Software options

bazil323(3/4)August 9, 2011

Hi all,

This is my first post here, I think (just joined another gardening forum and made 1 post but might've been here). Anyway, this may not be in the right place, but hopefully, you can guide me where to go if not.

I have just a couple smallish gardens and want to keep track of what I have planted where along with the name. In particular, I have many daylily and iris cultivars, and I really want to make sure that I don't lose track of them. I started a Word-type document that has a table of the name, height, bloom time, and reblooming if applicable in column 1 and a picture (with a caption to keep track of which ones are from the Internet and which from my gardens) of the plant or flower.

What I would really like is to be able to draw a rough diagram of my garden and be able to place markers or pictures in it to mark where the plants are, and then when I click or hover over the marker, I can then see more details like how many are there, etc. This may be a lot to ask, as I have not see anything like this when I Google but don't know what to look for.

I'm thinking I'll have to make do with Excel (will have to move all info from my Word to Excel document) to keep better track and be able to sort more easily without scrolling forever and try to keep track of placement with perhaps grid assignments?

I'm not going to track when I water or fertilize and won't be doing detailed notes here and don't have any fountains or other hardscape to track and don't need to design. I really just want to keep track of what cultivars are where.

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pls8xx

Use two sets of software, a photo editor or drawing software and an HTML editor.

For each plant, use the HTML editor to make a page that includes photos and any notes you have on the plant as well as which beds you have it planted. Save the html file with a name such as Iris_Sunrise.html

Use the photo editor or drawing software to make a drawing of each garden bed. Something as simple as MS Paint can be used, but better programs will make it easier to revise the drawing as plants are removed. Use a symbol for each plant.

Now use the HTML editor to make a page for each garden bed. Insert the drawing of the bed and select image mapping. Edit the image with "hot spots" on each plant symbol with text seen on mouse rollover and a hyper link to the plant file.

PageBreeze is a simple free editor that has image mapping.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 11:22AM
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AncientDragonfly(Georgia)

What I would really like is to be able to draw a rough diagram of my garden and be able to place markers or pictures in it to mark where the plants are, and then when I click or hover over the marker, I can then see more details like how many are there, etc. This may be a lot to ask, as I have not see anything like this when I Google but don't know what to look for.

As alternatives:

Adobe Acrobat Pro will do what you ask, but it's outrageously expensive at $449.

You can try Foxit Reader, an alternative to Adobe Acrobat: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/

I have used it for printing documents to PDF, but I have not used the comment feature. There's a detailed user manual on the support page. I believe it's free.

Just one caution when installing, it wants to install an Ask (search engine) toolbar, and you must read and follow the instructions carefully if you do not want to install it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 6:46PM
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bazil323(3/4)

Thanks for those suggestions! That might be a little more computer knowledge than I have, but I'll look into those programs to see. I'm fairly handy, but it's been a couple years since I took my Microsoft Frontpage class, definitely not a network specialist! :) Anybody know a better Paint type software that's cheap or free? I tried Paint, but I did not like how...simple, I guess, it was. My garden did not turn out how I wanted.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 9:22PM
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pls8xx

Anybody know a better Paint type software that's cheap or free?

For many years I've used one version or another of PhotoImapct by Ulead. They got bought out by Corel but cheap versions of PI are still available. Get a V5 copy on ebay now for $13.

My first response was rather brief. It doesn't pay to do much more when often the poster never comes back to read the responses. If you would care to look at image mapping for your application, I could demonstrate the process using either PI or Paint for the drawing and PageBreeze for the html. It might be early next week before I have the time. Post some of your plant data and I will use it.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:09AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Paint.net is a fancier -- and free -- version of MS Paint which has been recommended here at various times. I haven't used it (I just replaced a very old PC that couldn't handle it and haven't yet gotten around to trying all the free software I have bookmarks for).

http://www.getpaint.net/

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:34AM
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bazil323(3/4)

Pls9xx, I would like that if you have time. I think I have the idea, but it would be nice to see how it looks before I go buying any software or downloading more stuff on my computer.

As an example, I would want to track the following related to my front garden which is roughly oval shaped.

On one end, Asiatic lily "Tiny Orange Sensation," dwarf, 15"-24". Next towards the middle, daylily "Canadian Border Patrol,"36-48", midseason rebloomer. Above it, daylily "Big Kiss", 24-36", midseason rebloomer, double flowers. Let me know if you want any more info, but that's the sort of thing I'd want. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 9:45PM
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adriennemb2(z3/4)

I am in awe of people who can speak multiple languages, lol...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 10:12PM
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pls8xx

Sorry to be slow in my response. I'm having to learn some video tricks to show the actual building of this type application.

The theory I suggest is one where a graphic of the garden bed has an icon to represent each plant. Using your web browser, as you mouse over each icon, text tells you what the plant is and clicking on it opens the data file you have for the plant.

While I work on the video that shows how I use the photo and video editors to make the files, here is a short video clip that shows how this works. (see link below)

Here is a link that might be useful: garden files

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 4:43PM
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bazil323(3/4)

That looks great! You got exactly what I was thinking and made it happen! The only difference, perhaps, would be that I'd want to use a thumbnail picture of the flower for quick and easy ID of where stuff is without opening it, but I'm sure that could be accomplished fairly easily. If not, that's really more of a want than a need since it's linked to the info file.

Did you use the PhotoImpact and PageBreeze software you mentioned in earlier posts for this? Wow, that looks almost exactly what I was envisioning. Thanks so much!!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 6:09PM
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pls8xx

Update

Doing a narrated video tutorial has a bit more steeper learning curve than I anticipated. I'm making headway, but still not there.

I did see that one more page should be added to the system, one that is a plant inventory with links to the individual plant files.

One of the advantages to using HTML for this application is that you can upload it to the net and share your records with others. All of the files in the video I posted have been uploaded to zoomshare.com, a free web hosting service.

pls8xx.zoomshare.com/files/FrontBed.htm

pls8xx.zoomshare.com/files/Plant_Inventory.htm

    Bookmark   August 19, 2011 at 9:24AM
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bazil323(3/4)

Hmm, I thought I had posted back but must've been my imagination. The plant inventory is a good idea, especially since I've added some more plants of the same variety but to a different bed.

There was a software I heard of for making instructional videos using screenshot videos so you could watch what was being done while the user narrated (did some online training for work and instructor mentioned how easy it was). I can't remember what it was for sure, but it had a short name. I found one called Jing, but I'm not sure if that's what it was.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 7:58PM
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