LimSee3 Help - On Media Libraries

Using a media library

To start using an existing library, go to the File menu and select the Open media library item. LimSee3 libraries are files with the xll extension. You can find one in your LimSee3 distribution - just go to the resources folder, then to start-time sub-folder and there you'll find the start-screen.xll library.

The library opens on the left side of the application window. If necessary, you can change its width with your mouse.

Open library (on the left)

Fig. 1 - Libraries open on the left

Open library (on the left)

Fig. 2 - Detail of the start-screen library

Copying medias between a library and a document

The reason why libraries exist is that they contain media assets and that it is really easy to put those medias into a document. There are several ways of doing.

The contextual menu

If you click on a library item, it becomes selected. A right-click opens a contextual menu for the selected item.

If your mouse has only one button, try to emulate the right-click by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking. It works on Mac OS, for instance.

Contextual menu

Fig. 3 - Selected item and its contextual menu

The first menu item allows to Copy the selected asset. If you choose this action, the menu closes and apparently nothing happened - however, the media asset is now copied into the clipboard, so that you can paste it into a document. For this, you can make a right-click on a document media zone (it can be empty or it can already contain an other media, it does not matter) and choose the Paste item this time. Your selected media asset is inserted into the corresponding zone.

Contextual menu

Fig. 4 - Pasting the previously copied asset into a document

The library tool bar

Another method of copying a media asset is by using the toolbar buttons. In fact, every media library comes with three groups of buttons: in this case, the middle group is the one we will use.

Copy and paste buttons

Fig. 5 - Copy and Paste toolbar buttons

After selecting a media asset, you can simply click on the Copy button to copy the asset to the clipboard. The pasting part remains the same as above.

You can also invoke the Copy action with the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut.

The drag and drop gesture

There is yet another possibility to copy an asset from a library to a document: by drag and drop. Select an asset (by a click), then lock the mouse pointer on the asset by pushing the left mouse button without releasing it. Drag the pointer to the location where you want to insert the asset and release the left mouse button.

Please notice that the drag-and-drop gesture has to be initialized on a selected item: if you try to drag a non-selected one, nothing will happen.

Reading media information

We have seen how to copy a media asset from a library to a document. But another question has to be answered before that: which asset to copy? Media libraries provide some features to help you answer that one, too.

Library views

It is possible to switch a media library to three different views. The right group of buttons on the toolbar allows you to do that:

View switching library buttons

Fig. 6 - View switching toolbar buttons

List view
By default, a media library is presented as a list of media files, where each item is represented by an icon and a name. The icons help you distinguish different types of medias:

Icon signification in a library

Fig. 7 - Library list view with several types of medias

The advantage of the list view is its ability to present a large number of medias at once, without scrolling. However, it is sometimes necessary to know more than just a media name and type and it is the role of the detailed view to provide such information.

Detailed view
The detailed view lists the name, extension, size, modification date and format of every media asset.

Don't hesitate to make your library space wider to be able to read all the detailed information.

Detailed view of a library

Fig. 8 - Library detailed view

Moreover, by clicking on the corresponding column header, you can put the items into another order.

Library items ordered by size

Fig. 9 - Items ordered by size

Obviously, the detailed view provides much useful information, but such a quantity could become overwhelming. As a counter-part, the snapshot view proposes a very light representation.

Snapshot view
The third library view simply presents snapshots of the medias. Currently, only images have snapshots, the other media types are replaced by the corresponding media icons.

Library snapshot view

Fig. 10 - Detail of the library snapshot view

Location tool

It can be useful to know where a media asset is located. This information is provided by the Location item of the contextual menu. Equivalently, you can let your mouse pointer hover a short moment over an item and a tooltip will appear to display the item location.

Media location

Fig. 11 - Location of a media asset

Managing medias in a library

In the previous sections, we have seen how to select a media in a library and how to copy it to a LimSee3 document. Now, that you should be convinced of the utility of media libraries, we shall see how to create, modify and otherwise manage these tools.

General copy and paste

The copy&paste mechanism that we presented in section 2.1 is in fact more general than just "copying an asset from a library, pasting it to a document". Indeed, assets can be copied the other way round (from a document into a library), between libraries and even from or to external applications. As a matter of fact, assets can move around (almost) freely.

