Extensis PORTFOLIO 5

"A Drag and Drop Visual Catalog
For Finding and Managing Files"
| Type of Product | User Level | Features |
| Product Analysis | Final Comments | System Requirements |
Type of Product
box cover
Portfolio 5 by Extensis is the newest version of their file management utility. With Portfolio 5, you can build visual catalogs of digital media including images, sounds, movies and other documents. You then have immediate visual access to all of your files and don't need to worry about where they are stored. Files can be dragged onto Portfolio for immediate cataloging, and thumbnails can be dragged from Portfolio for immediate copying or placing in layout applications. The catalogs you create can then be shared with other users on a network so that everybody has instant access to the same set of files. Also, the catalogs can be viewed three different ways--thumbnail view, list view, and record view. The program supports watermarks, allows you to customize the borders on thumbnail views, preview files without the original application, and create custom slideshows. There are three editions: (1) Portfolio 5 Destktop Edition--the standalone personal visual catalog for previewing and cataloging digital files; (2) Portfolio 5 Network Edition--for users who need the power of visual cataloging plus the ability to connect and share files with others. It includes Web publishing power, scripting, searching across multiple catalogs, and complete scalibility; (3) Portfolio 5 Server Edition--for members of workgroups and businesses that need a solution that grows with their organization. While this review will contain some information about the Network Edition, it primarily discusses the Desktop Edition. Extensis Portfolio 5 is available for Windows and Macintosh. Pricing for Desktop Edition: $99.95; upgrade is $49.95. Pricing for Network Edition: $199.95; upgrades from Fletch 1.2, Fetch 1.5, Portfolio 3.0 and Portfolio 4.0 are $99.95. Sidegrades from Portfolio Desktop Edition are $99.95. Pricing for Portfolio 5 Server: $2,499.95 and includes five free Portfolio 5 Network clients and PortWeb. See the Extensis Web site for information on other products: http://www.extensis.com
User Level
Beginners, intermediate, and advanced computer users. Anyone with digital files who needs a fast and easy way to locate and preview files can use Portfolio 5: (1) individual artists or photographers who maintain portfolios for prospective clients; (2) digital photographers with large amounts of photos and files to preview and manage; (3) graphic designers with multiple digital files who want a fast and easy way to catalog and retrieve their files; and (4) anyone with digital files who needs to catalog and retrieve digital files.

New Features in Extensis Portfolio 5 include:

  • Multipage Previews;
  • Digimarc Watermarking;
  • Edit in Place;
  • Internal Text Searching;
  • Palette Interface;
  • Slideshow Enhancements;
  • Disk Previews;
  • Web Publishing Power (Network Edition only);
  • Users Level Access (Network Edition only);
  • Cross-Catalog Searching (Network Edition only);
  • SQL Connectivity (Server Edition with SQL Connect only).
Product Analysis

Easy-to-Use Interface

Portfolio 5's interface has been simplified to provide easier access to information that was previously available only through submenus or dialogs. The new interface allows you to execute finds, load galleries, and sort records faster than before. Palettes are dockable, which makes it easier to keep workspaces uncluttered by docking and undocking palettes at any time. The enhanced interface allows you to edit fields in place. For instance, in Record View, you can edit fields directly, which is a huge time saver. In other views, you can quickly access the appropriate edit dialog using a command key.

Digital Watermarking

With Portfolio, you can read and embed Digimarc digital watermarks in supported formats. Then these watermarks can be used with a Digimarc MarcSpider Web-based search server to find your watermarks on the Web. Digimarc digital watermarking enables vital information such as copyright ownership, usage restrictions and contact details to be linked to digital images through a digital code imperceptibly embedded in the content. As the embedded information is intricately woven into the image, it stays with that image wherever it goes. This is a useful component in identifying, licensing and tracking content on the Web. You can also detect and read watermarks.

