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New Menu Features for AMG Flash Galleries

Did you know that you can modify the menus and menu items in the Flash galleries generated by Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Bridge CS3? Well, you can, and soon you can do even cooler things with those menus. You can add whole new menus that change styles on the fly (changing things like colors and layouts), menus that load a whole different set of images into the gallery, or menus with links to other html pages. You can even create menu items that do multiple things at once (e.g. load a new set of images AND change the style). To see what I’m talking about, check out this sample gallery.

To be clear, this is not using the actual gallery.swf that Lightroom or Bridge exports when you create a gallery. Rather, it is a new modified version of that gallery.swf that we put together for our readers. We just submitted the code that enables these features to the Adobe Media Gallery open source project and it should be available to you soon once our submission has been integrated into main by the administrators (I’ll put up a new post when it is). To use this yourself, you’ll need to download the new gallery.swf from the open source site and swap it out with the one found in your exported galleries.

To actually add menus like this you’ll need to open the “localText.xml” file found in the resources/localization folder of your exported gallery with a text editor. You simply type in new menu and menu item names, define the event for each menu item, save it, and Walla! it is that easy.

… Well, almost. If you want to have menus that load new sets of images, you’ll of course need to use Lightroom or Bridge to export a gallery for that new set. For this particular pupose, the important files you’ll be generating when you do that is the “group” XML file (which is basically a list of images with associated metadata and file paths) and the image renditions themselves. When you add your menu to your “main” gallery, you’ll be putting a “changeGallery” event, and a pointer to the desired group.xml file into the new menu items.

Note that when you add a link an html page to a menu item, it does not work when you test it on your local machine. The gallery has to be viewed online for that to work.

When making style changes via menus, you can either load a whole new “style.xml” file, or simply pass a single style variable to the gallery (as illustrated in the “color” menu in the sample gallery) Refer to our other blog posts on style settings to see what the individual style settings paramters are and their supported values - the post on advanced mode is a good place for that.

This may sound complex but it really isn’t. If you can write basic HTML, you can do this. The best way to get started is to right click on this link and save it to disk. It is the localText.xml file used in the sample gallery. If nothing else, you can surely copy and paste the script for the menu that opens other html pages, paste it into your own localText.xml file and change the names and url’s.

Sorry to tease you with a preview before it is officially available, but this was too exciting to wait.

22 Responses to “New Menu Features for AMG Flash Galleries”

  1. steven Says:

    hi. i am trying to use the localtext.xml file to create a menu item that links to other html pages, as you suggest to try, and it doesnt work. i replaced my localtext file with the downloaded one (so no copy/paste mistakes) and i am uploading the page and trying to link online. also tried it as is and also changed the links. nothing happens. thanks for any help.

  2. Administrator Says:

    This method relies on the new swf that will soon be a part of the Open Source AMG project. Until then you can download it from here

  3. William Says:

    Hi there:
    Will there be an option to view all the collections at once as well as separately? ( ie Sea Mammals + Hubble Gallery?)
    Is it possible to consider adding the option of filenames to the thumbnails as well as the large images in the AMG? I think this would be a valuable feature. Since I often have a lot of images in my galleries (up to 500) and when going through these with clients over the phone it is much easier to whip through thumbs when they are numbered, so we can both reach the same image quickly. I would love this feature to be added!

    Cheers, and keep up the great work BlueFire…

  4. William Says:

    Sorry I forgot to add this other option:
    The ability for the client to download/copy the large image to the desktop for reference with the original file name in tact. You could have this as a button on the front end site and optional on/off on the back end in Lightroom for those who want it or not. Often clients want to send back the chosen “image” and this being a flash gallery they cannot “grab” the images.


  5. steven Says:

    awesome. it works now. thanks!!

  6. Gaëtan Says:

    Hi ! This “multi galleries” feature is actually great and not so fastidious.
    But if I’m not mistaken, in this case, I’m afraid it’s currently not easy to update one gallery (for example : add a photo) since each time you have to edit manually the groupname.xml file to add the new references, because I guess Lightroom currently does not handle this multi galleries procedure.
    Am I wrong ?

