Simon Clement

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November 2016

Installing Tessera on Windows


Download Tessera from

On opening the downloaded .exe file you’ll be presented with a dialog prompting you to install Tessera on your PC. Options will include installing shortcuts. The default Location is set to be the base level of your C drive rather than your Programs or Documents folder.

The Tessera folder contains both the Tessera Application and the Tessera Data file. This data file is constantly being modified as you use Tessera. Windows does not expect programs to be altering in this manner which is why Tessera is placed where it is. Try the Tessera in other locations on your PC. The Documents folder should be OK but you may experience difficulties if Tessera is placed in the Programs folder.

To uninstall Tessera access the uninstall feature via your control panel settings.

If you have problems once Tessera is installed with entering data it may be that there’s a problem on the properties set for the Tessera folder. It may be set to “Read Only” which will prevent the entry of data .

  1. Open File Explorer, and then Tessera folder.
  2. Right-click the folder, click Properties, and then click the Security tab. (This step will vary depending on what version of Windows is in use)
  3. Click the Advanced button. …  (This step will vary depending on what version of Windows is in use)
  4. Make sure the folder and it’s contents are not set to “Read only”


Sharing Tessera


To share Tessera you need: A copy of FileMaker Pro running Tessera Pro with sharing enabled.

Upgrade to Tessera Pro on a Mac or PC and a number of people can use Tessera at the same time from different devices from different locations.

More than one person could be adding artworks, creating invoices or making changes to client records and all the changes will be visible to all the users simultaneously.

Each Mac or PC will need to have a licensed copy of FileMaker Pro installed. (iPad or iPhone users need a free copy of FileMaker Go to access a copy of Tessera hosted using FileMaker Pro).

FileMaker Pro is an application from that lets users create and run FileMaker Pro files such as Tessera. One of the computers hosts the Tessera data file using FileMaker Pro while the other users are guests of this hosted file which they also open using FileMaker Pro. This is the ideal situation for a few users wanting to work on one copy of Tessera. The users need not be on the same local network as long as you have internet access and the hosted copy of Tessera is open on the host computer. See FileMaker’s help files for more details.

Enabling Sharing

  1. From the Tessera Home Screen under Preferences use the Sharing button.



FileMaker Pro Server and sharing Tessera

FileMaker Pro Server is a server solution for managing larger networks ensuring data integrity and backups that makes it the best option in any circumstances but is certainly the only option to consider if you plan to have more than five users at any one time and want to ensure Tessera functions as expected. With FileMaker Server you also have the option to allow users access to your FileMaker Pro database using a web browser. FileMaker Pro Server and offer additional security and features that suit larger organisations where security and stability are particularly important. Ideally FileMaker Pro Server will live on it’s own workstation along with a copy of Tessera. This way FileMaker Pro Server can provide a stable and secure platform for users to log-in as guests. Each guest of the Tessera data file will need a copy of FileMaker Pro or a copy of FileMaker Go if they are on an iPad or iPhone.

Let someone else handle the sharing of Tessera

There are many companies that will host your FileMaker Pro solution for you allowing you to access the Tessera data file from wherever you are as long as you are online. This way you don’t need to manage and support the hardware and software required to run Tessera and there are addition benefits for when it comes to security and backup.

For more details on sharing FileMaker Pro files see these resources from

FileMaker Cloud and Tessera

FileMaker offers a solution to host Tessera using FileMaker Cloud. Using Amazon Web Services you can be walked through the setting up of FileMaker Pro Server on the web and then hosting your Tessera file.

Watch this video from FileMaker for more details.

Tessera 402



Amended “Import folder of images” step when using the Artwork Image Manager so it works as expected.

Artwork List- View


This List – of artworks is an ideal way to review and sort a number of artworks at once. Use the button provided on the List – screen to select which field appears in the left-most column.  The first three choices in the menu result in bold titled columns. Selecting to sort these, and other bold columns, results in summarised details. Couple this with using the Hide Sold Artworks button to quickly review groups of available artworks.List viewSelect field

Tessera 401


New Features

Creating New Artworks

New artwork’s screen now includes a comprehensive list of fields for data entry including custom fields. Up to three images can now be added when creating a new artwork. Extended range of custom fields available on this screen as well.

