ThmIndxr(tm), the ONLY HTML thumbnail/indexer you need!!

A Brief ThmIndxrTM Tutorial

If you're looking for quick results with ThmIndxrTM, then TxLaunch is the place to work from: Simply enter a title string, pick an input directory, uncheck the Save Prompt box, and press the Go! button. ThmIndxrTM will immediately create an HTML page in the directory you selected named ThmIndxr.htm with the default <TABLE> parameters. Load the page into your Web browser once it's done, and admire your results. Congratulations! You've successfully used ThmIndxrTM!

Once you've tasted the power that ThmIndxrTM offers, you're going to want to do more. Bring TxLaunch up again, but leave the Save Prompt box checked this time: When you make changes to your settings, it will ask you if you want to save them before it terminates and runs ThmIndxrTM. Use the 1 Browse... button and navigate back to your input directory, and pick a file (any file) in the file Open dialog to let TxLaunch know you're in the right place. Enter a file name (such as "SAMPLE") in the Configuration File editfield, then press the 5 Edit... button to launch the TixrCfg configuration utility. TxLaunch shrinks to an icon, leaving you with the TixrCfg main window to focus your attention on.

You are now editing the configuration file you specified in the TxLaunch main window. Don't worry that the file doesn't exist yet: Before you close the TixrCfg window, you will save the changes, which creates the file. Press the Keep radio button, since we've already created the thumbnail images. Otherwise, ThmIndxrTM will ask for permission to replace each of the thumbnail and LOWSRC images in succession, or terminate if we don't give it permission to replace the file. Check the Verify Command Sets and Verify Configuration boxes in the TixrCfg window, and enter a name (such as "SAMPLE") in the Command File editfield. Now press the 4 Edit... button, which will bring up the TixrCmd command file editor. TixrCfg shrinks to an icon, leaving you to focus on the TixrCmd main window.

Now, in the TixrCmd window, enter your title in the Title String editfield. If you enter title strings in both the TxLaunch and TixrCmd windows, TxLaunch will advise you that the one in the command file (from the TixrCmd window) is going to supercede the one in the TxLaunch window, and request confirmation that's what you intended to do. Since we didn't put a title string in the TxLaunch window, that doesn't affect us right now, but it's something to remember for the future.

Since we've already created this page once, check the Have Thumbnails box, so that ThmIndxrTM doesn't waste time rereading the source image files. If we had added pictures, or otherwise changed the contents of the input directory, or if we deleted the THUMBS or LOWSRC directories, we couldn't check Have Thumbnails - because we wouldn't have the right ones. In we did do something like that, ThmIndxrTM would run without complaint, but the HTML page it created would not work properly.

Since we're experimenting, let's change a couple of things about the appearance of our HTML page. Press the Properties... button in the TixrCmd main window, and choose Name in the Name Sort Method droplist. Hit the OK button to close the ThmIndxr Table Properties window, then press the Text & URLs... button when you get back to the TixrCmd main window. In the ThmIndxr Text and URLs dialog, enter your email address in the MailTo Address field, and your name in the MailTo Name editfield. If you have a home page on the Internet, put its URL in the Parent URL field, and the title of your home page (it has a title, doesn't it?) in the Parent Page field. Press the OK button here to save these changes. In the TixrCmd main window, press the Save File button to create your command file, then press OK to close the TixrCmd window.

Because TxLaunch, TixrCfg and TixrCmd are separate applications, when you launch, then close one of the editors (TixrCfg or TixrCmd), it doesn't automatically return control to the window you called it from: You will have to double-click the icon to return to the previous dialog. A future version of the software will be constructed as a monolithic application to eliminate this problem, but for now it's the way it works. When you return to the TixrCfg window, your settings are still in place, since the application wasn't closed when we launched TixrCmd. You can either save the settings now, by pressing the Save File button, or when you close TixrCfg and it prompts you to save the changes. Exit from the editor by pressing OK. If you haven't saved the changes yet, press OK in the file Save As dialog to save them in the file whose name we entered in the TxLaunch window.

After closing TixrCfg, restore the TxLaunch window, and hit Go! Since we haven't saved the setup we just created for this page, TxLaunch asks if we want to do so now. Enter a setup file name (such as "SAMPLE"), then press OK in the file Save As dialog.

ThmIndxrTH runs again, pausing to display a screen with the configuration parameters we selected, and one for us to review the command file settings. Once it starts processing the input directory, you will see it is much faster this time, because it doesn't have to re-create the thumbnails.

When ThmIndxrTM completes the re-creation of the HTML page, load it into your browser, and notice the differences: Instead of being in whatever order they happened to be in initially, the images are sorted by file name. Also, your name is now in the <ADDRESS> lines at the bottom of the page, and there's a link in place for your Web page. If you are currently connected to the Internet, you can just click on your home page's title in the page ThmIndxrTM created, and go there: The link already works! Test the mailto link the same way, and send yourself an email message of congratulations.

If you've followed this tutorial the way it is written, you now have three files named "SAMPLE" - The setup file was saved as SAMPLE.TXS, the configuration file is in SAMPLE.CFG, and the command file is named SAMPLE.CMD: Even though we didn't enter an extension in the file Save As dialogs, the utilities appended the correct default extensions for the type of file we were saving.

You've now had a taste of the power and flexibility ThmIndxrTM offers. Go back, experiment, and see what you can come up with: You're given 50 page creations in the demo period to allow you plenty of time to test the program and see what its capabilities are. Just remember, if you publish ANY of the pages ThmIndxrTM creates, whether on the World Wide Web, on an Intranet, on a CD-ROM, or on any other form of electronic media, you are required to register your copy of the program and pay the registration fee. The purpose of shareware distribution is to give users the opportunity to see if the programs they are offered meet their needs before they have to pay for them. This system can only work if users actually pay for the programs they find useful. If you publish a page that ThmIndxrTM generated, you found the program useful, which is why you are obligated to pay for it.

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A Brief ThmIndxrTM Tutorial / Webmaster / Last modified December 17, 2002 @ 11:32 pm
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