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.

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. Select a company logo image file. We recommend a 300 dpi, 1x2 or 1x1 inch image. Next, enter your Report Header. 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.  In the Business Location section, enter the locale and time zone you wish to use for your business. The Locale setting affects the language and formatting that will appear in the software. Click Next.

  3. Next, add and modify your Users. Type their names and initials. Then, enter what level of security you want them to have in the software. In the final column, enter the initial password for the employee to use when they first login. 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. Type the names of any Lead Sources you have. Lead sources are the ways people find out about your business, such as advertisements, magazines, customer referrals, or social media. Click Next. See also: Lead Sources 

  1. The software has the ability to prompt a user when they save a record that's missing important information. There's a whole library of fields you can choose from. Use this page of the wizard to set up Data Entry Validations for the most common fields. You can choose to not require the fields, prompt the user that a field is missing, or require the field to be filled in before saving. Click Next. See also: Data Entry Validations

  2. Use the drop-down lists to select your business's Open and lose times for each day of the week. NOTE: This will simply determine the shading that appears on your calendar – you can still schedule appointments “after hours”. For days your business is closed all day, check the Closed box. Click Next. See also: Open and Close Hours 

  1. 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. If you're a school or organization photographer, you can check if a session type is for an organization or school, activating the software's organization-based tools. For any default session types you don't use, you can set them as Inactive right away. Click Next. See also: Session Types 

  2. 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 

  1. Now choose your company's default email settings. Under the Marketing Defaults section, select if you want all clients automatically opted in (check the box) or opted out (uncheck the box) for your marketing materials. Please review the marketing laws for your region before setting this box. For your Outgoing Email Settings, enter the appropriate settings for the email you'd like to use to send emails from the software. Leave as None if you don't want to set up emailing at this time. Click Next. See also: Sending Emails

  2. This page gives you a quick peek at the different add-ons available in the software. If there's one you'd like to use right away, you can click the link to get pricing and sign up. Or if you're not ready to use these features yet, you can keep them in mind to implement as your business grows!

  3. If you're interested in taking credit card payments directly in the software, you can get a free quote from one of our official, integrated Credit Card processing partners. For features such as Online Payments, eCommerce, Online Booking deposits, etc. an account with one of these processors is required. Click Next.

  4. This final page contains next steps for you to start getting to know the software. If you ever need help, check out the Help menu in the upper right-hand corner. Click Finish to complete the wizard and update your settings.

See also

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