Introduction

All wards publish their membership directory in some form or another for their members. Some wards (including student wards) very often publish a photo directory to help members get to know each other better, and to help a member recall the name with a face. Creating ward photo directories has been a laborious task, but it doesn't need to be any more.

All it takes is an MLS membership export and a directory full of member photos (sorry, you still have to round up each member family and get their photo). It produces a nicely-formatted PDF with every family, listing phone numbers and address, and children's names.

Getting started

First you should prepare a folder full of all the photos of the families or individuals in your ward. The photos should be named in any of the following ways: (any given photo may adopt any of these conventions--they don't have to all be consistent)
  1. lastname.jpg
  2. lastname, firstname.jpg
  3. firstname lastname.jpg

After installing the program, you should see an opening screen like this:
opening screen.png
On this first "MLS Import" tab, you can either open a file exported from MLS or you can paste the data directly from the clipboard that was prepared by MLS. Follow the directions at the bottom of this step in the wizard to prepare the data.

Under the "Photos" tab, choose the directory to import photos from. The photos must be named by family name or head of household. The program has some limited intelligence to figure out which photo goes with which membership record.
photos.png

Under the "Hide Details" tab, include the geographic information that is common to most/all ward members. You can reduce clutter in the directory by leaving out obvious parts of addresses like the state and area code your ward lives in.

When you get to the "Output" tab, you're done. Just generate your directory:
output.png

Choose a PDF quality and after a few moments a PDF pops up. Don't be too discouraged by the progress bar during generation. It does all its movement at the end (poor progress bar). Here is a sample of what it looks like (blurred deliberately to protect the innocent):
pdf.png

If you want to upload your photos to your ward web site on lds.org, you'll be able to soon! I actually had this working already, but found out it was hard-coded to just my own ward web site. Once it's fixed for everyone, you'll just click the appropriate button on the last screen of the program. It will prompt you for your lds.org username and password (as it needs it to go and upload photos). It will likely take several minutes to do it's work, but I guarantee the time ratio had you done it manually is at about 15:1.

Last edited Nov 4, 2007 at 9:44 PM by AArnott, version 5

Comments

pngrata Oct 16, 2007 at 6:51 AM 
looking forward to the multi-web-site functionality. I've got some programming background but I've never used .NET so I don't think I'd want to dive in your source code just yet anyway.