Importing folder of images

Individual artworks now allow the import of a folder of images

Navigations Aid

The navigation board now includes access to one-click access to each View available in each component.


  • Creating new client from Client List screen now works as expected
  • Invoice design now correctly reflects changes to field headings on printed invoice
  • Attaching documents to artworks now allows the attachment of any document

other minor alterations to ensure Tessera works as expected.

October 2016

Try the Omit button


There’s nothing mysterious about the Omit button. It simply shows the artworks that are not being shown, or omitted, from the artworks being browsed. Let’s say you have 7 artworks and have conducted a search so that you are now viewing only 5 of these artworks. The Navigation bar will show (A) that you are viewing 5 records and that (B) there are a total of 7 artworks available.

Use the (C) Omit button and you are now viewing the 2 artworks that were omitted and the 5 initial Artworks you found are omitted instead. Click the Omit button again to toggle between these sets. This is useful to find artworks that do not belong to your search criteria. For example: Search for artworks that belong to the artworks medium of “Oil”, click the Omit button, and you are now viewing all artworks that are not marked as having an artwork medium of “Oil”.

Use the Show All button (E) at any time to revert to viewing all Artworks.



Hiding sold artworks


When browsing artworks in Tessera you’ll usually be interested in viewing artworks that are available. But when you’ve conducted a search you’ll often be left looking at a screen like the one below where there are a mixture of sold and in-stock artworks. (Where there is no stock available the Info Button will always be displayed in red instead of green).

To temporarily hide out of stock artworks use the “Hide Sold Artworks”. Now you can use the Omit button to toggle the view between sold and unsold artworks.

List view

Browse Stock and Sales


Review Stock and Sales

  1. Use Browse Stock and Sales to gain an overview of current sales and stock


Basic details

  1. Select to review either sales or stock
  2. Filter the complete lists of artists
  3. Print a basic report but use the dedicated Stock or Sales Report screens for more detailed results.
  4. Use the Reveal Totals… button to show total
  5. Select an individual artist to reveal individual artist details (Once reviewing an individual artist’s works select an individual artwork to review details).



August 2016

Import Artworks


Import People records into Tessera before attempting to import artwork records as Artworks depend on finding and linking to the appropriate artists and owner records in the People Component..

Artist Names and how to speed up the time taken selecting artists.

This is useful if you are importing a large number of artworks with many different artists. If you are a single artist importing a collection of artworks all created by yourself this will not be of use.

When you import artwork data into the Artwork section Tessera will use the name you import into the Artist Last Name field and will attempt to match it with a record that has the same information in the Last Name field of a record you’ve already imported into the People Component of Tessera for those records where the person is marked as an artist.

If the import into an artwork record’s Artist Last Name = Last Name of an entry the People Component, where that record is marked as an artist, then Tessera will lookup and enter the correct artist name for you which will save you time where large imports are being made.

(Note: Tessera only looks for this link at this point of the import. Once your data is imported serial numbers are used and you can safely alter artist names with no effect on how Tessera works).

Things to consider when attempting to match artist entries

    1. There has to be an exact match between the Artist Last Name in the artwork import and the Last Name in the People record.
    2. Tessera ignores case. eg. Sortern will match sorteRn or sorteRn.
    3. Even if a surname is unique Tessera will not make a match if the record in the People component of Tessera is not marked as an artist.
    4. Tessera ignores spaces before or after names.
    5. Check the entries in the People Component marked as artists and ensure the last names are displayed as expected before importing artworks.
    6. If you have two artists with the same Last Name then you will need to adjust these the import page details manually.

Custom Fields

Tessera features the ability to add virtually an unlimited number of custom fields to store data within Tessera. On import there are ten of these custom fields available. Once you’ve imported data into these fields you’ll have the chance to specify what these fields are for before committing them to Tessera.

Fields available for import

This is a list of the names of the fields into which you can import data.

These fields are all text fields apart from the Artwork Retail PriceArtwork Purchase Price and Artwork Inventory Price fields which are numbers and the Image field which is a container designed to hold images. Image records can only be imported if you are importing from a FileMaker Pro file. (Alternatively there is an “Import images from a folder” feature which lets you import a folder of images after which you can add the artwork details.)

