Have it your way

When using jAlbum you should feel that you're in full control of how your images are managed. Some software titles that handle images give me gray hair! This is because I don't know what they are doing to my images - some just start indexing my hard-drive collecting all the images. Hey, I didn't ask for that! Others copy my images to some unknown location and soon my whole disk is completely fragmented with images all over the place. With jAlbum you get the choice to work with images your way.

Enabling the alternatives

Set the preference to "Ask"Before continuing, open jAlbum preferences and switch to the "Album" tab. Now ensure that the "When adding files" setting is set to "Ask". This will make jAlbum pop up a dialogue window when adding files so you can decide on how to work with those files.



Makes copies by default
jAlbum defaults to copying the images you add to a project folder located under a "My Albums" folder (the location for this folder can be set under Preferences). This has the advantage of creating "self contained" album projects. That means that they don't rely on where your original images are located and deleting images within jAlbum doesn't affect any files outside of your album project. This is what most users expect, but there are more ways.


Work directly on existing images
The "when adding files" dialogueLet's say that you don't like copies to be created for sake of disk usage, or that you already have a huge folder structure of images that you wish your album project to "mirror", so that changes, like rearranging folders and adding images outside of jAlbum automatically makes it into the final album on the next album build. In that case you should drop an image folder onto an empty project window and use the "Use folder" method. jAlbum will now move into that folder and use it as its "image directory" (its image source). Any change to the contents of that folder, or its sub-folders will show inside your new album project and vice versa: Any change you make to images (moving, deleting, renaming) within jAlbum will affect the real files under this folder. This way of working enables you to use jAlbum as a file manager for your existing images. You just need to hit "Make album" to have your web album updated.

(To manage custom file ordering and metadata like captions and ratings, jAlbum keeps a couple of support files and a ".jalbum" folder under the "image directory". Don't use this option if you're concerned about not having these support files added to your existing image directory.)

Work with links
This option strikes a middle way between copying files and "Use folder". A project folder is created under the "My Albums" folder, but it is filled with links to the images you add instead of being filled with copies. This has the advantage of saving disk space and keeping jAlbum stuff separated from your existing files. Links are simply references to the original location of the images you add, so jAlbum will rely on them being present.

Please refer to this table for a better understanding on the effects of these options:

Comparison   copy






Use folder

Adding picture(s)   a copy is created in the project's folder   will link to the original image  
Adding a folder   folder and contents is copied   a link to folder is created   will use the whole folder as is
Self conatined
(everything is in a single folder that you can carry / backup)
  yes   no   yes
Disk use   2x   1x   1x
Deleting a file in jAlbum   deletes the copy   no effect on source files   deletes the original
Renaming a file in jAlbum   renames the copy   renames only the link   renames the original file
jAlbum support files added in source folder   no   no   yes
After changing the original (e.g. in Lightroom)   you’ll have to add the picture again
(you’ll lose the comment)
  processed automatically in the next “Make”   processed automatically in the next “Make”
Same file in multiple albums   yes, new copy will be created every time   yes, using the same source image   no
Using the OS’s file manager to organize albums   yes, but only the copy   no, might break links either   yes

Keyboard shortcuts
You can use combinations of the SHIFT, ALT and CTRL keys as you drag folders and images onto jAlbum to automatically trigger a "Use folder", "Copy" or "Link" behavior. You can observe the mouse arrow to know what behavior will be triggered. (Mac users use combinations of SHIFT, ALT and CMD instead).

More reading
I hope this blog post has explained the pros and cons of the different ways jAlbum can handle images. Now you probably have enough information to make use of jAlbum in the way that suits you best. For more reading, please see this blog post.

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David Ekholm

David Ekholm 6 years ago

@Slaid99, Yes there is. It's probably jAlbum's widget injection code that triggers this. If you don't need widgets in your album, you can switch off widget support altogether under Settings->Advanced->Metadata, then make and upload the album again.


Slaid99 6 years ago

I just noticed with Jalbum 13.1 that when I go between my photos in the album, every single time it has a message "waiting for Jalbum.net" even though my photos are all local. Is there someway of stopping that? (it's very quick, but is unnecessary)

David Ekholm

David Ekholm 8 years ago

@Dennis, the linking options under Album settings->Pages has nothing to do with the copy vs link options in this blog post. This blog post is about how jAlbum gets hold of original images (either via copies or links). The linking options under album settings->Pages is controlling how the final album gets hold of the images. If you select "Link to originals" and "Copy originals", then jAlbum makes a copy of the images it has found and puts the copies under the "album" folder. jAlbum then links the thumbnails directly to those images so clicking the thumbnails will take you directly to them.

Dennis Foreman

Dennis Foreman 8 years ago

That table is great! THANKS! It really helps explain what happens. One question: what if I check BOTH "copy originals" AND "link to originals".

acompanhantes sp

acompanhantes sp 8 years ago

Thanks for posting such a nice article. I love the way you have described the whole article. Thanks and keep posting new things.

David Ekholm

David Ekholm 8 years ago

@Claude, We surely can. First ensure that you're not using any characters in file names that aren't allowed for web use, like #, %, & an ?. If you still don't get images showing, please upload the album and pass a link to it in our user forum at http://jalbum.net/forum, there you get the fastest help for these kinds of issues.

Claude Sagala

Claude Sagala 8 years ago

After words when finishing building my albums, when I go to preview the album, I get all blank squares with an "x" at the corner where the images are suppose to be. Using ver 11.2 jalbum which I purchased.
Also using win explorer 10 with windows 8 64 bit
Can someone help me out please.

David Ekholm

David Ekholm 8 years ago

@stanwhite3, You're obviously using the online version of jAlbum. That one is very limited in many regards, multiple selection being one. Do give the full blown downloadable software a try. This said, I think we should implement multiple selection for the online version too.

David Ekholm

David Ekholm 8 years ago

@stanwhite3, selecting multiple images should be a no-brainer. Just drag a rectangle around them or hold down the CTRL qualifier key as you select images (CMD key on Mac)


stanwhite3 8 years ago

I love Jalbum and use it often, however I have only one problem. Jalbum only allows me to rearrange one photo at a time. It would be awesome if we could select multiple images at once in order to move them.

MJH 1202

MJH 1202 8 years ago

thank you..very helpful indeed!