We'll describe here the various navigation features in Photo-Folders. Pictures are organized in groups containing albums, and optionnally sub-albums. The typical organization consists in using a group for each year and an album for year event, travel or shooting within this year.
Photo-Folders user interface is designed to facilitage navigation among groups, albums and pictures.
Under the header icon, the top of the application contains a list groups of albums. They can have any name, but it's good to keep it short. Years groups can contain albums organized by year.
Two groups are automatically embedded which play a specific role: the “search” group which corresponds to the search user interface and “top” which highlight top people (could be cities, objects, whatever) organized by categories.
You click on a group to select it and display its albums below. When you move the mouse over a group, if becomes grey (unless it's running on a touch device). When selected, the name in framed with a dotted line.
- Once selected, the group's content is displayed below with a list of albums, items ("search" group) or categories ("top" group) on the left and with the pictures of the first album/item/category on the right. The list of albums/items/categories contains the total number of items and pictures and for each album/item/category.
- When clicking on an album/item/category, the related pictures are displayed on the right. You use your finger to select groups and albums on touch devices. You can also use the scrollbar with the mouse wheel to navigate in the groups, albums and pictures zones when it's larger than its frame.
- You can use the keyboard accelerators "N" (next) and P (previous) to move to the next or previous album/item/category.
- You can scroll in the pictures zone with its scrollbar on the right, with the mouse wheel, or with your finger on a tablet. Picture thumbnails are being loaded progressively to save network bandwidth. It makes it faster to start displaying an album of any size. You can display an album containing hundreds of pictures without any wait. The largest album tested in the plugin has more than 2670 pictures. You can easily scroll until the end on a regular Mac/PC. It may still be slower on tablets, particularly with old generation ones.
You can sort albums and search results items by number of pictures per album/items, by picture name, by the date of the last picture capture of the album/item, or the date of the last picture publishing in the album/item, all in asscending or descending mode.
You click on the related sort icons to launch it, in the small bar between the current group name and its albums. The current sort mode is distinguisable from the other, which remain semi-transparent.
In various places in the plugin, you can open "dialog boxes" which are displaying various information and commands. This is the case with the online help, statistics menu and functions related to the current group, album or picture.
These dialogs reuse common visual elements founds in graphical operating systems: a close button to close the dialog, a full screen button which displays the dialog full browser. All with keyboard shortcuts: ENTER to move back and forth to/from the full browser mode, ESCAPE to exit from the full browser mode or close the dialog. Moreover, you can also close the current dialog with clicking outside it.
The left button is an indication that the dialog can be moved around with the mouse or touch. With double-clicking on it, or within the dialog (outside input fields), you can then use the mouse to select some content and copy it in the clipboard.
When a dialog is called from another dialog, closing it will reopen the calling dialog. This works only when the calling dialog is related to an object (group, album, photo) that still exists after the operation. For example, after you display the cameras used in a album's pictures, the album is still there after closing the dialog, so we're back on the album functions dialog. When you delete a group, an album or a picture, it's not there anymore so closing the deletion feedback dialog returns to the regular plugin user interface.
For a non administrator, since none of his actions can be destructive, all closed dialog comes back to the calling dialog.
Once you have clicked on a picture thumbnail, it will be displayed in the pictures area.
You can then navigate in the current album or item through several means:
- With the buttons at the right bottom of the picture, to move to the next picture, previous picture, first and last one. You can launch an automatic slideshow forward or backward. A "stop" button stops the slideshow.
- With the keyboard:
–> and <- keys to move to next and previous picture.
Home and End keys to move to the beginning or the end of the pictures from the current album or item (search group).
Up key to display the picture in full browser mode, without the plugin header, groups and albums lists.
ESCAPE to move back from full browser mode to "one" picture mode and from this mode to the thumbnails mode.
Space bar to start/stop automatic slideshow mode (forward).
- With clicking in the picture, in its left portion, to move to the previous image, and in its right half to move to the next one.
- with your finger when running on a tablet, left swipe and right swipe to move to next and previous picture, upward swipe to display picture full browser, downward swipe to quit this mode, and then, to move back to the thumbnails mode.
