Artwork Tracker

I’ve had a bunch of questions about the app that aren’t answered either on the website or on the Facebook page. The following will hopefully address any questions or concerns you may have about Artwork Tracker. I’ll be updating this post as new questions arise. Let me know if I’ve missed anything!

1. Is Artwork Tracker available for my Mac, PC, Android phone, or other platform of choice? If not, when?

Artwork Tracker is currently available on the Apple iTunes App Store for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. A Mac version is also available for download from my site and from the Mac App Store. I currently have no plans for any other platforms.

2. I have an iPad and an iPhone. Do I have to buy the app twice?

No, Artwork Tracker is a universal app, so provided you use the same iTunes account on all your devices, you only have to buy the app once, and it can be installed on all your iOS devices. If you’d like to run the app on your Mac, you’ll need to purchase the Mac version separately.

3. I’m not sure if Artwork Tracker will suit my needs. Is there a free trial version available?

Yes, Artwork Tracker Lite is also available on the App Store, for free. This contains all the features of the full version, other than the database import and restore. It’s also limited to 5 artworks, 5 clients, and 5 submissions. That should be enough to give you some idea of whether the app will work for you.

4. Why is the app rated 17+ on the App Store? I’m concerned it may contain objectionable content.

There’s no need to worry – the database is empty when first installed, and is populated only with data you enter. The only reason the app is rated 17+ is the embedded web browser on the client info screen. Apps are required to have this rating whenever a web browser is embedded rather than sending you to the Safari browser.

5. Can I export photos from the database?

Yes – see question 14. Also note that the originals are left undisturbed in the photo library on your device. Photos taken within the app are saved to the camera roll on your device.

6. Is it possible to sort the artworks by artist name, rather than artwork title?

Tap the Settings button on the Tools screen and select the “Sort artwork by artist” button under Sort Options. Tap Done, and you’ll find all artworks are now sorted by artist name. Repeat these steps to sort by artwork title again.

7. What is the purpose of the button next to the plus button on the artwork screen?

This button is used to toggle between the table view and the photo grid view. The photo grid displays larger versions of the thumbnail photos seen in the table view, with empty cells for those artworks without a stored photo. With a large artwork collection, the photo grid view is scrollable, and it should be easier to locate a particular artwork than with the table view. Tapping a photo in the grid will display the artwork information associated with that photo.

8. How do I backup the Artwork Tracker database to my computer?

To transfer the data to your computer, you’ll need all devices on the same local WiFi network as your computer (Mac, PC, or other). Note that all the data is still saved on your device and backed-up whenever you do an iTunes backup.

To transfer to your computer and also to a spreadsheet, follow these steps:

(1) Tap the Backup Database button on the Tools screen within the app. If you only want to backup artwork and client data, tap Export Data instead. The app will display a message with the IP address (some numbers) of your device on your network. It might look something like this:
(2) Enter the address displayed by the app into the web browser on your computer. You should see an Artwork Tracker page appear. This is actually from the app on your device.
(3) Download the Artwork Tracker DB to your computer. You might also want to download the CSV file. This CSV file can be imported into a spreadsheet program on your computer, while the DB file is only readable via the app. Note that only the DB file contains your artwork photos.

9. I have an Artwork Tracker database on my computer. How do I transfer it back to my device?

As with database backup, you’ll need all devices on the same local WiFi network as your computer (Mac, PC, or other).

(1) Tap the Restore Database button on the Tools screen within the app. If you don’t want to completely overwrite the database on your device, you might want to select Import Database instead. Note that if you’re importing, you may see duplicate entries on your device after the import is complete. The app will display a message with the IP address (some numbers) of your device on your network.
(2) Enter the address displayed by the app into the web browser on your computer. You should see an Artwork Tracker page appear.
(3) Within the web browser, select the Artwork Tracker DB file on your computer. Click the Restore (or Import) button in your browser to send the database to your device.
(4) Your device will receive the database and will ask for confirmation, displaying some info about the database.
(5) Tap the Restore button on your device and the database will be processed. If you’re importing instead, you’ll see another screen where you can select what you want to import (All, only Artworks, only Clients, or Artworks and Clients).
(6) Once complete, the app will display a popup letting you know the transfer is complete. The data from your computer will now be on your device.

10. I have an iPad and an iPhone. How do I keep the databases in sync between them? Does the app have iCloud support?

Artwork Tracker currently doesn’t have a simple means of keeping databases synchronized on separate devices. However, it is still possible to transfer the database between devices manually:

1. Select Backup Database on the first device.
2. Enter the address into the web browser on the second device.
3. Tap the “artworktracker.adbi” link and wait for the file to download.
4. Tap the Open in “ArtworkTrack” button.
5. Artwork Tracker will load. Tap Restore to transfer the complete database.

