Do you have a step-by-step guide on Activating Context?
I received a promo code but I’m not sure how to use it.
Do I need one or two user licenses for my laptop and desktop?
Individual users can activate two machines when they purchase a one-user plan as long as it is for their own use. So, you should be all set. If you want to add another machine or an additional user then you will need to add another user license during activation. You can upgrade your plan by selecting Upgrade Plan from the Store menu in Context. Studio Group users can activate one machine per license.
How can I move activation to my new computer?
First you’ll need to deactivate Context on your old machine: Select Sign Out from the Store menu in Context. On your new machine select Activate from the Store menu and follow the steps.
How do I activate Context on my second machine?
To activate another machine on your individual account (maximum two machines allowed for your own use) do the following:
1. Select Activate from the Store menu in Context
2. If Activate is greyed out then you first need to Sign Out
3. In the activation window, use your account email and password to sign in
4. Once sign in completes, Context will recognize that you have an active plan and will activate Context.
I am getting an error that there are no more licenses available.
Context is limited to two machines per individual user and one machine per Studio Group user. If Context is activated on another machine, and you would like to move its activation, go to the Store menu in Context and Sign Out. This will deactivate Context on that machine and free up the slot for you to activate elsewhere. If you cannot deactivate the other machine for some reason, look for the Sign Out All button on the error window and it to reset and deactivate all of your activations.
I have a paid subscription but I am getting an error message that I need to upgrade or watermark my surfaces?
We are currently tracking a rare bug that appears to be causing this sign in error. In order to isolate the problem we need you to output an advanced log file while seeing the error.
This should take no more than 5 minutes.
Download the Context beta update:
1. In the LiveSurface Context > Preferences > General tab, enable the ‘Check For Updates includes beta builds’ option.
2. Close the Preferences window, and select the LiveSurface Context > Check For Updates menu option.
3. Download and install the beta update by selecting Check for Updates from the LiveSurface Context menu.
Once the beta has been installed, please output your log file:
1. Quit and relaunch Context and *immediately* press and hold Command-Option-Control until you see the main window in Context.
2. If you pressed the keys correctly, you should see a message in Context that a log file is being generated and will be saved to your Desktop. If you don't see the message then quit Context and try again.
3. Go through the steps you've tried which cause the error you've seen.
4. Once you've gotten the error (a few times if possible), please Quit Context.
5. Find the log file on your Desktop and email it back to: support [at] livesurface [dot] com.
I’m selling my old Mac. How can I do a complete Context uninstall?
First make sure you deactivate Context on your old Mac by selecting Sign Out from the Store menu in Context. Then, to do a complete uninstall (in most cases simply removing the plug-in and application are enough) of Context:
1. Remove the LiveSurface Context.app from your Applications folder
2. Remove the LiveSurface.aip plug-in from the Adobe Illustrator Plug-ins folder (inside the Adobe Illustrator folder)
3. Remove the LiveSurface folder from your user > Library > Application Support folder
4. Backup and then remove the LiveSurface folder from your Documents folder; this folder contains your project surface concept files
5. Remove the Context preferences in your user folder > Library > Preferences > com.livesurface.context.plist
I’m not getting my account creation confirmation email (I already checked my spam folder)?
Sometimes, emails can be bounced or spam filtered before they hit your local email client spam filter. This is possible at the server-level if your company or ISP chooses to do so.
You can resend the confirmation email by clicking the link in Context or by resigning in to the LiveSurface site or Context Activation window.
In the future, please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your email contacts list to improve delivery.
Do you have student pricing?
We do. We have set aside a Context Promo Code for student pricing. The code provides a full year of hi-res Context Surface Store access at a reduced price. The Context Promo Code is single-use and applicable only to the yearly subscription plan.
Please contact us
from your school email account with your student ID number and a description of how you’re planning on using Context at school. We’ll reply back with your code once we validate your credentials or questions if further proof of enrollment is needed.
What happens when activation expires?
Before your subscription or pass expire, you should receive a few warnings from our server. But if you do nothing, or even if you cancel your plan, you’ll receive a notice the next time you launch Context, allowing you to renew your activation and avoid watermarking and downgrading your surfaces.
If you do allow Context to watermark and downgrade your projects and surfaces you can still later re-activate. When you do the watermarks will be removed and you can re-download surfaces to upgrade them to hi-res. When the surfaces are upgraded to hi-res your artwork will automatically be re-rendered at hi-res as well.