Exporting Catalogs to HTML
  Photographers and artists who create for the Web, will appreciate Portfolio's ability to export catalogs or galleries to HTML for quickly creating Web pages. You can export HTML in two ways. You can just simply export the catalog or gallery exactly as it appears on screen. The other way gives you more flexibility to format the appearance of the exported HTML page. You can create multiple templates for different purposes with Portfolio's Edit HTML tool. You can then edit the basic HTML structure as you please to achieve the desired look. You need some knowledge of HTML, but far less than with other applications.
Automatic Mapping of Embedded Image Data
  Portfolio 5 can automatically fill in custom fields with metadata embedded in images. Many images are embed with information about the image such as the name of the artist or photographer, the copyright notice, keywords, caption, headline, byline or more. This data then travels along with the image. Using Portfolio 5, you can automatically map each coded field into a previously created custom field. When combined with background cataloging, any image placed in a chosen folder will automatically be cataloged and will have its embedded data read and filled in the appropriate custom field.

Clickable URL Field
  Another feature that Web users will like is the clickable URL field. Portfolio 5 contains an innovative custom field type, the clickable URL field. Within any of the program's viewing modes, the URL field is an active hyperlink that when clicked loads the accompany Internet address in a Web browser. The most common use of this will be to download high-resolution versions of images from the Web. The URL data type consists of two parts, the Internet address itself and the clickable text representing that address. Other Internet address such as e-mail or ftp addresses can also be used.
edit keywords
In addition to custom fields, material can be categorized within a Portfolio catalog with keywords, such as words or phrases that you can associate with any combination of files. A keyword list is very similar to an index in a book and is extremely helpful in locating the image or material you are looking for. Keywords are assigned in a couple of ways. When files are first added to a Portfolio catalog, Portfolio can make keywords from the volume, folder and file names plus any keywords already embedded from other applications such as Adobe Photoshop. After that, you can create and assign any number of words or phrases to any combination of images. Keywords are easy to assign, either by dragging them onto files from the Master Keywords List or assigning them from within each item's Properties window.

Searching Fields
  Using the combination of standard fields, custom fields and keywords, you have flexibility to find exactly the material you are looking for. The extensive set of comparative operators in Portfolio 5 furthers this flexibility by giving you a wide range of methods with which to compare. You also have the ability to save and name sets of search parameters, which gives you quick accessibility to searches performed often, such as as particular artists, date ranges, or sets of keywords.
Customizable Views, Multipage Previews & Splash Screens
All three of the views in Portfolio 5 can be completely customized to suit you specific needs. Any combination of custom fields, keywords and asset information can be included in each viewing mode. You can customize fonts, font sizes, text colors, background colors, and even thumbnail size. Also, each viewing mode can be configured differently from the others. New to Portfolio 5 is the option of previewing multiple page graphical documents, including PowerPoint, QuarkXPress, and PDF documents. This feature lets you preview every page in a document without having to open it first in another application. Another useful option is the ability to create custom splash screens such as company logos or project titles. You can add these custom splash screens that automatically show upon opening the catalog.
Slideshows are fun to create with Portfolio and can be created from any gallery or catalog. The catalog can be set up so that the slideshow automatically starts upon opening the catalog. This allows you to quickly create a portfolio slideshow of your artwork for distributing to potential clients. Slideshows are also useful for re-using existing company communications to create self-running demos or point-of-sale sales tools. With slideshows, you have the option to copy, move, rename and delete the original files while inside the slideshow.
Final Comments
Portfolio has come a long way since it was introduced in 1991 by Aldus. Extensis purchased it in 1996 and completely rewrote the code, redesigned the functionality to include a wider range of users, added a Windows version and cross-platform functionality. Sometimes, computer users focus on major applications, and forget how important some of the utilities such as Portfolio 5 can enhance their productivity and make their jobs easier. This is a great program for designers, artists, photographers, or anyone who has a wealth of material that they need to manage.
System Requirements

Desktop Edition for Windows:

  • Pentium;
  • 32 MB RAM;
  • Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0 or 2000.

Desktop Edition for Macintosh:

  • Mac OS 8.1 - 9;
  • 32 MB RAM;
  • PowerPC.

Network Edition for Windows:

  • Pentium;
  • 32 MB RAM;
  • Windows 95, 98, NT 4.0 or 2000.

Network Edition for Macintosh:

  • Mac OS 8.1 - 9;
  • 32 MB RAM;
  • PowerPC.
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