V1 October 19, 2006
There are many features and options in PhotoCafe. Too many to fit on one screen in fact, so I have grouped them into related panels.
Some features you can quickly turn on or off by checking the box on the panel title. To change additional preferences click on the respective green triangle to open or close the settings box.
You can open or close all of the settings panels at once by clicking the top left triangle located just outside of the main panel zone.
Details about each of the available settings can be found below.
This tab holds some of the basic slide show settings, as detailed below:
You can change the order in which PhotoCafe shows the images in your collection by selecting from the following options:
PhotoCafe will show the images one after another as they were found during the folder / URL scan. This will usually be alphabetically within any particular folder of images.
Images are selected at random from all loaded lists of images.
Sequentially From A Random Folder
If there are multiple folders or subfolders of images, PhotoCafe will randomly pick one of the folders and sequentially show all of the images in that folder.
Randomly From A Random Folder
If there are multiple folders or subfolders of images, PhotoCafe will randomly pick one of the folders and randomly show all of the images in that folder.
This setting is the number of seconds that the current image will be displayed on the screen. Please note that while the current image is being displayed, the next image is being loaded and processed. Depending on the options selected and the speed of your system, the loading and processing of the next image may exceed a short display time setting, and thus keeping the current image up longer than specified. (if you wish to see the image processing steps, you can turn on Show Image Processing Status under the Miscellaneous panel)
When PhotoCafe switches images, it fades the next image over the current one. This setting lets you specify how long that cross-fade should last.
Note that PhotoCafe is always fine tuning the speed of the crossfade in relation to your system processing speed. For large changes in crossfade time, it make take 2-3 images to take effect.
The background colour is for images that are smaller than the screen, or that use an Alpha Mask. In those cases, the background colour will be shown where there is no image.
To change the background colour, simply click on the box displaying the current background colour and a dialog will open prompting you to choose a new colour.
Photocafe can place images or textures as backgrounds to the displayed images.
Background images can only be seen when the current image is smaller than the screen (in one or more dimensions) or when part of an image is masked by an Alpha Mask.
To enable Background Images, click the check box next to “Use Background Image” in the green category bar.
This drop-down selection box allows you to specify how PhotoCafe is to show the background image(s).
Tile Background Image – will place multiple copies of the background across the back of the screen, like bathroom tiling. This works particularly well with smaller, “seamless” background images.
Centre Background Image – will place a single copy of the background in the middle of the screen. This option works better with larger images.
The green slider bar lets you specify how often during the slide show that you would like PhotoCafe to use a background image. To change the setting, simply drag the small grey slider left or right to the percentage of desired use of that feature. In the example above, 72 % of the time PhotoCafe will use a background image (the other times it will just show the background colour)
To specify one particular image that will be used for the background, click the radio button next to this option. You will also need to press the Browse.. button to find and identify the specific image that you would like to use.
Choose this option if you would like PhotoCafe to use random a background from a collection of images. PhotoCafe will then randomly select from images that are located in the Backgrounds folder in the PhotoCafe program directory (typically C:\Program Files\PhotoCafe\Backgrounds ).
If there is an image with a filename starting with “background “in the same folder as the currently displayed image, PhotoCafe will use that image as the background.
If there is more than one image with a file name starting with the word “background”, PhotoCafe will choose from them randomly.
If this is option is selected, and there is a local background image present, this option will override the specific / random other background image options.
Image Captions show information about the current photo in little boxes in the corners of the screen. Some examples are :
There are two caption boxes that you can set to show various details of the photos. To show the image captions, click the checkbox next to Display Image Captions in the green title bar.
During the slideshow, you can also turn the captions on or off by pressing the ‘C’ key on the keyboard.
The boxes Caption A and Caption B let you specify what information you want displayed in each respective caption box, and where on the screen you wish to locate them.
Checking this shows the name of the file in the caption. For images downloaded from the Flickr photo sharing service, this field will be the Title of the image.
