Light Blue 7.1.3

We’ve released Light Blue 7.1.3, which is another free update to everyone who subscribes to our online services or has bought Light Blue 7.

  • When you’re publishing a contract or form but not sending an email to your client, you can now open the contract or form in your browser as well as copying its URL to the clipboard.
  • The “Print/Send” checkbox in the print dialog now defaults to whatever you last set it to, so if you prefer to create invoices without printing them then you no longer need to un-check that box every time.
  • Added a 24 hour option to the built-in calendar’s week and day views.
  • If an email doesn’t already have attachments, you can now drag attachments onto the ‘Add Attachment’ button. You could already drag attachments into the list of existing attachments.
  • In the query dialog, you can now search on incoming data fields when you’re querying for shoots.
  • You can now query for records that have notes, tasks, or documents that are linked to a particular member of staff.
  • Added %ContactBirthDateDay%, %ContactBirthDateMonth%, and %ContactBirthDateYear% mail-merge tags.
  • Added support for detecting forwarded messages from the iOS version of Mail and the macOS version of Outlook.
  • The dialog for setting up sending a batch of text messages now closes automatically after you send or schedule your messages.
  • When you open the appointment editing dialog, the cursor will default to the start time field if the appointment doesn’t already have a start time.
  • If your country setting is set to one of France’s international territories, we now apply the French address format.
  • Fixed a problem where pasting text into an HTML editor on Windows could paste it in the wrong place.
  • Fixed a problem where you couldn’t paste formatted text into an HTML editor.
  • Fixed a problem that meant that you could only drag-reorder form fields if you kept your mouse near the left hand edge of the list of fields.
  • Fixed a problem on macOS where tabbing into an HTML editor required hitting the Tab key twice.
  • Fixed a problem where reschedule tasks that are scheduled for the same day could fail to reschedule some of those tasks.
  • On some dates, the “Last 12 months” date range in Charts view could show the wrong results.
  • Fixed a problem with the HTML editor that could make it hard to add a space in a specific place.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when opening the Charts view.
  • Fixed a bug where the %ShootRequests% mail-merge tag didn’t include some requests.

Light Blue for iOS, version 4.0

This update brings more of the desktop version of Light Blue’s features over to iOS, including lots of the features that we added in Light Blue 7:

• Light Blue’s optional password protection feature now works on iOS, and if you have a device that supports Face ID or Touch ID you can use that to quickly and securely log into the app.

• The app’s built-in calendar can now display events from the Calendars app, to make it easier to schedule your shoots and appointments around your personal commitments.

• Incoming emails and text messages are now included in the Inbox, and you can use them to create new enquiries.

• The Inbox can now display items that are more than 28 days old.

• You can now trash and restore records from the main sections in the iOS app, just like you can in Light Blue 7. You can access the trash via the Settings screen.

• When you create an email from our iOS app, we now automatically set the BCC to the unique ID for the record that you created it from. That means that – even though the email isn’t sent via Light Blue itself – you’ll get a copy of it in that record’s Activity panel.

• Light Blue 7’s shoot tags now appear in the iOS app.

• Added support for Light Blue 7’s new custom field types.

• Add support for the new VAT number fields that were added in Light Blue 7.

• The new mailing list opt-in detail fields that we added in Light Blue 7.1 now appear in the iOS app, and are set when you import a form that contains a mailing list opt-in checkbox.

• Added support for Light Blue 7’s new Sale and Quote fields.

• If you’re in the middle of editing a field, its value is automatically saved when you switch to another app.

• Shoot and Contact references are now displayed, if you’ve turned that option on via the desktop app.

• You can now create a Sale from a Quote.

• When you change the status or type of an appointment, the app will ask you if you want to add / remove workflows.

• Items on Sale, Quote, Purchase, and Payment records can now be reordered.

• You can now reorder shoot requests within a group.

• Your localised versions of “wedding”, “bride”, and “groom” will now trigger special wedding-related behaviour, just like they do in Light Blue 7.

• Notes in Shoot, Contact, etc, records display more of their text without you having to drill down into them.

• Tasks are now sorted alphabetically within a date & linked record, to match their sorting in Light Blue 7.

• When you add a new contact to a shoot, you’re now asked if you want to make that contact part of a group.

• When you import a form that contains contacts, new contacts are no longer automatically grouped.

• When you cancel a shoot, the app now offers to cancel any future appointments for that shoot rather than deleting them.

• Fixed a bug where deleting a session from the ‘Current Events’ screen would only delete that particular session, rather than moving the shoot to the trash.

• Timezone handling has been improved for items displayed in the Inbox.

• Fixed a bug that made previewing contracts not display properly.

• Fixed a problem where new shoot requests added via the app didn’t have a sort order assigned to them, so reordering them could be unpredictable.

• Added better support for the iPhone X screen, and implemented iOS 11’s large titles in list views.

Light Blue 7.1.2

We’ve released Light Blue 7.1.2, which is another free update to everyone who subscribes to our online services or has bought Light Blue 7.

Like all of our minor updates, Light Blue 7.1.2 includes a variety of feature updates and bug fixes. We’ve also added a bigger feature that will help photographers who are keen to keep clients on their mailing list while making sure that they’re complying with the new GDPR regulations.

