Creating complex albums, combining existing albums into one master album

Maintaining large albums and combining existing ones into one can be a bit more complicated. If you have a large number of albums already added to the site you might not want to rebuild the whole album again each time you add new albums. In this case you can handle the sub-albums individually and finally make a master album of all. This technique has some drawbacks though:

  • When creating the master album JAlbum does not process the sub-albums, thus cannot compute the number of images inside them. You will see: Trip to London (0 images).
  • You will have duplicate ‘guestbook’ folders in each subalbum — need to be managed individually.

1. Prepare the folder for the site

Create a folder e.g. ‘My Sites‘ under ‘My Documents’ and inside add the Folder for this site you plan to create, e.g. ‘FamilyAlbum‘.

2. Generate the sub-albums the regular way

  • In JAlbum create a ‘New Album‘ with a name that is web-safe, like 20051017_London. Make sure this name doesn’t contain any extended (accented) characters or spaces, because web servers cannot handle extra characters in filenames. Use only english letters ‘A..Z’, ‘a..z’, numbers ’0..9′ and underscores ‘_’.
  • Set the output folder to point to the subfolder of FamilyAlbum (Setting / General). Use the exact same name as for Album name. (E.g. My Documents/My Sites/FamilyAlbum/20051017_London).
  • Add your images. I prefer the drag and drop method, because in the file manager I can see the thumbnails. But you can add the whole folder (the green ‘+’ sign) and exclude the unwanted pictures in JAlbum.
  • Add a meaningful name to the gallery by right-clicking the album name and choosing Properties. You can use any characters here. Here you can add comment for this gallery too.
  • Specify the link to the master album (Settings / Chameleon / General / Uplink). Choose “This”, type its name in the “Name” box (e.g. ‘Family Album’) and leave the link as “../index.html” or whatever.
  • Sort images by ‘Camera date’ (Right-click + Sort + Camera date) or any other order if you want. You can also move the thumbnails around in a custom order.
  • Choose a folder thumbnail by right clicking the desired picture and choosing ‘Use as folder thumbnail’.
  • Choose the skin and style for this album. In Chameleon you can also choose the sub-style which a slight modification of the original theme.
  • In Chameleon choose the ‘Uplink from main page‘ as ‘This’ or ‘Default’ to make sure your uplink to the Master page works.
  • Generate the Gallery with the ‘Make Album’ button.
  • Save the Project (Ctrl + S).
  • Do this with all the Albums you want to add.

3. Create the Master album

  • Create a new album called e.g. ‘Family Album’ (under ‘My Albums’ — this is the default)
  • Add the previously created sub-albums by drag and dropping the folder names under ‘My Albums’ on the right pane. Not those you’ve created under ‘My Site’!
  • Add comments to folders if needed, sort the Master Album by ‘Reverse date’ to get the latest in front, or manually as you like. Make all configurations.
  • If you want bigger folder thumbnails select ‘Large thumbnails for folders’ in Settings / Chameleon Thumbnails tab. You can use even bigger thumbnails than the usual 120x120px, e.g. 180x180px (Settings / Images / Thumbnails).
  • Turn off the ‘Process subdirectories‘ option in Settings / Advanced / General tab. This way JAlbum will not process the ready made sub-albums.
  • Hit the ‘Make Album‘ button, and check the result with ‘View album’.
  • Save the Project

4. Adding new albums to Master album

When you want to add new albums, you have to repeat the steps in Section 2., add the new folder to the master project (see Section 3.) and regenerate the master album. That’s all.

See the final Album here!

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