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Setting preferences

Expression Studio 2.0

You can define some setup and program options by pointing at or clicking Preferences on the Edit menu. The preferences are divided into several categories. Setting some of these preferences requires that you have a working knowledge of the features that they control.

  • General   Define some of the global display and general behavior characteristics of the program.

  • Media Rendering   Define how Microsoft Expression Media processes and displays images in different views.

  • Vocabulary Editor   Define the terms you use to add annotations to your media files. For more information about annotations and how to set these preferences, see Metadata vocabularies.

  • Labels and Colors   Customize the colors and names of labels globally. Color labels provide a way to visually identify and classify media files in your catalogs. For more information about labels and how to set these preferences, see Color labels.

  • Helper Applications   Define programs other than Expression Media that you can use to perform extensive edits on your catalog files. For more information about Helper applications and how to set these preferences, see Editing media in other applications.

To set general preferences

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Preferences, and then click General.

  2. Set the options according to the following descriptions:

    • At Startup   Choose whether you want to open a new catalog, open the last catalog you used, or do nothing each time the program starts.

    • Double-click   Choose how Expression Media interprets double-clicking a media item in a catalog.

    • Options   Choose how to display tool tips to sort media based on natural numeric order (1, 2, 3, and so on), to show warning dialog boxes when batch processing or removing media, and to auto-save catalogs on a timed schedule.

    • Field Names   Define the field names to use for describing IPTC annotations. For more information about field names, see The Info panel.

    • Dimensions   Define which unit of measure Expression Media uses.

    • Resolution   Set the default resolution.

    • Dates   Determine how the date displays in the views. If you choose Long, the date format reads "Friday, April 16, 2009." If you choose Short, the format reads "4/16/09."

    • Inspector Key   Type a key that you can press to receive more information about a media item or Organizer term when you have the pointer positioned over the item or term.

To set media rendering preferences

  1. On the Edit menu, point to Preferences, and then click Media Rendering.

  2. Click the Images tab, and then set the options according to the following descriptions. For the Rendering option, select the rendering method that Expression Media uses to process the images displayed in the views. Nearest Neighbor renders more quickly but produces a less precise preview image. Bilinear creates a medium-quality image. Bicubic renders more slowly than the other two methods, but creates a better-quality image.

    • Color match   Enable color profile matching in all views. If an image has an embedded ICC color profile, Expression Media uses it to create thumbnails and display images.

    • Use alpha channel   Enable Expression Media to render thumbnails and media images using the alpha channel as a mask. Alpha channels are grayscale images that are embedded into a file and used to define the transparent and opaque parts of an image. In Adobe Photoshop, masks are stored in alpha channels.

    • Skip images with size greater than   Limit the size of images, ranging from 1 to 100 megabytes (MB), that the program displays in Media view and in the Light Table. If an image is larger than the defined value, Expression Media will not render it. This option makes it faster to import large images when you view them in Media view.

    • Transparency   Select the background color that is used for transparent spaces in various image file types, such as .gif and .psd (Adobe Photoshop). Click the color swatch to define a color.

    • Light Table Warnings   Adjust the sensitivity of exposure warnings in the Light Table. Click the up or down arrows to adjust the under- and over-exposure values that trigger red and blue on-screen warnings. You should leave this at the default value until you gain experience in working with the Light Table. For more information about the Light Table and exposure warnings, see The Light Table.

  3. Click the Raw tab to specify how Expression Media displays raw images. Expression Media can show the full raw image or show the embedded JPEG preview image, depending on your choices and the system tools available to decode and display raw images. Set the raw options as follows:

    • Rendering   Select Use embedded preview to use the JPEG preview image that is contained with most camera raw files. The size of the embedded preview varies, depending on the camera used to create the raw image. This image renders much more quickly than decoding the camera raw data. Selecting this option speeds up importing and media rendering of camera raw files. If you select this option, note that you disable raw image preview and you instruct Expression Media to display only the JPEG preview. If you want to preview the raw image, clear this check box.

      In the Preferred Engine menu, select which one of the two rendering engines you want the application to try first when it decodes and displays raw image files. Then, if no compatible raw codecs are present in your preferred engine, Expression Media tries to use the other engine to decode the raw image. By selecting the Manufacturer engine, you direct Expression Media to first try to decode images using codecs installed with Expression Media. By selecting the Windows Imaging Component engine, you direct Expression Media to first try to decode raw images using a WIC codec. You can obtain WIC codecs from the official WIC download site. In some cases, both the manufacturer and WIC codecs can display a raw image. However, one codec type could display an image more quickly or with a higher quality than another. In these cases, you should test both the Manufacturer and Windows Imaging Component options to discover which decoded raw image that you prefer.

      If your system has no compatible codec, Expression Media will display the word “Preview” in the bar above the image, and subsequently display the JPEG. Expression Media may also display an error message. In either case, you may have to install a WIC codec to display the raw file.

    • Photo CD Size   Import from Kodak Photo CDs, which contain images that have a variety of dimensions and file sizes. Smaller files are imported much more quickly into Expression Media than larger files.

    • DCR Look Profile   Adjust the color tone of Kodak DCR images when they are rendered by Expression Media.

  4. Click the Fonts tab and set the options as follows:

    • Thumbnail view   Select an option from the Display drop-down menu. You can display thumbnails of fonts as either the font name or as two characters of sample text that you define. If you change this option after importing fonts into a catalog, you have to select all thumbnails and, on the Action menu, click Rebuild Item to have Expression Media recreate the font thumbnail with the new settings. Thumbnail view settings also apply to List view.

    • Media view   Type the size at which you want font thumbnails to display, and select an option from the Display drop-down menu. You can display your font files as thumbnails that depict a standard character set, a full character set, or sample text that you define (by default, Expression Media first defines the sample text for you, but you can delete the default text and create your own). The Font Size option applies only to TrueType fonts. Expression Media displays bitmap fonts at the size defined by the font. These options also define how Expression Media displays fonts in the Slide Show. For more information, see Slide Show overview.

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