Monday, June 7, 2010

Supply Tracking - Part 2

The first tutorial about supply tracking explained some of the reasons why a digital scrapbooker would want to keep track of supplies used on a layout and also emphasized that the first step in doing so is creating 'meaningful' layer names.

Once you have a layout complete, with layers named according to the products used, the Supply Tracker script can be used to gather them into a list. Supply Tracker puts the list of layer names in a new text layer at the top of your layout.

Supply Tracker also copies the same list of layer names to the 'Metadata' of your layout. Metadata can be seen by going to File>File Info. The list is copied to the 'Description' section of the Metadata.

If you are only tracking supplies for your own purposes, you may find this list of file names is suffice. You can simply turn off the visibility of the 'Credits' layer, or even delete it, since the same info is in the metadata. If you use the File Save (1 or 2) scripts, or use File>Save As, to save a jpg copy of your layout, the metadata will be preserved in those files as well.

NOTE: If you use the 'Save for Web' feature of Photoshop or PSE, the files created will not contain the metadata that is in your psd file.

If you are posting your layout to online galleries, submitting to magazines or listing credits on a blog, etc., your supply list will probably require some editing to make it useful to the readers. The credits and/or Metadata can be edited right in Photoshop/PSE, if desired.

After running Supply Tracker, I prefer to do my edits in Excel. To do this, I first double click on the thumbnail of the credits layer.

This highlights the entire list.

Then, I copy (Ctrl-C) the selection, open Excel, and paste (Ctrl-V) the contents of the credits list in a spreadsheet. I do this step because I find it easier to view and manipulate the data in Excel than in Photoshop.

The next thing I do is clean up the data by deleting any duplicate product names or data that isn't related to supply tracking, leaving only one row for each product I need to give credit to. I also add anything that I may have missed when creating 'meaningful' layer names - like fonts or additional scripts used.

The last step is to 'convert' file names to product names. The column next to the original list makes a great place for this.

Now, the 'cleaned up' supply list can be copied and pasted back to the layout or to your blog or gallery post. To do this, highlight the new list in excel and copy (Ctrl-C) the data.

To paste the new list to the metadata of your layout, go to File>File Info. Highlight all the existing data in the 'Description' field and press Ctrl-P to paste the new data, overwriting the old list.

Lastly, don't forget to save your psd file, to preserve your new, cleaned up supply list! :)

Next time, I will share some additional ideas for using Excel to keep track of supplies that you own and how to use the spreadsheet and Supply Tracker to easily create a credits list.

Til next time! :)


  1. wow didnt know about using excel to make the list ... and looking forward to your tips on using excle to keep track of stash...thanks as always for your great tips and super organized ideas

  2. I don't have Excel, but do have a similar program, so I will add this information to my list of things to learn. lol

    Thank you for the products and the information about them. :-)

  3. Great idea with the excel sheet, always trying to make it easier when submiting for publishing!