Recent Visual Pursuits Changes

May 2018

Gallery Option

You can now set a gallery option to request the display of any metadata (EXIF) data available for the images being displayed. The summary metadata is added to the image caption.

April 2018

Duplicate Images

When you upload a new image, you may now see a warning if your image appears to be a duplicate of an image already in your Image Library. You are encouraged to use the existing image unless there is a significant difference between the images. The process cannot detect all image differences, so it can only be a suggestion.

Download Manager Role

The "Download Manager" role is now required for a person to use the "Manage Downloads" page via the "Administration" menu to save files that can be downloaded by members. This role is implied by the "Content Manager" and "Administrator" roles. You may find you need to add this role for a member that needs to save files in your downloads area.

View PayPal Role

The "View PayPal" role is now required for a person to use the "View PayPal Transactions" page via the "Administration" menu. This role is implied by the "Treasurer", "Membership Manager", and "Administrator" roles. You may find you need to add this role for a member that needs to view PayPal transactions, such as an event manager.

March 2018

Automatic Processing of PayPal Membership Payments

You can now configure your website to automatically apply membership payments made with PayPal buttons. Membership expirations can be extended without any administrative handling of each payment. Careful setup is required of your PayPal buttons and you must enable the feature on the Manage Organization Profile page.

Please watch the new video on using PayPal buttons for details.

PayPal Payment Notifications

An email is now sent to the payee when they make a PayPal payment using one of your PayPal buttons. The email confirms that payment has been received by your organization.

A separate email is sent to the Treasurers of your organization, or to the Administrators if no users have the Treasurer role. Payments made with buttons configured as membership payments will also optionally send a message to the Membership Managers, or the Administrators if there are no Membership Managers.

Please watch the new video on using PayPal buttons for details.

New Gallery Embedding Options

You can now place Competition Results galleries on your Home page or any custom page. Additional options are available when you place you gallery, such as setting the gallery size. A new process builds the needed tag to place on your page. Instructions are on the custom page and web content pages.

You can now place galleries with competition results on your Home page or any custom page. You can select a specific Competition, the latest Competition with results, a specific Competition Group, or the latest Competition Group with results. This new feature could be used to automatically display your latest competition results on your Home page.

February 2018

Display Non-Winning Author Names

A new option was added to Competition Types that allows you to force the display of author names for non-winning images in a competition. The default for new Competition Types will hide the author names for images without awards. A competition option can specify the display of non-winning authors if the Competition Type does not make that selection.

This option does not affect the ICM program, where the display of author names is controlled by show styles.

January 2018

ICM Wildlife Option

You can now set a show or judging style option to identify wildlife images in the caption for images. All images that have the "wildlife" attribute will be have the word "Wildlife" included in their caption display.

December 2017

PayPal Transactions

If you use PayPal buttons, each payment transaction is now recorded on your website. The transactions can be viewed by members via the menu "My Account", "My Transactions". The organization can view PayPal transactions via the menu "Administration", "PayPal Buttons", "PayPal Transactions".

Further enhancements are in development. We will try to automate membership renewals and we will create a video explaining how all of this works.

New Privacy Option

Members can now specify, via their personal profile, if a club's Event Managers can see their contact information.

Cell Phone Numbers

The "Alternate Phone Number" field has been renamed to "Cell Phone" and the "Alternate Phone Number Type" field has been discontinued. If a cell number and the primary number are the same, only the primary number is saved.

September 2017

Opt-Out Forums

Forum managers can now specify that all members or all competing members should get notifications from a forum or a forum topic. Members can "opt out" of these topics by un-subscribing via the forum pages.

Hide Author Names

A new option was added to the competition options that allows you to hide the author names for non-winning images in a competition results display. The default for new competitions will hide the author names for images without awards. This option does not affect the ICM program, where the display of author names is controlled by show styles.

August 2017

Move Competition Images

If a user submits an image to the wrong competition, a Competition Manager can now move the image to a different competition instead of having the user remove and re-submit the image. The process is performed using the "Images" button on a Manage Competitions page. A "Move" button appears under the thumbnail for each image in the images grid.