New Mailing List Opt-In Form

You can now send your clients to a special form that allows them to opt in to your mailing list. Each of your contact records has a special URL that identifies them, and you can get that URL in two different ways:

  • If you want to send mailing list opt-in links to lots of clients, you can export a CSV file of contact names, email addresses, and URLs from Light Blue. You can then import this spreadsheet into a service like MailChimp to email it to your clients. To do this, find the contacts or shoots that you want to send this to, go into the Housekeeping section of the Records menu and use the ‘Ask Clients To Opt-In To Mailing List’ command.
  • If you only want to send mailing list opt-in links to a small number of clients, you can use the %ContactMailingListOptInURL% mail-merge tag in an email template. If you want to customise the text of the link in your email templates, you can do so be using a tag like %ContactMailingListOptInURL:Click here to open the form%. We’ve included a sample email template in this update.

Your client portal branding is automatically applied to your mailing list opt-in form, and can customise the text that appears on the form by logging into your account on our website.

You can find out more about this feature in our blog post that explains how to use it.

Other changes

  • You can now customise more of the text that appears in your client portal when clients are signing contracts. You’ll find these customisable text options in the ‘Template Translations’ section of the Preferences window.
  • The following Sale reference values are now available in the query dialog, list views, and data exports: purchase order references, shopping cart references, courier references, client job number references, and quote references.
  • Added support for reading the original sender details from emails forwarded from Outlook for macOS to your unique Light Blue email address.
  • When you’re running a tax report, you now need to confirm that you want to mark the included records as claimed.
  • Added an option to use the shoot reference as the default prefix when you’re importing pictures for a shoot.
  • When creating a Sale record from a Quote, you’re now warned if the booking fee is greater than the quote’s total.
  • Added a “Email & Client Portal Branding” heading to the ‘Printing’ section of the Preferences window. This is to make it bit clearer where you need to go to adjust those branding settings.
  • Revised the wording of the “database upgrade required” dialog to make it less intimidating.
  • Fixed a rare problem where publishing an appointment to macOS calendars could make it appear at 12:00 instead of the correct time.
  • Fixed a problem on Windows where the email templates panel could end up with its scrollbar set to the wrong position.
  • Fixed a problem where clicking the “Save and add another” button in a form field dialog could fail to add the new item.
  • When you’re composing an email, the subject field is now always saved before you click the ‘Send’ or ‘Schedule’ button so you won’t see warning about having a blank subject. (unless you really do have a blank subject, of course!)
  • When changing a form field from a type that includes a ‘Description’ option to one that doesn’t, the description is now removed properly.
  • Fixed a problem that could affect rounding numbers to zero.
  • The quick sale dialog now works with European decimal separators.
  • The ‘add workflow’ dialog no longer gets stuck if you try to add a workflow based on a really old date.
  • Fixed unexpected quits that have been reported to us.

Light Blue 7.1 release notes

Light Blue 7.1 adds new features to Light Blue 7, and is a free update for everyone who’s subscribed to our online services or is already using Light Blue 7.

GDPR-related changes

GDPR is an update to the data protection laws throughout the EU. Light Blue Software already complies with GDPR, and we’re adding some features to Light Blue 7.1 that can help you to comply with it in your own business.

Updated licence agreement: GDPR requires data controllers (i.e. you!) to have a contract in place with their data processors. Agreeing to the updated licence agreement that comes with Light Blue 7.1 forms this contract.

Recording clients’ consent to receive marketing communications: Light Blue has always allowed you to record which clients have chosen to receive marketing communications from you, and we’ve added some extra enhancements to this in Light Blue 7.1:

  • You’ll find a command in the Housekeeping section of the Records menu that allows you to set the mailing list opt-in checkbox for all of the contacts in your found set. If you decide to remove all of your existing clients from your mailing list so that they will need to opt in again, this tool allows you to do that quickly and easily.
  • When you tick the mailing list opt-in checkbox, Light Blue now presents a dialog that allows you to record the date and reason for this. When someone opts in by checking the relevant box when filling in one of your forms, this is automatically recorded for you. The mailing list consent details are included in Light Blue’s built-in contact details printing template.
  • You could already include a mailing list opt-in checkbox in the contact fields in Light Blue’s forms, but we’ve now added an alternative mailing list opt-in checkbox that you can include anywhere in your form that will allow your client to set this opt-in for all of the contacts on that form. You can also include more explanatory text with this checkbox, to ensure that your clients understand what they’re doing.

Including booking forms in your contract PDFs: You could already choose to include your booking form as part of the contract PDF that’s sent to you and your clients once they’ve signed their contract, but we’ve made this setting easier to find and more flexible by moving it into the ‘Advanced Options’ section of the contract template. You might find this particularly helpful if you’re asking clients to opt into your mailing list as part of their booking form, or if you’re including other checkboxes that are relevant to your contract as part of the form.

You can now include checkboxes within the text of contracts: You can now have checkboxes within the text of a contract in Light Blue. When you’re editing a contract or contract template, you can use the ‘Insert Checkbox’ button to add optional or required checkboxes. Required checkboxes have to be ticked by your client before they can submit a signed contract.

