, do you mean by using Filemaker? My father in law built his construction defect litigation company (in So. California) on Filemaker. Everything, and I mean everything! Time sheets, photos, testimony, inspection records - you name it - it was all input to Filemaker AND it all tied together in very complicated or simple ways.

Father-in-law has taken the last 8-9 years building the software to get it to perform like it does - 100's of hours per year. I guess the sky's the limit.

Filemaker is awesome - I just have never put the hours in to learning it. I have version 5.0. Maybe I'll re-visit it.

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If you want to do it with Word, here’s the best way I’ve found.

1. Open a new Word document.

2. Insert four text boxes (or as many as you want) and place them where you want them.

3. Highlight all of the text boxes. (Hold shift.)

4. Save them as Autotext. (Insert, Autotext, New). Call them “Page O’ Photosâ€

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  • 2 months later...

Randy,

I use the same software reporting system and I'd say don't spend any money. You have all the stuff you need right at your fingertips.

Click on Report Sections>General Information>PHOTO FRAMES.

You have a choice of one or two per page with captions. If you want four (4) per page simply make a new template and save it as that.

You can also click AutoShapes>Callouts and add extra comments. I imbed lots of photos and illustrations using this method.

I use the text wrapping option (Square) which gives me a photo amidst the paragraphs that are unrelated to the subject and saves space.

My preference is to imbed the photos right next to the observation paragraph, this way the client can reference the defect right away. As previously mentioned check out Powertoys for the image resizer-indispensable.

Sorry about the tardiness

That's what happens when you miss a month and only click on the active topics button.

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  • 2 years later...

Kurt, I don't understand why the 10 jpeg pictures I inserted(100KB each) to 10 different containers per record won't display in preview mode. The hourglass just keeps on running waiting for insert to finish. Even if I insert as reference link. Even if I use FM 7 or 5.5. If I have 500 patients with 10 different pictures(shot from different angles) I want to store(dental). What is the best thing to do to handle the pictures using Filemaker on windows. On a Mac, if I point to jpeg picture I want to insert an error message occurs saying the tiff translator can not read this file. I could do a copy paste but that's laborious. Please help.

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Randy, if you're just trying to stick photos on a page and then stick text under the photos, and since you're using MS Office, why don't you just use the Office presentation software (I think its called powerpoint)?

Stick photos anywher you want, resize them in any dimension, glue text boxes anwhere and in any format you like.

short learning curve, easy to master.

I don't use it anymore, since I'm using the free OpenOffice suite, but its very simple, and you don't ever have to worry about the program picking up your graphics and moving them for you. They stay where you put'em.

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Randy, I think I am doing exactly what you want to already in my reports. I use word and I wrote a macro to go grab the photos out of a particular directory, resize them and lay them out on the page. I usually put 8 pics a page but can put anywhere from 2 to 8 pics. Then I have another page that I have all the captions preformatted and I just copy and paste on to the pics. It takes only a few seconds. Most of the time is spent writing the captions and putting in arrows and the such.

I also shrink the fotos down using Jpegsizer before I do all that otherwise its way to unweildly for adobe acrobat to convert.

If your interested I can post or send you the macro.

When I get some time some day I want to spiff up the macro to do it all in one shot.

I also wrote a macro that will cross index the photos from a picture page into the findings section of the report. For example on the findings page at the end of the monograph it will say something like "See photos 3,4 & 5 on page 7" and on the page 7, those photos will show "item 5" referring to the findings page.

Chris, Oregon

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Kurt, I don't understand why the 10 jpeg pictures I inserted(100KB each) to 10 different containers per record won't display in preview mode. The hourglass just keeps on running waiting for insert to finish. Even if I insert as reference link. Even if I use FM 7 or 5.5. If I have 500 patients with 10 different pictures(shot from different angles) I want to store(dental). What is the best thing to do to handle the pictures using Filemaker on windows. On a Mac, if I point to jpeg picture I want to insert an error message occurs saying the tiff translator can not read this file. I could do a copy paste but that's laborious. Please help.

