The Gallery Bundle is made up of two main stacks — Photo Album Beautifier and CollagePlus — together with six different lightbox stacks that are designed to work alongside them. Each of the eight stacks is also available individually. Note: the lightbox stacks can’t be used with other gallery or image stacks and are specifically designed to support Photo Album Beautifier and CollagePlus.
Photo Album Beautifier | $6.77
Those of us in love with third party gallery stacks may have missed the memo but many Rapidweaver users are happy enough to deploy the built-in Photo Album page. The trouble is, the options for configuring the Gallery album type are limited, to say the least; in fact, we can’t remember when they were last updated. That’s where Photo Album Beautifier comes in. It’s a stack that gives you much more control over the way the thumbnails in your Photo Album are displayed and allows you to configure the distance between thumbs, frame borders, backgrounds, padding, colour (and hover colour) and hover effect; it also allows you to style your Photo Album captions – font family, size, alignment, colour and position; you can even have these pop up or fade in on mouseover. The stack also includes advanced controls for controlling responsive behaviour on smaller screens so you can set the maximum width of the image grid and the number of images displayed on each row, by screen size. Having these extra settings and controls brings the built-in Photo Album bang up to date.
How does a stack work with a built-in page? You’ll need something to ‘connect’ the two and Marathia recommends Yourhead’s PlusKit plugin or Joe Workman’s Global Content stack to make things work smoothly. We used PlusKit (’cause that’s what we’ve got) and the recommended way works like this. Add your Photo Album page as normal, populate it with pictures and add captions. Next, add a PlusKit page. Hide both these pages from the menu. Then, add a new Stacks page and drop the Photo Album Beautifier stack into it. Finally, add a Text stack and use PlusKit’s @import command to import the Photo Album page into your Stacks page. It sounds a bit complicated but is actually very straightforward and obviously allows you to incorporate Photo Albums into your Stacks pages.
At this price, Photo Album Beautifier is a no-brainer for Rapidweaver users who like and continue to employ the built-in Photo Album page and is heartily recommended.
Lightbox stacks | $4.51 each
In addition, Marathia is shipping six responsive lightbox stacks that are designed to work with Photo Album Beautifier and replace the rather humdrum standard open-image-in-full-size-on-a-new-page feature with a snazzy lightbox. In each case you simply select the ‘use with a LightboxPlus stack’ option and then add your chosen lightbox into the drop zone that appears.
- PhotoboxPlus displays images with a fancy fold out animation, gives plenty of control over the borders, shadows, navigation – including a neat thumbnail display along the bottom which can be hidden or revealed – captions, font size and so on. Our favourite of the lightboxes.
- ResponsiveLightboxPlus is a much simpler lightbox with fewer features, no animations or thumbs and basic control over colours, borders, shadows and navigation icons.
- ShinyboxPlus ‘lights’ individual images from behind to produce a simple, effective look and supports captions; images slide smoothly from right to left.
- SimplelightboxPlus is a kind of combination of the previous two in that it frames each image neatly but also fades-then-slides between them. Clean and effective with good control over navigation and caption settings.
- TOS”R”UsPlus is a lightweight lightbox and slider with more sophisticated navigation controls including bullets and thumbnails.
- VanillaboxPlus is a more basic lightbox with a loop slideshow feature with controls for navigation and captions.
CollagePlus | $6.77
This stack allows you to display images of different shapes and sizes in a neat, masonry-style grid that automatically re-arranges itself on different sized screens, which makes it a great way to display a gallery of images that have different proportions. You can add local or warehoused images to the stack and there are plenty of controls to experiment with in order to get the best arrangment – for example, proportions, target height and the ability to define a partial last row so that the final set of images don’t necessarily have to line up neatly with the ones above. Pictures can be linked to other parts of the site (or external sites) set to animate into view with one of seven different effects, you can set the border colour, width and radius as well as as the distance between thumbs. CollagePlus can also use each image’s ALT tag as a caption and gives you plenty of say over the style, font, colour and emphasis.
CollagePlus is a very flexible image gallery which could even be pressed into service to make an unusual front page navigation; it also works with any of the lightboxes mentioned above to produce a complete gallery-slideshow solution, making it an excellent, good-value stack.