We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.6, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.
You can update to Light Blue 8.2.6 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.
Here’s a list of the changes that we’ve made in this update:
- Added “Most Recent Payment Date” and “Most Recent Payment Method” fields to the Purchases section. These fields can be included in list view, queries, or when exporting data.
- Added buttons to save and reload field import orders to the “Import Purchases From CSV” command.
- Accepting a contract that doesn’t include a form now takes you to the linked shoot record, just like accepting a contract with a linked form already does.
- The %SaleInvoiceNumber% mail-merge tag is now blank when you use it in the wrong context, rather than making it look like it was used from an uninvoiced sale.
- Renamed the “Send Now” buttons in the workflow email and text message dialogs to make it more obvious that clicking the button will convert the message from a workflow message to a normal message.
- Changed the character encoding of our CSV data exports to UTF8 with a byte order marker. This ensures that Excel and other apps will open the correct encoding.
We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.5, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.
You can update to Light Blue 8.2.5 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.
Here’s a list of the changes that we’ve made in this update:
- Worked around a change in Google’s account authorisation page that could prevent you from authorising Google Calendar publishing on Windows.
- Changed the character encoding of our CSV data exports from UTF8 to UTF16 to work around a problem where Excel can fail to decode some characters properly when it reads a UTF8 file.
- Fixed an error message that appeared when you create an email from the Resources panel of the Preferences window.
- When you accept a contract that includes quotes, Light Blue now only reject other quotes for that shoot that were included in that contract. Previously, it would reject all other quotes for that shoot, even if they weren’t included in the contract.
- Fixed a problem where mail-merge tags that should contain multiple lines (e.g. %ContactAddress% or %ShootSchedule%) are being displayed on a single line when used in an email.
- Fixed a problem where the “Check For Updates” command on Windows could display the “you already have the latest version of Light Blue” message twice.
We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2.4, which adds more new features and some bug fixes.
You can update to Light Blue 8.2.4 by using the “Check For Updates” command from within Light Blue. You’ll find that in the Light Blue menu if you’re on a Mac, or in the Help menu if you’re using Windows. You can also download the installer for the latest version of Light Blue by logging into your account on our website.
The main focus of this update is on improvements to our Google Calendar publishing feature and adding some new fields that are particularly helpful when using Light Blue’s powerful querying and marketing tools. For example, you can now limit a query for contact records to just those contacts that are the head of a group (e.g. so that you can build a query for all of this year’s family portrait clients but limit the results to just your main contact).
Here’s a full list of the changes that we’ve made:
- When you switch on Google Calendar publishing, you’re now given the option of using one of your existing calendars instead of creating a new one. The “Reset Google Calendar” button also allows you to reset your current calendar, rather than creating a new one.
- Reduced the number of Google Calendar API problems that would cause the “Publish To Google Calendar” checkbox to be automatically un-ticked.
- Added “head of group” fields to the query dialog, list view, and export fields for contact records.
- Added an “Is Head Of Group” field to contacts.
- Added “All Contact Names” and “All Contact Names And Roles” fields to the query dialog, list view, and export fields for shoot records.
- Reinstated the popup that appears when you click on a link in our HTML editor, so you can edit, clear, or visit the link’s URL.
- ShootProof orders are now always imported with tax-exclusive pricing, because that’s the pricing that their API provides.
- Typing into the Inbox search box now only runs the search when you finish typing.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when importing a CSV file with bad character encoding.
- Fixed a problem that could cause text to be accidentally deleted when you’re drafting an email.
- Fixed a problem on macOS where PDFs and printed output would use a slightly larger font size than in previous versions of Light Blue.
- Fixed a problem where applying a positive font size adjustment didn’t work.
We’ve just released Light Blue 8.2, which builds on the success of Light Blue 8 by adding new features, improving existing features, and squashing bugs.
Light Blue 8.2 is a free update for all of our subscribers. You can install the update by using the “Check For Updates” command in Light Blue (which is in the Light Blue menu on macOS, or in the Help menu on Windows) or by downloading the installer from your Light Blue account.
macOS Catalina compatibility
This update adds compatibility with macOS Catalina, which is expected to be released in October 2019. Please make sure that you install this update if you’re going to upgrade your Mac to macOS Catalina.
Online contract, forms, and online invoice translations
All of the text in our online contracts, forms, and online invoices can now be translated so that they can be presented in any language! We’ve provided French and German translations as part of Light Blue 8.2, but please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about adding other languages.
