jAlbum / Settings / Advanced


Advanced - General Settings controls what pages get processed and how they are encoded.




The program will detect UTF-8 encoding automatically if the skin’s template files contains an UTF-8 marker, but if it's missing, then you can choose an alternative encoding. ISO-8859-1 is the default choice as it is one of the most common encoding options - it is a subset of UTF-8. If characters do not display correctly in the generated pages try another encoding from the list.

Technical note. The Java Virtual Machine by default uses the encoding of the underlying operating system. For consistent results Windows users may need to edit jAlbum's invocation method, using Menu -> Tools -> Open Directories -> Program Directory, to reveal the jAlbum.ini file. Close jAlbum and open the jalbum.ini file in a text editor.

Find the line that begins with

Virtual Machine Parameters=

and after the '=' add


Note, changing the virtual machine parameters as above could also interfere with reading and writing files from/to the file system, so proceed with caution and if it causes problems with file names remove the setting.

Another reason for changing the virtual machine parameters is described in Heap Space Problems

Write UTF-8

Checking this box will ensure that UTF-8 (UTF is the Unicode Transformation Format) is always used for writing the generated web pages. UTF-8 is the current standard recommended for HTML documents as it manages any possible signs and characters.

For more background information on encoding and write UTF-8 settings see Solving character encoding problems tutorial For those interested, further information on character encoding can be found at W3.org

Date format


Date formats may be displayed within your album as the current date, as part of any metadata for photographs, such as date taken or elsewhere, depending on the skin you are using. If this field is left blank the default standard date format for your region will be used, if you want a specific format enter valid letter codes here. The example date shown is the current system date and time formatted to the selected pattern.

Examples of valid letter codes are shown in the table to the right. You enter the letter codes in the form of, for example: h:mma E dd MMM yyyy’. In this case you would see, for example, 12:24AM Monday 14 Jul 2014. The letters used are from the Simple Date Format. The ones shown in the table to the right are commonly used, others are D, F, k, K, s, S, u, w, W, X and Z.

Ignore pattern

You can automatically exclude files and folders by entering their names or regular expressions, this saves having to individually exclude items. Regular expressions can be used to exclude multiple files, for example folderName.* would exclude folderName1, folderName2, folderName3 etc. The default ignore parameter is \..* which will ignore all files and folders that start with a period character (files starting with a period character are usually used to make a file invisible to the user.) Another example is \..*|.*\.(avi|mov|mp4) which will ignore AVI, MOV and MP4 video files. You can find out more on regular expressions (often abbreviated to regex or regexp) by searching the internet for one of those terms.

Any changes made only become effective after clicking apply or saving, closing and then reopening the project. If you use apply then the changes will be implemented but the file visibility within the project will not change until you use Menu/View/Update to hide/show them.

Directory chaining

Enable sequential navigation between index and slide pages of folders, by linking the last page of one folder to the first page of the next folder. Chaining options are for no chaining, siblings only or full tree (the whole album).

Some skins, such as Turtle for example, may have their own method of linking directories. In this event use only one of the settings, probably the safest is the skins own method.

Process subdirectories

If this option is not checked then subdirectories in your project will not be processed. This is very useful if you have a main project that includes several sub-projects (often called a Master Project/Album. You process all of your subdirectories with this option enabled, but for the top level master project the setting is turned off. The master album thus has links to the sub albums, but does not affect them, so you can use different style/settings in your sub-projects.

Web locations make creating multiple album linking much easier

Process only updated subdirectories

If your project has many levels of folders and subfolders, and lots of files in your project, then turning this option on can save processing time. It works by comparing file dates for your input and output directories and only processes those in the images directory that are newer than the equivalent in the output directory. It is best left turned off, for general use, and used only when working on large projects and turning it on specifically for a particular build. It can give confusing results, when turned on, if other settings are also changed, like changing the skin.

For a detailed discussion on the above potential problems see this forum post

Include subdirectories in index pages

Normally this option would be turned on. If it is turned off then there will be no navigation links to the subfolders. It is useful if you have your own website and, for example, you have password protected access to individual subfolders. Users logging in to one folder would not know of the existence of another folder as there would be no links between the two.

