The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


Home > Getting Started > Basic Setup How To's > Preferences Wizard
Preferences Wizard

The Preferences Wizard helps you enter the most important settings in your Spectra/myStratus 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. The basics are covered in the wizard, but many more settings are available on the Maintenance menu that will help you customize the software for your company. For more information, see Maintenance Menu Overview.

Watch the video and/or follow the instruction below to set up the software with the Preferences Wizard.

The Preferences Wizard should start automatically the first time you open the software, but you can use the wizard at any time to re-set these preferences.

  1. Click Maintenance > Preferences > Preferences Wizard to start the Preferences Wizard.

  2. After the introduction screen, click Next and modify your company information. This is the information that will print at the top of your reports, invoices, and receipts. NOTE: Don't enter your company name here! The software will automatically add that at the top of the report header. Just enter the rest of your contact information. Select a company logo image file. We recommend a 300 dpi, 1x2 or 1x1 inch image.

  3. 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.

  4. Next, add and modify your users. Type their names and initials and click Next. See also: Setting up Users


What is a user? A user is anyone who uses your business location (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? As many as you want! 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 license. Your license only limits how many users can be logged in to the software at the same time.

  1. Next you will set up resources. Resources can be areas within your space or other resources and equipment that you want to maintain a schedule for. Think about your various camera rooms, framing area, consultation rooms, special cameras, or even a van or trailer. In order to schedule these areas and equipment you’ll need to define them. Enter your resources and click Next. See also: Adding Resources to the Calendar


Have you noticed the Enter More button in the Preferences Wizard? Click Enter More if you would like to create more entries. This will bring you to a more detailed page where you can create additional entries and add details. These "maintenance" pages are also available in the Maintenance menu.

  1. Use the drop-down lists to select your business's open and close times for each day of the week. NOTE: This will simply determine the shading that appears on your calendar you will still be able to schedule appointments “after hours.” For days your business is closed all day, set the open time the same as the close time. Click Next. See also: Open and Close Hours

  2. Next, type in names for your client groups. Think of all the different ways you may want to categorize your clients. A client can belong to more than one group. A client may be a "Portrait" customer, a "Wedding" customer, and also a member of your "Newsletter" group. A high school student could fall into in the "Jefferson High" group, the "Class of 2012" group, and so on. Click Next. See also: Client Groups


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 of mailings to become loyal customers. 
  • How about “Animal Lover” for people who might be receptive to the idea of having a portrait taken with their beloved pet? 
  • Or, use a group titled “No Contact” for clients who don’t want to receive marketing materials or phone calls.
  1. Type the names of any lead sources you have. Lead sources are the ways people find out about your business, such as advertisements, the yellow pages, customer referrals, or social media. Click Next. See also: Lead Sources

  2. Enter the types of sessions your studio offers, such as “Portrait” or “Senior Deluxe.” Set the default amount of time (in minutes) that each type of session takes. Select a calendar color for each session type. Click Next. See also: Session Types


"Why do I need different Session Types?" Here's a breakdown:
  • Different session types appear as different colors on the calendar.
  • Different session types have a default duration/length.
  • Different session types can display different prices.
  1. Now enter the different types of appointments you have, the duration (in minutes), and the color they should appear on the calendar. Click Next. See also: Appointment Types


"What is the difference between a session and an appointment?"
  • Session - Any time you will be actually TAKING photos of a client.
  • Appointment - Anything else placed on the calendar, such as a wedding consultation or staff meeting.
  1. Enter your default sales tax information by first selecting your Sales Tax Method from the drop-down list. Type in the state and enter your default sales tax rate. Enter the tax rate as a percentage (e.g., 7½% should be entered as 7.5). If your default sales tax is a state sales tax, leave the city blank. If the default is a city sales tax, enter the name of the city. To add more sales taxes and more locations go to Maintenance > Preferences > Company (Studio) Preferences > Invoicing and click Sales Tax Maintenance. Click Next. See also: Company (Studio) Preferences - Invoicing

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


  3. If you have a TSYS (U.S. only) or eWAY (Australia and New Zealand) account that you will be using to process credit cards through the software, enter the credentials on this page. Click Next.

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

See also

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