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Top 10 Canto features 2019 (survey results)

Top 10 Canto features 2019 (survey results)

Top 10 Canto features 2019 (survey results)

At the end of 2019 we conducted a survey asking our customers what they think were the best Canto features/ enhancements introduced in 2019. Please note this survey does not include the latest features/ enhancements released in December 2019. Thank you to all who participated. Here are the top 10 (for a complete list of results scroll to the bottom of page):


  1. AWS GuardDuty – intelligent threat detection service that monitors your account for malicious activity and unauthorised activity.
  2. Password protected share-links – enable and set a password when sharing content via links or email collections.
  3. Bulk convert – convert your images in bulk from JPG to PNG or vice versa, as well as bulk convert colour modes RBG or CMYK.
  4. Duplicate check enhancement: Scan and Remove Duplicates – you can now check for duplicates even after files have been uploaded. Canto will create an album called Duplicates and assign all duplicates to that Album.
  5. Contributors and Consumers can see expiration dates for Approved files.
  6. Adobe Connector – this free plugin now supports 4 Adobe CC apps: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Premier Pro.
  7. Download options: edit on the fly – users can now resize, crop and compress an image on the fly and either download or save as a new version.
  8. Facial Recognition: auto suggest names – if a person has already been tagged in an image, Canto will now auto-suggest a name. The Facial Recognition feature has been further enhanced in latest (Dec 2019) update allowing to import names from CSV as well.
  9. Canto Connect desktop app – available for Windows and Mac OS, allows to access your Canto account directly on your desktop.
  10. Custom Fields Sections – Admins can create the Sections and add Custom Fields to their respective Sections grouping the fields together.
  11. Facial Recognition – based on Amazon Rekognition service, this free tool (activation required) allows you to tag, browse and filter your images based on recognised faces in the them.

And here is the full list of the survey results:

HOW TO select your Canto package

HOW TO select your Canto package

HOW TO select your Canto package

Now that you have selected Canto as your DAM solution, how to pick the right configuration package for your needs. Are you worried about your storage needs – is 1TB enough? And how about the number of Users (administrators and contributors) – do you have many outside parties that contribute content?

Let’s start with storage.


The amount of storage

How much cloud storage do you really need? We see very few customers go past the 1TB. A great way to get an idea of how much storage you really need is to look at how much you’re currently using. It is also a good time to start cleaning up and re-organising your files and folders. Canto has inbuilt de-duplication which is really handy at helping you clean things up. Here are a few other things to consider when choosing the storage amount.

Type of data

Some types of files require much more space than others. Video files are the largest. Audio files rarely surpass 20GB. Images can vary in size and quality. Document files don’t take much space at all.


Any of your data that is not accessed frequently, is no longer in active use, and may not be needed in months, years, decades, is suitable for Cold Storage – a much cheaper option than the normal Hot Storage. The assets in Cold Storage can still be accessed, searched for, previewed, and requested for download, or moved back to the Hot Storage. More on the Canto Cold Storage here.

One of the major benefits besides security and offsite storage is the scalability of cloud storage. You can easily purchase more if needed.

Number of user licenses

The next big question in choosing the configuration is: how many user licenses do we need.

There are 3 types of users – Administrators, Contributors and Consumers.

There are 2 types of licenses – Users or Consumers.

Both Admin and Contributors (any combination) are grouped as user licenses, they distribute content to Consumers.

Administrators control your Canto account; they are business users (not IT). Contributors can upload content, add metadata, organise your library.

Do you have external agencies, photographers or other independent parties that contribute content to your library? If so – and they don’t need to have access to your Canto account – all they need is an Upload Link to upload the content to, and the Admin can then approve the content to be added to the Main Library. It is a much more controlled process, and it saves you money for getting additional user licenses.


I hope this article has been helpful in clarifying some things on the different package configurations of Canto SaaS DAM. There are custom configurations available, if necessary. Make sure you talk to databasics about your needs, we are happy to help.

Top 10 Canto Features 2018

Top 10 Canto Features 2018

Top 10 Canto Features 2018

Approaching the end of the first quarter of 2019, we are looking back at what great features Canto introduced in 2018. Besides the ever popular – ease of use, modern interface, free updates throughout the year, ease of content sharing and collaboration, and other popular features, the latest features continue to establish Canto as a strong player in the DAM market place.