I want to cancel auto-renewal (but use Context during the remainder of my plan). How can I do this?
Sure. Simply canceling your auto-renewing subscription will end the auto-renewing and will convert the susbscription to a pass that is active until its expiration date. You can cancel auto-renewal, called Cancel Billing, from the Store menu in Context or from your account page on the LiveSurface site. Be aware that the other options, Cancel Plan or Cancel Access completely terminate your subscription.
How can I cancel my subscription?
A. Make sure you have an up-to-date version of the Context application. From the Context application’s Store menu, select Cancel Plan. If you currently have an auto-renewing plan you should see two options: Cancel Access and Cancel Billing. Canceling billing will halt auto-renewal but leave your subscription active. Cancel Access will cancel the subscription and billing immediately.
B. You can also cancel your plan via your Account page on the LiveSurface site. Sign in to your account and click the Subscriptions navigation link to see an overview of your current subscription. Click the cancel link in the subscription overview paragraph. If you have an auto-renewing plan, the first click will halt billing, while the second click will cancel access.
You should receive an email confirming successful cancellation of your account within 24 hours. Please check your spam folder if you do not find the email in your inbox. And, if you have a moment, please let us know what we can do better; we’ll use this information to improve LiveSurface.
We would like to get a site license. How can we do that?
We worked very hard to make multi-user management as painless as possible. You can do this either via the Studio Tool
on the site or you can configure users directly in Context during the activation process. When you complete either, you’ll receive activation codes that you can give to your designers to link their copies of Context to one account.
We’d like to add more machines/users to our Studio Group. How can we do this?
You can easily add more users to your Studio Group directly inside Context. Select Upgrade Plan from the Store menu and following the steps. Make sure you include the account admin as one user. Once your upgrade is complete, you’ll receive activation codes (these will be all the codes, including those for existing users) and instructions. None of the existing users will need new codes or have their access interrupted during this process. You will also receive a prorated credit back to the original purchasing card for the unused portion of your previous subscription. You can also upgrade using the Studio Tool
on our site.
How can I get pricing on a Studio Group?
You can find pricing for using Context with multiple users (a Studio Group) by visiting the Context Pricing
page and clicking on the Calculate link just to the right of yearly individual pricing.
How can I reset or disable a Studio Group activation code?
To reset a Studio Group user’s activation code please sign in to your account page
. Click the Subscriptions navigation link and look for the Enable/Disable links next to each activation code. To Disable a code, just click Disable. To reset a code click Disable and then Enable.
If I add additional users to our Studio Group will it affect current users?
Not at all. We are very careful to protect your existing users from any changes. Upgrades will not affect existing users.
Can we pay with a purchase order?
Unfortunately at this time we only access credit card as payment for subscription. This is to simplify the process and reduce our admin overhead. To purchase:
1. Sign in to your account page
here (if you don’t have an account yet you can create one)
2. Once signed in, visit the Studio Tool
to configure your plan. Make sure you include one user to be admin. So if you are purchasing for 30 users that you wish to not have account access, you’ll want to get 31 account licenses.
How can we merge individual users into a single Studio Group?
We don’t have an automated way to handle this but we’re happy to help you form a Studio Group. Here’s what we’d suggest:
1. Have one of the users keep their account. This is the account that other users will join and the user with this account will become the Studio Group admin.
2. Use that account to purchase a Studio Group subscription plan in Context (select Upgrade Plan from the Store menu). Make sure that you count the account admin as one of the users.
3. Once you complete this and get your activation codes for the other machines, have users that will join the Studio Group cancel their existing individual subscription (select Cancel Plan from the Store menu).
4. When the Activation alert comes up in Context for each of these users, activate using one of the new activation codes supplied for the Studio Group.
Once this is all complete, let us know and we’ll credit the unused portions of their individual plans back to their respective cards.
How can I add VAT or other details to my receipts?
You can now add your VAT details or any other optional information to your invoices by visiting your account page
Once you’ve signed in, click the edit link and enter whatever information you need into the header text field. Future invoices will have this information at the top of the invoice. If you wish to get your past invoices with the information added, just click on the Receipt links, on the overview page, to resend them.
I need to update the email in my account. How can I do this?
1. Go to your account page
2. Sign In using your current admin credentials (email/password)
3. Click the Edit link
4. Click Update Email and follow the steps
5. Once your email update is confirmed (by clicking the link in the new email) your account will be updated
I need to update my account details. How can I do this?
