Using the Auto Gallery

The Auto Gallery feature allows galleries to be built on-the-fly. On page load, the gallery will scan the contents of the /photos/ folder to determine images to display on the page. If a corresponding thumbnail exists in the /thumbnails/ folder, it will be used; if a corresponding thumbnail is not found, a new thumbnail will be generated in the /thumbnails/ folder.

The images displayed on the page may therefore be changed by adding images to the /photos/ folder, or removing them.

The option to create an auto gallery, pictured below, is located at the bottom of the Output Settings control pane.

Make Auto Gallery

The “About Auto Gallery” button leads to this page.

Due to specific server requirements, the auto gallery may not run on all servers.

Warning: Use With Caution

The auto gallery can be useful, but requires caution. Users wishing to deploy the auto gallery should be comfortable managing file and folder permissions, working with SSH access or via the hosting control panel, and be familiar with server user administration.

On Linux-based systems, files and folders created by PHP functions belong to the “apache” user, not to you. Therefore, thumbnail images created by the script cannot be deleted by FTP, which makes auto galleries difficult to remove.

To delete such files, you will need SSH access to your server, or you may be able to delete the files from within your hosting control panel's file manager; the Plesk control panel allows this, for example.

Consult your host's knowledge base for more information on how to deal with files owned by the “apache” user on your server.

Another and probably the easiest option is to use a PHP file manager like phpFileManager, to remove the PHP-created files. phpFileManager is very easy to install and use.

Of course, this is only an issue if the script is allowed to create thumbnail images in the /thumbnails/ folder.

Setup

Auto Gallery creation and setup is easy.

  1. Design your image gallery as usual, being aware of the feature limitations below.
  2. Enable the “Make Auto Gallery” check-box.
  3. Export to your desktop, then upload to server via FTP.
  4. Set /thumbnails/ folder permissions to 777.

Or, if you plan to upload your own thumbnail images, do not set permissions to 777. If the script cannot create its own thumbnail images, then you have nothing to fear from the warnings above.

Feature Limitations

Many gallery features are unavailable to the auto gallery, including pagination, metadata plates, e-commerce features, image download, color labels, Google Maps integration, tool tips, etc.

Image captions will be filled using the image file name, meaning that captions cannot be pulled from metadata.

Also, the auto gallery will always display the thumbnail grid using the Framed layout; the Iconic layout is not an option.

Finally, thumbnails generated by the script tend to be very low quality. If this is a problem, you will need to supply your own thumbnail images.

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