Picasa plugin info

For some time, web folk have been observing Google’s move from Picasa web albums to Google+, and dreading the possible consequences to those of us who use Picasa Web Albums as a part of uploading images to our web sites.  The move marks Google’s interest in social media, and changing the way that your files are shared on line.

Under this move, you still use the very same Picasa software on your computer, but your Web Albums are stored and shared in a different way with WordPress.  We had been using a WordPress Plugin called PWA+PHP (“Picasa web albums + PHP”) to tell WordPress where to look for your online Picasa files.  That old plugin does NOT work with Google’s new “Google+” on line storage.

The good news is that we’ve identified a new plugin that works with both the old and new Picasa albums on line (both Picasa and Google+).  Further, it is easier to use than the old plugin, and much more powerful, too.  This plugin enters all the code for you automatically, so you don’t need to remember strange text strings.

The plugin can be confusing, however, since it uses the same buttons to insert a full album, as you use to insert specific images from the same album.  The sequence of pushing buttons is different, however.  Try inserting both full albums and specific images until you are comfortable with the sequence for each action.  If I can add more information here to clear things up, just let me know.

The plugin has a small error when inserting very short (less than one line of thumbnails) album.  If you run into this problem (next line of text does not drop down), let me know and we’ll give you a line of code to insert, or we’ll hack the plugin itself.  Thanks to Dan for the code work!

Bottom line:

To insert a full album:

  1. Click “album” button on first screen — the button should change to read “shortcode”
  2. Then, click on the thumbnail for the album you wish to insert
  3. You’re done!

To insert individual images from within a single Picasa album:

  1. Do NOT click the “album” button
  2. Instead, click the thumbnail for the album that contains your images
  3. Then, click each image you wish to insert
  4. Once you’ve selected all the images you wish to insert from this album,
  5. Then, click the “insert” button
  6. You’re done!

Experiment with the Options tab, to set image size and spacing.  When you’re done with setting options, scroll to the bottom of that page, and you’ll see the usual thumbnails for selecting albums and images.  

We are encouraging everyone to migrate to the new plugin as their time permits.  This plugin is open source, and therefore free.

The following text will help you understand the new plugin; it’s pretty self explanatory, and merely expands on the steps above.  If you’d like to have some help, we’d be happy to walk you through the process in person. It’s almost spring, the skunk cabbage is about to bloom in the wetlands, and it’s probably been a while since you were here. Give us a call: 681-7660. Mary: we make house calls.

 


All of these images will enlarge so that you can read the fine print.

1. Install the plugin, if it is not already there.

So:  Check your site’s Dashboard Plugins to see if the plugin is already installed, and if not, install it in the usual way, by clicking “add new”, then searching for “Picasa and Google plus express”.  Click to install and click to activate.    It’s shown here as the last one on the list on the left.

 plugin list.JPG

2. Make sure that you’ve uploaded your new images to Picasa or Google Plus.

Start up Picasa on your home computer, and load up an album by clicking the green “share” button.  BE SURE TO MAKE THE ALBUM PUBLIC

Click to view your Picasa album ON THE WEB.

The plugin works best if all the images you wish to add on this page are in the same Picasa album.  It works even better if you have one Picasa album that contains exactly the images you wish to have in the gallery on this page.  You can use the editing capabilities in Picasa on line to combine albums, move images from one album to another, until you have a single album that exactly contains the images you want on this page in your web site.

3. Add images to your web site.

Then, go to your target web page in WordPress, click to edit the page, and click again in the location on that page where you’d like your new gallery.

Click the small icon just to the right of the add media button:

 plugin icon.JPG

A page similar to this will appear, but with the images missing, since you haven’t yet entered your e mail address in the upper left hand of the dialog box.  You need to enter the email address that you used to establish your Picasa account.  Once you click “change user”, you will see thumbnails for each of your Picasa Web Albums.  To be seen, each of these must have been marked “public” when you set it up.  If it’s not there, go to your Picasa Web site, and change the visibility to public, then come back here.

  album screen.JPG

 This plugin has two modes: Album and image.  You can either upload a single album, or single/multiple images from one album.

First, we’ll try a single album.  Click the word “album”,

Album view.JPG

 and the button changes to “shortcode”.  Then, and only then, click the thumbnail image for the album that exactly contains the images you want to insert.

  album selected.JPG

Alternatively, you can also add specific images within a single album.

To do this, back fully out of the plugin, reclick on the place where you want specific images inserted, and then click the plugin icon.

Next: do NOT click the “album” button.  Instead, click the thumbnail for the album that contains the images you wish to insert.

You can click the specific album image (I’ve clicked the Fab Five folder), and the code for the album will be inserted on your WordPress page where you had placed your cursor.

 album code.JPG

This then generates the following gallery on the web site:

 full album.JPG

Remember: when we want to select individual images, we do NOT click the album BUTTON, but instead click the album IMAGE. The picture album would have opened, and we could select any number of images in any order, and then clicked to insert.  

For more control, when the plugin first comes up, click “options” and choose image width, alignment, or other modifiers.  Either way, you can then scroll to the bottom of this dialog box, and you’ll see the familiar display of album covers.  Then, just select the album or images to be inserted and you’re done.

  options bottom.JPG

 images selected.JPG

 resulting code.JPG

 resulting web page.JPG

The options settings are particularly important when choosing images.  For example, you can set all images at the same width, and the heights will vary.  Or, select the same height, and the widths will vary.