When you are accepting a signed contract from the Inbox, or viewing a signed contract from the Activity panel of a shoot, any checkboxes that you included in the contract are listed for you to make it easy to see which options your client chose.

Including checkboxes within the text of your contract could be helpful if there are specific terms that you want clients to acknowledge, or options that you want to give them. For opting into receiving marketing communications, we would recommend using one of the mailing list opt-in options that are available as part of the booking form instead of a checkbox in the contract text, because using one of our ‘official’ options will automatically set the appropriate fields on your clients’ contact records in Light Blue.

If anyone has any questions about including checkboxes in their contracts, or needs any help setting them up, please let us know and we’d be delighted to help!

Identifying old personal data that can be removed: We’ve added a tool to the Housekeeping section of the Records menu that allows you to easily identify old records that you might want to remove from Light Blue if you can no longer justify holding the personal data that the contain. The ‘Find Old Records’ command allows you to specify which types of record you’re searching for, and how many years back you want to go. For example, you could search for all contacts that haven’t had any shoots, appointments, or sales within the last 6 years (or whatever you decide is reasonable). Once you’ve found these old records, you can check them carefully and then use the ‘Trash Found Records’ command to delete them.

Providing clients with a copy of the information that you hold about them: We’ve added a ‘Linked Records’ option to the list of optional extras when printing contact or shoot records. This is particularly helpful if you ever need to provide a client with a copy of all of the personal data about them that you hold, because printing a contact record with this option enabled will print both their contact details and a list of all related pieces of information.

Reduced information option in calendar feeds: Light Blue 7 added a ‘Show Only That I’m Busy’ mode to calendar feeds, but for situations where you want to give someone a bit more information about what you’re doing but don’t want to give out any personal data about clients we’ve now added a ‘Title & Location Only’ mode.

That’s the end of the GDPR-specific changes we’ve made in Light Blue 7.1, but read on to find out more about the other features and bug fixes that we’ve added.

Other client portal changes

  • When you export a contract template, you can now include that contract’s booking form as part of the same export file. This makes it easier to supply a booking form and contract to other photographers, who can import these templates into Light Blue 7.1 in just one step.
  • The emails that we send on your behalf when a client is working through a form or contract are now optional. Contract and form templates now have checkboxes that allow you to choose whether an email is sent when it’s published, submitted, etc.
  • Miscellaneous checkboxes and popup menu choices from a booking form are now included in the contract PDF.
  • When displaying a checkbox value from a form, we now display it as “yes” or “no” (or your localised equivalent) instead of “1” or “0”.
  • When a form that contains hidden fields is submitted, the email that’s sent to you and your client no longer includes those hidden values.
  • Fixed a problem where the “no contacts” warning could be displayed when setting up a contract or form and you have deselected the existing contacts.
  • Fixed a problem where a blank Purchase record could be created when accepting a contract with a booking fee that was paid offline.
  • Fixed a problem with editing contracts where, if a paragraph ended with italic text, an asterisk could be added to the end of the paragraph.

macOS calendar features

We’ve rewritten the way that Light Blue interacts with macOS calendars and reminders. While you shouldn’t notice any changes in the way that most of these features work (apart from loading macOS calendar events into Light Blue’s calendar being much faster!), we have had to disable the old feature where ticking off a Light Blue task from the Reminders app would tick that task off in Light Blue as well.

Do please let us know if you have any feedback about these changes to how Light Blue works with macOS calendars and reminders!

Emailing

  • We’ve added reply buttons to emails that have been sent from Light Blue (you could already reply to emails that you’ve received).
  • When editing an email template, the plain text version that’s automatically saved at the same time now has its paragraph spacing formatted to more closely match the HTML version.
  • Fixed a problem where creating an email to the found set in Mail would only create an email to the first contact.

Miscellaneous changes

  • We’ve improved the speed of loading large numbers of shoots.
  • If you’re using a proxy server, we now encrypt the password.
  • Added a ‘Reassign’ command to the Task Manager options menu, which allows you to reassign all of the selected tasks to a different member of staff in one go.
  • Added a ‘Business Address’ field to the ‘General Preferences’ section of the Preferences window, and a corresponding %BusinessAddress% mail-merge tag.
  • Fixed a problem with the capitalisation of some types of activity when included in shoot or contact printouts.
  • It’s now easier to query for shoots that have a particular tag, because we’ve added a calculated tags field (in addition to the existing option of querying the linked tags). We’ve also added a %ShootTags% mail-merge tag.
  • Added a “Warn If Invoice Is Older Than Other Invoices” option to the ‘Finances’ section of the Preferences window. This allows you to enable or disable the warnings that appear when you try to create an invoice, but already have invoices with dates that are ahead of the one you’re trying to use.
  • Added ContactMailingList, ContactVATNumber, and ContactNameMaiden parameters to the Light Blue API.
  • Fixed a database error that could occur when running an income and expenditure or tax report.
  • Changed the way that duplicated records are named from “Duplicate of ‘original record name'” to “Original record name copy”.
  • The quick search box now includes a wider selection of fields in its queries, including quote descriptions and the net and gross totals of quotes, sales, purchases, and payments.
  • When linking a received text message to a shoot, Light Blue is now a bit smarter about linking to an existing contact instead of offering to create a new one.
  • Added an “Update Linked Contact’s Address” command to the contact fields on quote, sale, purchase, and payment records. You can use this to update the linked contact’s address if you’ve added or edited the address from a quote, sale, purchase, or payment.
  • When you’re editing a text message template, you’re now given an estimated number of parts for that message. The number of parts can obviously change if you include mail-merge tags in the template, because the mail-merge tags will be replaced by real data when you use the template.
  • Fixed a problem where, when creating a task from the Home screen and trying to link it to a Quote or Payment record, the search box didn’t work properly.
  • Fixed a problem where, when using a date filter for the Task Manager other than ‘All Outstanding’, going to the linked record from an un-dated task could sometimes take you to the wrong record.