As a start, I'd never cut & paste, nor insert; takes way too much time. I import a whole folder of images in one operation, then sort them in a neat little file I call the "lighttable". Takes about 10 seconds to fill a database w/150 images. Go to "File", pull down the menu, scroll down to "Import Records", a sidebar will ask if you want a file or a folder, choose folder, browse to the folder that contains the images, a dialog pops up asking the sort protocol, line up the images on the container fields, hit Import, click OK whenever it asks you, and all of a sudden you got a load of images in your database.

I'd have to see how you laid out the page/template. I'm thinking there's some intereference w/a margin setting or page break.

It might simply be your computer(?); how fast, what memory, etc.(?).....

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Randy,

I use Inspectit plus with Word 2003 I have no trouble inserting photos quickly and at the location I want. I usually add many photos on the fly when I’m writing the report. This is how it’s done. It may sound complicated but it’s really simple once you get use to it.

1. When I have an inspection order I use Office Pro to open up word with client info automatically transferred from Office Pro. When it opens I go to the top of word toolbar and click on options. Scroll over to File locations/clipart pictures and hit the tab. At the bottom is another tab modify that opens a location file which takes me to file with my future clients name on it I click okay exit word and go to the inspection.

2. After I download my photos to the clients file I start the report. When I write a comment and want a photo I just click the insert picture icon on word toolbar. The photos from that particular job open up, I pick the photo I want and click on it. It inserts wherever I last left the blink curser-which is wherever I want the photo. Photo opens a little larger and I just quickly more my mouse to the left corner of the photo, left click keeping mouse button down and drag that corner to the size I want the photo. The process is simple & quick. I own Adobe 7.0 and have tried many others but for me word is much quicker and easier to use. I usually have 20-30 photos in a report.

John C

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If you want to do all that, just buy InspectExpress; it's got it all goin' on w/the photo insertion thingiemabob in a Word based program.

InspectExpress' most current release is the nicest Word based report/photo insertion option available, IMHO. And, I think most folks that know me would tell you I'm not a suckup; even though I love TIJ, if the program was a load, I'd say so.

OK, that said, I don't think the dentist wants what folks are proffering. He's looking for a way to database & archive images for customers. Word can be worked w/in various gymnastic gyrations to accomplish this, but a robust relational database will store the .jpeg images, not just display them in indexes and columns. With the right notations & descriptions, photos are "word searchable", so if one has several thousand images (like me), one can look them up w/a simple query.

And, if one is so inclined, these photo files can be "related" w/customer info/data files in all sorts of ways to allow reports that can be altered & collated in different ways so you can change w/what new times might bring.

IOW, it's a photo storage and archiving tool. Word is a photo display tool. If I got that wrong, I'm open to correction.

Folks are so hepped up on Word nowadays, they simply miss the options and benefits of a relational database. And, I'm not talking about 3D, or any of other proprietary models; I'm talking about a fully functioning standalone database.

Filemaker still has detractors, usually coming from ranks of folks that used the pre-5.0 version; it was sort of a "toy" DB at that time. We're not in Kansas anymore; v7.0 blew the doors open on capability.

For example, the State of Nebraska uses it for their Dept. of Motor Vehicle records. Several Fortune 500 companies (Genentech, Apple, Humana, and yes, even IBM, use it for special database applications.

Several cardiologists of my acquaintance are using it for specialized photo recording of surgical procedures, tying it to research projects all over the globe. It's really, really amazing what can be done w/this $279 piece of software. And, it's still got that wonderful sort of "Mac" intuitive-ness that allows non-computer morons like myself to play.

All that macro stuff can be shelved; Filemaker has a wonderful Scripting engine that pretty much allows all these various tasks to be "programmed" simply by making choices from pull down menus.

Here's another cool thing; the same container fields that are used for storing .jpeg's, can also store .pdf files, other image types, and Quicktime movies. I'm experimenting w/a new file that links Quicktime movie's w/customer's houses. If you want to review a file, you double click, on the "image", and it plays a movie in your report. Try that w/Word. Yes, it's unnecessary and sort of silly, but it's really foooking cool.

I'm working on my magnum opus image DB now; I've got the entire CodeCheck image collection, my photos, Quicktime movies, and several .pdf's, all in one file, all word searchable, all displayable (is that a word?), in any manner of report formats. Hoo Hah...

I'd love to do a Filemaker presentation; I think folks jaws would be on the floor.

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