Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 Flash Gallery Tips and Tricks #10: Using the Left Side Caption Area (an unsupported feature)

Within a Flash Gallery created by Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 the Metadata you choose to display for “Title” and “Caption” appears below the photos in a “horizontal” text field.  You can change this to a “vertical” text field that sits to the left of the photos (and you can style that caption area including having a background color and border). 

There’s two ways to do this.  The first is to edit the style.xml file found in the resources/styles folder of an exported gallery. 
First you’ll need to find this:

<metadataOptions metadataPosition="underPhotos"/>

And change it to this:

<metadataOptions metadataPosition="leftSide"/>

Note that this will only work in the “Scrolling” and “Slideshow Only” layouts.

Now you’ll want to “style” the caption area.  Here’s the associated nodes:

<metadataViewBtnFore color="696969" alpha="100.00"/>
<metadataViewBgColor color="FAFAFA" alpha="50.00"/>
<metadataViewBorder alpha="50.00" color="000000"/>
<metadataViewBtnBorder color="A1A1A1" alpha="100.00"/>
<metadataViewBtnBackground alpha="100.00" color="C8C8C8"/>
<metadataViewField titles="true" captions="true" widthPercentage=".25"/>
<metadataViewText fontFamily="Myriad Web Pro" linkColor="696969" align="left" color="696969" size="12.00"/>
<metadataViewTitle fontFamily="Myriad Web Pro" linkColor="696969" align="left" color="696969" size="14.00"/>

One of the most important params in here is the one that sets the width of the caption area: 
<metadataViewField titles="true" captions="true" widthPercentage=".25"/>
With the above, the caption area will take up 25% of the horizontal width of the gallery.  If you changed it to .50 it would take up half.  You get the idea.

The “button” colors (e.g. <metadataViewBtnFore color="696969" alpha="100.00"/> ) actually refer to the colors used in the scroll bar that would appear if your metadata were too long to fit.

There is a way to do this from inside Lightroom when creating your gallery, but it has some issues, so make sure to read all the rest of this article if you decide to try it.  You can use controls in the  “advanced mode” in the Lightroom Flash Gallery to enter your settings.  See tips article #9 to find out about that.  HOWEVER, as the “side caption” is an “unsupported” feature, you will not be able to preview it inside Lightroom.  You’ll need to “preview in browser” to see the effects of your settings.

Go into advanced mode and change MetadataOptions/MetadataPosistion to “leftSide”.  The style settings for that caption area are found way down below at the bottom of the “Appearance” panel.