Light Blue 7.0.4

We’ve just released Light Blue 7.0.4, which is a free minor update for everyone who’s using Light Blue 7. It includes the following changes:

  • Added a ‘Remove Resources From Shoots’ command to the Housekeeping menu.
  • Updated some of our French translations.
  • The ‘Mark Found Shoots As Completed’ command in the Housekeeping menu can now be used to mark enquiries as completed, as well as confirmed shoots.
  • Restored the ‘Configure Proxy Server’ command, which had gone missing from the setup wizard.
  • Increased the timeout for sending emails via Light Blue from one minute to five minutes to make sending large attachments easier if you’ve got a slow upload speed.
  • For forms that are part of a contract, we no longer display the “you need to add some linked contacts” warning message, and instead display a message that reminds you that the form is part of a contract.
  • Duplicating appointment types or email signatures wasn’t setting the name field to “Duplicate of ‘original name'”.
  • Fixed a problem where, when using a comma as a decimal separator, closing a quote or sale item that has a quantity beginning with “0” and no description could delete that item.
  • We’ve changed the way that Light Blue prints on Windows so that, if you’re not able to set your page setup margins to zero, the printed content won’t be pushed down and to the right.
  • Fixed a problem where, when you duplicate a shoot, the shoot requests wouldn’t get duplicated.

Light Blue 7.0.3

Light Blue 7.0.3 is out now, and is another free minor update for everyone who’s using Light Blue 7. It includes the following changes:

  • Added a ‘required’ option to form checkboxes.
  • When checkboxes are included in forms, the email that you receive now says “yes” or “no” (or the localised version of that) instead of “1” or “0”.
  • Added an option to form fields that allows you to choose whether to display the description above or below the input.
  • When accepting an online booking fee, online invoice payment, or ShootProof order, we’re now recording the details of the linked invoice in the Notes field, instead of in the Activity panel.
  • We’ve added an additional warning when you try to accept a contract that has been signed, but hasn’t had its booking fee paid yet.
  • Fixed a problem where long lines in unbranded emails sent from Light Blue could wrap beyond the apparent edge of the email.
  • Fixed a problem where text copied from an HTML editor can’t be pasted into apps that are expecting plain text.
  • Fixed a problem where the “Age” and “Age next birthday” fields weren’t working properly in the query dialog.
  • Fixed a problem where scrolling the HTML editor using the arrow keys could cause the formatting toolbar to disappear if the editor contains a very tall image.
  • Fixed a problem that could prevent our HTML viewers from loading certain types of content.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when using Light Blue’s colour picker on Windows.
  • Fixed a problem with the series labels when viewing the ‘Income, Expenditure & Profit’ option with the ‘Last 12 months’ option in the Charts section.
  • Updated the URL for our old Light Blue 1-3 data exporter utility.

Light Blue 7.0.2

We’ve been continuing to improve Light Blue 7, and we’ve just released another minor update. Light Blue 7.0.2 includes the following changes, based on the feedback that you’ve been sending us:

  • Fixed a problem on Windows where editing the content of an HTML editor, and then immediately clicking on another record, could update the wrong record.
  • Fixed a problem where viewing the Outbox with a particular combination of filters set could cause a crash.
  • When you copy and paste text in one of our HTML editors (e.g. when editing an email or email template), the formatting of the copied text is now preserved.
  • When you export a form template, it now includes the public form submitted email, submit button text, and HTML versions of the form emails.
  • Fixed a problem on Windows where printing from a computer that includes accented characters in the username could cause an error.
  • The margins for unbranded emails sent from Light Blue are now more standard.
  • If a client uses the ‘I will pay offline’ button on a contract that includes a booking form, the confirmation page that appears now includes your alternative payment information.
  • The business hours preferences menus now include 30 minute intervals.
  • Fixed a problem where, if you’re using using a localisation that includes translations of the “weddings”, “bride”, and “groom” keywords, the English versions of those words wouldn’t trigger various special features (e.g. setting the shoot title to the bride & groom’s name, selecting the bride & groom as signatories for a contract, and mail-merge tags that would include both the bride and groom’s details).
  • Linking an incoming email or text message to a record, or creating a new enquiry from it, now marks the message as read.
  • When printing or mail-merging custom field checkboxes, show their values as “yes” or “no” (or the localised value) instead of “1” or “0”.
  • Added a ‘Reply All’ button to the email dialog.
  • When trying to send or schedule an email, you’re now warned if it doesn’t have a subject line.
  • Fixed a problem where editing custom dates in the report dialog was producing database errors.
  • Fixed a problem where billing names and net amounts on a tax report could be displayed incorrectly if the report is run on a cash basis and includes sales that include items with more than one tax rate.
  • On printed templates, we’ve made your client’s VAT number & contact details part of the same chunk of text as the contact name and address. This means that they will use the same margin settings as the main address, but you might need to adjust your ‘first page top margin’ setting to accommodate the extra height.
  • Removed a rogue # on the printed version of a purchase record.
  • When creating an email from a sale or quote record, its linked shoot is now automatically included in the list of linked records. This means that the email will appear in the shoot’s Activity panel as well as that of the sale or quote.
  • When importing into a custom checkbox field, we’re now treating “1”, “true”, “yes”, and the localised value of “yes” as “1”
  • When parsing a full name into parts (e.g. when importing a contact’s full name from an API submission), we now assume that a single word name is the first name.
  • If you’re sending emails via your own outgoing mail server, we’ve now raised the maximum number of attachments to 50, and the maximum total size of the attachments to 25MB.
  • Incoming Data records (from forms and API submissions) are now handled properly when you merge or delete the record that you’ve linked it to.
  • If your ‘Prices Include Tax’ preference is set to true, display gross income, expenditure, and profit in charts. Otherwise, display net income, expenditure, and profit.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when loading the Outbox.
  • Corrected the French spelling of our “form unavailable” message.
  • Fixed a problem where Cmd-Tabbing out of Light Blue when you’re clicked into an HTML editor, and then going back to Light Blue, treated it as if the Cmd key was still held down.
  • Fixed a problem on Windows where hitting the Return key while editing a form or contract email would be treated as if you clicked the Publish button.
  • Fixed a problem where the alignment of text in an email could be ignored when you send it.
  • Added support for yyyy/mm/dd formatted dates to our API.
  • Fixed a problem where the email sent out when a client fills in a form didn’t use any custom text colour that you’d set.
  • When sending an email via your own outgoing mail server, the reply-to address is set to that email account’s email address instead of the default email address for your Light Blue client portal.
  • We’ve adjusted the padding around checkbox controls in our forms.
  • Fixed a problem where multiple paragraphs in a static text block on forms could fail to be displayed properly.
  • If you’re charging your client a booking fee as part of an online contract, and your client clicks the “I will pay offline” button, we now display your alternative payment text on the confirmation page.
  • Fixed a problem where clicking ‘Add Payment’ on a sale that’s been included in a tax report could erroneously warn you that the sale hasn’t been invoiced.
  • When you credit a sale that’s been published for online payment, you’re now asked if you’d like to remove the sale from your client portal.
  • Fixed a problem with trying to import from CSV files that contain quoted line breaks.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when using the ‘Split Day View Into One Column Per Resource’ option in the calendar.
  • Fixed any unexpected quits that have been reported to us.

Light Blue 7.0.1

We released Light Blue 7.0.1 today, which is a minor update to Light Blue 7 that tweaks a few things based on your feedback since the launch:

  • Added the shoot reference prefix field to the ‘Import Shoots and Contacts From CSV File’ dialog.
  • Improved our French translation for “Production Order”.
  • Fixed a problem where two different warnings could be displayed simultaneously in the Email preferences screen.
  • Fixed a hang that could occur when switch between shoot types that include multiple default resources.
  • Fixed a problem with saving contracts and contract templates that were longer than expected.
  • Fixed a crash that could happen when right-clicking on an empty row in the Outbox.
  • Fixed a problem with upgrading to Light Blue 7 for some customers using older versions of Light Blue.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when dragging events in the calendar Day view when multiple resources are being displayed.

Light Blue 7 release notes

Light Blue 7 is a major upgrade to our desktop app. With improved email and text messaging features, a brand new charts section, expanded options for online forms, and a whole host of other new features and enhancements, Light Blue 7 is focused on helping you to communicate with your clients and grow your business.

Charts

Light Blue’s reporting features have been enhanced with a new Charts section, which allows you to generate insightful reports that help you to grow your business in just a couple of clicks. They’re really quick and easy to use, and give you an intuitive understanding of how each part of your business is performing.

Improved email sending (requires a subscription to our online services)

You can now send emails via Light Blue, and make use of great features like HTML formatting and being able to schedule emails to be sent in the future.

Emails that you send via Light Blue are automatically saved to the Activity panel of the record that you sent it from, which helps you to keep a complete history of all of your dealings with your client together in one place. You can use a variety of HTML formatting options within the emails that you compose in Light Blue, and the emails that you send can also have your client portal branding applied to them.

Send emails directly to your Light Blue account (requires a subscription to our online services)

Emails can now be sent to your Light Blue account, which removes the need for importing them from Mail (on a Mac) or Outlook (on Windows).

Each Light Blue account has a unique email address (e.g. 1234@lightbluecustomermail.com, you can find your account’s unique email address in the ‘Email’ section of the Preferences window) and any email sent to that address will be automatically imported into your account. Records from the main sections in Light Blue also have their own unique email address (which you can get via the options menu on each record’s Activity panel), and any email sent to this address will be automatically linked to that record. You can forward an email from a client to this address to import a copy of the message into Light Blue, and any emails sent from Light Blue will automatically include your unique email address in the reply-to header so replies from your clients will come back to both your normal email address and your Light Blue account.

