Using the Fold3 Viewer
A tutorial on how to use the Fold3 Image Viewer, and an introduction to most of the Viewer's features. Covers finding information in an image, moving around and zooming the image, adding contributions like annotations and comments, printing, downloading, and more. The Viewer has many undocumented features, and even seasoned Fold3 Viewer users may learn something new.
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Images on Fold3.com
On Fold3.com we arrange all of our documents by collection, and then by increasingly specific categories, down to the individual document level. This structure is visible to you in Browse, and in the Viewer filmstrip. Both of these are available from the viewer page. You will notice that any time you are viewing an image in the Viewer, toward the top of the page you will see a "breadcrumb" of the categories that the document is in. For example, in this image you will see a breadcrumb that tells you that the image is found in Photos > Vietnam War - Army > Boats > Barges, and is named Page 1.
Each of those categories in the breadcrumb can be clicked to show the entire browse tool that you can find on the regular Browse page, but without leaving the Viewer. By scrolling and clicking on different categories in browse, you can access any other image on our site.
Understanding the browse structure is also helpful when using the Viewer filmstrip, which shows the image you are viewer along with neighboring images, arranged according to the same browse structure.
On the left side of the Viewer there is an area that displays all the information that is known about the image, called the sidebar. The sidebar is closed by default, and to open it click on the button in the toolbar that says About image.
Under the Source Information section you will find all of the information that Fold3has indexed about the image. Below that you will find a list of any member contributions that have been added to the image. Clicking on an annotation or Spotlight in the sidebar will show it in the Viewer.
To close the sidebar and make more room for viewing the image, just click About image again.
Navigating to other images
Once you are in the Viewer looking at an image, there are many ways to navigate to other images without actually leaving the Viewer.
If you simply want to see the next or the previous image, there are arrows that you can click on each side of the viewer area. When you move your mouse over one of those arrows, a small thumbnail of that neighboring image will show.
If you want to move a little further away than just the next or previous image, you can use the filmstrip. The filmstrip is hidden by default, but you will see a tab that says "Open Filmstrip" in the bottom left corner of the viewer area. Moving your mouse over that tab will cause the filmstrip to show up. If you would like the filmstrip to stay open all of the time, you can click the "Keep Open" button on the opened filmstrip. To go back to the regular behavior of being visible on mouse-over, you can then click the "Close" button
The filmstrip shows a small thumbnail of the image you are viewer, along with neighboring images. By clicking on neighboring images or the arrows on each side of the filmstrip, you can navigate to other images in the same collection.
The name of the parent browse category is shown above the thumbnails, and a small divider is displayed between each group of images, to help you see when one set of documents ends and another begins.
Moving around on the image
When an image first loads in the Viewer, it tries to make sure the top of the image is visible, and the full width of the image fits inside the viewer area. When you would like to move to see more of the image, there are a few different ways to get around.
First, if your mouse has a scroll wheen, you can use that to scroll the image up and down within the Viewer.
There are also scrollbars on the right and bottom of the Viewer that can be used to scroll the image.
When the mouse is over the image, you will see that it looks like a hand. We call it the "grab hand". When you see the grab hand, you can hold the mouse button down and drag the image around, and then let go of the mouse button to stop dragging.
Another way to move the image around is from the filmstrip. When the filmstrip is open and the entire image isn't within the viewer area, you will see a yellow translucent box on the thumbnail of the image you are viewing, in the filmstrip. That box is showing you the currently visible area of the image. You can click on that box and hold the mouse down to move that box around, which will also move the image. You can also just click on an area of that thumbnail image to center the Viewer over that point.
Adjusting the image
In the Viewer there is a toolbar that allows you to change the zoom level of the image, adjust brightness and contrast, rotate the image, and more.
At the top of the toolbar is the zoom control. You can click the '+' or '-' buttons to zoom in and out, or drag the slider that is between the buttons. You can also double-click on any part of the image to zoom in on that area, and if you hold down the Shift key while double-clicking, it will zoom back out.
Below the zoom control is a button to show or hide the Magnifier. The Magnifier is a small window that you can use like a magnifying glass to see parts of the image. You can control the zoom level of the magnifier, resize it (from the corners), and drag it around the viewer area. If you drag it to the edge of the image, it will automatically scroll the image in that direction, to make it easier to move around the image.
Next are two buttons with double-sided arrows that we call the "Fit" and "Fill" buttons. The topmost button is the Fit button that will automatically adjust the zoom of the image to make the entire image fit the view area. The Fill button will make sure that the image fills the entire view area (fills the width of the display for tall images, or fills the height of the display for wide image). The Fill button is a little hard to explain, so it might be easiest to just try it out on a tall image and a wide image.
The rotate button will allow you to rotate the image 90 degrees at a time. A less-known feature of the viewer is that if you create an annotation or a spotlight of a rotated image, that annotation or spotlight remembers the rotation and will display with that rotation on other areas of the site.
Under the rotate button is a button that opens and closes a small window that allows you to adjust the contrast and brightness of the image. It also allows you to invert an image, which is often helpful for reading text on images with low contrast or poor quality.