You can also switch to full browser mode with a lower right button, removing the header and albums/search items list. This also works with the ENTER keyand the up key.
You can return to the normal mode with the ESCAPE key or down key.
Whenever you are in Photo-Folders (unless a dialog box is opened), the plugin state is memorized in the browser history (if not running IE9-). You can move back in your navigation within Photo-Folders with the "back" browser button and sometimes with the BACK key from the keyboard.
Each application state has its own unique URL, a rather long one, that is updated as you move around in pictures and display modes. Il can be used and bookmarked and send to anybody to return to the saved context. This even works in the slideshow mode. If you launch a slideshow in full browser mode and copy the URL, send it to somebody, he will get the slideshow running when clicking on your link. With hitting twice the ESC key, he's get back to the regular presentation modes (thumbs with albums/items list).
Several pictures related functions are available with clicking on the current zoomed out picture name at the lower left of the picture: social networks bookmarking, getting picture technical data, with a graphical view of the camera and lens used for capture, getting a description text of the picture. You can move around the related dialog box, close it with its close button or with the ESC key and clicking outside it.
The description text comes from the EXIF "description" tag from the picture file if it was added with an editing tool like Adobe Lightroom. Otherwise, when created with PhotoFolders, it will be stored in a text file using the same name as the picture and with a .txt extension. The admin user can edit this description with clicking on the picture name from the thumbnail view or through the pictures function dialog box.
Likewise, the picture title comes from the picture EXIF "title" tag if it exists or from the picture file name otherwise. The admin user can edit this description with clicking on the picture name from the thumbnail view or through the pictures function dialog box.
On each picture, you can:
- Download it. It will ask the user email and then send an email containing a link to the ZIP file containing the picture. This is a way to identify who is downloading the author's pictures.
- Bookmark it in social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
- Make a request to remove the picture to the site administrator.
- Make a proposal to rename the picture to the site admin.
- Make a pictures search covering pictures using the same name in all albums.
- Send an email to a contact with a link to the picture in Photo-Folders. The receiving user will get the picture in the exact same context as the sender.
The current pictures function dialog box is automatically displayed when the user is right-clicking with the mouse on it (or CMD-click on a Macintosh). This will avoid direct pictures download. This feature can be discactivated by the plugin administrator to allow pictures download with right-clicking on it.
With clicking on the current album name, you open the album functions dialog box:
- To download the album. Like for a picture, it asks the user email and sends him/her an email with a pointer to the album's ZIP pictures. It works also in a search view. The ZIP file also contains a PDF file describing the pictures usage licence.
- To send an email with a pointer on the album.
- Pictures download also work for getting all the pictures from a group or from a search result. Since it can be large, the generated ZIP file is automatically split into chunks of 128 Mo. This maximum size is fixed at this point. The files are also organized in folders in the ZIP generated file(s). As many as there are items at the left of the plugin interface (albums for groups, albums, groups or others for search results). It's even possible to download one category of or all TOP people. It creates one picture for each TOP people (the last taken) using its name.
- To launch the widget generator on the album and embed it in your own blog or in any web site.
- To display the album's pictures technical details.
With clicking on the current group name, you open the group functions dialog box. It provides information on the group. The admin can also rename the group, change its description, change the picture's tags, delete the group, undelete albums from the group and importe pictures from another album in the group.
User functions are :
- Download group pictures. It goes through providing an email. The sent email provides a link to download a ZIP file containing the group pictures. The download will be partial if the group number of pictures exceeds the maximum downloadable pictures specified in the plugin settings. The pictures will be organized in albums in the created ZIP.
- To display technical data on the group pictures with the cameras and lenses to take these pictures, when provided in the JPEG EXIF data.
When clicking on a picture in thumbnail mode, it's usually enlarged. A hand shaped button will change this behavior and enable multiple selection of pictures and sorting it.
When activated, a click on a picture will select or unselect it. There will be a visual sign with colors around the frame. Three buttons enable to select all pictures, unselect all pictures and invert the selection.
The selection mode is persistent when changing of group, album or going into search. It's also saved in the context in the URL.