Copy form document, paste to library

Fig. 12 - Copy and paste from a document to a library

If several media libraries are open at a time, it is quite possible to copy&paste medias from one to another.

The drag&drop gesture works in the same way: you can drag and drop medias between documents and libraries in all possible ways (document-to-document, document-to-library, library-to-document, library-to-library).

Libraries cannot contain the same media asset in several copies. This is why pasting a media into a library can sometimes seem without effect: in such a case, check if the asset is not already present in the library.

It is (often) possible to copy a media in an external application and paste it into LimSee3 (document or library). For instance, if visiting a web page in your browser, you can right-click on an image, select the Copy image location contextual menu item and Paste it to LimSee3 afterwards. As another example, you can drag a media item directly from your disk browser and drop it to a LimSee3 library (or document).

The drag&drop gesture can be somehow erratic or dysfunctional when used with web browsers. We recommend you to use the Copy location feature instead.

The same operations can also be initiated in LimSee3. You can for example copy an image in a media library and paste it to your favorite image editor.

The copy&paste and drag&drop operations from/to external applications are not 100% operational, due to some specificities in the behavior of other applications. Feel free to submit us requests for enhancements, if you think that your favourite application does not integrate well. In the meantime, try to use copy&paste if drag&drop does not work, and vice versa.

Multiselection

It would be awfully painstaking if copying of several assets between -say- two libraries took several copy&paste operations, one per each asset. Luckily LimSee3 lets you select several assets at a time, thus allowing you to copy and paste (or drag and drop) whole sets in a single operation.

Single selection
If you click on a library asset, it becomes selected. All previously selected assets become not selected at the same time. You have performed a single selection - only one asset is highlighted.
Interval selection
Select a library item, then hold down the Shift key and select another one. Now, several items are selected - in fact all those between the first and the second item, the extremities included. You have selected an interval of items.
Free multiple selection
Select a library item. Then hold the Ctrl key while selecting more items. The items you select are progressively added to the selection, even if they are not contiguous. The Ctrl key lets you add to your selection whatever item you want.

3 selection mechanismes

Fig. 13 - Different selections: a single selection (2nd item only), an interval selection (2nd to 5th item), a multiple selection (2nd and 5th item)

The selection mechanisms ca, be combined: for instance, it is possible to select an interval of items (by holding Shift) and then to add several other items outside the interval (by holding Ctrl).

The same mouse and keyboard gestures work also for deselecting items. Thus, selecting an item (with Ctrl) inside a selection interval actually removes this item from the selection. This method allows you to easily create selections of type "all elements but these two ones...".

Deselecting in a selection

Fig. 14 - Deselecting an item inside an interval selection

Importing and deleting media assets

Despite the seamlessness of copy&paste or drag&drop mechanisms, it is sometimes simpler to import new assets into a library by directly browsing your computer. This is what the Import toolbar button is for.

Import button

Fig. 15 - The import button

A click on the Import button opens the Asset import window. Initially empty, this window lets you select one or several media assets (upper area) and afterwards import those assets to the media library (OK and Cancel buttons at the bottom).

Import window (empty)

Fig. 16 - The empty import window

The Browse button opens a computer browser that allows you to select your local media assets. Every time you confirm the selection of one (or several) assets, their precise locations appear in the selected assets list:

Selecting assets to import

Fig. 17 - Selecting four assets to import

At this stage, you can decide to remove an asset from the list by clicking on the red button in front of it.

Alternately, you can type in the exact URL of an asset (a local or a distant one) into the URL field and confirm your choice with the nearby button.

Typing an URL to import

Fig. 18 - Selecting an asset by its URL

When your list of assets to import is ready, validate by clicking on the OK button. The assets will be imported into your media library.

The last operation that we present in this section is the converse of importing: the deletion of assets from a library. Deleting is easy: simply select the asset(s) to remove and push the Delete button. You will be prompted for confirmation and when done, the asserts will disappear from the library.

Delete button

Fig. 19 - The delete button

If you delete an asset from a library, it is only removed from that library. Otherwise, it is still present on your disc (or any other distant location) and in all other libraries which contain that asset.

Status of the document: last changed on 11th February 2008. Copyright INRIA. Created by Jan Mikáč