Home screen and activity improvements
- Shoots displayed on the Home screen now include their location summary, so you can see where you’re going at a glance.
- The task manager now includes totals next to its group headings.
- The quick query totals for each of Light Blue’s main sections are displayed more quickly when you have large quantities of data.
- Added a preference for displaying the time and date of all items in the Activity panel instead of just the date.
Email and text message improvements
- We’ve made it much simpler to include images in your emails and email templates. When you’re adding an image to an email, we can now host that image for you to save you from needing to host the image yourself.
- Improved the performance of our HTML editor when working with large quantities of text.
- The “Insert Link” button in our HTML editor now allows you to add links to images as well as text.
- Removed the ability to add multiple levels of indentation to ordered and unordered lists in emails, because they’re not a standard HTML feature and some email clients (especially Gmail) don’t display them properly.
- When you’re replying to emails where the email address is of the form “Someone’s name <email@example.com>”, we now strip the name part out automatically. We can also handle email addresses of the form “Someone’s name [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]”
- Added support for GroupHead: prefixes for contact mail-merge tags in workflow emails and text messages.
- Fixed a problem where a manually created text message could be displayed with the wrong time until it’s sent.
- Fixed a bug where the “Insert Link” button in our HTML editor could remove the first letter of the text you’re adding a link to.
Other client portal improvements
- We’ve changed all references to “public forms” to “contact forms” because that’s what most photographers use them for!
- When you receive a new lead from a contact form, we include the name of the lead in the subject line if you have a “main contact” control in your form.
- The receipt email for online invoices now has more sensible headings when the invoice had previously been partially paid.
- Worked around a problem where Gmail could fail to display the button text in our client portal emails in the correct colour.
Other improvements and bug fixes
- When importing a price list from a CSV file, we now automatically handle currency symbols and preserve the order of the items in your price list.
- You can now save and reload import orders when doing a “shoots and contacts” data import.
- When you use the “Mark Founds Shoots As Completed” housekeeping command, you now have an option to change the status of enquiries as well as confirmed shoots.
- The “Add contact” dialog now allows you to set the label for any new addresses that you’re adding.
- The “Save New Product” button in the sale item editing dialog now allows you to save items with a negative or zero price, as well as items with a positive price.
- Our Australian English localisation now refers to “State” instead of “County”.
- The “Update Linked Contact’s Address” command now explains why you can’t update the linked contact’s address when there are no changes to save.
- Fixed a crash that could occur on macOS when creating a reply to an email containing emoji.
- Fixed a bug that could prevent the Contacts, Calendars, or Reminders permission dialogs from being displayed on macOS Mojave or newer.
- Fixed a problem where the records list contextual menu in the Preferences window would never enable any of its items and the “Move Record to Trash” menu item was also disabled.
- Fixed the title of the calendar note dialog on Windows.
- Fixed a bug where background threads the load the contents of the Inbox and Outbox could persist after they’ve finished their job.
- Fixed a problem where the “Skip This Version” button in the Windows version of our autoupdater wouldn’t remember that you’ve skipped that version when you quit and relaunch Light Blue.
- In the background activity window, if you’re doing a large sync and a temporary error turns the sync status text red, it’s now changed back to black as soon as the error is cleared.
We’ve released Light Blue 8.1.2, which is another free update to everyone who subscribes to our online services or has bought Light Blue 8. This is a minor update that adds new features and fixes bugs that were reported after the launch of Light Blue 8.1.
- Using “partner” as a contact role now supports all of the same features as using “bride” or “groom”. For shoots with a type of “wedding” or “weddings”, this applies to automatically setting the title, automatically selecting contract signatories when you add a new contract, mail-merge tags that use the couple’s details, and the “wedding couple” section in your forms and questionnaires. The default role for wedding couple controls on forms is now “partner” rather than “bride”. We’ve also added %ShootPartner1FirstName%, %ShootPartner1LastName%, %ShootPartner2FirstName%, and %ShootPartner2LastName% mail-merge tags, which use the first and second contacts with roles of “bride”, “groom”, or “partner” (or their localised equivalents) linked to a shoot.
- Flagged more mail-merge tags as being available in workflow messages.
- Added a “Mark As Unread” button to the Inbox and in the incoming email dialog.
