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Using lightboxes

Lightboxes are useful for making a selection of media files and even sharing that selection with others. In the past, physical light boxes consisted of an opaque perspex with a light behind. Slides were placed on the perspex and then looked at using a magnifying glass of some kind.  On your website a lightbox is a place where a user can gather files that they are interested in. Lightboxes can be emailed as low res images or as a link back to the site, enabling users to share their selection with others. Please see instructions for working with light boxes in video form and as text with illustrations below.

To view the video larger, at the bottom of the video frame either click on the “enter full screen” icon or click on the “watch on Vimeo.com” icon.

MEMAT: Using Lightboxes from Africa Media Online on Vimeo.

1) Sign up or login as a buyer on your site

2) Search for images you want to add to your selection

3) Create a new lightbox for the topic you are busy searching for.  To do this click on “new lightbox” at the bottom of your search results page:

4) Give the lightbox an appropriate name:


5) Click “add to lightbox” under the thumbnails of the images you like.  The lightbox by default floats at the bottom of your page in a minimised form:


6) You can maximise the floating lightbox so you can quickly see what is in it without moving off your search results page by clicking on “maximise” bottom right of the page:


7) From the floating lightbox you can click on “email” which will enable you to send a link to this lightbox to someone else.

8) You can go into your lightbox proper to view the images at thumbnail size by clicking on “view lightbox”. From this page you can elect to email a link or, alternatively some comps (low res watermarked versions) by clicking on the appropriate link.  The rest of the lightbox options will be covered in another post.



Here are step-by-step directions for using the advanced features of lightboxes

Click on “lightbox” – top left of your page or “view lightbox” at the bottom of a search results page where the lightbox floats

Once in the lightbox there are some advanced features, other than the ability simply to email the lightbox.  These are share, copy and move.



This function allows you to share the lightbox you have created with another Africa Media Online user. This tool is useful for people doing picture research on behalf of others.

To do this you need to go into the lightbox that you want to share and click “share”.  Then you need to know the other user’s username and you can then effectively copy the lightbox you have created into their “lightbox” section.

For the other user to view and work with the lightbox you have shared with them, they simply login on the site with their username and password and click on “lightbox” just as you did.  They will find the lightbox in their drop down list of lightboxes.


This function allows you to make yourself a copy of the lightbox you have created. This tool is useful for creating a few similar, but slightly different lightboxes.

To do this you need to go into the lightbox that you want to share and click “copy”.  Give the new lightbox a slightly different name.


You will now have 2 lightboxes with the same images in both of them.


This function allows you to move images between lightboxes. This tool is useful when you are doing a few searches at once with different lightboxes.  Particularly if, like me, you have put some images into the wrong lightbox.

To do this you need to go into the lightbox that you want to share and click “move”.  You will need to have already created the lightbox that you want to move the image(s) into.  Select the lightbox to move the images TO from the drop down list.


Tick the images you want to move and click “save”.  The images will exit the lightbox that they were in and move to the lightbox you have selected.


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