Multiple brands for forms, contracts, and online invoices (requires a subscription to our online services)

Your client portal can now include multiple brands, allowing you to use different formatting and branding options for your forms, contracts, online invoices, and emails.

Scheduled sending of text messages (requires a subscription to our online services)

Text messages can now be scheduled to be sent in the future, allowing you to set up reminders in advance or prepare a campaign to be sent out at a specific time.

Sending text messages via a dedicated phone number (requires a subscription to our online services)

Text messages can now be sent via a dedicated phone number. This is particularly helpful for customers in countries that aren’t supported by our existing text messaging service (e.g. the USA and Canada) because it’s available in a wider range of countries. You’ll rent a dedicated phone number from us, and any text messages that you send from Light Blue will come from that number. Replies will be imported into Light Blue’s Inbox, and you can also have them forwarded to your own phone.

If you’re interested in this feature, please contact us for further details.

Shoot tags

You can now apply your own customisable tags to Shoot records, and use those tags to quickly find a batch of records.

More customisation options

Light Blue’s detail views are more customisable than ever, so you can simplify them even further to show just the information that’s relevant to your business.

We’ve also added new types of custom fields (custom text fields can now be turned into single line fields, paragraph fields, comboboxes, or checkboxes) and added an option to move your custom fields into their own tab to free up valuable space in the Shoots and Contacts sections.

Trash

We’ve added a trash can feature to Light Blue where, instead of being deleted immediately, records from the main sections in Light Blue are moved to the trash. This gives an opportunity to restore those trashed records if you realise that you made a mistake.

Record duplicating and merging

We’ve made Light Blue’s helpful ‘Duplicate Record’ command more handy by promoting it to the toolbar, so whenever you want to create a new record that’s similar to an existing one (e.g. setting up a new price list or form) then you can save yourself a load of typing by using this feature. We’ve also add a record merging tool that can help you out when you realise that you’ve accidentally ended up with duplicate contacts, bookings, etc. Light Blue’s record merging tool allows you to quickly combine the useful information from a pair of records.

64-bit support for macOS

The macOS version of Light Blue 7 is now a 64-bit application, which should ensure that it continues to run well on future versions of macOS that reduce support for 32-bit applications.

Hi-DPI support for Windows

Light Blue now supports Hi-DPI screens on Windows, as well as Retina displays on Macs.

Other changes

Behind the scenes there are thousands of tweaks and refinements to make Light Blue faster, better and more intuitive. Here’s a quick run-down of the highlights…

Forms

  • You can now add checkbox fields to forms. Custom fields that have been set up to display as a checkbox in Light Blue will automatically display as a checkbox on your forms, and you can also add miscellaneous checkbox fields.
  • You can now add popup menu fields to forms. The shoot ‘Location’, ‘Enquiry Source’, ‘Referral Source’, and custom fields can be displayed as popup menus in your forms by supplying a list of the options that you want to include in the menu. You can also add miscellaneous popup menu fields to your forms.
  • Form fields can be hidden, by supplying a default value that will be imported into Light Blue when the form is imported. This can be applied to the shoot ‘Location’, ‘Enquiry Source’, ‘Referral Source’, and custom fields.
  • You can customise the ‘Submit’ button’s text for your forms.
  • Each form template can now have its own ‘thank you’ URL, which is used to take your client to the specified page when you use the form as a contact form.
  • You can make clients confirm their email address by forcing them to type it twice into forms.
  • Name fields in the contact sections on your forms are now optional.
  • Shoot type menus on forms can default to “Select a type” to make your client pick something rather than just go with whatever your default is.
  • When you’re adding a form to a shoot, you can now see which contacts will be included for each contacts section. This is a handy way of checking, for example, whether you’ve correctly labelled the bride and groom for a form that includes a ‘Wedding Couple’ section. We’ve also made it more obvious when a contacts section doesn’t include any matching contacts.
  • We’ve added customisable versions of the %ContractURL%, %FormURL%, and %InvoiceURL% tags that you use in the emails that are sent when you publish a contract, form, or invoice. You can now specify your own custom link text (e.g. %ContactURL:Please click this link to open your contract%) and you can also specify a button that has the same styling as the submit button in your client portal (e.g. by using %ContractURLButton%, or %FormURLButton:Click here to open the form%).
  • We’ve removed the automatic “preamble” text from the email we send you when someone fills in one of your public forms, to make the preview that appears in email apps more useful.
  • We’ve added an optional email template that can be used to send a customised acknowledgement email to the ‘Main Contact’ of a contact form.
  • Submitted forms can now be printed from the Activity panel

Contracts

  • Requiring a drawn signature (as well as a typed one) is now optional for contracts and contract templates.
  • We’ve added a %ContactSignatoryFullNameAddress% mail-merge tag.