Eg Queen Street.jpg
If the “with full path” option is checked, then the full path name of the file is shown. (does not affect Flickr titles)
Eg C:\My Pictures\Toronto\Queen Street.jpg
Checking this will show the name of the folder where the current image can be found. If the source of the image is a web page, then the title of the web page will be shown.
Eg in folder
If the “with full path” option is checked, then the full path name of the folder is shown. This does not change web page folders.
Eg. In folder C:\My Pictures\Toronto
Photos taken with digital cameras typically have the date the picture was taken stored in the JPG image. If this information is available, PhotoCafe will show the date recorded by the camera when the picture was taken.
Eg. January 31, 2006
Checking this will show the full image dimensions, in pixels.
JPEG images can also store a text description of the image within the file. If there is text in the description tag and this option is checked, the PhotoCafe will include the description in the caption.
Images downloaded from the Flickr photo sharing service will include the description from that photo’s web page.
The caption boxes can be located in any of the following locations:
Top left corner
Top right corner
Bottom left corner
Bottom right corner
Top edge middle of screen
Bottom edge middle of screen
You can specify which location you want to put each caption box simply by clicking on the circle in the little screen drawing.
Eg. This example puts a caption box I n the bottom right corner.
This option places the caption boxes slightly in from the edges of the screen. When un-checked, the caption boxes are placed right in the corner or on the edge (depending on their placement)
Personally, I’m not very interested in whether an image is a JPG, BMP or whatever, so I don’t like to show the file extension (.jpg, .bmp, etc..) of the file name in the caption. If you would like to have the file name extension shown, check this option.
Digital cameras don’t necessarily give the most interesting file names to the images that they take, like DSC04238, or IMG03221. Selecting this option you can specify how you want PhotoCafe to caption images that have these types of filenames.
In order to filter out the prefix specific to your camera or images, you need to add the prefix(es) to be filtered in your boring filename prefix list.
To the right of the Filter Boring Filenames checkbox you will find a small list window that lists the current prefixes to be filtered. To add to the list, simply click on the button with the plus sign ( + ). A pop-up dialog will open prompting you to add the new prefix:
Enter the new prefix and press OK to add to the list.
To remove an existing prefix from the Boring Filename Prefix List, simply click on the unwanted prefix in the list and then press the nearby button with the minus sign ( - ).
You can specify how you want PhotoCafe to caption images with boring filenames.
Don’t Show The Filename - PhotoCafe will not show the filename portion of the caption for this image.
Show the Folder name instead – PhotoCafe will instead show the name of the containing folder
from folder Trip To Toronto
You can change the following aspects of the caption formatting:
A simple example of the current font settings is shown to help you format the text.
A nice wide panoramic image can do wonders to represent the place where the picture was taken. Unfortunately most photo software and screensavers try to fit the entire panoramic image on the screen, resulting in a thin undecipherable image.
(can you see the CN Tower?)
If you enable Scroll Panoramic Images, PhotoCafe will fill the screen with part of the panoramic image and then slowly pan the image across your monitor(s).
(ah ! There it is !)
PhotoCafe will also scroll tall vertical panoramic photos as
well, like this photo of a telecoms tower in
When scrolling panoramic images is enabled, PhotoCafe tries to differentiate between images that are tall panoramic pictures and those that are just photos taken in portrait mode (what you get when you take a picture holding your camera at a 90degree angle).
Normally, PhotoCafe will scroll tall vertical panoramic images (as shown above) but will not scroll regular portrait images. Checking the Scroll ALL Vertical Images option will make PhotoCafe perform vertical panoramic scrolling on all large vertical images, including regular portrait photos.
PhotoCafe gives you different options of how to show your photos on the screen. These different display methods are call Layouts. You can choose which layouts you want Photocafe to use, and how often it can use each particular layout.
Click the check boxes next to the layouts to add or remove which layouts you would like Photocafe to implement during the slide show.