When the selection mode is not activated, you can add a picture in the multiple selection with a CONTROL-click on the picture. When the multiple selection mode is activated, a CONTROL-click will show the image enlarged instead of adding/removing it to the multiple selection.
The number of selected pictures is displayed in a colored text located at the right of the multiple selection buttons.
Several functions can be applied to the selection:
- Sending a ZIP containing the selected pictures (if allowed by the site admin).
- Sending an email containing a link and view on the selected picture. One message can be created for the mail and one comment for each selected pictures. These are not stored anywhere in Photo-Folders database. This is non persistent data.
And, only for the site admin:
- Deleting selected pictures, also done with the DELETE key.
- Renaming selected pictures, also with the F2 key. The renaming avoids Windows renaming errors usually launched with F2 or right click + rename. Renaming always starts with (1) and is sequential even when some numbers are already used.
- Editing their author and licence. This is using the same dialog box than the one used to modify tags for a group, an album or a picture. Tags are IPTC fields.
- Adding hashtags to all selected pictures, which can actually be any text. Hashtags starting with a # can be found inthe hashtags inventory feature from the statistics menu (launched with clicking on the plugin logo at the top of the browser). You can also search a hashtag in the search zone at the top-right area of the plugin (on a regular computer, or with choosing the search group after clicking on the album name if you are running on a smartphone).
- Copying and moving selected pictures in another group, album or sub-album, with selecting the target in a dialog containing a list of all available groups, then albums, then sub-albums if there are any. These are created on the fly if they do not exist yet. This feature is useful among other things to organize the pictures from an album into subalbums in the same album.
- Regenerate their thumbnails which is used for repairing bad or missing thumbnails.
It's possible to bookmark albums and pictures in social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
You can tweet a Photo-Folders URL to share it. It can be done through copy/pasting the URL from your browser in your Twitter client software or with creating a tweet with the "Twitter" button in the albums/pictures dialog boxes. The resulting tweet will show up an album thumbnail or a picture thumbnail.
Likewise, you can publish a status, a comment or a like on Facebook. Sharing can be done with using the url link in a status text or with using the "Share" icon from the albums/pictures dialog box. Like with Twitter, the resulting post in your timeline will contain an album of picture thumbnail. It also works with a search result.
You can also "Like" an album or a picture and comment it from within Photo-Folders, using the albums/pictures dialog boxes. Comments will show up there as well as in your Facebook timeline depending on your publishing settings defined in Facebook.
Pinterest is another supported social network where you can "pin" pictures one by one starting from the picture dialog box.
At last, and as an option that is controlled by the admin, bookmarking icons show up on the images when displayed enlarged, at the top left of the picture..
Since version 1.8 from december 2014, Photo-Folders handles shortened URLs for various contexts: groups, albums, pictures, simple and multi-criteria search and TOP people categories. These URL are sent to Facebook and Twitter when the user calls it from the dialog boxes. These dialogs also show the shortened version of the current context, which can be cut and pasted in ano=y email or social network.
Photo-Folders is provided with a thorough set of online help structured in a dozen parts. Some of it is only relevant to the plugin end-users while the rest is aimed a the plugin administrators. The online help files are available with the ? button at the top right of the application.. This help is available in English and French.
The online help is also downloadable as PDF files accessibles from the help user interface. When the user is connected as the site administrator, he can also download the admin help documentation.
Some simple single-words search can be done in the help user interface. The column at the left shows the sentences containing the searched word. With clicking on it, the related help will show up at the position of the search term.
Each user can display his navigation history in Photo-Folders, thus enabling an easy access to recently viewed albums or pictures. You use the Z key to open the related dialog. You can then select a view and open it again with clicking on the related row.
All display settings are also saved in the navigation history such as thumbnails display mode, background color, etc. The associated data is stored in the browser and not uploaded to the Photo-Folders server. It's then specific to each used browser.
You can also sort the results by group, album and date in ascending or descending order. With the [A] icon, you can deduplicate albums and show only one entry per album, which can be useful since the navigation history contains one entry per picture seen enlarged.
Navigation history display settings (album dedup, sort mode and order) are stored in cookies and are reused for each new navigation history launch. Unless cookies were deleted with the browser or with the Photo-Folder function launched with the x from the statistics menu.