You can edit your account settings by signing in to your account management page
and clicking the “edit” link from the Overview page.
I need to update my payment details. How can I do this?
Here is how to update your billing credit card:
1. Go to your account page
and sign in
2. Click on Subscriptions
3. Under the subscription summary you will find a list of subscription charges
4. Click Edit Card, which appears near the top right of the charges list
5. Enter your new card info and click Update
6. Your new payment details will be used on the next payment cycle
For your security, it’s important to mention that we use Verisign/PayPal for all of our payment processing. When you update your payment details the info is updated with Verisign/PayPal and stored with Verisign/PayPal and never on our servers.
Can I get a copy of an old receipt?
You can resend receipt emails, and do many other account-related tasks, by visiting your account page
on our site.
To resend yourself a receipt email, once you’re signed in, click on the Subscriptions navigation link and find the Receipt link(s) below. Clicking the Receipt link will resend it to your account email.
How do I purchase a subscription to Context?
To purchase a monthly or yearly individual subscription, simply select Activate from the Store menu in the Context application and follow the steps. Once you complete your payment, Context will be activated with the subscription plan you selected. Please see our Step-by-step walkthrough
We have some images we’d like to use in Context. How can we do that?
There’s no support in Context for DIY surfaces but you can send us your images and we’ll add them to the Context Surface Store for you. Please see our Custom Service page
and then contact us
We are looking for a specific size. How can I find surfaces that match?
Context does not yet have support for size-based searches. But we've just added a feature to the latest versions to show surface details. To enable this feature please select Show Surface Size from the View menu in Context. You can also edit and inspect sizing on any surface. And more Plus (resizable and rotatable) Surfaces are coming soon.
I’d love to have more Plus Surfaces. Will that happen soon?
Yes, we have big plans for new Plus Surfaces. Keep checking the Surface Store in Context.
Can I use the images I create with Context on my portfolio site?
Yes! From our usage terms
: Images generated using Context fall under Presentation Usage. Presentation Usage is restricted to presentation, visualization and other non-public display, including use inside a design firm and client presentation. However, presentation usage also covers the display of portfolio items on a user’s own homepage. It does not cover display of these items on another site, such as a design magazine’s web site or use in editorial or advertising. Extended licensing (Publication and Advertising) is generally available for all Context surfaces and is easy to purchase as an Ad-On License via our site. To extend usage for Context generated images, please contact us
Will you be adding surface x soon?
In short, yes! We’ve spent many years building an amazing delivery platform for surfaces in Context and now that it’s in place, we are turning our focus on adding great new high-quality content as quickly as possible.
I have some suggestions for surfaces that I’d like to see. Where should I send them?
Great! Please use our contact form
to send us feedback or use Context’s built-in Provide Feedback (from the LiveSurface Context menu).
Since I've updated to Illustrator CC 2017, I've seen stability issues.
Adobe Illustrator CC 2017 users please note: The new auto-save feature in the latest version of Illustrator causes problems with rendering in Context because it falsely signals Context that the user (and not Illustrator) is making a file save. Users should disable auto-save until we have a fix from Adobe.
To turn off auto-save: In Illustrator Preferences select File Handling & Clipboard and uncheck Automatically Save Recovery Data.
Do you have any Context tutorials available?
We do! There are four short tutorials built in to Context. Just select Context Guide from the Window menu inside Context. And we’re hoping to have more posted to our site soon.
Is there a version of Context for Windows?
Not at this time. Context is only for Mac.
Can I link Context with InDesign instead of Illustrator?
We don’t yet have link support to InDesign. Many users simply copy or import their InDesign documents into Illustrator and work that way.
I got a warning from Context that my hardware may not be supported.
Because Context uses hardware accelerated graphics to dramatically speed rendering time, it requires modern graphics hardware. Any Mac from the last few years should work fine. If you are seeing this message, it does not mean that Context won’t run but there’s a chance that your renderings may not come out as expected. Our recommendation: since Context is free to use in demo mode, it doesn’t hurt to try.
I have some feature improvement suggestions. Where should I send them?
Great! Please use our contact form
to send us feedback or use Context’s built-in Provide Feedback (from the LiveSurface Context menu).
I got a warning from Context about oversized artwork but my placed artwork is small.
