ThumbNailer FAQ

How to register

To register S.A. ThumbNailer, you have three choices.
1. Use a credit card from the S.A. ThumbNailer page
2. Send a check drawn on a US bank. See Smaller Animals ground Registration page
3. Some people have software / services that they will trade for. Feel free to offer.

1. Did you register?

As of v4.5, S.A. ThumbNailer will not save option settings for unregistered users. This is intentional.
2. Are you using S.A. ThumbNailer version 4.0 - 4.5.1 and using Win NT ? This is a result of a difference in the way Win95 and WinNT save Registry information. Version 4.5.2.3 and up should have solved this problem.

I received a credit card confirmation message from RegSoft, but nothing from Smaller Animals Software. What's up?

In general, you should receive your license file within seconds of your order's authorization. Network troubles can affect the time required to create and deliver the license email.

Also, please be sure your email account is not set up to deny email from strangers. A surprising number of licenses cannot be delivered to the purchaser because they are filtering emails. To make matters worse, we cannot email them to tell them the situation, nor can we reply to their emails when they start to wonder where their license is! Please double-check this.

I received a registration message from Smaller Animals Software but the Thumb.Lic file was not attached?

Some mail clients hate the mail messages that the Smaller Animals generator sends. In cases like this, just We can generate a license file message by-hand.

S.A. ThumbNailer refuses to register on NT. Why?

This is something which hopefully has been fixed as of v4.5.1.4. It is because of a difference in the way NT treats Registry Read / Write requests.

I followed the registration instructions, but it still says I'm not registered. What's up?

If you are running NT, do you have a version of TN newer than v4.5.2 ? If not, you need to get it.

Did you probably didn't follow the registration instructions exactly?? Be sure that you enter your name and email address exactly as shown in the S.A. ThumbNailer Registration Information message - this means capitalization and spaces, too. Watch for double spaces! The name and email are taken directly from the RegSoft order form. S.A. ThumbNailer doesn't use this info for any other reason than to compare to what's in Thumb.Lic .

• Make sure Thumb.Lic is in the same folder as Thumb6.exe (or Thumb6.exe, Thumb5.exe or Thumb4.exe, depending on which version you're using).
• Make sure you type the name and email address exactly as shown
• Be sure you restart S.A. ThumbNailer after pressing the Press This button.
• Note, there is no "You Are Registered!!" message.
• Don't bother trying to read what's in Thumb.Lic. Unless you work for the NSA, it will take quite a few years to decode.

• If you still can't get results, .

The "Horizontal Layout" option is gone, how do I do horizontal layout?

As of v5.4, S.A. ThumbNailer no longer has a "Horizontal Layout" option for HTML files. But, this does not mean you can't still produce horizontal output. What you need to do is to change the default text for the "Pre-thumbnail" and "Post-thumbnail" fields. These default to "<p><center>" and "</center></p>". The "<p>" and "</p>" tags are responsible for the vertical spacing between thumbnails. For horizontal spacing, remove them. Also, you should remove the Image Label Text on the same dialog. Otherwise, you will have text between your images. This is what the "Horizontal Layout" option did.

When will S.A. ThumbNailer have this/that new feature?

New features are added when the time is available. Many features are surprisingly easy to add, so you should feel free to them. Some are quite difficult and will probably never be added. But, you never know. S.A. ThumbNailer has grown faster than is good for it (internally, it's a nightmare), all because of users' suggestions.

Is there a Mac or Unix version?

There are other programs which do similar things. But, no, there is no Smaller Animals ThumbNailer for Mac or Unix. Maybe someday...

Larger AVI files take much longer to process than smaller ones. Why?

The obvious answer is "Because they're bigger". The real answer has to do with the way AVI files are constructed.

AVI files contain video streams which are composed of "key" frames and in-between frames. A key frame is a whole image frame. It is (usually) compressed, but contains all the information required to reproduce a single frame of video. These frames are spaced throughout the video sequence, usually evenly. In-between frames are all the frames that occur between key frames. These frames are not stored as whole frames but are actually changes to make to the preceding frame. To construct an in-between frame, you need to build off of all previous frames back to the nearest key frame. Ex. If frame 5 is a key frame, and you want to view frame 8, you have to
1. Get frame 5, decompress it
2. Get the information for frame 6, use that information to construct a new frame by applying changes to frame 5.
3. Get the information for frame 7, use that information to construct a new frame by applying changes to frame 6.
4. Get the information for frame 8, use that information to construct a new frame by applying changes to frame 7.

So, as we ask for higher frame numbers in larger files, these steps take longer because we have to search (from the beginning) the entire AVI file for the key frame, search (from the beginning) for each in-between frame, create all in-between frames, etc., until we have finally created the frame we want. This process can be made to take even longer, if there are too few key frames in an AVI file.

How can I write my own plug-ins?

See the S.A. ThumbNailer Plug-ins Page.

How can I make web pages with ThumbNailer?

If you have v6.3 or higher, you can use the HTML wizard to help get you going. If you have an earlier version, or would like to learn more, read on...

