Introducing Lucid skin

When it comes to multi-level, elaborated albums (with all the bells & whistles) jAlbum is the natural choice for many photographers. However, sometimes you just want something simple – although professional looking – for your site. For instance when you want to share an event right away or just want to show a bunch of photos related to your business. Historically, we have had a few skins for this kind of task, like Mr Burn5, Compact or Fully, but most of them got dated, and they don’t play well with mobiles. So it’s high time offering alternatives.

Lucid skin

The first of this line is the new Lucid skin. This skin starts with the first photo right away. You can easily flip through the album with mouse or finger – Lucid should play well with both. If you only have folders, the skin will display them instead of the images (see above).

While you will not find all the advanced features of Tiger or Photoblogger – e.g. feedback, site-wide search or shopping cart – the most popular features came even with version 1.0. Google maps, social sharing, custom pages, full scren mode and background music to name a few.

It comes with 7 color styles, and 3 thumbnail layout modes: “grid”, “dots” and “masonry”, see below.

The control bar was designed to be the least possible distractive. If its background color isn’t transparent the bar will occupy its own space and push down the images accordingly, but when it’s (semi-)transparent the controls are laid over the images and the bar remains fully transparent until you move the mouse over it. This way the images can fill the browser window as much as possible.

Embedding is also simpler, because this skin was designed to work in tight places. It also comes with a responsive embedding code, which adapts to the available space. However, please note, embedding a web page into another is still not a good idea, due to mobile usability problems related to scrolling and smaller buttons.

One more thing... In this skin for the first time we’ve introduced a “live design preview”. When you change colors or fonts you’ll see the effect right away - you don’t have to go rounds with Make and Preview. This makes it incredibly inspiring playing around with these settings.

Now download and try the Lucid skin! (It also comes bundled with jAlbum 19+.)

Your feedback is welcome!



Presenting jAlbum 19

I'm delighted to tell you about the news for our new jAlbum 19 release. The highlights consists of a significantly improved search bar and an embedded spell checker.

This is naturally a free update for you who are on a current support & update plan (sign in here or see jAlbum Help for your status). For the rest of you we offer discounted updates and another 30 days of free trial if you like to try it first (install to a parallel folder to keep your existing version).

Improved search
This summer we added an appreciated search bar to jAlbum's Settings window that lets you quickly locate settings by simply typing a matching word. Now this clever search bar has been extended to not only cover all jAlbum's user interface panels, but to also look for album projects and items within the currently opened project. This will be a welcome addition to anyone who maintains large or many album projects.
The enhanced search is located in jAlbum's top-right corner and can be quickly accessed by pressing CTRL+Space. Need to locate that "vertebrates" folder in your Zoology album? Simply type "verteb" in the new search bar and you'll be taken to that folder. Want to find all movies within the current album project? Just type ".mov". jAlbum also looks for image metadata like titles, descriptions and keywords, and it's fast too.
Once you've opened the search bar, you can start typing words to look up. jAlbum will present the matches found in a popup menu while it spiders your settings, projects and current project in the background to reveal matches. Here's an example of me locating items where I've mentioned "sugar" in my Pistachio ice cream gallery:
The spell checker
Embedded spell checkerThis feature has been requested for many years. I admit I never thought an embedded spell checker was that important for a gallery software, but let's face it, a great gallery should not only have great images, but great text too. Don't degrade the quality of your story telling gallery with misspelled words. With a spell checker embedded in jAlbum 19 I opened some of my galleries and found to my surprise that I had several misspelled words :-)
jAlbum will now highlight misspelled words as you edit titles, descriptions and keywords. Simply right click the word and select the right spelling from the popup menu (or add it to the dictionary). The spell checker uses jAlbum's language by default, but you can quickly switch dictionary language by right clicking a highlighted word. jAlbum comes bundled with dictionaries for English, German and Dutch. Additional languages are downloaded on demand (French, Russian, Spanish, Italian and Swedish. More languages can be compiled from Wiktionary articles). The spell checker can optionally be switched off under Preferences. Use shortcut F7 to open a spell checker dialog to quickly correct a larger text.
Credit to i-net software for enabling us to use their excellent spell checking library in jAlbum 19.
Warm regards
/David and the jAlbum team

Filtering and sorting in albums

While most people use jAlbum to share simple albums, filtering and sorting the thumbnails comes handy for visitors in complex albums and webshops.

jAlbum's database-backed skins – e.g. Photoblogger and Tiger – are capable of handling huge amounts of data which makes it easy to find and order images as visitors wish. This filtering and sort functionality is based on variables attached to images. Besides jAlbum's own variables, like "original date" or "keywords" you can also add your own variables for the sake of filtering. Say your webshop offers different brands and colors of products, you then add custom variables to images – "brand", "color" – which can later be referred for both filtering and sort.