Calendar

  • We’ve added an option to the Day view, which allows you to split your calendar into one column per resource. This is particularly helpful for businesses with multiple photographers, rooms, etc, who want to easily see which times are booked up for each resource.
  • The ‘All-Day’ part of the Day and Week views automatically resizes depending on the number of all-day events.
  • The currently selected event is now more obvious.
  • Enquiries are now more distinct from confirmed bookings.
  • Days that aren’t part of the current month are more obvious in the Month view.
  • The calendar can now be filtered by shoot type and appointment type.
  • Displaying events from macOS calendars is now opt-in, to avoid confusion from newcomers who might think that they’re seeing duplicate events if they’re publishing events from Light Blue to a calendar on their Mac.
  • Improved loading speed if you’re displaying lots of events from your macOS calendars.
  • Appointments, time off, and calendar notes can now be duplicated from the calendar or Home screen.
  • Added a “Personal” category to time off.

Calendar feeds

  • You can now create calendar feeds that only show that you’re busy, without including any details for the events. This is handy if you want to give someone a feed that they can use to see when you’re available, without giving them any confidential information.
  • You can now include Calendar Note records in your calendar feeds.

Shoots

  • You can now import shoots (as well as contacts) into Light Blue. This is helpful if you want to import historical data into Light Blue when you’re first setting it up, but it’s also helpful for anyone who wants to import a set of leads into Light Blue as shoots rather than contacts.
  • Added an option to highlight shoots and appointments that are scheduled outside of your business hours, by colour-coding the event’s date and time. If the event clashes with another confirmed or unconfirmed event then that colour-coding takes priority, otherwise out-of-hours events are highlighted in purple on the Home screen, Shoot records list, and Activity panel.
  • You can now specify multiple default resources for your shoots, so that when you select a shoot type you can now have multiple staff, rooms, and equipment added to the shoot.
  • We’ve added a ‘Mark Found Shoots as Completed’ command to the Housekeeping menu, to help you keep the ‘Current Events’ list on the Home screen manageable.
  • When you add a member of staff to a shoot, the ‘Role’ field now defaults to the job title that you set up for that member of staff in the Preferences window.
  • Added a ‘Copy All Email Addresses’ command to the options menu on the Linked Records panel.
  • When cancelling a shoot, linked appointments are now cancelled instead of deleted. We’re also offering to delete scheduled emails and text messages that have yet to be sent.

Contacts

  • We’ve added an optional ‘VAT Number’ field, which you can enable or disable in the ‘Finances’ section of the Preferences window. If it’s displayed, it appears on Contact, Quote, Sale, Purchase, and Payment records. When you link a contact to a Quote, Sale, Purchase, or Payment, their VAT number is copied across along with their name and address. If the VAT Number field is being displayed, it will also be visible on your printed records, and included in the ‘Export Financial Data’ and ‘Tax Report’ commands.
  • When an address is linked to more than one record, the number of linked records is displayed and you can use the options menu for that address to quickly find all of the records that share that address.
  • We’ve added options for including a contact’s notes, history, and to-do list in our built-in printing template.
  • Added a ‘Default Website Label’ preference.
  • Improved importing from the macOS Contacts app for contacts with company details.

Sales, quotes, and purchases

  • We’ve added “A Different Percentage Of The Balance…” to the list of options for the ‘Create Sale’ button on Quotes.
  • We’ve added a ‘Calculate Net & Tax Amounts From Gross Total’ button to the purchase item editing dialog, as an alternative to typing in the net and tax amounts of the item separately.
  • Added an optional product code field to price lists, sale items, and quote items. You can enable this feature from the ‘General Preferences’ section of the Preferences window.
  • Added an optional production instructions field to sale and quote items. This is included in the new production order. You can enable this feature from the ‘General Preferences’ section of the Preferences window.
  • You can now track both the salesperson and photographer on Sale records. We’ve also added a new sample custom report called ‘Photographer Sales Performance’ that allows you report on each photographer’s sales. You can enable this feature from the ‘General Preferences’ section of the Preferences window.
  • Added an optional production order, which is a new built-in template that can be printed or saved as a PDF from a Sale record. You can enable this feature from the ‘Printing’ section of the Preferences window.
  • We’ve added an option to include a space for a client signature on invoices, production orders, and quotes. You can enable this feature from the ‘Printing’ section of the Preferences window.
  • You can now choose to include your client’s primary phone number and email address on our built-in invoice and quote templates. You can enable this feature from the ‘Printing’ section of the Preferences window.
  • Custom fields can now be included in our built-in invoice, quote, and receipt templates.
  • When you’re invoicing a sale, Light Blue now warns you if the invoice date is older than today, or older than your most recent invoice date (if that date is in the future).
  • You can now save a bespoke product from a sale or quote item to your price list.
  • You can now select a different email template when you’re setting up an invoice for online payment.
  • When you add a new contact to a purchase, we now default the Type field to “Supplier”.
  • We’ve changed the default VAT reporting period for Ireland to four months.
  • Added a method of bulk changing the Sale Status field to the Housekeeping menu. This is only displayed if you’ve enabled the Sale Status field.
  • Sale Status-related quick queries are no longer displayed if you haven’t enabled the Sale Status field.
  • Fixed a problem where, if the decimal separator is not set to ‘.’, applying credit to a sale would ignore the pennies.
  • When using the ‘Export Financial Information’ command, if the contact name is blank we now include the company name instead.
  • First name mail-merge tags (e.g. %SaleBillingFirstName%) now work when the name is a single word.

