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Like this article? We recommend Customizing Expression Media

Customizing Expression Media

You can customize Expression Media 2 in two ways to suit your cataloging needs:

  • Set global preferences that are applied regardless of the catalog in which you're currently working.
  • Set catalog-specific preferences that are applied only to the current catalog. Every catalog can have different catalog-specific preferences, if you want.

Global Preferences

Global preferences can be set or changed whenever your work style changes, without having a noticeable impact on existing catalogs. To set these program-wide preferences, choose a preference category from the Edit > Preferences submenu (Windows) or the Expression Media 2 > Preferences submenu (Mac). Figure 9 shows the preference categories.

Figure 9

Figure 9 You can review or change global preferences by choosing a command from the Preferences submenu (Macintosh shown).

Catalog-Specific Preferences

Although the effects of many of these settings can later be undone by rebuilding catalog items, you can avoid unnecessary work by setting catalog-specific preferences before you import media into the catalog:

  • Catalog Importers. The checked items in the Catalog Importers dialog box (see Figure 10) determine the types of media that can be imported into the current catalog and the types that will be ignored. To change these settings, choose File > Catalog Importers.
    Figure 10

    Figure 10 You can restrict imported items to selected media types for the current catalog. (In the left pane, select the checkboxes for the media types you want to allow.) This option is especially useful when importing a folder or drive that contains many kinds of files.

  • Thumbnail and Preview Preferences. Perhaps the most important of the catalog-specific preferences, settings in this dialog box (see Figure 11) determine whether imported items will use thumbnails stored in the files or Expression Media will generate the thumbnails. You can also create previews for imported images that can be displayed when the actual file isn't available (because it's offline or has been deleted). To view or change these preferences, choose Edit > Thumbnails and Previews.
    Figure 11

    Figure 11 Thumbnails and Previews dialog box.

  • View Options. Settings in the View Options window govern the appearance of the current catalog in each view, as well as the information shown for each item. To change these settings, choose Window > View Options (Windows) or Window > Show View Options (Mac). In the View Options window (see Figure 12), you can choose a background color and text font, elect to show or hide ratings and labels, and specify the fields that will be listed in the Info panel.
    Figure 12

    Figure 12 You can set a variety of display options for any catalog.

  • Folder Watching. If Folder Watching is enabled for a catalog, Expression Media will automatically check every minute or every five minutes for the presence of new items on hard disks and network folders from which you've imported media. The new media can be added to the catalog automatically or manually. To enable or disable folder watching, choose Edit > Folder Watching.

    Steve Schwartz has a Ph.D. in psychology and lives in the fictional town of Lizard Spit, AZ, where he's attended by Spooky (his faithful dog), Sydney (his African Gray attack parrot), and the irradiating glow of a roomful of computers. To learn more about Steve and his many Peachpit Press books, visit his website, Silicon Wasteland.

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