PhotoPlay Online Help

Menus

PhotoPlay File Menu

New Page Removes all images from the page and resets the page name to “New Page”.
Open Page… Opens a page that has been previously saved.
Save Page Saves the current page using the file name last used to open or save the page. If the page is new (shown as “New Page” in the title bar) then the file name will be prompted as per Save Page As.
Save Page As… Prompts for a file name and if given saves the current page layout.
Load Photos… Prompts for a folder from which to load images. If a folder is selected all existing images on the page will be removed and replaced by the images from the folder.
Note: currently all files will be loaded – non-image files will be displayed using just their filename. The reason for this is that the actual image data is loaded in the background after the files are enumerated and displayed as square placeholders.
Exit Closes the application.

Features

To Select a Photo Left click on a photo. The photo is highlighted by colouring the photo frame and showing the sizing/rotation grips at each corner.
To Resize a Photo Grab one of the four grips by left clicking the mouse on one and then whilst holding down the left mouse button drag. Dragging towards the centre of the photo will shrink it – whilst dragging away from the centre will enlarge it. There is a maximum and minimum scale (0.5 to 5.0).
Photos can also be resized by simply selecting the photo and then using the mouse wheel.
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The “-” and “+” keys can also be used to resize photos.
To Rotate a Photo Grab one of the four grips by left clicking the mouse on one and then whilst holding down the left mouse button drag in the direction to rotate. Photos can be rotated a full 360 degrees.
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A photo can also be rotated to 0, 90, 180 or 270 degrees by right clicking on the photo to bring up the context menu and then selecting the appropriate angle from the Rotate sub-menu.
To Zoom a Photo The selected photo can be zoomed within its frame. That is the photo is zoomed but the actual frame stays the same size – thus the entire image is no longer visible. Together with Panning this allows images to be re-composed. For example to remove unwanted sections and to focus in on the subject – or simply to create a more appealing framing.
Select the photo to be zoomed then hold down the ctrl key whilst using the mouse scroll wheel to zoom in and out.
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Ctrl-“-” and Ctrl-“+” keys can also be used to zoom photos.
To Move a Photo Left click on any area of a photo except the corner grips and whilst holding down the left mouse button drag. The photo will move in the direction the mouse is dragged.
To Pan a Photo This can only be done if the image has been previously Zoomed.
Left click on any area of a photo except the corner grips and hold down the ctrl key whilst holding down the left mouse button. The photo will be panned in the direction the mouse is dragged.
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To Remove a Photo Select a photo by clicking on it and then press the Delete key. The photo will be removed from the page. Alternately right click on the photo and click Remove from the context menu.
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Folder Monitoring If the Load Photos… option is used then the folder will be monitored for changes. If new images are added they will be automatically added to the page. If an image is modified the modification will be displayed immediately the image is saved.

Sample App

I’m going to try and use this blog to post details regarding a sample app that I’m writing for myself. The application itself is really more of an applet – I don’t really have a fixed feature set for it – it actually forms part of something much bigger that I’ve been tinkering with for some time.

The real purpose of this applet and indeed posting it online is so that I can use it as an exercise in learning WPF. I plan to convert all the existing features from the current WinForms version into a new WPF application. This should be a great learning experience for me – although I imagine there will also be a good deal of pain as I struggle to re-learn windowing fundamentals in the new framework.

Here’s a quick feature list that I’m aiming to include before I begin the WPF version:

  • Split frame code out of Photo class into a separate Renderer. Do the same for the PhotoPage class background.
  • Create a new Photo frame Renderer using simple triangular semi-transparent picture holders. Give the ability to swap between the existing Renderer and this new one.
  • Make photo frame borders optional.
  • Create a popup/tool window to display the EXIF data that I’m currently reading.
  • Add the ability to update/create captions and store in EXIF.
  • Create a simple “how to use” web page – host online and hook to F1 key.
  • Create an options window to specify album and application level defaults.
  • Do a quick optimisation run – particularly in the “load from folder” code path.

Next post should include some screenshots of the current version and the ClickOnce install path.

Who needs a blog?

Well interestingly enough it seems that these days not having a blog can have a negative impact on your chances of getting a job… “So what sort of things do you put on your blog?”, “What’s that – you don’t have one!”.

Writing this introductory blog entry brings back memories of posting up my first “home page” back in the early web days when such things were mandatory for all geeks. If I remember correctly I think I got about three updates to my first (and only) web site. Just past the “Under construction” and just prior to ever having any meaningful content. Let’s see how the blog goes