Image History

Competition Managers can now select a member to view their competition history using the My Image History page. This was previously restricted to Administrators.

July 2017

Award Set Percentage Option

When defining an Award in a custom Award Set, you can now specify that the percentage considers other awards after computing a percentage of all entries. See Manage Award Sets for details.

New Visual Pursuits Users Forum

A new public forum was created, shared by all organizations, to allow organizations and members to exchange information on how to manage their organizations and competitions. Access the new forum using your website menu "Organization", "Discussion Forums".

May 2017

New ICM Sort Option

When combining levels in the ICM program, the random sort order is applied over all of the combined images. This may not be desirable for a print competition where you have printed out a report of images in the competition and are trying to synchronize projecting images with a stack of prints that are order from the report. Use the new sort option "Competition Levels and Random" in a Show Style to keep the images in the same order as the report.

New Disqualify Option

If you disqualified an image while judging with the ICM program (via the Awards panel), the image remained in the competition until you synchronized. At the time it is was deleted from the competition.

If you used website judging, you needed to delete a disqualified image from the competition via Images button on one of the Manage Competitions pages.

To improve the handling of disqualified images, the old ICM “Disqualify” option has been renamed to “Disqualify and Exclude”. This will continue to delete the image from the competition when you synchronize. A new “Disqualify” button on the Awards panel will keep the disqualified the image reference in the competition, but the image is hidden and displays as Disqualified.

When using website judging, a judge can disqualify an image via the awards panel. There is no “Disqualify and Exclude” option for website judging.

Disqualified images will only appear in judging panels when hidden images are viewed. This allows removing the disqualified state. Authors will be able to view a disqualified state in their library. Disqualified images will appear in the images list on the Manage Competitions pages and the images are in exported lists from the ICM program.

April 2017

Converting Critique Ratings into Scores

An option can now be set on a Competition Type to allow a judge's rating values to be converted into a score automatically. A average of all non-zero ratings is scaled to the maximum score allowed for a competition image. This option requires specifying "Average Scores from Judges".

This option is "on" by default for all new Competition Types, but existing Competition Types do not have the option set. You must update your Competition Types if you want to use this option. A judge can disable the option on each critique and cannot critique or set a score for their own images.

Critiques is a feature included in a Premium Subscription. You can use "Administration", "Manage Critique Definitions" to customize the information that appears on the critique form. This allows you to name the rating sliders to match judging criteria you might use.

Without the automatic computation of a score from critiques, a scoring box still appears on the critique page so that a score can be entered there instead of waiting to return to the image panel.

January 2017

Splitting Very Large Competitions

If you need to hold a competition with hundreds or thousands of images, a new process allows you to split a competition into child competitions for distributed judging. See the main Help page for a reference on an article on Managing Large Competitions.

Billing Changes

The amount of storage allowed in each Visual Pursuits subscription type has been increased by about 30%. The number of prepaid website judged images has been doubled for each Premium Subscription.

Overuse beyond your annual allocations may roll-over to the next year if we decline to invoice for the extra usage. We expect to only invoice for excess usage once per year. These changes have been made without any increase in your subscription costs.

Use your website menu "Help", "Subscription Information" for more information on subscriptions and options. Use the menu "Administration", "Subscription Status" for details on your subscription and website usage.

Secure Website Mode

We have changed your Visual Pursuits website to run only in HTTPS mode instead of the normal HTTP mode. This new mode encrypts all transmissions, instead of just the login pages. The new mode has been encouraged for use by all websites since it makes it extremely difficult for anybody to hack into a website or intercept any information you might enter on a website.

No action is required by you or your users. The change is likely to be invisible to your users. In some cases, you may notice that the website address in your address bar has changed. This occurs because we are redirecting all of your website traffic to a single website address that uses the new HTTPS encrypted transmissions.

The ICM program has always used encrypted transmissions, so no change was needed there.

November 2016

Maximum Image Size

The maximum image size that can be used has been increased from 2560 x 1700 to 3840 x 2160 (4K resolution). The maximum file size has been increased to 10MB.