1. First, you need to make sure that your Source and Destination folders are on the same drive. If they are not on the same drive, ThumbNailer will be unable to generate "relative" links. As this is critical for HTML files, ThumbNailer will refuse to even try to produce HTML files if source and destination folders are on different drives. We recommend that you choose a destination folder that is a sibling of the source folder. Ex.

C:\pix\source
and
C:\pix\dest
2. Second, you need to decide some thumbnail options.

Thumbnail size is up to you (100x100, best fit is good for web thumbnails).

We recommend that you choose JPG, GIF or PNG as the output format for your thumbnails as few web browsers support any other image file formats.

On to advanced options (this tutorial is written for v6.2 and higher. If you have an earlier version, some of the options may be named differently):

3. Output settings

Choose a naming style. ("Text Suffix", with a suffix of "_thumb", is a good choice).

Choose Always Create Output Folder. This makes your life easier.

If your thumbnails are stored in multiple sub-folders, choose Read Files in Subfolders, and Duplicate Source Tree For Input. This will cause ThumbNailer to process files in subfolders of your source folder and to create corresponding subfolders in your destination folder.

Clear Destination Folder is always a good choice, too, since you will probably be making changes as you go.

4. Input Filters

Select only JPG, GIF and PNG. Few browsers support any other formats.

5. Image Enhancement

Check Background Matte. For the background matte color, choose the same color that you will use for your HTML pages. This will insure that your thumbnails are all the same size, giving the thumbnail tables a more uniform appearance.

6. HTML Output

Check Create HTML Files. If you stop here, you will get a very basic set of HTML pages. It will show thumbnails only in a very plain layout.

Check Make Table. This will cause ThumbNailer to place your thumbnail images in a table. This is a much more attractive layout than the alternative.

Check Create Links from Thumbnail Images. Checking this will cause ThumbNailer to link your thumbnail images to your source images. Now, when you click on a thumbnail from a thumbnail page it will take you to the source image.

Click the Source Pages button. Select Create Source Pages with Destination Images. Now, your source images will appear in HTML pages of their own. Check Link Source Pages. Now, source pages will have links to the previous and next source pages.

Click the Index Pages button. Select Generate Index Files and Extended Index Pages. These options will create a nice master index page to all of your thumbnail pages.

7. HTML Output | General Appearance

Choose the colors for your HTML pages.

8. HTML Output | Thumbnail Pages

This is the first of the HTML template pages. The sections you will be most interested in are those immediately above and below the "ThumbNailer-generated-tags go here" text. The default text is <center> on top and </center> below. This has the effect of centering your thumbnail table. As an experiment, add the following text to the top field: "<b>These are my thumbnails</b><p>". Now, when ThumbNailer generates the thumbnail pages, it will put "These are my thumbnails", in bold, at the top of each thumbnail page.

Using these fields, you can add HTML to place banners, links, text images, etc. on your thumbnail pages. There are similar fields on the "HTML Output | Source Pages" page to control the appearance of the HTML pages for source images.

If you are feeling adventurous, you should check out "Variables" and "Operators" in the ThumbNailer help file. You can use ThumbNailer variables and operators to add complex data to your pages.

9. HTML Output | Source Tags

Check Link Back to Thumbnail Pages. This will allow users to return to the thumbnail page by clicking on the image.

That's it for advanced options. Press OK to accept these options.

From the main ThumbNailer window, press Start. ThumbNailer will generate HTML pages into your destination folder. When it has finished, use Explorer to browse to your destination folder. Find and double click on the "Index.HTM" file. This will launch your web browser with your master index file.

Whew. This is what the HTML wizard does for you, among other things. The hard part is learning which options do what. And the best way to learn that is by experimenting.  It will help a lot, if you already know HTML. But if you don't, you should still experiment! It's fun!

Can I import image captions from a text file?

Of course! To do this, you need to use the "Lookup" operator. First, create a tab-delimited file set up like this:

key1 (tab) field1 (tab) field2 (tab) field3
key2 (tab) field1 (tab) field2 (tab) field3
key3 (tab) field1 (tab) field2 (tab) field3

The key1, key2 and key3 are the things you want to key off of; generally, you will use the source file name.

The "fields" are one or more text fields that you want to associate with your key. (tab) is where you press the tab key.

So, if you have a text file called "c:\text.txt" that looks like this:

pic1.jpg (tab) My house, in the middle of my street
pic2.jpg (tab) This is where i work
pic3.jpg (tab) This is my car

You would put something like this into Advanced / HTML Output / Source Tags / Image Label Text:
"<br>&Lookup(c:\text.txt, Name(srcFile), 1)"

This tells TN to read the file c:\text.txt, find the key that matches the name of the current source image and return the first non-key field on that line. so, if your source image is c:\pix\pic2.jpg , the expression above will return "This is where i work".

Here are a few rules:

1. You can have as many keys as you want.
2. All fields for a key must go on the same line as the key.
3. Keys must be unique.