Monday, June 30, 2008

IMUG meeting June 2008

The first Inmagic Museum Users Group meeting for 2008 was held on Wednesday 11 June at the Royal Historical Society of Victoria. The theme for the meeting was using images with DB/TextWorks.

Barbara introduced the session by taking a photo using a digital camera, transferring the image to the computer and then linking the image to a record in DB/TextWorks. Susan Oliver from Werribee Park and Werribee & District Historical Society told the group about projects, undertaken at those organisations, to attach images to their catalogue records.

Approximately 40 people attended the meeting and there was much discussion about scanning and projects during the session as well as networking opportunities before and after the meeting. Networking is an important feature of IMUG meetings. In the photo Rod and Ted are busy sharing information.

Those present also had the opportunity to visit the images room at the RHSV where David showed the equipment used and some of the recently scanned images.

In her talk Barbara spoke about resolution and compression of images and different file formats. She showed how to link the image by typing the path to where the image is stored on the computer (or elsewhere) into the image field in the edit form. In the discussion a number of people said that when adding images to a batch of records they copied and pasted the path into the image field and just changed the name of the image.

From version 4 onwards it is also possible to scan a photograph and link the scanned image to the record dirctly from the database. Click in the image box on the Edit screen, go to the Records Menu and select Scan Image then follow the prompts. When the image is scanned and stored the path is added automatically to the record.

Another tip that Barbara gave us was that it is possible to specify the drive where images are stored so that the database will automatically check the drives nominated to locate the image and the drive does not have to be added in the path. This feature can be found by going to the Tools menu, select Options, select Imaging, then in the Image drives box type the letter of each drive where images are stored. Click OK to complete the action. There is additional information about this in the Imaging Tab (options) in the Help index under Image drive and path.

Barabara also showed how to add a picture box to any report form in order to view the image with the record.

The Help in DB/TextWorks is acually helpful. Searching for Image in the index should answer most questions about using images with the database.

At the end of the session Barbara showed how to make a simple lightbox for reducing the shadows and improving the quality of images when photographing small items. How to create an inexpensive photography lightbox and Do it yourself lightbox are two of the many articles available online on this topic.