- When accepting a contract with a linked form, the form import dialog’s “Import” button is no longer disabled if there isn’t any updated information to import. This makes it simpler to get forms from repeat clients who haven’t changed their details off your Inbox’s pending list!
- If you’re password protecting your copy of Light Blue, the staff login dialog is now displayed immediately after your initial data download or a client app reset sync.
- On Windows, the “Check For Updates” command now downloads the installer much faster. n.b. this will apply to updates that you download from Light Blue 8.1.2 onwards, so downloading this update won’t be any faster.
- When renaming the “Ungrouped requests” shoot requests group, default the name to that rather than “New group”.
- Our QuickBooks export now includes separate rows for any percentage discount that has been applied to an invoice.
- %EventX% tags in a workflow email preview could show the wrong value when linked to an event other than the shoot’s start date.
- Fixed a rare crash that could occur when generating picture thumbnails.
- Fixed a problem with the “Issue Refund” button on fully paid invoices, where the credit note would be created with the wrong sign.
- Fixed some timezone irregularities with displaying incoming emails’ received dates.
- Fixed a glitch where the calendar resource view includes column titles at top of timed section as well as the all-day section.
- Fixed a problem where multi-date calendar notes linked to specific resources don’t show the note description on any day other than the first day.
- Fixed an encoding problem that could occur when exporting a tax report to CSV.
- Fixed unexpected quits that have been reported to us.
We’ve released Light Blue 8.1.1, which is another free update to everyone who subscribes to our online services or has bought Light Blue 8. This is a minor update that adds new features and fixes bugs that were reported after the launch of Light Blue 8.1.
- You can now create Purchase records from Sale records, using the cost information that you’ve entered into your price lists. In a price list, you can now specify the supplier, net cost, and VAT / sales tax cost of the products that you offer. From a Sale record, you can use the options menu in the Items section or right-click on an item to create Purchase records for the items in the Sale.
- You can now create one-time setup codes from the “Manage My Devices” section of your account. This allows you to add a device to your Light Blue account without giving your account password to the owner of that device.
- You can now set up automatic SMS credit top-ups yourself by logging into your account on our website.
- Non-breaking spaces copied and pasted from other apps are now automatically replaced when you edit a text message template. These characters could make a message use the Unicode character set despite looking like they only contain characters from the standard GSM character set.
- Workflow messages linked to a session or an appointment can now use contact and shoot mail-merge tags.
- Added a warning message when you try to go to records that you don’t have access to from the Home screen.
- The “Restore From Backup” and “Reset Your Light Blue Account” commands are now only available to staff who have full access privileges.
- Clarified the “you can only submit this contract once everyone has signed it” message that appears on unsigned contracts.
- Fixed a problem where non-https images included in emails couldn’t be previewed on macOS.
- Fixed a problem where restoring a Contact record from the trash wouldn’t restore it to the group that it was part of.
- Fixed a rare problem where an email could be sent via our servers rather than your selected email account.
- Fixed a problem where the date of a scheduled text message in the Outbox could be displayed incorrectly.
- Fixed a problem where the purchase net and tax amount calculator wouldn’t work with European decimal separators.
- Fixed a problem where creating a credit note could create one with the wrong cents value if you’re using European decimal separators.
- Fixed a problem where re-entering your account password in the “continue trial” or “your trial has expired” pages of the setup wizard wouldn’t successfully authenticate your account.
- Fixed a problem with upgrading from Light Blue 4 to Light Blue 8.
- Fixed a problem that could cause the “your trial has expired” setup screen to appear when you’re not actually using a trial account.
- Fixed a race condition that could cause “The email hasn’t been synced to our servers yet” errors when trying to send emails in quick succession.
We’ve just released Light Blue 8.1, which builds on the success of Light Blue 8 by adding new features, improving existing features, and squashing bugs.
Light Blue 8.1 is a free update for all of our subscribers. You can install the update by using the “Check For Updates” command in Light Blue (which is in the Light Blue menu on macOS, or in the Help menu on Windows) or by downloading the installer from your Light Blue account.
Improved staff access restriction options
For businesses that have members of staff, you now have much more control over the parts of Light Blue that your staff can access. The new “Restricted” access level allows you to choose which features they can access, so you can disable access to sensitive information (such as finances) or entire sections of the app.
Windows performance improvements
We’ve made big improvements to our Windows app, making it more responsive and improving its graphics performance.