Use thumbnail for folder icon

With this option off subfolders are indicated by a folder icon on index pages. Turned on and you can select an image within each folder to act as the thumbnail icon for that folder. Some skins can indicate a folder of images by having a thumbnail image with a folder icon overlay.

Exclude new images by default

Any file added to a folder is automatically included, unless this option is enabled. Excluded files are listed in albumfiles.txt with a dash (-) prefix, making the selection of a few images from a bunch of new ones easy to manage.


Metadata can come from a wide range of sources such as XMP, EXIF, IPTC and of course jAlbum's own data. The information can include titles, authors, comments, keywords, flags, GPS location etc. jAlbum will use the first source it finds from those selected, it is recommended that 'XMP' is always checked.

If you have metadata in a database system and you can export it to a CSV or XMP file jAlbum can import that metadata, see Menu>File>Import>From database…


Comment Sources

The actual metadata field name for each source is shown after the source name, all are embedded in the image except for jAlbum's 'text file' source.



xmp stands for ‘Extensible Metadata Platform’, it enables the creation, processing and interchange of metadata. If enabled comment, title, rating, flag and keywords from the file itself will be used by jAlbum. xmp is open source and was created by Adobe. You can read more at https://www.adobe.com/products/xmp.html

jAlbum (Text file)

Stored in jAlbum's own comments.properties file

Use text entered in jAlbum's title and comment fields. If unchecked any texts entered in explore or edit mode will not be used in the output album.

Note. If unchecked information entered will be saved but will not be shown when jAlbum is next launched, to use them again check the box and refresh the display (F5), the information you've entered will reappear.

Warning! If unchecked and the information is hidden then any additional information entered will overwrite It.


Jpegcomment.JPEG Comment

Looks for a caption metadata embedded within the image file.

IPTC caption


IPTC stands for ‘International Press and Telecommunications Council’ and they developed their own metadata format, you can read more at https://iptc.org/standards/photo-metadata/iptc-standard/


User Comment

Exif stands for ‘Exchangeable Image file Format’ and is a standard for formatting various media files. This is yet another means of embedding metadata in files, you can find out more at http://www.jeita.or.jp/cgi-bin/standard_e/list.cgi?cateid=1&subcateid=4

EXIF Image Desc.

Image Description

By now you will have checked all of the boxes , unchecked all of the boxes, or you know where your data is and exactly which option(s) to go for. For Windows users that have used 'Windows Properties' to enter comments these are read bu jAlbum 14.1.1+, and if you edit the comments within jAlbum, the correct xmp description field is updated too.

Title Sources

You can select Object Name, Headline, or None! It will import the title from the IPTC block if an XMP block is missing or if the existing title attribute is null. If you are not sure, go for none!

Include photographic data in generated pages

This option allows skins to show camera settings such as ISO, aperture, speed, flash fired status etc. and for anything that relies on metadata such as 360º panoramic image and regions (face detection etc.). Not all skins will show such information and the information shown may vary for those skins that do. This option must be set if you want to show a map, when using a skin that supports them, such as Google Maps in Tiger or Turtle skins.

You can see a list of all the metadata for an image by selecting it in explore mode, Cntrl/right clicking it and then selecting 'List metadata'.

Include photographic data in generated images


This option writes the photographic data, as above, to the generated images in your album output. Turning on this option will result in a warning about possible image distortion and increased file sizes. See figure to the right.

Include xmp metadata in generated images

Writes the xmp metadata to the scaled-down (closeups). This can save your images, comments and titles on the internet, just in case your backups fail. (You have got backups of your files, haven’t you?)

If your images contain extensive metadata for edits made in external applications, like Lightroom, then some of that data may be truncated. If that happens the system console (F7) will show an error message including the name of the affected file. For an example of controlling edit metadata in Lightroom see this forum post

Include jAlbum widget support

This option must be enabled before deciding which widgets you want to use. The widgets are configured in Settings/Widgets.