October 2016

Judging Collaboration

When using website judging, you can now allow judges to see the scores and critiques from other judges during the judging process. This is controlled by and option on the Competition Type, which can be overridden for individual competitions.

July 2016

Image Watermarks

There is now an option on the Organization Profile to suppress the display of watermarks on images when viewed by a logged in member.

Membership Renewal EMail

An email may now be automatically sent to your members before and/or after their membership in your organization expires. You can customize those email messages by using the website menu "Administration", "Manage Web Content". You might add a link to your membership page or to a page with a PayPal button for paying dues. The "expiring message" is different than the "expired message".

An Administrator can configure the dates when reminder emails are sent. You specify your options on your Organization Profile page. You can suppress sending membership reminder emails by clearing the default date ranges. By default, a reminder is sent 30 days before membership expires and another email is sent when the account expires.

Member accounts must have a "Date Joined" and an expiration date set in order to receive reminder emails. You would not set a "Date Joined" for judges and guest accounts. An Expiration date of 1/1/1900 indicates no value has been set and no notices will be sent. Accounts marked as "lifetime membership" will not receive notices.

New Video on Galleries

The video on galleries was updated to match all of the current features.

May 2016

Gallery, Resource Links, and Downloads List Order

Sequence numbers may now be assigned to Download files, Resource Links, and individual Galleries. The numerical sequence numbers are used before sorting on the gallery names, link descriptions, or download descriptions.

Category Sorting

Categories may now be assigned a sequence number so that categories can be sorted by the sequence number before their category name. Categories are used in many places, including Galleries, Downloads, and News Items. All categories are initially assigned a sequence number of 100, making it easy to move a category to the start or end of the list.

April 2016

Gallery Intervals

You can now set the duration for each image displayed in a gallery by editing the gallery options.

Enhanced PayPal Buttons

You can now place multiple PayPal buttons on a page. PayPal buttons may also be included in an Event description. To allow multiple buttons on a page it is now necessary to specify the size of the area on the page to allocate to a button. A new height and width specification must now be set when you define a button.

Event Wait Lists

When a slot becomes available for an event, the next person on the Wait List is automatically registered for the event.

January 2016

ICM Show Loops

You can now set an option in an ICM Show Style to repeat a show when using automatic advancing.

Judges Scores

Competition Managers can now view and export individual judge's scores by using one of the Manage Competitions pages and using the "Images" button. Additional columns are added if website judging was used. The new columns contain the scores and ranking values set by each judge.

Competition Voting

Organizations with Premium Subscriptions can now have members or the public vote on competition images. This can allow you to grant a "People's Choice" award. You set options on your competition and users use a new menu under "Competitions" to cast votes. Results can be viewed in the online judging system. After judging the voting results can also be displayed on the Competition Results page and with the Image Competition Manager (ICM) program.

Watch the video on Competition Voting.

Website Critiques Improvements

The creation and display of website critiques has been improved to display the critiques next to a scaled down copy of the image.

September 2015

New Image Upload Processing

Enhancements have been made to the image uploading process to simplify and clarify the process. You may select multiple images at once or drag and drop them onto your form. After saving the images you may edit the titles and other information before images are added to competitions and galleries.

Image sequences can be created automatically during the upload process. File names can be parsed to extract author, levels, and Image Sequence numbers.

The new processing occurs when the "Upload Images" button is used. Full instructions appear on the upload page. New videos describe the entire process.

Images in Competition

Using the "Images" button on a manage competition page will now display a new column that lists all other usage of an image within the same organization. This could be useful if you are auditing the re-submission of images into new competitions.

August 2015

Custom Roles for Permissions and Mail Groups

Premium Subscribers can now define their own "roles" and assign members to those roles. The roles can be used to restrict permissions to custom web pages. The roles will also appear as new email groups. Members in a "special interest group" would be ideal candidates for a custom role.

Custom roles are managed via the website menu "Administration", "Manage Roles and Groups".

July 2015

Website Critiques of Competition Entries

Premium Subscribers can now add critiques to images while judging using the website. Standard comments can be selected from a checklist, free form comments may be added, and ratings in several categories may be specified.