Simplified account password management
Changing your Light Blue account password no longer requires you to re-enter your password in the desktop app. This used to be a common source of confusion, and the new approach also allows you to permanently remove Light Blue 8.1 and above devices from your account without needing to change your account password. We’ve also introduced a new one-off setup code feature that allows you to add a device to your account without having to type your account password into it. This is perfect for adding members of staff or contractors without letting them know your main password.
Light Blue 8.1 includes lots of other new features and bug fixes. Here’s a summary of the improvements that we’ve made:
- Light Blue launches more quickly and the Preferences window takes less time to open.
- The Preferences window has been reorganised, and the “General Preferences” and “Custom Fields” panels have been split up into tabs to make it easier to find the settings you’re looking for.
- The speed of processing large data syncs has been improved, making the initial download of data onto a new computer much faster.
- Client portal emails (for example, the ones that are sent when you publish a contract) are now sent from your default email account, so they can come from your email address rather than using our email servers.
- Form and API submissions in the Inbox that contain a shoot date are now colour coded to show whether they clash with an existing event or enquiry.
- Orders from theimagefile can now be sent to your Light Blue account and imported as new Sale records.
- Your current SMS credit balance is now displayed in the text message dialog.
- Improved our VAT report for use with the UK government’s new Making Tax Digital initiative.
- Added a preference that lets you choose whether to allow members of staff that don’t have a password set to log into Light Blue.
- In the staff login dialog, if you fail to enter the right password the existing password is automatically highlighted for you so that you can immediately start typing to correct it.
- Added a staff-level default email account setting, so members of staff can automatically use their own email address when they create an email.
- Contracts and contract templates now have an optional thank you URL. If you specify this, your client will be taken to that URL after they have completed the contract (and paid their booking fee, if you’re charging one). You could use this to take your client to a custom thank you page that you’ve created on your own website.
- When publishing a contract that includes a form, you’re now warned if the selected form template has been deleted.
- When accepting a contract, the “Mark Shoot As Confirmed” checkbox is now displayed for cancelled shoots as well as enquiries.
- Added a second confirm dialog to the “Send All” and “Schedule All” buttons in the Outbox.
- Fixed a timezone-related problem where items in the Outbox could be displayed as being sent on the wrong day.
- Added a “Copy Email Address” command to the Linked Records contextual menu.
- Added a “Load In Query Dialog” command to the quick query list’s contextual menu.
- When parsing an email address, Light Blue now recognises email addresses formatted like “Name [email@example.com]” as well as “Name <firstname.lastname@example.org>”.
- Improved support for macOS 10.14 Mojave’s AppleScript security restrictions.
- Added a preference for whether you want to include prices in a printed production order.
- Added default photographer and salesperson options for new Sale records. When you create a sale, if there’s an assigned resource with the role “photographer” or “salesperson” then they are always used, otherwise we use the new default staff.
- The “Add New Contact” dialog now includes the contact notes field.
- Added an “Automatically Check For New Versions Of Light Blue” checkbox to the Preferences window, to give you the option of only manually checking for updates.
- When you trash a shoot, if its linked contacts aren’t linked to any other records then we now offer to move them to the trash as well.
- Fixed a problem where the first item in the Inbox could have its details appear to be repeated appear to be repeated.
- Fixed a problem on Windows where if you have the staff login dialog enabled, Light Blue could quit after doing a database upgrade instead of carrying on.
- Fixed a character encoding problem with the export financial data tool.
- Fixed a problem where the EventX mail-merge tags could use the wrong event’s details when used as part of a shoot that has multiple upcoming sessions and appointments.
- Fixed a problem that could occur when querying for contacts using linked contact criteria.
- Fixed a problem where un-ticking the mailing list opt-in box in the add contact dialog behaved as if you were ticking the box.
- Fixed a bug where the contract dialog “you need to add contacts” label is displayed on all tabs, not just the signatories tab.
- Fixed a rounding error that could occur when using the “Calculate Net & Tax Amounts From Gross Total” button in a purchase item.
- Dragging an event in the calendar to another date or time is no longer interrupted by the calendar getting reloaded during the drag.
Google are going to be making some changes to their Google Calendar API in the near future. We’ve recently released free updates to both Light Blue 8 and Light Blue 7 that will allow Light Blue to carry on publishing events to your Google Calendar.