Generate Media RSS feed

RSS is, generally taken to stand for ‘Really Simple Syndication’, although some might say ‘Rich Site Summary’. It is a method that allows visitors to easily be made aware of updates to your site, by ‘subscribing’ to your RSS feed. The album.rss-files that are generated, one per folder that include links to media files such as images and videos, are also needed for the iOS- and Android Apps and for the mobile wrapper at http://jalbum.net/mobile/. Subscribers will need to subscribe to all subfolder feeds if they want to be notified of any media changes within the album.

Generate JSON data

If enabled the JSON data files will be generated, even if the skin being used does not need those files. This will allow non-JSON based skins to work with jAlbum’s Wordpress bridge . See also jAlbum Bridge plugin for Wordpress.


Advanced - Naming Settings Keep your pages web friendly!

Some skins may not support changes to the default values of index page name and extension. If you make any changes and things fail try posting in the appropriate skin forum.


Index page name

For most web servers, the default page in a directory is named index.html (or index.htm), it is the file looked for when entering a URL without a file name at the end. Only change this setting if you are sure you know why you want to, and what its effect will be.

Page extension

The extension html (HyperText Markup Language) is the default extension for static webpages. Sometimes the extension used is just htm. Other extensions used for web pages, such as asp (Active Server Page) and php (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor), are ‘server side languages.’ jAlbum produces static html pages that are designed to run on the visitors machine. Server side languages run on the server, feeding the visitor with a dynamically made page. Change this setting only if you are sure you know why you want to, and what its effect will be.

Note that using php, asp, etc., instead of html, may cause problems for visitors when viewing your albums via your profile or album page.

Also be aware that if you change the index page name or extension on an existing project, files that have the original name or extension won't be deleted. So, you will end up with both files in the output, which can cause problems. If you change the index page name or extension on an existing project, you should delete the existing output before making the album again. By the same token, the files with the former names should be removed from your server. If you are using the jAlbum uploader, this should happen automatically.

Disabled name fields

The name fields that are disabled represent features that have not been fully implemented. Changing these entries could produce unpredictable results, sometimes skin-dependent, including albums that are not functional. The default names can be replaced if you want to experiment, but only if you are confident that you can resolve any problems. You can edit the file ‘system/init.bsh’ in a text editor and add the following code:


For example, replacing 'newSlideDirectoryName' with 'images' would result in the 'slides' folder name being changed to 'images'. In particular, changing either of the "prefix" names is strongly discouraged, as these have not been fully implemented or tested.

You should keep a backup of this file in its unedited form, in case you need to back out your changes. This file is an important part of the application, and if damaged, may prevent album creation. As they say though, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it!

User Variables

Edit mode allows you to alter or apply variables on a per folder or file basis, for example changing the thumbnail or slide image bounds, or applying watermark filters for all images but with variations by folder or file. If you want to create a global variable, one that will exist for all files, then define it here first. Variables are only saved when you leave the field by clicking in, or tabbing to, an empty field.

jAlbum also provides a special class of variables, known as Image filters. Used here they will apply the filters to all of your thumbnail and close- up images.



This is the actual name of the variable to be defined or one already existing. As an example, some skins have template pages that check for a variable named ‘pageID’. This variable controls the overall style to be used for the design of the template, but if one does not exist it uses a fallback (its own) design. Now you want to use that template with another skin that also has templates, but use a style called ‘pages’ for templates. In the name section enter ‘pageID’.


This is the field where you enter the value to be assigned to the variable named above. Taking the example from above we would enter the string, say, ‘pages’. The template now builds a web page that has the same overall style as native templates that use a style called ‘pages’.

Contextual menu


Control/Right clicking on the rows of variable names/ values brings up a contextual menu with the following actions:

  • Cut - cut the variable and value
  • Copy - copy the variable and value
  • Paste - paste the variable and value
  • Insert row - insert empty row
  • Delete - delete the variable and value

These all help to speed up your work flow, especially if you are using variables in the edit mode on some files.




This is a text area for making notes, or reminders, on the current project, for a variation from your default settings. The text field is plain text, no bold, italics or underline etc.

There is a single option, 'Notify on project load', of having a notification message appear when the project is loaded, provided there is content in the notes field. Uncheck the notify box if you do want to keep some notes but don’t want to see the reminder message. Clicking on the message’s 'notes' link, after 'This project has', will open the notes window.