Don't confuse this with jAlbum's "Filter bar" feature or "Sort by", which are used to arrange images in jAlbum to set the default view of an album by the author. This new feature was made for the visitors to play with. I guess you'll figure it right away if you check out the sample album below.

"Demo webshop" album


Head to Settings / Photoblogger / Sidebar / Filtering and Sort. Tick Use filters and/or Use sort first, then add the criteria one by one. The variable name is mandatory (must be exactly as jAlbum handles them, case sensitive). Adding a descriptive label isn't needed, but helps a lot and you can use translated labels this way. By default the skin treats these variables as plain strings, but other data types might work better, e.g. for file size or price. These are the allowed data types:

  • Numeric: as the name suggests it represents a numeric value, e.g. rating, fileSize or resolution. The skin renders a "range slider" to select the values.
  • Financial: numeric value as well, but respects the currency sign and has 2 fraction digits, e.g. €1.00. To ensure the rangle slider shows the proper currency, add it after the label in parentheses, e.g. Price (US$). By default the box shows Euros.
  • Date: the range slider shows dates, no surprise. Corresponding jAlbum variables: fileDate, originalDate, addedDate
  • Single string: useful for variables with text values. Visitors can then select one of these values to narrow search. Examples: fileCategory (e.g. image, audio, video), formatName (e.g. jpg, png, gif), writer (author)
  • Multiple string: like Single string, but selecting multiple items is allowed too. Examples: keywords, category, isoEquivalent. Use Shift or Ctrl to select multiple items!

Please note, jAlbum saves changes made in a cell only after you press Enter or click into another cell! If you click OK, or close the Settings panel you risk losing changes.

Regarding "price"; recently these skins were allowed to handle the price variable as a single shop option in the PayPal cart. Check out the Settings / Site / Shopping cart / Use "price" as single shop option! (Works with Photoblogger 2.6+, Tiger 2.9+). Price can be added in Edit mode → right panel → Description → Price field.

Custom variables

As I mentioned before, beyond jAlbum's built-in variables you can define your own variables too. Add them in Edit mode through the Variables panel. The name goes left (plain English characters!), the value right – really straightforward. Unlike with keywords you can't assign the same value to multiple items at once – you have to do it one-by-one. We'll probably make a tool for this task later (if there's a massive demand :) ).

Like with the Filtering panel, jAlbum saves changes only after pressing Enter or clicking in another box.

Another example of filtering

Comments are welcome,


New muscles under the hood for jAlbum 18.4

The recently released jAlbum 18.4 sports a completely rewritten web server under the hood (Jetty 9). Historically this web server has only been used to share galleries straight from your computer (See Tools->Share), something only a few users use, but it now also serves previews to both jAlbum's embedded web browser and any external web browser you may prefer.

Why this change? Well, in recent years, browsers like Chrome, Edge, Safari and now Firefox have received security constraints limiting viewing local content straight from disk. This has prevented previews from working for some of our popular skins, like Tiger and PhotoBlogger, but this is now a problem of the past. Get jAlbum 18.4 today!

(You can control whether to serve previews via the local web server or not under Preferences)

Search and You Shall Find

We've just added search to jAlbum! Now you can type your way to the right setting while using jAlbum instead of browsing though complex user interface panels in your hunt for that font size or color setting.

jAlbum now has search 

What would internet be without Google? We'd have to remember a ton of pages and navigation paths for resources we revisit regularly and rely on clever hierarchical directories for finding new information (Remember those sites from the old days?).

These days we simply "Google" everything, even if we know the page's URL, cause typing a few words is usually faster. We even search our local computers instead of manually navigating folder trees, still when using advanced software we tend to have to navigate the user interface in a hierarchical fashion. jAlbum has tons of features today. It's inevitable that the user interface becomes increasingly complex as features are added over the years. We try to structure the settings intuitively, but some features inevitably need to be buried 3-4 levels down.

Enter search!

jAlbum's Settings window now has a new search box in the top-right corner. Hit TAB to activate it, then type a few keys to see a list of matching items in the menu below. Use arrow keys + ENTER or the mouse to select the setting you wish to access. jAlbum will now immediately navigate to that setting and highlight it with an animated ring.

If you got the wrong setting, simply select the search box and hit arrow down to reveal the last set of search results again or type another search term. You can narrow the search by typing multiple words.

What are you waiting for? Download jAlbum 18.2 today!