If you’re using our Google Calendar publishing feature, please make sure that you’re using Light Blue 8 (any version of Light Blue 8 will do, but it’s always best to use the current version to makes sure you’re benefitting from all of the updates that we’ve been working on) or Light Blue 7.1.8.
We’ve released Light Blue 8.0.3, which is another free update to everyone who subscribes to our online services or has bought Light Blue 8.
- You can now use the “Add To Found Set” section of the Records menu to add a Resource to a selection of records, and the “Remove From Found Set” section to remove a Resource from a selection of records.
- Our QuickBooks invoice export now includes the invoice due date and the linked shoot’s title and shoot type.
- The “Tidy Popup Menus” housekeeping command now allows you to tidy the purchase item Name field.
- Added .cr3 and .raf file extensions to the list of unprocessed file extensions supported by our picture renaming feature.
- The background activity window no longer contains an item unhelpfully labelled as “Description” when you first open it.
- Updated the printed version of workflows to show email and text message steps correctly.
- On Windows, the staff login dialog now focuses the password field when it opens to save you needing to click or tab into it.
- Fixed a problem where underscores in contract mail-merge values could appear as \_
- Fixed a problem where charts section could fail to take percentage discounts into account.
- Fixed a problem with the “Staff Shoots” report that prevented shoots from being included more than once if multiple staff are assigned to it. Enquiries and cancelled shoots are no longer included in the report.
- Fixed a bug that could cause macOS contacts to be published to an account other than the default account.
- Fixed a database error message that could appear when using the Sales list view with both the Photographer and Salesperson columns.
- Fixed extra text that could appear when printing a contact record.
- Fixed a bug that could cause an attachment to be duplicated when sending emails in quick succession.
- Fixed a printing problem that could cause the rightmost column to be cut off the Purchases section of a tax report.
- Fixed a bug that could cause unsaved changes to be lost when dragging an attachment into an email.
- Fixed a problem with updating workflows when upgrading from an early Light Blue 8 beta.
- Fixed a problem where setting a custom label for a contact method wouldn’t display that custom label until you enter the phone number or email address.
- Fixed a couple of unexpected quits that could occur in unusual circumstances.
Light Blue 8 is a major upgrade to our desktop app. We’ve added new automation features and made lots of improvements to Light Blue’s email and text messaging features, helping you to book more shoots, cut down on no-shows, and free you up to spend more time on delivering great images to your clients.
Read on to find out more about the new features that we’ve added to Light Blue 8!
Automate your emails and text messages with workflows
Requires a subscription to our online services
Light Blue 8 introduces some big improvements that allow you to automate the routine emails and text messages that you send. For example, shoot and appointment reminders or enquiry follow-ups can now be set up in advance and automatically applied to your shoots and contacts.
We’ve achieved this by allowing you to include emails and text messages in your workflows. Workflows could already include tasks and appointments, and you can now include templated emails and text messages. You have control over when your automated messages will be sent by telling Light Blue how many days before or after a shoot, enquiry, etc, you want them to be sent, and at what time of day they’ll be sent out. You can preview your workflow messages, and you add your own personalisation or customisation to your automated messages as well as using Light Blue’s flexible mail-merge tags.
Workflow messages are automatically rescheduled if the date that they’re based on is changed (e.g. if a shoot is rescheduled). If you’re using automated messages as part of an enquiry workflow (e.g. to send follow-up messages to your clients), they’ll be automatically deleted when you either confirm or cancel the shoot.
If you need any help setting up your workflows, get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help you get the most out of them.
- Workflow message features require Light Blue 8. If you add a workflow, reschedule, or change the status of a shoot from an older version of Light Blue, workflow messages might not be handled correctly. If you’re going to use workflow messages, please update all of your computers to Light Blue 8.
- Support for workflow messages has also been added to our mobile app. If you’re using the Light Blue mobile app, please update to version 4.3 via the App Store.
- You can use most of Light Blue’s mail-merge tags in workflow messages, but a few of them aren’t supported. If you use any mail-merge tags that aren’t supported in workflow messages, you’ll see a warning in Light Blue.
Other email and text message improvements
Requires a subscription to our online services
- Sending emails and text messages is much faster because they are now sent in the background, freeing you up to carry on using Light Blue while they’re being sent.
- Emails can now be composed in a separate window, rather than in a dialog box. This allows you to compose multiple emails at the same time, or carry on using other parts of Light Blue while you’re composing an email.