The critique comments and values are displayed by the ICM program by pressing "k" while viewing an image. The author may also view the comments and values from the Image Library or Image History website pages.

Image Competition Manager (ICM) Updates

A new digital code signing certificate was used on the ICM program. The certificate is used to prove it originated from Software Pursuits and the program contents have not been altered. This update may trigger some warning messages when you update. If you get a prompt about "Windows protected your PC", click "More info" and then "Run Anyway". The requirement happens about every 3 years.

A new high contrast option has been added for displaying titles on images. You may also scale the text to a larger size if you want to make it readable when projected in a large room. These options are configured with a show style.

Critiques can now be displayed by pressing the "k" key when an image is displayed. You can close the critique window by pressing "esc" or clicking the "close" button. By default, critiques are displayed over the full screen image. If you are using dual screen mode you have an option in your style for displaying the critiques over the thumbnails instead.

Website Formatting

Fonts and spacing have been adjusted for better readability. A "maximum width" value has been set for pages that primarily contain text to improve readability and appearance. You can clear or alter the value set using your Organization Profile page.

June 2015

Forum Improvements

The handling of Discussion Forums has been enhanced with revisions to each page used by this feature to make their usage easier.

People using forums can now subscribe to Topics or entire Forums. New buttons now appear for subscribing or changing subscriptions. E-Mail notifications are sent when new posts are created. Moderators are notified when there is a new posting the requires approval.

If you have a Premium Subscription, forums can enable voting and allow Topics to request voting on a Topic subject or on individual posts within the topic. Several options exist to control the voting, which is configured on the main topic posting.

Usage Statistics

Administrators can now display and export page reference statistics. Use the website menu "Administration", "Subscription Status".

Image Competition Manager Improvements

You may now set a show style option to sort by descending author name.

You may now set a show style option to display the caption above the image instead or below the image. This could be helpful for people viewing the images from the back of the room.

The export capability has been significantly enhanced. You may now save and re-use export definitions. You may filter exports by score. You may specify the columns to appear in your exports.

April 2015

Image Competition Manager Improvements

You may now select multiple thumbnails using shift-click or ctl-click. With multiple images selected you can assign awards to multiple images at once. It is also possible to drag and drop multiple images at once.

The handling of hidden images has changed. You may select multiple images a hide them all at once. A menu item will display hidden and disqualified images and allow you to change their state.

When judging, if you drag a thumbnail to the "winners" list on the left, a Honorable Mention award will be assigned, if you defined one with an Award Numeric of 101. If you drag an image out of the winners list into the non-winners list it will have its awards removed.

March 2015

Mobile Improvements

Improvements have been made to the display of the website on phones and tablets.

Competition Results

Improvements have been made to the display of competition results.

New Website Themes

Three new themes are now available to change the look of your website: Bootstrap, Simple 1, and Simple 2. Themes are set using the Manage Organization Profile page.

February 2015

Alert Messages

You may now create Alert Messages that display on your website to notify users and visitors of a timely, important item. Use the menu Administrators, Manage Alert Messages to create your own messages. This is the same system Visual Pursuits uses to notify users when websites will be down for maintenance.

Background Image Tiles

You may now select from a list of system defined background tile images that can be used to create more interesting backgrounds for your web pages. You can still upload your own background tile image, if you prefer. Your selection is made on the Manage Organization Profile page.

January 2015

Fractional Scores

You may now specify the number of decimal positions allowed in scores, permitting fractional scores. This is specified on the Manage Competition Types page.

Fixed Page Widths

On your Organization Profile you can now set a fixed page width to be used on most of your pages on your website. The default width of zero uses the full browser width.

Suggestions Welcome

Have a need that is not being filled? Have a suggestion for improving the website or the Image Competition Manager program? We welcome your comments and suggestions. Consider adding a feature request to the Wish List Forum or send your comments to Support@SoftwarePursuits.com.

If you have a problem, please use the Submit Support Request page via the Help menu.

Thanks for your support!

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