AlpaFarm creates stunning reports with style and substance, and you’ll be amazed at how something so beautiful can be so simple to do. Read on and find out how to make Reports such as the one at top-right of this page.
With AlpaFarm open, select Tools : Options from the AlpaFarm menu.
An “Updating Options” window will appear.
Use the Browse File button to select the directory containing your logo. Your logo will then display like so:
And that’s it—your logo will now display automatically on every Report you create.
With AlpaFarm open, select Alpacas : Alpacas from the AlpaFarm menu.
A “Browse the Alpaca File” window will open.
If you are adding an alpaca and photo not yet in AlpaFarm, click the Insert button.
If you are adding a photo to an existing alpaca record, highlight the alpaca of interest, then click the Change button.
If adding a new animal, ensure the “General” tab is active, then enter as much data as you wish on that animal. Once done, click on the “Picture” tab.
If adding a picture to an existing record, click on the “Picture” tab directly.
Use the Browse File button to select the directory containing your picture. This will then display like so:
And that’s it—every Report you generate for this animal will automatically display this picture.
With the Update Alpaca window still open, click on the “Comments” tab. Type away. That’s it!
It’s that easy.
Now that you know the basics of Report generation, read on for some tips on how to get the most out of them.
While AlpaFarm can handle many picture file formats, we strongly recommend you use just two: JPEGs (.jpg or .jpeg extension) or GIFs (.gif extension). These two formats were designed with specific end uses in mind: the type of usage you will need.
Try and avoid bitmaps (.bmp extension) or TIFFs (.tif or .tiff extension), not because they are bad per se, but because they are memory intensive. Loading them simply slows things down needlessly. JPEGs and GIFs are best in the interests of memory, and are designed with photos and logos in mind anyway.
JPEGs are most suited to photographs or photo-realistic images, as they use a compression technique that specifically exploits the way our brain perceives what we see. This technique is capable of very high compression with little or no apparent loss of image quality, and can cope with 16 million colours. GIFs are best suited to cartoon-style images ("clip art"), which would be the style of many logos, which have big blocks of limited numbers of colours. GIFs can handle a maximum of 256 colours.
Having said that, there are always exceptions to every rule. Some logos may comprise photo-realistic images and hence would probably be best in the JPEG format. Some photos have so few colours that saving them as GIFs may actually reduce their file size, but this is not often the case. In fact, saving photos as GIFs can actually increase the size!
If you do not have JPEG or GIF images, all decent image manipulation software can convert from one format to another. If you’d like help with this, or would simply like us to do the conversions for you (at a negotiated rate), please contact us.
It is important to realise that a computer monitor only has a 72dpi (dots per inch) resolution, while a printed image looks best at 300dpi or more. In other words, what looks great on-screen may not print too well, if it has been created for on-screen display only. Bear this in mind when generating Reports if you need to scan images or draw images with graphics software.
It’s too easy to take a photo, scan it or download it to disk, and whack it on a Report. Unfortunately, that may not be enough—it may not be at its potential best.
You will need decent software for manipulating images. Forget Windows Paint! Two recommendations are Corel PaintShop Photo Pro and Adobe PhotoShop, but there are plenty of others out there. Many digital cameras and scanners now come with very good, fully functional software. There are even some very good freeware and shareware applications you can download (eg The GIMP).
Before plopping your photos into your Reports “as is”, take a good long look at them. Is there too much clutter or excess background? It is important to crop your image so as to show as much of your alpaca as possible. Fill the space with alpaca! Don’t be afraid to crop right into the body if it means maximum impact. At the same time, don’t be afraid to leave that rosebush in full bloom in shot if it enhances your prize animal.
Too dark? Too light? Play with all those fancy features like “brightness/contrast” and “adjust hue and saturation” and see if you can make it a photo to be proud of.
If it’s unsalvageable, cut your losses and take another one.
Enhance your photos with simple yet effective effects. Look at the shadow effect on our sample Report top of page or the frame around our sample photo for ideas.
If you don’t like the idea of playing with your images, fret not. Contact us and we’ll discuss your requirements with you and happily do everything for you, for a negotiable fee.
This section is applicable to Reports generated for external, marketing uses only.
Quite simply, bad grammar and spelling is distracting, off-putting, and reflects badly on you. It is important to take the time to proofread your documents.
Avoid exaggeration and “spin”. People will always see through it, if not immediately, then eventually, especially if they are the unhappy purchasers.
Now on with it and write Reports!