Step 2: Prepare Your Album

The first thing you do is move all the image files you want in your album into one folder. Make sure that none of the file names contain spaces. (For example, rename Family Picture 1.gif as FamilyPic1.gif.) This will save you some headaches later if your Web server doesn't like spaces in file names (most don't).

Once your image files are ready, open MyAlbum by clicking Start, Programs, MyAlbum, MyAlbum application. MyAlbum loads, and the album wizard starts. Click the Next button. The General Settings dialog box appears.

Talk to the Wizard

You need to feed this dialog box some basic information about the album you're creating. Enter the album title (and comments if you wish) in the appropriate boxes. Ignore the other options in this dialog box and click the Next button to get to the Color and Appearance dialog box.

Here's where things get exciting. You need to choose the thumbnail size. The default size is 80 by 96 pixels. If your images are more square or longer horizontally than these measurements, you can adjust the pixel size here. Given that different digital cameras shoot different aspect ratios, it's not possible for us to suggest a setting that will be optimal for you--some experimentation might pay off. For your first time through, stick with the default and see what sort of results you get. Click Next.

Fill the Album

Now the "Adding pictures to the new album" dialog box appears. You can either choose individual files yourself or let MyAlbum do it for you.

To choose files individually, click the "Add pictures by selecting files" button. A familiar-looking Windows file selection dialog box appears. Navigate to the folder that holds your images, and then select the files you want. (This dialog box adheres to Windows standards--if you hold down Ctrl, you can select multiple individual files; if you hold down Shift, you can select entire ranges of files.) Then click the Open button. MyAlbum adds your files to the album-in-progress.

The wizard dialog box should be staring you in the face again. Click the Finish button.

Create a Web Page

You should now see thumbnail versions of all the images in the main MyAlbum window. You can drag them around to change the order in which they'll appear or even remove images from the album by clicking them once and then pressing Delete.

Now it's time to let MyAlbum do its stuff. Select Edit, Export album. The "Export album" dialog box appears.

First, in the "Common parameters" section of the dialog box, make sure that the JPEG/GIF radio button is selected. Now, to the right of "Output folder," click the Browse button. Navigate to the folder where your images live and click OK.

Back near the top of the dialog box, click the "Save thumbnails" radio button. Now click the Start button near the bottom. This tells MyAlbum to save the thumbnail images as separate files. When the message "Export complete" appears in the status box at the bottom of the dialog box (this should happen pretty quickly), move on to the next step.

To tell MyAlbum to create Web pages, select the HTML Pages radio button in the "Export as" section. Then select "Multiple pages with thumbnails." Set the background and text colors for your photo album by clicking the brightly colored boxes at the bottom of the dialog box. For easy readability, it's best to choose dark text on a light background or vice versa.

Click the Start button. MyAlbum creates thumbnail index pages and displays the first one in your default browser. Voilà!

If you don't like what you see, close the browser, change your settings, and click the Start button again. When you are satisfied, return to the "Export album" dialog box, and click the Close button at the bottom.

Before leaving MyAlbum, use File, Save to save this collection of images so you can recall it later if need be. Important: MyAlbum has a nasty habit of wanting to save over your previous albums--be sure to direct it to do otherwise. If you create multiple albums, give them unique names. In other words, don't keep saving over the file Album1.alb.

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