TIPS: For Designers

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TIPS: For Designers

I think most designers know to add their name to their file names, but I suggest you also add your name to your TOU file name too. So many times I get a TOU file with my download & it only says TOU. Then my computer lets me know I have a duplicate file name and asks me to overwrite the original file with the new one or not. Either answer I give my computer leaves me with losing someone's TOU file. Just something for you think about if you haven't already.

I think it depends on what system you have. I run Vista on my main computer and it gives me a bunch of options; Replace, Keep both copies; rename, & skip. It only asks if I'm uzipping files into the same folder, which I usually won't do unless they all belong to the same kit, in which case it doesn't matter if I overwrite or skip that particular TOU on subsequent files into that folder. I always put CSF on the front of all my files (or at least I try to - may forget one once in a while), but it is a good habit to get into when naming the files for your designs.

@ Shiree: I edited your title because I thought you had a great idea to help out the designers. Let's all keep it nice but we can give the designers some of our ideas/suggestions as end users that they might not have thought of.

So, I have one to share:
While trying to collect a kit where designers want you to come back to their blog, FB, store, or website day after day all month to get one kit, instead of loading it all at once. I can totally respect this concept & the business side of why. However, as of late... it has become a bit of a pet peeve for me because of the alphas.

My suggestion would be... PLEASE do the alpha or each different alpha as a set by its self to be given away in ONE single file. It's very frustrating to have been there every day and then life hits you hard one or two days and bam no internet time for that day and then your other time feels wasted as far as you ever getting the alpha. I usually trash it at that point. No sense it being on my HD taking up valuable space if I'm missing three or four letters of it. I'm one of those scrappers that still has a hard time with the mixing & matching of alphas, unless it's already done for me. But your cute or gorgeous alpha is now not usable to me. smiley

I may try to keep the Upper A, S, T, or M (maybe even the vowels) if I was lucky enough to get them to use as the first letter of a journaling block or mine or the hubbies names, but it's gonna have to be pretty special for me to do that and not just delete it.

TRUST me if I really like your stuff I'm gonna come back every day at least almost every day that life is normal, and keep your stats up high for you. But most of us know... normal life includes a couple down days every month that don't go exactly according to our own plans. smiley Make it pleasant for your clients and your stats will stay up. If people get too frustrated, they'll just quit coming by and go somewhere else. I know a couple websites I was part of for about 6-7 years. A few were often late with uploads and were sassy about it if you asked when... I never did, too scared after watching others pay the price. smiley If the end user missed a day by five minutes, it was Tough Patootey for them, too. Some of those sites/designers are now gone. smiley I'm sure there was more to them being gone ($$$, stats, and so on), but there are so many new designers coming along daily, you have to keep a pleasant attitude for you and the end user... at least to the best of your ability.

Any who... that turned into more than just about alphas, didn't it??? LoL Guess I've been around online too long. smiley

Include kit preview. I also included a tiny preview named folder. At least on my old windows xp, it will automatically put it on the folder as an icon thumbnail. I thought it was a nice touch when I saw others do it. The one I saw were between 170x170 - 200x200.

Also I like when they have a simple photo TOU included, as well as a TOU in txt format. Again on at least my older systems, having a small txt file instead of Word doc to have to load another LARGE program, it just is nice. Or the photo TOU that pops up as your flipping though the graphics they've designed, it's just a simple reminder of how they allow you to use their stuff. (Just minor polishing details, IMHO).

@Shiree I agree with you. I like to make files for "Elements, Papers, Glitters, sometimes Word Art (if there are a lot otherwise they go into the elements folder) and if there are several TOUs I make a folder for them too." For TOU files I like to name them with "TOU and the designers name or initials." If they don't have the designer name or initials then I rename them. I like the file name to have the TOU first so that if you don't have a Word Art folder then it is alphabetically after the main folders. I also keep the preview jpeg outside of the other folders. It works for me best this way.

I'm still learning my zip program. I so wanted to make a main folder and thn put all the previews and TOU into it and then have other folders inside. But each zip would produce that first folder if it wasn't there already and then add the folder and items to a sub folder... So that if folks only wanted papers they would have the main folder, previews TOU and the just the papers folder. But those that went for all zips wouldn't end up with 3 sets of my TOU inside. But I didn't figure it out in time... Part of my trouble was that when I went to move my files around, my old PC started truncating the names on me. I also didn't realize that for google drive I needed to keep the zip files under 30-25 Meg's to be virus scanned on downloads. So I ended up having to even split my original elements zip. Always something more to learn smiley

I third the TOU one. I keep all my TOU in one folder on my computer. I don't currently do any S4H, or CU stuff, but in case I ever get to that point, I can go read the TOU's and see who will allow what. Then I'll separate based on usage allowances.