  7. Gaëtan Says:

    Because what I mean precisely : even with the latest gallery.swf installed on the website, the upload procedure of lightroom module is not able to upload the photos to different directories… do you see what i mean ?

  8. Administrator Says:

    William, thanks for the feature suggestions.

  9. Administrator Says:

    Yes, the features we’ve been adding to the AMG Flash Gallery are “unrelated” to Lightroom and you have to do some manual text editing and file management after exporting a gallery from LR to take advantage of the new features. This is easy and appropriate for some workflows, and challenging and cumbersome in others for sure.

  10. Gaëtan Says:

    OK. Nice anyway, because even if some time is needed, it works fine with really great result !! And maybe next versions of LR will implement this upgrade…

  11. EWSA Says:

    The link to the localtext.xml file used in the sample directory seems to have been omitted - could you please add?


  12. Ali Says:

    I posted a comment a couple of days ago but it was deleted so I’m posting again and if this one is deleted too, I’ll take it you’re not interested in responding, which is perfectly fine :-)
    I created multiple menus in multiple galleries using modified XML files. I upload the galleries using lightroom and link them externally. Everything works fine except a great mystery I haven’t been able to resolve. When the URL is requested by any browser. sometimes the images load into the flash and sometimes they won’t. You’ll have to either hit refresh the page or switch to slideshow to get the images to load. I’ll highly appreciate your input and thanks for making these files available.

  13. Administrator Says:

    I did respond to your similar comment on another post. Responding to it here as well:

    It appears that a bug from an earlier version of AMG (the one in LR 1.0) has snuck back in to the 1.2 version of AMG. The bug causes this loading problem on galleries that have an image (identity plate) in the header of the gallery. We posted a blog entry about that back on May 13 here:

    That bug is fixed in the AMG version used in LR 1.1, but somehow got reintroduced in the AMG 1.2 build that is on the opensource site.

    Ideally this would be fixed in a future update to the opensource version. In the mean time, the only immediate fix is to remove the header graphic from the gallery. The above mentioned entry describes some alternate methods for achieving the same essential result by turning off the gallery header and putting the graphic in the html page itself - “above” the gallery.

  14. Ali Says:

    Thanks a bunch for your response. I got back a few days after my initial comment and didn’t see mine or yours so I figured you didn’t respond. I should have been more patient!

    I did find that May 13 post. The weird thing is I am using 1.1 and still see that problem. So I basically removed the logo from the web output and added it to the html. Now all seems to be working fine. Thanks again.



  15. Christopher Says:

    Thanks for the info on how to edit the groups.xml file to add a URL to the site title. I prefer to use an identity plate instead of text for the site title. Is it possible to add a URL to an identity plate?


  16. Robin Sinton Says:

    Is there any way of modifying the “about page” apart from resizing the text window. It would be nice to be able to have an image and possible links as well and make a nice design instead of just a simple text page.



  17. Administrator Says:

    Robin, yes, there is. You can do basic HTML formatting and include images. For an example check out the “about” screen on our portfolio gallery at
    To see how we did this, look at the group xml file here:

  18. Joey Schwartz Says:


    I have been successful at using the new AMG gallery menues. The one thing I cannot figure out is how to have one main menu item in place of “View” that says home and to have the link work. As a sub menue I can get it to work but not as the top menue.


  19. Administrator Says:

    Only sub menu items can be links. You can make the “contact info” string a link though (in the far right of the menu bar)

  20. Robin Sinton Says:

    Is it possible to alter the size (width) of the menu bar? I’d like to make it just a little bit thicker. If it is, how do you do it and also is it possible to use other fonts?

    Robin Sinton

  21. Lee Edward Says:

    I’m having problems writing an event code and pointer code in thelocaltext.xml to change my imagegallery. Hope you help…
    Thanks Lee

  22. mhuk05 Says:

    In response to your January 18th reply, which file do you have to edit to use a large image, like the one that you use on the About page for ?

    I have tried a similar sized image and it crops the image and also wraps the text in a strange waay.

    In the main post you say:

    “you simply type in new menu and menu item names, define the event for each menu item, save it, and Walla! it is that easy.”

    In which file do you define these events (voila!)?