Artist Last Name, The last name of the artist

Artwork Title, The artwork title only

Artwork Dated, This can be a single date or an approximate date for historical artworks

Artwork Category, “Painting”, “Sculpture” or any other values you want to use to categorise artworks

Artwork Medium, “Oil on canvas”, “Mixed media” etc

Artwork ID, An unique identifier for your artwork

Artwork Other ID, The ID an artist may have already given to this artwork

Artwork Retail Price, The price for which the artwork will sell

Artwork Purchase Price, The amount you purchased this artwork for (useful for galleries and collectors)

Artwork Purchase Date, Format dates as 30/12/2014

Artwork Dimensions, Use any format suitable for your needs

Frame Dimensions, For consistency use similar formatting to general artwork dimensions

Location of Artwork, “Stockroom”, “Studio” useful for running inventory reports

Inscriptions, Where and when artwork signed. (“Signed and dated on reverse”)

Provenance, The history of the artwork

Literature, Reference in publications for this artwork

Collection Details, Are you recording details of an artwork that belongs to a collection?

Artwork Source Details, For galleries to collectors of historical works from where was this artwork sourced?

Image, The image for this artwork. (Note images can only be imported from another FileMaker file or directly either one by one or as a folder of images without accompanying text.

Image Name, Have you a spreadsheet full of artwork details and an accompanying folder of artwork image? Use the Image name field to record the name of the image. This way during the import process this will make it easier to find and enter the relevant image.

Custom 01, Tessera can hold any number of custom fields for holding other data use these fields for that data and once you’ve imported the records you can specify the names of the fields.

Custom 02

Custom 03

Custom 04

Custom 05

Custom 06

Custom 07

Custom 08

Custom 09

Custom 10

Pre-formated Excel spreadsheet

TIP: Are you a gallery regularly having artists sending you in artworks? Help speed the process by encouraging artists to download the spreadsheet and enter the data into the required fields. You won’t need all of the cells filled so specify in your email what you do require. The spreadsheet includes a column where the artist can enter the name of the image associated with the artwork. That way if they send you the images as well you’ll find it easy to locate and enter the correct image during the import process. To simplify life simply ask your artists to provide a spreadsheet with: The name of the artwork, the quantity and the retail price. Once this is imported the import features in Tessera will allow you to fill other fields rapidly.


You can download a pre-formated Excel Worksheet for importing artworks here. The pre-formatted Worksheet doesn’t include a column for images, which aren’t usually stored in a spreadsheet, but does include the Image Name column to help you find and insert relevant images during the import process. 

Import text data from a wide range of sources. (See FileMaker Pro support page on this topic)

Access the import feature from the home screen.


Import Features available

  1. Use this button to find artworks in a spreadsheet or in a text file to import. Common file formats used to import data into Tessera include .csv, .txt, .tab and .xlsx files from Excel.
  2. If you have a folder of artwork images then use this button to import them in one step you can then add text details before committing the data to Tessera.
  3. Use this button to display and print the fields accessible for import and access a feature that allows download of a pre-formatted spreadsheet.


Find data to import

Use the Find records to import… button to find and select your spreadsheet or other import file.


Matching Fields

  1. You’ll be presented with a dialog box where you can drag fields to match them to their Tessera counterpart.
  2. Finally use the import button.


Check Import

    1. Once imported use the Read these instructions… button to familiarise yourself with the features available.
    2. In particular learn how the Batch button works. This allows you to amend one field then see that same entry propagate throughout all other records which will help speed entry as well as ensuring accuracy. (You can amend fields once they’ve been imported into Tessera but the Batch button is only available with this range of functionality on this screen). For example: Amend one record on this screen so that the “Medium” field contains “Oil on canvas”. Now use the Batch button adjacent to this field and ALL records will contain the same value in the same field.


Other features available on the import screen

    1. Speed data entry by making use of these drop-down menu editing buttons that let you add entries to the list that appears when you tab into fields.
    2. Use this button for more details on entering artists. (See the section on entering people to Tessera to gain an understanding of how you can make the job of entering artists both easier and quicker).
    3. If you’ve imported data into any of the Custom fields then you will need to select an entry from the corresponding Custom field Name field. If there isn’t a Custom field Name that matches your requirements then use the feature found via the Help with custom fields button to add the fields you require. Failing to specify a name for the Custom field will result in the custom field data not being imported.
    4. Specify an ID for each artwork. (Tessera may not permit duplicate artwork IDs and duplicates will be appended with the word “COPY” on committing the import if you have disallowed artworks to have the same ID in Tessera’s Preferencest. If you have specified a serial number default in Preferences then this will be used with each new artwork incremented by a value of 1 meaning you have no need to enter an artwork ID on this screen. Any ID entered on the import screen will take precedence over the default set in Preferences. Artwork IDs can be amended at any time).


