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November 10, 2009

The Year of the Lightbox

Category: Ron Hall

By: Ron Hall

It seems like the requirements for every site I do this year include lightboxes, video players and slideshows. My guess is many of you have run into the same. Here are my current favorites for each.


I have just completed a major project with this jQuery lightbox plugin and it is AWESOME!

Both easy to configure and powerful, NyroModal can keep itself within the browser window adding scrollbars when needed for small monitors. If you resize the browser window while the lighbox is open, it will also resize on the fly.

If you AJAX new content into an already open lightbox, the lightbox will gracefully resize to accommodate the new content. This includes form responses.

This lightbox solution has several callbacks available. I recently had to serve alternate content in the lightbox when a user was on IE7 and had their page zoom set to something other than 100%. I was able to write JavaScript in one of the NyroModal callbacks to sense that scenario and accommodate it.

For TYPO3 projects I like to create a page template that will serve only its content between the body tags and nothing else (no head, html or body tags). I use this page template for content I am serving into the lightbox.

Find NyroModal at

Flow Player

Nice, open-source Flash video player. Has a well-documented API for controlling via JavaScript and is very skinnable.

Find Flow Player at

SlideShowPro and SlideShowPro Director

These two programs offer a great one-two punch in the slide show arena. SlideShowPro can handle video and / or still images. It is very skinnable, can be controlled with external JavaScript / HTML controls and has a well-documented API. SlideShowPro Director allows provides a very friendly interface for managing albums and images for serving to SlideShowPro

I recently completed a project where a TYPO3 extension automatically generates the images and XML for  SlideShowPro from product brands. While in a slideshow users can click on images to add them to a cart. You do have to pay a small fee for SlideShowPro but it is worth it. It is Flash-based so you will need Flash to customize the look and options.

Find SlideShowPro at


comment #1
Gravatar: Fernando Arconada Fernando Arconada November 11, 2009 09:07
Did you try Jquery tools?

Really amazing

comment #2
Gravatar: maddesigns maddesigns November 11, 2009 09:16
jQuery is great, I didn't know this lightbox version. Thanks for that! I don't know why ExtJS is implemented in the TYPO3 4.3 core...

comment #3
Gravatar: Jason Lefkowitz Jason Lefkowitz November 11, 2009 16:15
Is the Slideshow Pro TYPO3 extension publicly available? I use both SSP and TYPO3 in various projects, so I would jump all over anything that streamlines using them together...

comment #4
Gravatar: Ron Hall Ron Hall November 11, 2009 18:50
The extension I mentioned would not help as it is for a very custom extension for a specific type of product. I believe there is a general extension for SSP but I have not used it. I often simply construct a TemplaVoila FCE to handle the specific situation in which I need SSP.

comment #5
Gravatar: Charles Coleman Charles Coleman November 13, 2009 00:06
I always appreciate a good recommendation from people I trust.

comment #6
Gravatar: Kartki Kartki December 4, 2009 13:49
i "love" jquery based extensions - they're very usefull and eye-catching

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