I also pull out the preview and stick it in one folder. If I am doing a book, I like to know what kits have similar colors, or go together, or if there was a blog hop it's easier to look. Some designers only include the 'folder' file as a preview which means I have to rename it.

I know a lot of file names, etc. depend on how you store, sort, and organize your digi supplies. But I do find it helpful when all pieces have something to tell where it came from. I have a few elements that are named "red", "Button", etc. and I have no idea who designed them.

The latest thing I've come across that might just be a learning thing: a link to Facebook, Newsletter, Pinterest, Fan Blinkie, Store Shortcut, and Blog Shortcut, along with the No Piracy notice in every folder. For me, it's obnoxious when the designer only sells things in a kit, but has those things in every folder (ie in the elements folder, in Paper 1, Paper 2 and in the Terms and Extras Folder). I'm glad you want to make it easy to connect, but it bugs when I end up with 4 copies of each of those things. Maybe one pdf with a link to those?

@Courtney these are the things I was mistified about too but this may help....the reason there is a "folder" file is because you can use that image on your folder in Windows. I have read about how to do it but have not had a lot of luck at doing it on my computer. But then haven't spent a lot of time to figure it out. I like when they give both a preview file and folder file (though before I knew what they were for I just deleted or renamed if there wasn't a preview image) As for the reason that you may have extra duplicated stuff in the files (I believe) is that for some designers they participate in their store's "pieces" sale for say the first week of the month or they actually sell the kit as well as each type file. When they put it all together they just bundle it all up as is.

These are my beliefs but there may be other reasons too. I do share in your frustration too!

Shiree, I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion! Though I don't think "most designers know to add their name to their file names." I have been doing some major hard drive clean up lately (yup, its full again!), and I swear I have about 2,000 files with extraordinarily unhelpful names like "flower.png" and "ribbon.png." I name my files "CC_KitName(or initials)_item.png." And for those designers who use a Mac, Automator is your friend!! Learn to use it, and in about 2 minutes you can rename every file in your kit. I always do it at the end before uploading using Automator.

Automator? I have been using a Mac for years but I never heard of it, Heather. Do explain, please please?

Go to your Launchpad and on the very first page of apps, there is a cute little robot icon for the application Automator. If you have an older OS, I think it should still have Automator, check your app folder. Its a standard app, but I can't remember which OS it started with. Basically, you can use it to make lists of tasks you want your computer to do, and it will do them all in order. So to rename files, I create a new workflow and use the following actions: Get Specified Finder Items (which lets you choose the files you need to rename); and then Rename Finder Items (which lets you, amongst other things, choose to add text before or after the file name). I choose all of the files that make up my kit (which I have named things like "ribbon" and "uppercase-A" and "Blue_flower") and then choose to add the text "CC_KitName_" to the beginning. I click "run," and in less than a second, a happy little beep lets me know that every file has been renamed like magic! Automator can do WAY more complex tasks, but I am intimidated by creating complicated workflows. But this simple little workflow I created has saved me SO much time!

All good suggestions! Sometimes, I wonder if designers have ever opened one of their own zips. You're going for a ride on a blog train. You download all the special goodies into a folder. Then, you go to that folder to unzip them all. If you click on "Extract Here', the files open right where the zip is located. So, I highlight all the new zips and click 'Extract Here'. Ta-da! There may be 6 or 8 folders, each separate like the zips. But, it is almost fail-proof that one, or more, designers did not put their goodies in a folder. Amidst all the nice neat folders, you now have dozens of elements and papers, all mixed together due to alphabetical filing. If there was more than one and they aren't identifiable, you're stuck with a bunch of 'no-name' pieces. You could go back and re-extract the zip using 'Extract Files'. This unzips the file into a folder by the same exact name. Then, using the files as guides, delete all the 'random' elements that were loose. Or, designers could load their goodies into folders, then, zip that folder. I didn't do this right for my first few freebies. It just saves a lot of work!

When you all speak of the 'folder' preview, in case you are wondering, Windows XP will show an image on the front of the folder it is in, if you name that image 'folder', - no accents. When you get to Windows 7, the folders are half open, so, this doesn't work. You can see some of the files in a folder, but, not well. I don't know of any quick tips for seeing what is in the folder. I wish! LOL

As far as opening the TOU's, whether in Word or a text document, even a .PDF, use the Preview Panel that Windows offers. When you open a folder, look to the top right. There is a little icon of a window, it looks like. When you click on it, the right side of your view will become a preview of the file that is selected. If the window is too small, grab the line between it and the file window and drag it either way.

