Build web galleries, slideshows with Arclab Thumb Studio

Arclab Thumb Studio

If you’d like to share a set of images then you could email them to a few recipients, maybe upload them to Facebook or Twitter.

But if you need more professional results then you might be interested in Arclab Thumb Studio, a powerful freeware tool for building HTML galleries, slideshows and more.

The program offers two core project types. "Webalbums" present several thumbnails in a table, and clicking one displays a larger version; "Slideshows" display one large image per page, and has JavaScript or HTML-powered Play/ Pause/ First/ Last/ Back/ Next buttons to control your viewing.

Thumb Studio’s initial "Project" tab displays each of these, along with many variations. A Webalbum can include a slideshow; a Slideshow project may have preview thumbnails of surrounding images, and most templates come in a range of colors and layouts.

While this sounds like a lot to explore, you don’t have to worry about the fine details, at least initially. Just choose a starting project, use the Up and Down arrows to browse through the list, and a Preview window shows you how the finished page is going to look.

Once you’ve made your choice, clicking Next displays a comprehensive range of image settings. You’re able to choose your thumbnail file format, quality, image dimensions, your preferred resizing algorithm, even add and position a custom image watermark.

Make your changes (or just accept the defaults), click Next, and the overall project settings appear. This is where you set the number of table columns and rows, your image caption source (metadata, file name, maybe no caption at all), colors, fonts, and slideshow configuration (speed, JavaScript or HTML code).

The next tab is all about the source images. You’re able to add individual files or folders, reorder pictures to suit your needs, rotate or flip individual images, and more.

Once you’re happy with that, clicking Next > Create builds the finished project, and there are buttons to open it, or upload the project (via FTP) to your website.

The end results aren’t as stylish as the best Flash galleries, but they’re good enough for most purposes, and as they’re plain HTML should work almost anywhere.

The array of configuration options is the major highlight here. They give you great control over the finished project, without requiring you to spend too much time setting things up (generally you can accept the defaults and everything will work just fine).

We noticed that Arclab Thumb Studio doesn’t appear to have been updated since 2012. That’s maybe an issue if you’re planning to use it regularly and for anything important, as it suggests bugs might not be fixed in a hurry, if at all.

But for the most part the program is a capable, configurable slideshow and gallery builder. Give it a try.

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