Using the Media Bar

The Media Bar acts as a “basket” containing photos for inclusion in your publication. Its chief use is to aid the design process by improving efficiency (avoiding having to import photos one by one) and convenience (making photos always-at-hand). For photo-rich documents in particular, the Media Bar is a valuable tool for dragging photos directly into picture frames or for simply replacing existing pictures on the page.

PagePlus media01 Using the Media Bar

You can even use the AutoFlow feature to add all photos sequentially into available empty picture frames with one click.

The bar can be used as a temporary storage area before placing photos in your document, or it can be used to create more permanent photo albums from which you can retrieve stored photos at any time. By default, photos are added to a temporary album but remember to click the New Album button if you want to save your album for later use. Each time you start PagePlus you simply load that saved album (or any other saved album) or just work with a temporary album—the choice is yours!

Photo albums can be subsequently modified, renamed and deleted—viewing the contents of an individual album or all albums at the same time is possible.

You can import an unlimited number of photos by file or by whole folders, and set photo resolution (native or 96dpi) and whether photos are embedded or linked to your project in advance of photo placement on the page.

For large photo collections, searching throughout albums for photos by file name and EXIF, IPTC or XMP metadata is possible in the search box at the top of the Media Bar; even edit XMP metadata from within PagePlus.

  • The currently loaded album shown on your Media Bar will remain visible irrespective of which document you have open.

Photo thumbnails can be dragged from the Media Bar directly onto your page, as an existing standalone photo, or into an empty or populated picture frame.

To view the Media Bar:

  • Unless already displayed, click the PagePlus tab studio up Using the Media Bar handle at the bottom of your workspace.

To add photos to a temporary album:

  1. With the Media Bar visible and a temporary album loaded, click on the Media Bar’s workspace to reveal an Import Picture dialog.

  2. From the dialog, navigate to a photo or folder, and select your photo(s).

  3. Click Open. Your photos appear as thumbnails in the Menu Bar workspace.

  4. Unless you save it, the temporary album and its photo contents will not be saved when you close PagePlus.

  • You can drag one or more files from any Windows folder directly into the Media Bar window. If you right-click an image in the Media Bar and choose Locate in Explorer you’ll open the photo’s folder via Windows Explorer—great for drag and drop or just general file management!

To save a temporary album to a named album:

  1. Click the down arrow on the PagePlus tab media addto Using the Media Bar Add To button. From the menu, select New Album.

  2. In the New Album dialog, in the Album Name box, type a name to identify your album in the future.

  3. (Optional) For any photo you can alter the resolution (native or 96 dpi), or embed/link status in advance of placement on your page—click a photo’s setting and use the setting’s drop-down menu to change. You can also change these settings during drag/drop onto the page.

  4. Click OK.

To include a temporary album’s photos in an existing saved album, click the Add To button and choose a named album from the menu.

To create a named album:

  1. Click the bar’s PagePlus tab media newalbum Using the Media Bar New Album button.

  2. In the dialog, in the Album Name box, type a name to identify your album in the future.

  3. Click the PagePlus dlg newalbum addimage Using the Media Bar Add Image… or  PagePlus dlg newalbum addfolder Using the Media Bar Add Folder… button.

  4. In the dialog, navigate to a photo or folder and optionally choose whether your photos are to be placed at native or 96 dpi. Click Open.

  5. The New Album dialog lists the files for inclusion. Optionally, alter DPI and Embed options by clicking on each photo’s setting, then selecting from the drop-down menu.

  6. Click OK.

To load a saved album:

  • Select a saved album name from the bar’s top-right drop-down menu. The album’s photos will display in the workspace.

To modify a previously saved album:

  1. Click the PagePlus tab media manage Using the Media Bar Manage button (only shown for existing saved albums).

  2. In the dialog, you can add photos/folders, delete photos, change DPI, and embed/link status as before. Click OK.
    – or -

    To add one or mor
    e photos, click the PagePlus dlg newalbum addimage Using the Media Bar Add Image… button shown on the bar.
    – or -

    To add an entire folder of photos, click the PagePlus dlg newalbum addfolder Using the Media Bar Add Folder… button shown on the bar.
    – or -

    Right-click in the Media Bar’s window and select Add Images.

The files are included in the album without having to save manually.

  • To delete a photo, select a photo then click the PagePlus tab media removeimage Using the Media Bar Remove Image button.
    – or -

  • Right-click and select Remove Image.


    For removal of all photos, select Remove All Images.

To rename or delete an album:

  • Right-click an existing album name in the top-right drop-down menu and choose Rename Album… or Delete Album….

To sort photos in your album:

  • In the Sort By search box, select a sorting criteria. Files will be rearranged according to the chosen criteria (by Filename, Rating, or Date Taken).

Adding photos to the page

To add a photo to your page:

  1. Display the Media Bar’s temporary album or load a saved album from the top-right drop-down menu.

  2. Drag an album’s photo thumbnail onto the page—either as a detached photo, or directly into a picture frame.
    – or -
    Use the AutoFlow feature.