As you can see, I didn't have to open the TOU. I just highlighted the doc and it came up in the preview window. Word, PDF, almost any format will be viewable in this window.

I like these tips! Thanks, everyone!


Totally AWESOME tip for all of us SU!!! Thanks for sharing. smiley

As far as opening the TOU's, whether in Word or a text document, even a .PDF, use the Preview Panel that Windows offers. When you open a folder, look to the top right. There is a little icon of a window, it looks like. When you click on it, the right side of your view will become a preview of the file that is selected. If the window is too small, grab the line between it and the file window and drag it either way.

As you can see, I didn't have to open the TOU. I just highlighted the doc and it came up in the preview window. Word, PDF, almost any format will be viewable in this window.


@Heather: WOW! I never knew! That little robot will be my best friend the coming blogtrain(s). Thanks so much Heather!

@Su, yeah I'd love the preview feature of Windows 7 but unfortunating the older Windows XP doesn't have that feature. smiley

I have watched my dads screen on Skype screen share and he runs Windows 7, he could hover over his half opened folder and that "folder" file would skoot out for a better view...still. Not as nice as the photo laying flat as in XP but a little better then that half hidden view as you showed above. Do any of you others running on Windows 7 get it to peek out on a hover or was that a fluke?

@Sue, Thanks soooo much for the tips! All this time and I never knew of the preview panel! What a time saver for me! Now if we can just find a way in Windows 7 to replace the half open folder look to a chosen preview image instead.

Oh yeah, I was going to mention also, that there are some handy little programs out there to help organize faster. There's probably a way to do it in Windows 7, but I don't know it, so I have always used ExtractNow to extract multiple files all at once to whatever folder you choose, and Copy All To One, which will copy all your files in a selected folder to whatever folder you choose. I drag multiple folders to it, and put in a folder directory for the contents to go, then it takes out all the contents of all those folders and puts them into one folder, where I can organize them better and get rid of tons of files I don't need all at once. It save me a lot of time! There is also .abr Viewer for windows that allows you to preview your brushes without opening them up in photoshop, and there is one for mac too, BrushViewer. There is also one that gives a preview of all files, (brushes, patterns, shapes, psd files, layer styles, color swatches,fonts and more). This one you have to pay for (its Tumasoft), I never tried it, so I don't know how much it costs, but I think I would love it! I think I read somewhere where it will also convert them to .png files for non photoshop users, but I'm not sure, that may have been a different program.

I love ExtractNow... One of the designers clued me into it. Before that I used WinZip & it was a major pain to unzip all the files & organize stuff. ExtractNow is so simple & so easy to use, and it amazes me how fast it does it!

Although I agree it is a bit of pain having to delete Tou's and the rest of the additional information. Some people may only download one folder so the Tou's have to be in every folder. When I have extracted the files, I transfer them to the appropriate folder ie flowers to flowers. I transfer one copy of the TOU to (funnily enough!) a TOU folder, making sure the name is on there's before I transfer and delete the rest. I also like to check the TOU as they do sometimes change. Some people like to keep the same designer's work in folders with the designers name. The trouble with that is, if I am looking for a flower, for example, I have to look in several folders.

The trouble with that is, if I am looking for a flower, for example, I have to look in several folders.

For image files (like jpeg, png, etc.) you can add tags and search by tag in Windows photo gallery. Saved me a lot of headaches and time when I realized my organization wasn't what it was cracked up to be...

hi thank u everyone for the great tips. smiley

hi thank u. smiley

Automator sounds like another reason to add to the list of why I should have gotten a Mac smiley

I enjoy using WinRar on Windows 8. It opens those pesky .rar files. Also, I can highlight a mixed group of archived files (.zips, .rars, etc), right click and choose "Extract each archive to separate folder" and it'll do a mass extraction into my downloads folder, placing each archive into it's own folder. I then move them over to my scrapbooking folder for further sorting and renaming.
I really enjoy using Windows 8, but there are a handful of software developers that won't touch it with a ten foot pole. The developer of ExtractNow is one of those developers. It's really vague on whether or not the program is runnable on Windows 8, but the he is pretty explicit that he will not offer any support for it on Windows 8 - so if you get any bugs, you're outta luck. (I don't particularly like that kind of attitude.)