Commit the artworks to Tessera

Once you’re happy with the records use the Commit button and the data will be moved into Tessera.

Making corrections

What happens when you commit 1,000s of records to Tessera and then discover there’s an error in every record? Use the Artwork advanced search feature to find all of the last imported records then use the Tools button >  Delete Button > More feature to delete all of the imported records.

  1.  Find the last records imported by using the button found under the Artworks advanced search screen.
See the Import People help page for more details on locating and deleting the last set of imported records.


March 2016

Tessera 400


Changes to Tessera and Tessera Pro

Tessera now no longer includes the ability to create invoices although artworks can still be mark as sold and linked to the purchasing client. This has allowed a new price point for Tessera. For those purchasers of Tessera prior to this version they will now be automatically updated to a Tessera Pro licence.

New Features in Tessera 400

  • New interface design
  • Additional field for recording date that artworks are consigned into Tessera
  • Addition to the Artwork ID field
  • Important: Changes to recording artworks that belong to an edition


“Purchase Price” now “Inventory Price”

“Wholesale Price” in Version 400 is now “Purchase Price”

With Version 309 of Tessera the Purchase Price field has been renamed as the Inventory Price the price entered when adding stock has been renamed from Wholesale Price to Purchase Price.

These changes are simply to help in comprehension and to avoid ambiguity and make no alteration to the underlying purpose or function of these fields.


Retail Price: Amended over time as you adjust price levels for artworks. Changes are automatically written to the retail price log.

Inventory Price: Likely to start off as the same amount as the Purchase Price but as the value of the artwork increases over time should be amended so that inventory reports accurately reflect the true value of your inventory.

Purchase Price: For artworks you purchase outright, which is likely to be relevant for Collectors and Galleris but not so for artist’s who use Tessera to manage their output, this entry will remain fixed for each stock entry you make.

New interface Elements

Tessera has been redesigned with an emphasis of clean simple graphics and reducing colour where possible to remove as much distraction from the artworks.


When marking artworks as consigned in, you now have the option of including the date the artwork was consigned to you.

Artwork ID

There is now a second ID field. Often artists have their own ID system which they prefer to refer to when identifying artworks. For galleries or collectors it’s useful to include this ID along with your own ID for reference purposes.

Changes to artworks belonging to an edition.

Artists and galleries often have a number of artworks in an edition. These are unique artworks in a series that are often numbered in the format 1/5, 2/5 etc. These are usually prints or photographs but could also be a series of sculptures from the same casting.

Any artwork that belongs to an edition even if you hold a single item requires the Edition Checkbox to be checked. Importing your data into Tessera 400 from 309 will automatically make this alteration where possible. Keep an existing copy of Tessera 308 for references purposes to confirm this alteration has been made as expected.

Placing Editions out on Consignment

When placing artworks that belong to an edition out on consignment you now explicitly attach specific members of the edition to the consignment. You now have an unambiguous record of not only the artworks sent out on consignment but also the specific editions of that artwork. Editions out on consignment will be marked as such and you will not be able to sell or delete an edition marked out on Consignment until you detach it from the Consignment Document. This helps prevent inadvertent sales of artworks that are not currently available.

  1. When adding the quantity of an artwork attached to a consignment document you will be prompted to add the individual artworks you want to include.
  2. The edition numbers will be displayed here and you can copy and paste these into the description of the item meaning the printed consignment document will clearly show the artworks and the relevant edition numbers.

Managing Editions from the Artwork Edit Screen

  1. Select the Edition Details button on the Artwork Edit Screen
  2. The available editions will now display those artworks available, sold and out on consignment.

Managing Editions from the Artwork Stock Screen

  1. Artworks placed on consignment are now indicated as well as artworks sold. Use the adjacent buttons for more details and for the option to edit the related sale or Consignment Document.
  2. Totals now include the number of artworks out on consignment.
  3. The Printed option allows you to record those members of an edition that have yet to be created.