picNiche Toolbar Tips & FAQs

The picNiche toolbars have quite a lot of functionality for microstock contributors and image buyers, and because of the wide variety of tools available, it can be overwhelming to newcomers.

I figured I’d add a few tricks & tips to help ensure the picNiche tools are helping you out as much as they can, that problems can be mitigated, and to answer the most frequently asked questions 🙂

Common Problems

  • The toolbar won’t find my password when I’ve saved it (or the username drop-down in options is blank even after logging in).

    This is usually caused by logging in at a different page than the one the toolbar is looking for (though some website setups cause firefox to get confused about what it is saving the password for, especially if it already has a login saved for a different page on that site).
    To fix the problem and get firefox to save the password in the right place:

    1. Open the firefox options (Tools/Options on PC, Firefox/Preferences on Mac)
    2. Click the ‘Security’ tab then the ‘Saved Passwords’ button
    3. Enter the name of the site you’re trying to save in the search box.
    4. Select and click the ‘Remove’ button for all entries found. (Do not click ‘Remove All’)
    5. Click ‘Close’ then select the picNiche options tab
    6. Click the blue hyperlink for the site you want to save (this will open the best login page for that site)
    7. Close the preferences and login to the newly opened webpage (you should be prompted to save the password)

    Now when you open the preferences the username drop-down should contain the saved username.

  • The sidebar is too small, can I make it bigger?

    The sidepanel has an invisible gripper at it’s left-most edge. Open the sidebar (by clicking the P icon near the bottom right of your browser) and place your mouse carefully over the left edge, it should become a <-> symbol.

  • The sidebar has a weird background colour, or has a line(s) across it reducing the readability of the text.

    This has cropped up a lot since the release of firefox 3.6. It’s caused by poorly designed Personas (the mini-addons which place a picture on the main firefox toolbar strip. Ideally you should use well-designed personas (as other sidepanel addons are usually affected too) but I’ve added a workaround which can be enabled in the picNiche preferences, under the General Preferences section just ensure “Fix for poorly designed personas” and restart the browser.

  • I’m on Mac but I’ve never had a blog or earnings notification popup

    Firefox uses ‘Growl’ on Mac to launch popup notifications. It’s free, but you have to install it.

  • When I make a custom poller I can’t interact with the browser.

    You can also open the picNiche Options from the Addons dialog (Tools/Addons), click ‘Options’ for the picNiche Contributor toolbar entry in the list. This opens the window in non-modal mode, so you can move it around like a regular window (not a dialog).

  • I have a small screen and lots of custom pollers, it makes my browser go wonky.

    I’m trying to figure out a way to display lots of buttons on a short toolbar, but the mechanics of it in XUL (the markup language used for addons) make it a bit tricky. At the moment, sorry, no, disable some custom pollers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I don’t want to keyword in English, can I get my keywords in other languages?

    Open the picNiche options (Tools/picNiche Tools/Options), and in the General Preferences section (on the Agencies tab) you can select from a range of languages. When using the keyword tool it will return keywords for that language.

  • Setting up login info is such a PITA. Why can’t I just type my password in?

    It’s very important that your personal data stays safe. Part of that is ensuring the picNiche code deals with it as little as possible. Whilst it is possible to store a record in the firefox secure password manager on your behalf, doing so could potentially open it up to exploits in future versions of firefox or abuse by malicious addons. Only install addons you trust.

  • What is the button to the far left of the toolbar, and why is it only clickable sometimes?

    That’s the ‘Refresh Earnings’ button, it displays the total earnings tracked by the toolbar for all authenticated pollers (not custom pollers). It is disabled for a minute each time you click it to avoid spamming the agency websites with constant page-requests.

  • Why are some keywords green right after I search?

    The keywording tool grabs a list of associative keywords from the picNiche server. For the first search word/phrase it will automatically select the keyword you entered; if you then enter a different search word and click ‘Refine’, it will get a list of associative keywords for that word/phrase, and any words in BOTH sets will be selected automatically. It’s just a short-hand way of selecting a lot of keywords automatically. You should still review this selection for any inappropriate keywords for your image(s).
    You can also right-click a keyword in the list to refine by that keyword without typing it manually.

  • There are too many keywords selected, what do I do?

    Keywords in the list are ordered by relevancy, so trimming keywords from the end will remove the least-relevant words. You can limit the list to the top-50 keywords on the clipboard by Ctrl-clicking (Cmd-click on Mac) the ‘Copy to Clipboard’ button.

  • Can I turn off the <agency name> button?

    I fixed this recently, yes, just disable that agency in the picNiche options and it should no longer display the button on the toolbar.

  • Can I show total earnings for Shutterstock instead of monthly earnings?

    For the authenticated poller it’s stuck with monthly only for now to keep page requests to the SS server to a minimum. However, there is a custom poller on the ‘Get More’ list which shows total earnings.

  • I’d like to hide the toolbar without disabling it (when in work/cafes/etc), can I do that?

    You can quickly toggle the visibility of both the contributor and search toolbars by middle-clicking (I’ve no idea what that would be on Mac, try combos of the various control keys if you don’t have a middle mouse button) on the P icon in the bottom right (the one that opens the sidepanel).
    I have both toolbars installed and hide ONE manually by right-clicking on the main firefox toolbar and unchecking it from the list of all toolbars, in that case I use middle-click on the P to switch between the two as needed.

  • How do I add a blog to watch?

    You can’t (yet) add your own blogs to the picNiche RSS poller, but if it’s microstock related please send it to me through the suggestions panel by clicking Blogs/Tools on the toolbar and clicking -Submit Yours-

  • How do I stop watching some blogs?

    Open the picNiche options (Tools/picNiche Tools/Options), select the “Community Blogs” tab and check/uncheck the blogs you would/wouldn’t like to see notifications for.

  • Can I limit upload speed when using the FTP uploader?

    Yes, install the Firefox Throttle addon.

  • I really really really really want the sound of a cash register when I make a sale!! Can I? Purleazzze?

    The sounds provided are intentionally simple (I tried a cash register sound in testing and it got very old very fast) so I probably won’t provide one (and spend the space in preferences to select it), but I get this request quite often, so here’s where to put it if you really want to add your own:

    1. Install the Open Profile Folder addon
    2. Goto Tools/Open Profile Folder.
    3. Browse through:
      extensions/
        contribtoolbar@picNiche.com/
          content/
            sounds/
    4. Replace sold.wav/approved.wav with any wave file you like (sadly MP3’s don’t work)

    It will be replaced when you update the toolbar, but if you keep a backup copy of it in that folder it should be easy to put back when you update.

I know I’ve not caught every question here, please add anything I’ve missed in the comments or on the picNiche board at MicrostockGroup and I’ll update the post.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted July 20, 2014 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    http://picworkflow.com/blog/general/picniche-toolbar-tips-faqs
    I looked to the link and followed the steps but shutterstock and 123rf is not active…

    • bobbigmac
      Posted July 20, 2014 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

      Heya Sebnem. I’m unlikely to update the picNiche in the near future, partly because of picWorkflow, partly because of the difficulty in updating Firefox addons on mozillas site, and partly because they change the entire addon platform. If however you have Chrome browser I have created a more generalised tool for tracking earnings (or any other numbers) across any site, using just a URL and jQuery selector (along with a widget gallery) at http://tabcycle.com

  2. Posted July 26, 2014 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you. I will try!

  3. Jimmy Tan
    Posted July 26, 2015 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Heya, I tried the picNiche toolbars. It does work well. thanks 🙂

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