Activity

  • You can now filter the Activity panel to show or hide specific types of activity.
  • The Task Manager can now be filtered by task category.
  • You can now reschedule a selection of tasks in the Task Manager to the same date.
  • Documents can be exported from the Activity panel.
  • We’ve added a ‘Bulk Delete Documents…’ command to the Housekeeping menu, which allows you to delete all documents with a particular file name from particular sections. This is helpful if you’ve mail-merged lots of large documents, and want to delete them to free up some disk space.

Inbox

  • Added ‘Received in the last 3 months’ and ‘All received dates’ options to the filter menus.
  • The Inbox’s count of unprocessed items is no longer limited to items from the last 28 days, because you can now display items of any age in the Inbox.
  • The default action for emails and text messages in the Inbox is now to preview the message, instead of linking it to a record.
  • You can now create a new contact record from an email in the Inbox, as well as being able to add a new enquiry.
  • When you import a contact form submission that only includes contact details, Light Blue now gives you a choice between importing just the contacts or linking them to a new enquiry for you.
  • When you accept an online invoice payment via the Inbox, creating a Purchase record for the transaction fee is now optional.
  • We’re no longer creating the ‘Light Blue incoming emails’ folder in the macOS Downloads folder if you haven’t enabled importing emails from Mail.

Templates

  • Added a link to our mail-merge documentation to the Contract Templates, Document Templates, Email Templates, and Text Message Templates sections.

Localisation

  • All of the text that appears on forms can now be translated.
  • You can now specify the words that will be recognised by Light Blue for “weddings”, “bride”, and “groom”.

Other changes

  • When you’re typing in a time field, Light Blue is better at preserving any minutes value that you’ve typed if you edit the hour.
  • Saved queries, custom reports, data exports, and import orders can now be renamed in the dialogs that you use to load and save them.
  • Improved the efficiency of the ‘Backups (Previous Versions)’ folder, by only keeping backups from the last five Light Blue upgrades.
  • The ‘Export Records’ dialog now remembers that last set of fields that you exported for each section.
  • Added a hidden feature to the ‘Export Records’ dialog, where holding the Alt key down while opening the dialog will export just the currently selected record.
  • Light Blue’s static web gallery generating features are now hidden by default, because we’re planning to remove them in a future version of Light Blue.
  • We’ve hidden our product workflows feature by default, because it’s not used by many customers and sometimes causes confusion to people who are new to Light Blue.
  • We’ve changed the default left margin for your clients’ details on invoices, quotes, and receipts. Hardly anyone seems to use windowed envelopes now, so we’re now defaulting the left margin of their name and address to match the rest of the invoice.
  • You can now specify a mail-merge template that will appear in the Print dialog for all sections, not just sales, quotes, purchases, and payments.
  • We’ve removed averages from most of the reports that are available in the Reports menu, because they often didn’t add anything useful.
  • Fixed a layout glitch that could cause the detail panel tabs to appear underneath other fields.
  • Added an email template export / import feature.
  • The ‘Export Records’ command is now renamed to ‘Export Single Record’ when you open the File menu with the Alt key held down, to make that hidden feature a bit more discoverable.
  • On Windows, saves that trigger an immediate data sync (i.e. the app isn’t already syncing or waiting to do a data sync) no longer suffer from a delay before reloading the saved record.
  • Added ‘Next’ and ‘Previous’ buttons to the template translation editing dialog.
  • Added a ‘Mark as Completed’ / ‘Mark as Uncompleted’ command to the Task Manager options menu.
  • On Windows, we’ve changed that way that Light Blue monitors its documents, template files, etc, for changes to make it more efficient. You shouldn’t notice any changes, apart from lower CPU and power usage.

ClickBook follow-on bookings are now being sent to Light Blue

For members of the Click Group, Light Blue has an integration with the ClickBook booking system. We’re continuing to work with the developers of ClickBook v2 to make our integration more helpful to photographers using our systems.

We’re pleased to announce that ClickBook is now sending details of follow-on bookings made in their system to Light Blue.

When you’re setting up your job types in ClickBook, you’re able to create job types that book out chunks of time in multiple rooms. For example, you could have a shoot in your studio that’s immediately followed by an instant viewing session in your viewing room. Or, for a studio that offers makeovers, you could have a workflow where clients start off in your makeup room, then move to the studio for their shoot, and finish the booking with a viewing in your viewing room.

When you’re setting up your job types in ClickBook, you can use its follow-on booking settings to assign a separate room to each part of the job. You can also tell ClickBook which part of the booking should be turned into a shoot record in Light Blue. All of the other parts of the booking will be added to Light Blue as appointments linked to that main shoot record.

If you don’t use follow-on bookings in ClickBook, or if the first part of the job type is always the shoot, there’s nothing that you need to change. If you have appointments that take place before the shoot, all you need to do is update your job types in ClickBook so that it can tell Light Blue which part of the booking is the shoot.

Here you can see a booking that’s been received via ClickBook, which has follow on appointments associated with it, too. You’ll notice that there’s two appointments linked to the shoot – the makeover appointment occurs before the shoot, in the makeover room, and the viewing appointment occurs after the shoot in the viewing room.