- You can now use one of your email templates when you’re replying to an email.
- You can easily add contacts’ email addresses to an email by clicking the new + buttons that appear next to the To, CC, and BCC fields.
- We’ve added a reply-to field for emails sent from Light Blue.
- Text messages are now included in the Outbox.
- The number badge on the Outbox shows the number of draft messages and messages that have errors. It’s shown in grey if there aren’t any errors, or red if there are any errors that need your attention.
- On macOS, Light Blue’s dock icon now shows you the number of items in the Inbox that need your attention.
- If you’re using the “Pending Items & Unread Messages” filter in the Inbox, marking an email or text message as read no longer makes it disappear straight away. It will only get hidden when you reload the Inbox or change your filters.
- The “go to linked record” contextual menu command for emails in the Inbox now includes any contacts that Light Blue has automatically recognised based on the sender’s email address.
- We’ve improved how timezones are handled when you manually schedule an email or text message to be sent in the future.
- Images in emails can now have alt text.
- When you reply to an email that included attachments, you now have an option to include those original attachments in your reply.
- Fixed a problem where adding a signature to an email reply could put the signature below the quoted text.
- When emails or text messages are sent or scheduled, their status in the Activity panel now updates as soon as it happens.
- When you duplicate a text message template, the new template is now named as “[Original name] copy”
Other new workflow features
- You can now export or import workflows, which allows you to share your workflows with other photographers or import a Light Blue workflow that someone else has shared with you.
- Added “Add Workflow” buttons to shoot sessions (instead of making you go into the session’s options menu to add a workflow to it), custom date fields, and the appointment date field.
- When you click an “Add Workflow” button for a field that allows you to specify a default workflow (e.g. the shoot enquiry date), instead of only allowing to add that default workflow the “Choose Workflow” dialog is now presented and the default workflow is pre-selected for you. This means that you just need to click the “Add” button if you want to use the default, but can select an alternative workflow if you want to.
- The “Add Workflow to Found Set” menu command now allows you to add workflows to shoots based on their start date or enquiry date. Any shoots in the found set that don’t have your selected type of date are skipped.
- You can now set a default confirmation workflow for appointment types.
- Added a “Today” option to the list of key dates you can base a workflow on. The “Custom Date” option already defaulted to today, but this new option will provide a more understandable option.
- Changed the “Delete Outstanding Tasks” command from the Activity panel options menu to “Delete Outstanding Items”. This will delete uncompleted tasks and unsent scheduled emails and text messages, but leaves any future appointments.
- When you change the status of a shoot from “Confirmed” or “Completed” to “Enquiry”, Light Blue now offers to tidy up outstanding items (in exactly the same way as when you cancel a shoot).
- You can now reassign multiple tasks to another member of staff from the Task Manager, or change their category.
- Added an “Assign Workflow Tasks Without Allocated Staff To Logged In User” preference to the “General Preferences” section of the Preferences.
Online contract signing, forms, online invoice payments, and API
Requires a subscription to our online services
- Shoot and contract forms can now include image and file upload fields. You add these to your form or template like any other field (although they can’t be included in contact forms, mostly for security reasons) and clients can use them to upload an image or file to you. If a client uploads a file to you, the filename will be included in your notification email and in the Inbox, and the uploaded file will appear in the shoot’s Activity panel. Being able to request an image or file from a client is useful in lots of situations, such as asking a client for a picture of a room they want to hang wall art in for a viewing session. Warning: although we’re not allowing image or file uploads in contact forms, you should always treat files that have been sent to you by anyone else with a certain amount of caution!
- Added a setting to contract templates that allows you to choose whether (and which type of) booking fee you want to charge for that contract.
- Added support for separate Stripe and PayPal details for each client portal brand, so you can have payments going to separate accounts for different shoot types. Please get in touch if you might be interested in this feature.
- We’ve added an option to not CC you into client portal emails that we send on your behalf (e.g. when a contract is published, etc).
- Incoming data sent to your account via Light Blue’s API now includes a date field that you can use in queries.
Fundy client order import
- You can now import Fundy Design Suite orders into Light Blue. You’ll find commands for importing Fundy files in the Import section of the Records menu.
- Upgrading Light Blue’s database is much, much faster than before. In our tests with large databases, it’s now 20x faster to upgrade your database.
- Loading the Inbox and Outbox is now much faster when they contain large numbers of items.