The following features introduced in 2018, have our top votes.


Style Guides

Creating your brand style guide is now easier than ever with the introduction of Style Guide feature at the end of 2018. You can create public or private style guides to be shared with your team, partners or public. All you need to do is showcase your colours, typography, imagery and copy. See more in our blog HOW TO create a Style Guide.

Asset-level reporting

Are you interested to see how a particular asset is used? Admin can set up Usage History and Activity sections of a single asset. This information will then be visible in the asset information window.


WCAG 2.0 compatibility

This is a big win for Canto User Experience. The WCAG 2.0 compatibility makes Canto more accessible to people with disabilities. You can find the Keyboard shortcuts to help navigation here.


Drupal integration

Pull content from your Canto library directly into Drupal.


Amazon Translate and Set Your Preferred Language

Besides the powerful Amazon Translate feature that would translate the extracted document text for you right there inside Canto, each user can also set their own preferred language in Profile Settings.


Free API keys

Canto has made it easy to build an integration with the DAM using self-generated API keys.

Inbuilt CloudFront – Content Delivery Network

Canto now uses AWS CloudFront, a highly secure global content delivery network from Amazon that delivers content to almost anywhere in the world with low latency and high transfer speeds.


Add a note to specific area of an image

@mention in annotations

In the preview view, you can add a note or a comment to a specific area of an image.

@mention users

Set up self-registration for multiple Portals

If you’d like to setup self-registration for multiple portals at once, it’s now easy to do through Users & Groups Settings.




Expanded S3 Regions for Optimal Performance

Store your files in Sydney with this new AWS S3 location. Being closer to your files means faster upload and download speeds.

We chose these features based on what our customers ask for most frequently. That being said, we feel we need to mention a few other features that are frequently requested and are now part of your Canto DAMS:

  • Asset Request – distribute low resolution and/ or watermarked content, or send request for original
  • Edit Existing Keywords – easily edit existing keywords in the Configuration Options in Settings
  • Superzoom in full screen
  • Folders and Albums show Portal information – see in which Portals you can find the particular Folder or Album
  • Terms & Conditions viewable from Portals
  • Follow Folders – you can now follow Folders along with Albums
  • Updated reports page – all analytics on the same page
  • Easy access to My Uploads, My Collections, Portals and Workspaces – select them from the left pane.


There are many more features we could talk about. You can find the Release Notes in Canto Help Center.

What are your favourite Canto features? Let us know and we might write a blog about it!


HOW TO create a Style Guide

HOW TO create a Style Guide

HOW TO create a Style Guide

The key to a strong brand and increased brand awareness is consistency. Big companies invest a lot of money in building a brand that is instantly recognizable – think about Apple – their strict style guides make it very hard to imitate thus providing instant brand recognition and loyalty.

Creating a brand style guide is now easier and more straight forward since the introduction of Canto Style Guide feature, introduced in December 2018 Canto update, that is included with your purchase. That could translate to savings of more than $2,000 a year in agency fees, you get it for free!

What do you need to create your organisation’s brand Style Guide?

You will start with the colours of your logo, specific typography you want to use in your communication and other visual standards, like imagery, and a message copy that you would like to convey.

Let’s take a look at what you can do in Canto.

You can access the Style Guide feature in your settings. Go to New Style Guide. Next fill in the information fields about your style guide, such as Name and Description.


You can set the access of style guide to be Public or Private. If you would like to allow parties outside of your Canto instance to access the style guide, you can then set it as Public.

Next you need to add content to your style guide that you would like to showcase as example of your brand style. It could be albums or folders that are specifically created for display in the style guide.

Make sure to select Auto Sync to automatically include any new content to your style guide.

Now you’re ready to build your style guide in Style Setup.

To start, Canto provides 4 different building blocks to be included in the guide – colour, typography, imagery, and copy. More can be added if necessary.

Let’s start with colour. Add any colours you associate with your brand. You can give your colours a specific name. In the text field on the left you can add any instructions for the users of the style guide.

Next, a big part of your brand identity is font. Decide if you’d like to stick to one font or use several, provide detailed instructions in the text box.

Let’s move on to imagery. Use it to display your logos and any other images/ photography that showcase your brand and style. Here you can create several sections of imagery – for logos or different products, for example. Or to be used in different communications, such as advertising or social media.

