In this series of articles we will be covering 10 simple but useful tips for technicians that are using Lightwright 5. Every month we will release a short explanation and tutorial of each tip. 

  Top Ten Tips


1. Work Notes

2. Gel Cut Sheets

3. Dimming System Balancing

4. Focus Charts

5. Instrument Counting

6. Networked Editing

7. Update Tracking

8. Reporting

9. Gobo Inventory

10. Color Scrolls/Wheels 

   Tip #4 - Focus Charts  


Focus charts are important for multiple reasons; the possibility for a revival of the show, the integrity of the design for a touring show, and checking focus of a show that has a long life in a theatre are just a few. Lightwright 5 has the ability to print blank focus charts for a focus call and the information can then be input into Lightwright and saved until it is needed.


First, I am going to print out a blank focus chart. On the bottom of the Lightwright window select the “FOCUS” tab to open the blank focus charts. In the tool bar select “FILE”-“PRINT PAPERWORK”. When you scroll down you will see focus charts, select “COMPLETE”. In the next window you can choose to have single or double columns. When I am using blank focus charts I prefer to do a single column to give myself more space to write. After I have put the data back into Lightwright I change it to two columns. Click “OK” in the pop-up window and “OK” again to print.




In the charts you generally state the measurements of where the light was focused from on stage, the beam and shutter cuts. If it is a very specific focus you can write notes or draw a small image. Below are some focus charts from John McKernon himself.

John’s overview of Focus Charts can be found here:





After you have all of your data for your focus charts to put it in the file return to the “FOCUS” tab. All of the focus notes you have can be input into this tab and then print out for future reference. If you have the time to take photos you can even import them into the file. You just need to drag them from your desktop into the small square on the specific instrument.




Having good notes of a focus is very important to a show and its integrity, Lightwright 5 gives you the ability to keep all of your notes in one place and legible for others to use at a later date. 




Next Month: An overview of instrument counting