  • You can change from embed to link while dragging your photo to the page by using the Ctrl or Shift key as you drag onto the page (independent of the photo’s link/embed status in the album). If you use the Alt key at the same time you can also choose to toggle between adding your photo at native or 96 dpi resolution. Your placement cursor will show you how your photo will be added, i.e. embed PagePlus media bar14 Using the Media Bar, link PagePlus media bar16 Using the Media Bar, or 96 dpi PagePlus media bar15 Using the Media Bar.

AutoFlow—adding content automatically

AutoFlow lets you flow the photos currently displayed in the Media Bar throughout empty picture frames spread throughout your publication (you can’t reflow photos once frames are populated with content). This is especially useful when using Photo Album design templates or other photo-rich documents.

To use this feature, you must have multiple picture frames present in your current document, as well as a range of photos present in your Media Bar. The autoflow process involves a simple click of the mouse button.

To automatically flow your photos:

  • Click the PagePlus tab media autoflow Using the Media Bar AutoFlow button to the right of the bar’s workspace. The photos are placed sequentially in your document’s available picture frames in the order they appear in the Media Bar.

A dialog will display if you’ve more picture frames than you have photos and vice versa. To resolve, either remove extra pages or add more frames then add any remaining photos by drag and drop. A placed photo’s thumbnail shows a green check in its bottom-right corner, while a photo that is not yet placed will not show the check.

Searching for photos in albums

PagePlus lets you retrieve photos by rating, file name and by tag, i.e. metadata (information that is stored within each photo file; photo-specific characteristics are embedded and are portable with the file).

Three of the most popular metadata formats, EXchangeable Image File (EXIF), International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC) and the eXtensible Metadata Platform (XMP), are supported within PagePlus.

  • EXIF. Your digital camera’s specifications, current photo properties (including size and resolution) and shoot details (time taken, exposure, flash details, white balance, ISO rating, etc.). The information is read only.

  • IPTC. An older format (used for news organizations and photo agencies) which contains photo details (including captions, keywords, credits, copyright, photo location and time). The information is read only.

  • XMP. An editable Adobe XML-based metadata format now superseding IPTC, where data is stored as “keywords” representing the photo’s subject matter.

To search for photo details:

  • To search for photos of a specific rating, click the down arrow PagePlus tab fonts04 Using the Media Bar on the search box at the top of the Media Bar and pick a Rating from the flyout, e.g. “Rating has 5 stars“. Matching photos are shown in the bar’s workspace.

  • To search by file name or tag, click in the search box and enter a search term, e.g. holiday. You can also use the PagePlus tab fonts04 Using the Media Bar button to search for photos by tag; tags listed belong to photos currently in the Media bar. Matching photos will appear in the bar’s workspace.

  • In the search box You can enter stems of words or entire words depending on how exact you want the search results to be. Some examples include:

search text

retrieves photos tagged with…



holiday, Holiday, holidays, hologram, Warhol

partial “hol” match on several different tags


holidays, Holidays

all holiday photos



all photos taken in 2007

Holidays 2007*

Holidays and 2007

all holiday photos taken in 2007

Holidays, 2007*

Holidays or 2007

all holiday photos plus all photos taken in 2007


Moonshine Photo Agency

all agency photos (uses IPTC metadata)


Robert Capa

all photos taken by Robert Capa (uses IPTC metadata)

:exif Canon


all photos taken with Canon cameras (uses EXIF metadata from digital-camera-derived photos)



all photos taken on 14th April 2007 (again uses EXIF metadata)

holidays :exif|2007:04

holidays and 2007:04

all holiday photos taken during April 2007 (uses EXIF metadata)

* Searches make use of user-defined XMP metadata.

The matching photos are displayed in the Media tab automatically.

  • The search button changes from PagePlus tab fonts02 Using the Media Bar to PagePlus tab fonts03 Using the Media Bar when photo results are displayed. Clicking the latter button will display an empty search box again.

Adding XMP tags

The tags on your current album’s photos may already be present, e.g. EXIF metadata is created within your camera when you take your digital photo. Similarly, IPTC tags may also be present if using stock photographs. For both types, the data is not editable in PagePlus. If you’re keen to create your own tags for your photos, you can use XMP tags. The addition of your own keywords means that you can identify and retrieve photos on the basis of the photo’s subject matter, e.g. “holidays”, “Sarah”, “Uncle John”, “Party”, etc.

In addition, any photo can be allocated its own star rating by using XMP tags. This is really useful when you want to categorize your favorites—assign a rating to your photo by tag editing and subsequently sort for your photos by rating in combination with other tags. Ratings can be from one (minimum) to five (maximum); the maximum value would normally be allocated to your most favorite photos.

To add XMP tags:

  1. With a specific album loaded, right-click on a photo in the Media Bar and choose Manage Tags….

  2. From the dialog’s XMP tab, drag across the rating stars to set a Rating (1 lowest; 5 highest)—each star turns yellow when selected. This lets you search for your photos by rating (see above).

  3. For XMP tagging, click over the <Add a tag> entry, then type a keyword specific to your photo. Press Enter. Repeat the process to build up a keyword list relevant to your current photo, e.g.

    PagePlus tab media imagetag Using the Media Bar

  4. Click OK.

Using the Media Bar