Inbox and Outbox features
- The Outbox date filters have been changed so that you can more quickly find what you’re interested in. The “Today”, “Yesterday”, “Last 7 Days”, and “Last 28 Days” options no longer display messages scheduled to be sent on future dates, and you now have “Tomorrow”, “Next 7 Days”, and “Next 28 Days” options that will show you scheduled messages. The default option is now “All Dates”.
- Added “Create Enquiry” and “Link To Existing Record” buttons to emails opened up from the Inbox, to save you needing to close the dialog and use the buttons in the Inbox.
- When you’re previewing incoming data (e.g. from a contact form) that includes an email address, a new “Reply” button allows you to create an email to the first email address included in the data.
- Text messages that you open from the Outbox now display their linked record and can be linked to a different record.
Sales and invoicing
- You can now export a set of invoices in a format that is easier to import into QuickBooks.
- We’ve improved the “Issue Credit” button on invoices to make it easier to credit or refund a wider variety of invoices.
- You can now choose to include the Payment notes field when printing a receipt.
- You can now choose to include the shoot type on a printed invoice or quote.
Calendar and Home screen
- Added an option to display week numbers in Week and Month view.
- We’ve added an option that allows you to display cancelled shoots in the built-in calendar.
- We’ve added an option to include cancelled shoots in the results of quick searches. This is turned off by default, to avoid cluttering your search results with cancelled enquiries unless you’re specifically searching for one.
- The various data export commands that used to live in the File menu have been moved to a new “Export” sub-menu in the Records menu. This is a more logical place for them to live, is more consistent with the “Import” sub-menu, and removes clutter from the File menu.
- The list view now remembers any column widths that you manually adjusted, and restores them when you go back to that list.
- In list view, selecting a quick query that doesn’t include any records no longer takes you back to detail view.
- In the query dialog, you can now query on the “role” of resources linked to a shoot.
- You can now use “Invoice Number (without prefix)” and “Invoice Number Prefix” in the query dialog, lists, and data exports. You’ve always been able to use the full “Invoice Number” field in these situations, but these new options give you more flexibility.
- We’ve added new fields that you can use in queries, lists, and data exports: “No. of Confirmed Shoots” has been added to the Contacts section, “First Appointment Start Date” has been added to the Shoots section; and “Shoot Start Date” and “Most Recent Payment Method” have been added to the Sales section.
- When you’re running a report, the report options dialog now defaults the most recent reporting period and output options to the options that you used for that report.
- Calendar notes are now included in the “Today’s Information” report.
- Google are making a small but important change to their Google Calendar API, and Light Blue 8 is now ready for this change.
- Improved the design of the staff login window to make it more welcoming when you launch Light Blue, as well as clearer in its purpose.
- We’ve updated the APIs that we use to publish contacts to the macOS Contacts app, which makes publishing contacts much faster (and future-proofs this feature in case Apple decides to stop supporting their old API). This requires macOS 10.11.
- You can now import individual contacts from the macOS Contacts app, as well as importing an entire group of contacts.
- Added a housekeeping command that marks any Sale records in the current found set as paid.
- Notes fields on Windows now have spell-checking enabled.
- Added a timezone setting to the Preferences window and setup wizard. This allows us to implement the %CurrentDate% and %CurrentTime% mail-merge tags in workflow messages.
- Added %ShootAcceptedQuoteTotal%, %ShootNetAcceptedQuoteTotal%, %ShootPaidTotal%, and %ShootOutstandingBalance% mail-merge tags.
- We’ve made our German localisation more comprehensive, and included both formal and informal options to give you a choice as to how formal you want to be when printing invoices, sending contracts, etc.
- When you set up a new database, we now create a default email signature for you.
- When you’re merging two contact records, spaces are now ignored when deciding whether to deduplicate a phone number.
- When linking a shoot to a purchase item, the “new record” button shouldn’t be available.
- The field label for custom paragraph text fields can now wrap onto extra lines if the label you’ve specified is long.
- Fixed a bug where duplicating time off wouldn’t publish the duplicated event to Google Calendar or the macOS Calendars app.
- Fixed a bug where printing a single record from the list view could print the wrong record.
- Fixed a crash that could occur when trying to attach a PDF of the built-in calendar to an email.
- Fixed a database error that could occur when using an unusual combination of related sections in the query dialog.
- Fixed a bug where shoots created via the API might not use their shoot type’s default session length.