You are most likely getting the oversized image warning with your small image because the image is highly compressed so it is small on disk. However, it is still fairly large when rendered. You can ignore the warning and Continue to render normally. If you see excessive rendering time then try reducing the dpi of the image.
How can I export images with a transparent background?
There are two ways to do this:
1. Click Adjust in the Live View window and change the background color (you can also set transparency here).
2. Instead of using the default rollover button to export, select Export Rendering As from the File menu and select the transparent background option.
I’m having trouble when I try to update Context using the built-in Check for Updates.
If you’ve had an issue during built-in upgrading (very early versions of Context had a bug that could cause an upgrade issue) then there a couple of things you should know:
First of all, there’s no need to worry about your projects and concepts. These are safely stored separately from the Context application in your Documents folder.
If Check for Updates in the Context application is having trouble then you should first re-download and install Context fresh from our download page
. Once you’ve copied Context to your applications folder and launched it you should retry your update using Check for Updates.
How are Context surfaces different from Single Images?
Single Images are for-purchase images that are layered images for use in Photoshop. The artwork application process is done manually. Pricing for Single Images is $29/image.
Context is our own rendering software that has a built-in library of surfaces. Artwork application can be done with a single click from Adobe Illustrator. Context has an all-you-can-eat subscription to the entire library built-in for a monthly or yearly fee.
How can I reinstall Context?
Reinstalling Context is simple:
1. Download Context from the Context download page
2. Drag LiveSurface Context into your applications folder
3. Launch LiveSurface Context from Applications
4. Click Activate when you see the window or from the Store menu
5. Sign In using your account email and password
Replacing the Context application won’t affect your projects. And if you’re on a subscription you can re-download any of the surfaces you need for free.
How can I backup and restore concepts?
To backup project surfaces (concepts):
A. Select and drag concepts from any project folder to your Desktop or another backup folder
B. Select concepts and then File > Export Concepts
To restore concepts:
A. Drag concept (.lsc files) back onto Context to import them
B. Select File > Import Concepts and import the concept (.lsc) files.
How can I relocate project folders to a new Mac?
Projects are stored locally on your Mac. To move them to another Mac, you can do the following:
1. Make sure Context on both Macs are the latest version
2. Ensure that Context has been quit and is not running
3. Located the LiveSurface folder in your user Documents folder on the origin Mac
4. Copy the LiveSurface folder to the same location on the destination Mac (Caution: This will overwrite existing projects on the destination Mac – see instructions below for merging original projects)
5. Launch Context on the destination Mac
6. You should see all project folders and their contents as they were on the origin Mac
To merge project surfaces:
1. In Context on the destination Mac, either:
a. Select and drag project surfaces (concepts) to your Desktop or another backup folder
b. Select concepts and then File > Export Concepts
2. After you’ve copied over the LiveSurface folder to Documents:
a. Drag concept (.lsc files) back onto Context to import them
b. Select File > Import Concepts and import the concept (.lsc) files
Context isn’t launching the correct version of Illustrator.
To get Context launching the correct version of Illustrator you’ll need to ensure that you’ve installed the correct Context Plug-in:
1. Quit all copies of Illustrator
2. Launch Context
3. Select Install Context Plug-in from the File menu in Context
4. Follow the steps and make sure you select the correct version from the dropdown menu for your version of Illustrator
5. Complete the installation
Context should now launch the correct Illustrator version.
My artwork has a lot of large placed images. Why does it sometimes stall Context?
Context uses methods to get artwork from Illustrator which have memory limitations. So when handling very large images, you may be running up against these limits. Try rasterizing your placed images at lower resolution before clicking Apply Artwork.
Can I choose which copy of Illustrator Context pairs with?
Context will pair with whatever version of Illustrator you select when you install the plug-in.
My Pantone colors/LAB spot colors appear black when I Apply Artwork.
There is a known issue with LAB spot colors in some versions of OS X where LAB colors can render incorrectly. This has affected Illustrator users as Adobe recently moved their Pantone inks to LAB color. This is system-wide, including for the Preview app. So, Context suffers from this as well. Until there’s a fix, a workaround is to convert your LAB colors to RGB.
Context is doing something unexpected.
If you see a bug, please report it via Provide Feedback from the LiveSurface Context menu in Context. Reporting it with specific details will help us to squash it quickly.
How can I get rid of watermarks?
To remove watermarks, get access to hi-res surfaces and to enable rendering exporting select Activate from the Store menu and follow the steps.