Spectra Getting Started Guide

Setting up Your Preferences

Using the Preferences Wizard

The Preferences Wizard helps you enter the most important settings in the software so you can get up and running quickly. However, don’t forget to go back later and set all your company and user preferences. There are many additional settings on the Maintenance menu that help you customize the software for your business. For more information, see the Maintenance Menu Overview topic in the Spectra Online Help.

  1. The Preferences Wizard should start automatically the first time you log into the software. If it doesn't, go to Maintenance > Preferences and click Preferences Wizard to start it.

  2. Click Next on the instruction page to begin.

  3. Company Information - Enter or modify your company information. This information will print at the top of your reports, invoices, and receipts. NOTE: Do NOT include your business name in the Report Header section! The software will automatically insert your company name on each invoice and report using the name you provided when you registered your software. Along with your contact information, select an image file to be used as your company logo. We recommend a 300 dpi, 1x2 or 1x1 inch image. Click Next to continue.

  4. Business Options - Tell us a little about your business so we can customize the software's terminology for your company. Decide how you refer to jobs, employees, and resources. Also, tell us how you primarily conduct your business, with consumers or with other businesses/organizations. Click Next to continue.

  5. Users - Type in the names and initials of each person that will use the software. Click Next to continue.


    What is a user? A user is anyone who uses your studio (or any other work area), such as a photographer or salesperson. A user is also any employee for whom you may need to schedule sessions or appointments.

    How many users can I have? The number of users you create is not restricted by your software license. For example, you can create five users even if you have a two-user Spectra license. Your license will simply limit the number of users that can be logged in to the software at the same time.

  6. Resources - Resources are areas within your studio or other resources and equipment that you want to maintain a schedule for. Think about your camera rooms, framing area, consultation rooms, special cameras, or even a van or trailer. In order to schedule these areas and equipment, you need to define them. Enter your resources and click Next.

  7. Business Hours - Use the drop-down lists to select your open and close times for each day of the week. NOTE: These settings simply determine the shading that appears on your calendar – you will still be able to schedule appointments “after hours.” For days that your business is closed, enter the same time for both the open and close times. Click Next to continue.

  8. Client Groups - Create groups to organize your clients and prospects. Think of all the ways you may want to categorize your clients for reporting or marketing, and remember, you can always add more later. When you start using Spectra, you will be able to assign your clients to as many groups as you wish. For example, a client may belong to the "Portrait" group, the "Wedding" group, and also a member of your "Newsletter" group. A high school student could fall into in the "Jefferson High" group, the "Class of 2015" group, and so on. Click Next to continue.


    Client groups help you manage information, analyze profitability, and market your services. Be creative! Think about your customers in various ways. Set up a group labeled "Prospect" for people who might only require a phone call or a couple mailings to become loyal clients. How about “Animal Lover” for people who may want to have a portrait taken with their pet? Or a group titled “No Contact” for clients who don’t want to receive marketing materials or phone calls.

  9. Lead Sources - Enter the various ways people find out about your business, such as advertisements, the yellow pages, Facebook, blog ads, Pinterest, partner businesses, or even client referrals. Click Next to continue.

  10. Session Types - Enter the types of sessions you offer, such as “Portrait” or “Senior Deluxe.” Set the default amount of time (in minutes) each type of session takes. From the drop-down list, choose a calendar color for each session type. Click Next to continue.


    Here are several reasons you may want to set up multiple session types in Spectra:

    • Each session type can be a different color on the calendar.

    • Each session type can have a default duration/length.

    • Each session type can display a different price list (not available in the Express version).

  11. Appointment Types - Now enter the different types of appointments you schedule, the duration (in minutes), and the color they should appear on the calendar. Click Next to continue. 


    SESSION: Any time you will be actually TAKING photos, such as a client portrait session or a commercial shoot.

    APPOINTMENT: Anything else placed on the calendar, such as a wedding consultation or a staff meeting.
  12. Default Sales Tax - Select the state from the drop-down list and type in the rate (7½% should be entered as 7.5) for your default sales tax rate. If your default sales tax is a state sales tax, leave the city blank. If it is a city sales tax, enter the city name. To add more sales taxes and more locations, go to Maintenance > Preferences > Company Preferences > Invoicing and click Sales Tax Maintenance. Click Next to continue.

  13. Email Settings - Now choose your company's default email settings. Enter your Gmail account information or the appropriate SMTP settings. Click Next.

  14. Cayan or eWAY Credentials - If you have a Cayan (US) or eWAY (AU, NZ, UK) account you will be using to process credit cards through Spectra, enter the credentials on this page. Click Next.

  15. Click Finish to save your settings and exit the wizard.