The school picture industry offers a variety of products and services to students and schools. These are often used in conjunction with yearbooks and other products. Since individual students and schools employ different photographers to take photos, there is a need for an easy way to combine the products and services of these suppliers.
The Professional School Photographers Association (PSPA) has established Digital Data & Image Format Guidelines for use by school photographers to make this process as efficient as possible. These guidelines include detailed instructions on naming conventions and file setup for these discs in order to be compatible with most Yearbook software.
Your CD should already be set up correctly when you receive it from your photographer, but you can use the guide below if you have any issues getting your discs to work with our software.
For specific guidelines on creating a brand new PSPA CD, please visit this page.
Many CD/DVDs are read-only, so before you can make any changes to your PSPA disc, you'll want to save the contents into a folder on your computer. I would recommend using an easy to find location, like your desktop. Simply create a new folder and copy or extract everything from your PSPA disc into that folder.
While there are a few optional files that can be included in a PSPA directory, the two elements that must be present include an index.txt file, and a folder containing the portraits. When you access your CD, it will likely look something like this:
Inside your PSPA CD, you will see a folder that contains all of your image files. Sometimes portraits will be organized and nested inside of other folders; especially when dealing with a larger school.
The important part is that the index file is separate from the folder(s) containing the images, and that they are all present on the CD itself. When you open the images folder, you will see each portrait with a unique name. It is strongly recommended that you don't edit these filenames in any way.
The INDEX.TXT is a REQUIRED file. Its purpose is to contain all the data records to be included in the published yearbook product. Part of each data record contained in the INDEX.TXT file is a reference to the associated subject image. It's this file that the yearbook producer will use to incorporate data and associated images into the yearbook product.
The image names in this INDEX.TXT file must match the names of the portraits in the 'Images' directory.
The text is a little hard to follow when viewed through Notepad, so the easiest way to fix this would be to open it up in Microsoft Excel instead.
When you first open up INDEX.TXT through Microsoft Excel, you may receive a prompt warning you that your text is Delimited. Delimited data means that fields are separated by commas or tabs, and we want to preserve this when we import it into Excel. These tabs help Creator Studio determine which fields are separate.
Once your file is imported into Excel, each value will be listed in separate columns, and is much easier to read and adjust. Feel free to edit any of these values as needed.
The order of your information columns determines the order that the information is populated into Creator Studio. If Creator Studio is finding the photos but importing them with information in the incorrect fields (i.e. Surnames in the Grade field,) it's likely that the column order just needs to be adjusted. Your columns need to be in the following order:
Your INDEX file does not need to contain data for all of the listed sections. However, if you choose to leave some of this information blank, you need to make sure to include the blank column where that information should be.
Once you’ve made your changes, you should be able to save your file and import your photos into Creator Studio. If you have an INDEX file that’s in any other format than .txt (.xlsx, .doc, etc.) you’ll want to save it as a standard Text (.txt) file instead.