Add any folders or albums you would like to include in your style guide, these can be then accessed by the style guide users to make sure they have the right brand imagery.

The description of the albums you see under the images, can be edited in the main library in the description field for the album.

Finally, in the Copy section include any message or text you would like to always appear consistent in your marketing communication.

After style sections are completed you can create a custom branding for your style guide landing page, by changing colours, font or logo.

Lastly, you can add any users or groups you would like to have access to style guide. They will now be able to access it in the left-side menu under the main library. This is what a final style guide could look like and be further shared with others.

Top 10 Canto (nee Flight) Features To Date

Top 10 Canto (nee Flight) Features To Date

Top 10 Canto (nee Flight) Features To Date

Since Canto (Flight) first took flight in 2015 there have been constant improvements, updates and new features added. Last year we looked back at the top features introduced during 2016. This time we have chosen top Canto features to date, in our opinion. What’s your all-time favourite Canto feature?



Ease of Use

Always seems to be chosen as the top feature – the ease-of-use and visual appeal seem to be the winners for everyone. The general User Experience improves with every new release.

In our previous Top features of 2016 post, we missed the last update of 2016 – PHL that introduced a whole new look and functionalities to the interface.

There is All Files view option, bulk options, view metadata information in preview mode, add or rename albums and folders easily.

The interface is very intuitive, simple and easy to use.


Mobile Accessibility. This on-the-go experience provides responsive design – mobile-responsive interface, sharing and uploading from your any device. More here LHR.


Mouse-over preview. See a larger preview by simply hovering your mouse over the thumbnail in list, masonry or thumbnail views is the newest Flight featured released Nov 2017 with the Flight SYD update.




Video Trim before download

Do you really want the entire video or is only a small section important? Under Advanced Download options, you can download a small clip of the video, just select start and end times, then preview the clip before download. Click here for more LHR.


Direct URL

This new feature was introduced in LHR. With this Canto made it possible for anyone to integrate content in Flight with any other web channel, website, social media, blog whatever. It’s never been easier to share content with Flight. We found it so exciting that we created a whole blog post about it.


Smart Tags

This is tagging for free! Built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Rekognition, Flight can now detect objects and other things in an image, and automatically attach relevant tags to each asset. Making it so much easier to find just the right image. Saves time and money. More here CDG.


File relations

So simple and so easy to use, group together files that are related to the same project, campaign, or theme. Makes organising your content much more intuitive. See all related files in a file’s preview information page. More here ORD.


Upload Links

This makes it possible for you to have as many people as you like contribute content into Flight! Your external agencies, photographers or other independent providers who don’t have access to Flight can use these links to upload files. All this without losing control over your content. Uploaded content needs to be approved by an administrator before it enters the main library. More here ORD.


Share Links

Sharing is what it’s all about really. With Flight it’s as easy as clicking a button to take your content to whatever share channel you like. With great options like enable download, watermarks, expiry date, sharing is not only easy but powerful. Then just like Upload Links you can share to as many people as you like!


Crop & Resize

How much of an image do you want … the whole of it or just a bit? With Flight you can crop and resize an image when you download it. We’re not replacing Photoshop here … but eh! This is what a lot of people would like to do who don’t have an image editing tool. All this for free with Flight.


My Collections

Keep your favourite files in your own personal collection. Simply click the Heart icon and the file will be added to your personal collection of choice. Great for tracking content you are referring to often, a grab bag for a project you are working on … or maybe you need to come back to these images later? More here MIA.


Branded Portals

Now this is really cool and takes you into a whole new dimension! Now with Flight you can have a separate brand portal to share and control your brand. Simple and easy to setup this gives you sooo much more value from your investment in Flight. We’ve been so impressed with Branded Portals we created a whole blog and webinar about this one topic, click here for more.


Then even more??? YES! With the latest SYD Sydney release Canto extended brand portals even further. Is this crazy or what!


Custom branding for Portals was introduced in the FCO update. Create a good-looking portal landing page with albums and search displayed right in front of you. Great if you need to create several differently branded portals for different purposes or for different clients. See our to branding dedicated blog post here.

The latest Flight update – SYD has even more customisation options. Including different layouts and album titles.


Flight just keeps getting better and better and the Flight team at Canto really listens to their customers. We are excited to see what 2018 will bring! Are you? What else are you looking forward to in Flight?

You can watch our recorded webinar here.