Artwork Tracker does not currently support syncing via iCloud. This could be technically difficult to support, since the app was designed before iCloud launched.

11. I have Artwork Tracker Lite and just bought the full version. How do I transfer my data from the Lite version?

After you’ve purchased the full version and run it at least once, load the Lite version and tap on the tools icon on the bottom-right of the screen. Tap the “Export to Full App” button, then “Open in ArtworkTrack.” When the full version appears, tap the Restore button to transfer the database.

12. I have a whole spreadsheet of submission data I’d like to import into the app. How can I do that?

Provided your spreadsheet program can export to CSV format and allows you to specify comma separators and dates in a particular format, you should be able to import it into the app. Artwork Tracker expects to receive CSV data according to the CSV template file, available in the Downloads section of the site. This template file can also be downloaded when connecting to the app via your web browser.

13. Can you incorporate some new fields into the app? Can I change the names of any of the data fields?

Incorporating new fields may be possible, but keep in mind that screen real estate is very limited on the iPhone and iPod touch. I’ve tried to select fields that would be useful for artists and collectors alike, and have tried to minimize clutter as much as possible. In a recent update I substantially increased the size and number of characters allowed in the notes fields. These may be used to store additional data for each artwork, client, or submission. Sorry, the names of the data fields cannot be changed.

14. How do I use the artwork report export feature? How do I view the artwork report?

The artwork report export feature is enabled by default. To change the report options, tap the Settings button on the Tools screen. From there you can scroll down to the Artwork Export settings and configure the following options:

(1) Generate artwork report – tap this to turn artwork report generation On or Off.
(2) Small photos / Medium photos / Large photos – tap this to select the size of the photos that will appear in the artwork report. Small photos will display thumbnail versions of each photo, while Large photos will display full-size photos, as they would appear on an iPad. Medium photos are half the size of the large photos.
(3) Clear cache – tap this to clear the photo cache. This setting is usually not needed.

Once set, the options above will apply whenever the artwork report is generated. There is no need to change them every time.

To generate the artwork report, tap the Backup Database or Export Data button on the Tools screen. The database may take several seconds or minutes to be prepared, depending on the speed of your device and how large your art collection is. Once the database has been prepared, a popup with an address (numbers) will appear. Enter this address into your web browser exactly as it appears. Click on the Artwork Report link at the bottom of the web page that appears in your browser. The artwork report shows a summary of your collection, followed by the data and photos for every piece of art in your collection. This report can be useful for inventory or insurance purposes, and may be saved or printed from within your web browser.

15. How do I save or print the artwork report?

To print the artwork report, use your web browser’s print feature. To save the artwork report, you can use the web page archiving feature of your web browser. Most web browsers allow you to create an archive of web pages, including all images, for saving to your computer.

In Safari, select the Save As option in the File menu. Ensure the Format or Save as type field is set to Web Archive. Enter the filename and click Save.

In Internet Explorer, select the Save As option in the File menu. Ensure the Save as type field is set to Webpage, complete or Web Archive, single file. Enter the filename and click Save.

In Mozilla Firefox, select the Save As Page option in the File menu. Ensure the Save as type field is set to Web Page, complete. Enter the filename and click Save.

In Google Chrome, select the Save Page As option in the File menu. Ensure the Format field is set to Webpage, Complete. Enter the filename and click Save.

16. When I view the artwork report in my web browser, why are some of the photos different to those shown in the app?

The artwork report feature uses a cache, which is another way of saying it stores the photos for fast access later. Sometimes the cache may be out of date, causing the app to become confused and start displaying old photos in the artwork report. While this is unlikely to occur, you can fix the problem by tapping the Settings button on the Tools screen. Scroll to the bottom of the list to the Artwork Export settings. Tap Clear cache, and the photo cache will be cleared. Regenerate the artwork report to confirm the photos are correct.

17. How do I re-order the photos on the Artwork Info screen?

After the entry has been saved, tap on it and then tap the Photos button in the upper-right part of the screen. This will show all the photos associated with the Artwork. Tap and hold on the photo you’d like to move on the Info screen, then drag it to its new position. When you return to the Info screen the photo slots will reflect the new order.

18. I have questions, feature requests, or concerns that aren’t listed above. How can I contact you?

You can reach me via email (, on the Artwork Tracker Facebook page, or on Twitter (I’m @andrewnicolle). I can usually respond to queries within 24 hours. If you like Artwork Tracker, please spread the word! Share your thoughts with other artists and collectors by rating or reviewing the app on the App Store. I use this feedback to gauge continued interest in the app and to plan future updates.