The green sliders next to
each layout specify how often each particular layout will be used. For example,
setting the Normal Layout to 50% means that half the time Photocafe
will use the
is the default mode of operation for PhotoCafe. The
The Stacked Images layout gives the look of photographs being placed one-on-top-of-another. Images are reduced to smaller than the screen dimensions to allow for this effect.
Number of images in the pile - this option lets you specify how many images will be stacked on top of each other before the screen is cleared.
Stop the pile for panoramic images - if the next image is a wide (or tall) panorama this option tells Photocafe to clear the screen and display the panoramic image in normal full screen mode.
Add A Border Around Photo - this option adds a border around the edge of the images to give a paper-photo look. You can change the colour of the border by clicking on the Border Colour button. You can also specify how often you want a border placed around your photos, from 0% (never) to 100% (all the time)
The Four From A Folder layout will show up to 4 random images from the same random folder.
· Images in this layout do not overlap.
· This layout is not affected by the normal image sequence preferences (e.g. Sequential, Random, ...) and will always display random images from one particular random folder.
· If there are less than 4 images in the randomly chosen folder, or less than 4 images yet to be shown in the slide show so far, then this layout will display what images there are and then clear the screen. If there is only 1 image in the randomly chosen folder, or only 1 image yet to be shown, then that image will be shown in the normal full-screen mode.
· Panoramic images will not be resized to scroll full screen, unless it is the only image in the random folder, or the only image left to be shown in the random folder.
These features add different effects to the images as they are being added to the layout.
An Alpha Mask creates a effect where only part of an image is shown, determined by a second grayscale image.
In the example below, a soft oval alpha mask as been applied to the picture of the parrot.
Oval alpha mask, and resulting image
Checking the Use Alpha Channel Image Mask option will enable this image effect.
The green percentage slider allows you to set how often you would like PhotoCafe to apply alpha masks to your images (vs. normal image display)
Select this option if you would like PhotoCafe to only use one particular image mask. If selected, you must specify which image mask to use by pressing the Browse button and locating the specific image mask on your hard drive.
Select this option if you would like PhotoCafe to use a random image mask. Image masks must be located in the Masks folder in the PhotoCafe program directory (typically \Program Files\Photocafe\Masks)
Once PhotoCafe has selected an image mask, it will use the same image mask for several images in a row. The number of images that the same mask is used for can be specified within the random mask option.
This option creates a 3D soft-shadow under the image, giving the illusion of the image floating slightly off of the screen.
If the image has an Alpha Mask applied (see above) the shadow will be created around the final masked image.
Note: Because PhotoCafe creates a semi-transparent soft shadow, the creation of the shadow make take extra time depending on the size of the image and the level of complexity of the Alpha Mask. Shadows are not created for large images that will fill the entire screen, since you wouldn’t see them anyway J.
This option will convert your colour images into a grayscale “black and white” image.
The green percentage slider allows you to set how often you would like PhotoCafe to convert your photos to black and white images (vs. normal image display)
When this option is checked, images that have been converted to black and white will have some adjustments made to them to give a bit of an “artistic” look. Basically, both the brightness are increased by small increments. This effect works particularly well with portraits.
PhotoCafe can support up to four monitors connected to the same computer. To enable multiple monitor support simply check the Enable Multiple Monitors checkbox on the settings bar. PhotoCafe will automatically detect any active monitors connected to your system.
By default, PhotoCafe will show separate images/layouts on each monitor. Wide panoramic images will be automatically resized to span all monitors, as in the example above. If panoramic image scrolling is enabled and the image is still wider than all monitors together, PhotoCafe will scroll the image across all of the screens.
You can optionally configure PhotoCafe to treat all of the monitors like one big desktop all of the time. Images and Layouts can appear on any monitor or even partially on more than one.
When your connected monitors each have different screen resolutions, portions of large images spanning across multiple screens may be hidden from view.
The left image below show a smaller monitor (or one with lower resolution) to the right of a larger monitor. In order to fill the larger screen on the left, part of the image is hidden from view on the right (the faded area).
