Portrait Database Issues & Errors

Modified on Mon, 3 Feb, 2020 at 3:20 PM

Memento Yearbook is designed to work with the PSPA standard portrait package format, as it is the industry standard. Unfortunately, not all photo companies know that they need to provide this particular format to you. 

Below are common issues with database or index files you might encounter from portrait database packages that are improperly formatted.

The Index file is not a .txt format

Memento Yearbook will only import a .txt file. If you've received a .csv file format, simply rename it to a .txt and will import without issue. Other formats may require you to import them into Excel or another spreadsheet application, and then resave them to a .txt format.

The data doesn't appear correct

If you pull in your database and it simply doesn't seem to be the right information or present itself as expected in a table format, you may have been given a database that is not remotely related to the PSPA format. Opening the database in a spreadsheet software like Excel will quickly show you that it does not have the expected arrangement of rows and columns.

For instance, this database has empty rows, something you will never see in a PSPA index. The column headers show categories that are not relevant to yearbooks. This database is most likely used for a portrait management software.

If you have been given a database that is not intended for yearbook use, the best solution is to return to the photographer and request a properly formatted PSPA index.

One or more columns has "garbage" data

If most of the data comes in correct, but there is a column or two of extra data that simply isn't useful, you can ignore the extra column. For example, this index had a column of codes that serves no purpose for yearbook portrait pages:

At other times, you may have a row that says "large" or "small" - this refers to portrait image size, but this information is not useful to making portrait grids.

If you encounter this type of issue at import, simply change the column header to ignore that data. Click on the V arrow next to the column header, then scroll to the top of the list of headers.

Change the header to Ignore Column.

The data in the column will not be imported. 

Import fails due to exceeding the maximum allowable number of characters in any field

If your database contains more that 100 characters in any field , your import will fail. This excludes any field under the Notes column, which may contain 255 characters.

Data extends past the thirteen available columns

Sometimes you will receive a database that is mostly formatted correctly, but may not have the columns of information in the correct order, or have more information than you need.  If the data is in the wrong column, simply rename the column header to the correct field, as shown above.

However sometimes the data is presented in a larger table than can be imported. In this example below, show in a spreadsheet software, Homeroom info as well as some unneeded data is far off from the first thirteen columns in the database.  This information won't be shown at import.

To fix this issue, delete some extra unused columns in the spreadsheet software, then resave the file as a txt format (use Save As and give the file a slightly different name, just as Index-fixed.txt, so you don't overwrite the original file).  You can then import the repaired index normally.

Missing Images

If there are problems with importing the portrait images to accompany your database, check the Index in a spreadsheet software. First, compare the actual file names of the portraits. The file names in the data table must exactly match the actual names of the portrait files. 

Check for missing zeros starting the file name, typos or extra spaces, or, as in the example below, ensure that the image file name also includes the files extension (.jpg) in the data table. 


Make any changes required - correct the typos/missing extentions in the database, and resave it as a txt file under a slightly modified name (eg. Index fixed.txt).

Note that PSPA packages have been known to refer to images in the database that were not include in the package. If you find missing images reported after import, check the original package to see if the file actually was included. If not, contact your photographer to have the missing photo sent to you.

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