This page describes how to assemble slideshows using Irfanview. The simplest method is to follow the instructions in Irfanview - select a directory containing image files and select the Play option. There are alternatives. A list of all the slides (digital image files in JPG format can be maintained in a database such as MySQL or MS Access, which can be queried to select a subset of images for viewing. These can be passed to Irfanview to handle the viewing. A simpler system, again using a suitable computer program, but without a fancy database can be made which assembles a selection of images according to some simple criteria. A list of the selected images is then passed to Irfanview which handles the viewing. This last system is the main topic on this page.
The main requirements are a convenient directory containing the digital image files ("slides") in JPG format, an associated list of the files and a display system.
Directories containing more than (say) 150 to 200 slides are unwieldy and difficult to maintain. It is therefore convenient to divide the slide collection into subdirectories by subject or perhaps by a period of time, year, quarter or even month.
Windows versions 95 and later allow filenames up to 250
characters in length - long enough to contain a fair amount of detail about a slide
file. However, if the files are to be stored on CD-Rom disks using the conventional
recording standard, file names must not exceed 64 characters. Thus, if this is
insufficient to describe a slide's content, a database is needed to hold the list
of filenames as well as other details such as the ID number of the CD-ROM containing
the slide, its date, lighting conditions and possibly additional notes.
File lists may conveniently be made using the MSDOS Dir command in the following manner. Run the MSDOS Command Prompt application (in Windows2000 or XP select Start then Run enter cmd.exe in the dialog box and hit OK). Next, navigate to the directory containing the slide files and type "Dir /B > C:\jpgs.txt" (without the quotes). This command places a list of the directory's files in C:\jpgs.txt. If you load this into Notepad, you will see the list like this:-
D:\Slides\Sub1\060-CheddarGorge-Mar1978.jpg D:\Slides\Sub1\063-RoadNearWells-30Mar1978.jpg D:\Slides\Sub2\026-SnowOnRanges-07Jan2003.jpg D:\Slides\Sub2\027-SnowInFrontGarden-7Jan2003.jpg etc....Here, we have a root directory, D:\Slides, which contains just subdirectories, in this example, Sub1 and Sub2 which each contain 2 files. The above list (the contents of C:\jpgs.txt) shows the Full Path Names of the files and is in the correct form for passing to Irfanview. The following Command Line Instruction (see Irfanview's Help) causes Irfanview to read the list of slide files from c:\jpgs.txt and show them one after the other:-
As mentioned previously, Irfanview's slideshow facility provides an easy way to assemble a show-list from a directory-full of slide files. It is not so easy to assemble a selection of slides whose names match some criterion such as 'Malta last year' or 'dads 70th'. It could be done by removing individual files from the list and then clicking the Play button to view those which are left. But this is fiddly and time-consuming. However, it is highly desirable to be able to assemble a selection of slides whose names match a keyword or phrase. For this a separate computer program is needed.
A suitable program called Slideshow can be downloaded by clicking this link. The downloaded file needs to be unzipped: thus produces a program file called slideshow.exe which should be saved in a convenient folder. If you execute the file (Start | Run | browse for slideshow.exe | click OK), the program's main window appears as follows.
The program works in two stages. SETUP: a Full List of the filenames of all slides
in a collection is made. All filenames are Full Path names as in the example above. In
the second stage (SELECT SLIDES), a selection of slides is assembled from this list whose filenames contain a matching word or phrase. This selection is then passed to Irfanview which displays the retrieved files in a slideshow.
It is assumed that the directory structure consists of a root directory (eg D:\Slides) and sub directories (e.g. Sub1, Sub2 etc, as in the example above, their full paths being D:\Slides\Sub1, D:\Slides\Sub2 etc). The actual directory names will probably be more like like 'C:\Pics' instead of 'D:\Slides' and 'Xmas2001' & 'Hols03' instead of 'Sub1' & 'Sub2'. It is not necessary to have subdirectories, but it does help.