Left – a large image spanning two monitors with different resolutions
Right – Using the Common Height option to show the entire image
The image on the right shows the result of the same photo using the Common Height option. Here the image is positioned and resized to fit on both monitors with no portions of the image hidden.
Note: Depending on how much video memory your system has, extremely large panoramic images spanning across multiple monitors may cause memory issues. If this occurs PhotoCafe will skip those images and select another.
Another feature unique to PhotoCafe is Night Mode. Night Mode allows you to tell PhotoCafe to stop the slideshow and turn off the monitor(s) during the night, or any other specified period of the day. To enable Night Mode, check the Enable Night Mode checkbox in the title bar and then change the time settings to your preference.
The black areas on the day bar represent when PhotoCafe will active Night Mode.
To change the time that Night Mode activates simply drag the top grey chevron to the appropriate time. To change the time when PhotoCafe continues the slideshow drag the lower grey chevron to the appropriate time.
When this option is selected PhotoCafe will turn off the monitors when Night Mode is activated. (note: some older monitors do not support being turned off by software applications. In this case PhotoCafe will show a black screen.)
When this option is selected PhotoCafe will show black on all connected monitors when Night Mode is activated. The monitors will not be turned off.
This panel contains some of the miscellaneous settings for PhotoCafe.
Not all video cards or adaptors provide a screen resolution for your computer that results in a screen with a 16:9 (widescreen) aspect ratio. If you have your computer or laptop connected to a widescreen display but are currently seeing your images stretched horizontally, selecting this option will create an adjustment that will result in a proper 16:9 display.
Note: if you enable this option on a non-widescreen display your images will appear compressed, or “squished”
Here you can specify how you deactivate the screen saver. By default, all actions are selected. However, if you do not like the screen saver going off everytime someone bumps the mouse (for example) you can uncheck disabling by mouse movement.
Note: There are some keys that will not disable the screen saver because they perform actions / functions when PhotoCafe is active:
C Show / Hide captions
Space Pause / un-Pause the slideshow
M Mark the current image
N Toggle Night Mode ON / OFF
PgUp Go back to last image
Left Arrow Go back to last image
PgDn Advance to next image
Right Arrow Advance to next image
For type ‘A’ personalities that want to know what the program is doing all the time. It is also useful to display the image processing status if the time between images seems significantly longer than what you specified in Image Display Time.
This option is applicable for when you have a specified source of images from the internet.
When PhotoCafe rescans the website (daily/weekly/monthly/never) it will download the any new images into a local folder on your harddrive. If the website adds new images frequently (and you rescan frequently) you may accumulate a large number of files on your hard drive. This option will tell PhotoCafe to remove any images that are no longer on the website from your harddrive as well.
PhotoCafe allows you to play sounds and music during the
currently supports WAV, MP3, and
This feature plays a sound file during the crossfades between images. For best effect, try to have the length of the sound effect close to the set Crossfade Time.
When this option is selected, PhotoCafe will play the same sound effect at each image transition. To specify the sound effect, press the Browse button and locate the file on your hard drive. You can preview the sound by pressing the play arrow next to the file name.
When this option is selected, PhotoCafe will play a random sound effect at each image transition. Sounds will be chosen from the Sounds folder that is located in your PhotoCafe directory (typically \Program Files\PhotoCafe\Sounds ).. If there are no sound files in your Sounds folder, PhotoCafe will not play any sound effects during the slideshow when this option is selected.
PhotoCafe also has a limited capability to play music during the slide show.
When this option is selected, PhotoCafe will play music files randomly from a specified playlists. To select a playlist, press the Browse button and locate the playlist file on your hard drive.
Playlists should be in *.m3u format. M3u playlists are simply text files with file paths of music files located on your computer.
PhotoCafe can play music that is related to the images on screen. When this option is selected, PhotoCafe will only play background music when it finds music files in the same folder as the image that is currently on the screen.
example, you can have some Mexican music with your photos from
PhotoCafe shows your
If there is more than one music file in the folder of the current image, PhotoCafe will pick one randomly.