The bottom-most button on that toolbar will switch you to "Fullscreen" mode. Fullscreen is a great way to maximize the viewable area of an image. One thing to note is that fullscreen mode disables the keyboard (it's a security thing that the Flash Player enforces), so you will not be able to annotate or do other things that require typing, while in fullscreen mode. If you attempt to do something that needs the keyboard, the Viewer will automatically exit fullscreen mode.
To exit fullscreen mode, just hit the escape key on your keyboard, or click the fullscreen button again on the toolbar.
When you find the image you are looking for, there are various ways to save that image for later.
If you would like to print out a copy of the image, click the Print button in the toolbar along the top of the viewer area. You can choose whether you want to print the entire image, or select a region of the image to print.
You can also Download the image to your computer. Downloading is very similar to printing, and you can save the entire image or a smaller area.
If you just want to be able to get back to that image on the site later, click the Add to Gallery button and you will be able to find it in your Gallery.
Finally, if you would like to tell someone else about the image, click the Share button, which will allow you to email a link to that image to friends, or share it on facebook and other sites.
The Viewer provides a find dialog to find information on an image. There are three possible types of information that might exist for an image. Every image has some basic information that is stored with it on the site, and can be seen in the sidebar on the left side of the viewer (click About image to open the sidebar). Also, some images that have type-written text have gone through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process that detects text on the image. The OCR process is rather error-prone, and is often inaccurate, but is the best we can do. The last type of information that may exist on an image is the member contributions (annotations, comments, etc.) that have been added.
All of this information is findable using the find feature in the Viewer. Clicking the Find in image button will open the find dialog to allow you to search for specific terms in the image information. One thing to note is that it will search for all terms in all information except OCR. Any term in OCR will be a match.
Matches will be highlighted in yellow, and the find dialog has previous/next buttons that allow you to easily move from one hit to the next.
Contributing to an image
Contributing to an image allows you to add information beyond what is currently available on the image, or make corrections or other additions that help make it more findable on the site. You can add annotations, comments, create spotlights, and connect two images each other.
Annotations are a way to make hand-written text searchable, or identify information in a specific area on an image (like identifying people or places in a photo). To add an annotation, click the Annotate button, which will display a selection box with an associated annotation bubble. Use the mouse to drag and resize the selection box to fit the area that you would like to annotate. Then in the bubble you can choose what type of annotation you would like to create, and type in the text for the annotation. Usually you will type what you see on the image (the name, date, location, or text that is in the selection box).
If you would like to just add a general comment about the image, instead of annotating a specific region, click the Comment button and add any comment you would like. Whatever you add will become searchable to others. Comments are a great way to tell about the background or context of the image, or share a story about something in the image.
If the image you are looking at is somehow related to another image you have seen, you can connect the two together. Clicking the Connect button will bring up a dialog where you can select an image that you have recently viewed, uploaded, or saved to your Gallery. After picking an image, you can explain how the two images are connected. You can also connect the image to a Memorial Page in a similar manner.
Creating a Spotlight is a great way to quickly showcase something interesting about the image, or a region of an image. Found a unique image, or an interesting newspaper article? Making a spotlight will make it more findable, and allow others to comment on your discovery. Creating a spotlight is somewhat like creating an annotation. Both start with a selection box that you can use to highlight a specific region of an image. If you would like to spotlight the entire image, you can choose to do that, too. A spotlight allows you to type in a title and a description. After you create a spotlight, you can click on the title to go to the Spotlight page, where you and others can add comments.
Contributing to Census images and Memorials
When we add census images or other documents to the site that have a lot of names (like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial or the USS Arizona Memorial), we do some extra work to make it easy for members to add more information about those people. We add a bounding box around the name, like an annotation or Spotlight, but make it much more feature-rich. To that name you can add comments, other images, stories, and more.
What is really happening behind the scenes is that a Memorial Page exists for each of those names, and we pack a lot of the features of Memorial Pages into the Viewer, so that you can easily add information about that person without leaving the image. Everything you add to a name on a census or memorial image will also appear on the associated Memorial Page. This is an example of the census record for Amelia Earhart, and the associated Memorial Page.
This makes these types of images very interactive. If you move your mouse over a name on the image, you will see a small "bubble" appear with the person's name. Clicking on that small bubble will expand it to show extra details about that person, as well as member contributions that have been made.
If you are related to that person, you can click the checkbox next to the name, that says I'm Related. That will allow you to tell how you are related, and that connection will show up in that bubble, and on your profile page.
Within the bubble you can connect other images from the site (and even upload new ones in the process). The first image that is added to a person will become the "cover image" that will show up whenever that bubble is opened, so it's usually good to add a nice photo as the first image. If you would like to change the cover image, you can do that on the Memorial Page. Any time you want to go over to the Memorial Page, you can click the person's name in the bubble.
You can also add comments about that person while in the Viewer. If you have a longer comment that is best left as a story, you can click to add a story, and it will take you to the Memorial Page and get you started with your story there. Stories will be visible in the viewer, but have to be added on the Memorial Page.
You can also connect that person to other existing Memorial Pages, whether that is another Person Page, or some other Topic or Event Page. On the top-right of the bubble, we also make it easy for you to share the person by email or facebook, or bookmark that person so that you can find them again easily.