Top 10 Canto (nee Flight) Features 2016

Top 10 Canto (nee Flight) Features 2016

Top 10 Canto (nee Flight) Features 2016

Please note: as of May 22, Flight is now Canto. All references to Flight in this article refer to Canto.

During 2016, Canto have released four updates to their Flight SaaS digital asset management system:

• Flight AUS (Austin),

• Flight ORD (Chicago),

• Flight MIA (Miami), and

• Flight LAS (Las Vegas).

In this blog we focus on what we consider are the top 10 features. These new features and enhancements are automatically available to all Flight customers as soon as they are released so users don’t have to wait for IT to download and install them – they are ready to be used immediately.



Digital Rights Management (DRM)

New DRM features were released with Flight AUS and covered improved copyright controls, linked terms and conditions and watermarking – the latter later enhanced with Flight ORD.

Terms & Conditions
You can add a link from your assets to your organisations’s Terms and Conditions so that Passengers can then view and accept them.

If assets already have copyright information embedded in them, you can view the existing copyright information, or you can add or edit the text in the Copyright text box.






Enhanced Watermarking

The ability to Watermark assets was made available with Flight AUS but was further enhanced with Flight ORD.

Watermarks can now be positioned in 9 different areas of an image. You can choose which area of the image you would like the watermark positioned, as well as scale it down to any desired size.


enhanced watermarking



A preview of the watermark is available in the Digital Rights Management setting. Note the checkbox for agreement with the Terms and Conditions.


enhanced watermarking



Crop Before Download

crop before download

Also released as part of Flight AUS, the Crop before Download feature means that before downloading the desired image, you can select in Advanced Options the crop area, size and file type to be downloaded – or you can simply download the original file as uploaded.

With Flight LAS, this was enhanced with Exact Crop and Resize, introduced to enable users to choose with exact precision down to the pixel. This is ideal for resizing images that need specific dimensions, like for posting on social media sites.



Video Conversion


Flight AUS saw new editing and conversion features that enable users to modify assets eg crop or zoom, and also to select a video format for conversion prior to download.

Select the desired file type for your movie download in Advanced Options.




video conversion

My Collections


My Collections was a feature released with Flight MIA and is an enhancement to the Favourites capability. You can create your own personal albums with a collection of your favourite files.

By clicking the Heart icon, the selected file is added to your My Collection folder.

my collections



Real-time Branding Preview

branding preview

Another feature with Flight MIA makes managing your brand even easier. Preview your Flight page updates in real time by clicking the new Branding icon in Settings. Test different branding options, without having to reload the page or log out of your account.




Flight ORD saw an important addition for administering your Flight accounts: self-registration. Easily add passengers to your Flight account without admin having to register new users individually.

Passengers can either receive an invitation code or register themselves with a specified email domain.




self registration



File Relationships

related files

New with Flight ORD is the ability to group together files that belong to the same theme, campaign, and project. Just select files and click on “Relate files” from the bulk edit menu.

Under the file’s information view you will see other files it is related to. This is typically used to show Talent Release or Consent forms.


Upload Links

upload links

With Flight ORD came better administrative control for content contributors.

Externals like photographers, agencies and other contributors can use a shared link to upload files even if they are not registered with the main library. Administrators can create and manage the Upload links.



Auto-Sync Portals

New auto-sync publishing portals were an important feature introduced with Flight ORD. Creating and managing them is the same as Flight’s original portals, only now they’re easier to use than ever before.

The new publishing portals will automatically sync updates to content that occur in the main library.






Integrations with MailChimp and Slack

Shortly after the Flight ORD release, Canto announced the availability of Flight integration with MailChimp – everyone’s favourite email marketing service – enabling you to build MailChimp email campaigns with Flight. Locate specific images quickly with Flight and import them directly.

The Flight LAS release now sees the integration of Flight with Slack, the popular messaging app. The Slack integration notifies you whenever files, albums or portals are added, shared, updated, changed, commented on, etc. – you choose the notifications you would like to receive. You can also share directly from Flight to the channels you select.



…the ever improving user interface


The Flight team is really committed to making Flight simple and easy to use. The general UX is improved with each new release.

For example, there is a new Settings interface; a Recently Added button at the bottom of smart album screens to see the latest uploads; click the eye icon to follow a particular file or album; keyboard shortcuts; and Easy Rename for folders and albums.