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jQuery Photo Slide Show with Slick Caption Tutorial Revisited

Written by Kevin Liew on 16 Dec 2009
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488 comments

Introduction

If you have been reading my website from the start you would have read this tutorial:

Simple jQuery Image Slide Show with Semi Transparent Caption

It's a very famous post because it has been showcased in several major web design blogs so many times and I received a lot of traffic from it. Thanks guys. I get a lot of comment and as I replied to those comments and do some quick fixes, I realized that this script has a caption bug and inefficient and not up to standard (oh well, that's the time when I was start picking up jQuery :)), so I have decided to do revisit to solve all those problems discovered by readers. I rewrote the html structure and modify the script.

Mission Objectives:

  • Restructure the HTML, more semantic
  • Fix the caption bug, it displays the next caption too fast
  • W3C standard compliant, using appropriate attribute to store title and description
  • Cross Browser - Chrome, Safari, IE6, 7, 8 and Firefox.

However, one thing though, it needs javascript, if your browser is javascript disabled, sorry, there is no graceful degradation for this script, it will just display the first item.

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1. HTML

Yes, I'm using list this time :) This is how it should have been afterall. No more REL attribute, we wil be using TITLE Attribute to store the heading and ALT attribute to store the description. For the caption elements, it will be added using jQuery. So, this is it - a clean and simple HTML code.

<ul class="slideshow">
	<li class="show"><a href="#"><img src="images/s1.gif" width="450" height="200" title="Slide 1" alt="Short Description"/></a></li>
	<li><a href="#"><img src="images/s2.gif" width="450" height="200" title="Slide 2" alt="Short Description"/></a></li>
	<li><a href="#"><img src="images/s3.gif" width="450" height="200" title="Slide 3" alt="Short Description"/></a></li>
</ul>

2. CSS

CSS code is rewritten completely. I guarantee it's cross browser compliant. They all look identical and it works great :) I did learn a lot of CSS technique through this blog. We all can improve our skills through tips, tricks, trials and errors. Read these posts to learn more about CSS:

body {
	font-family:arial;	
	font-size:12px;
}

ul.slideshow {
	list-style:none;
	width:450px;
	height:200px;
	overflow:hidden;
	position:relative;
	margin:0;
	padding:0;
	
}	

ul.slideshow li {
	position:absolute;
	left:0;
	right:0;
}

ul.slideshow li.show {
	z-index:500;	
}

ul img {
	border:none;	
}

#slideshow-caption {
	width:450px;
	height:70px;
	position:absolute;
	bottom:0;
	left:0;	
	color:#fff;
	background:#000;
	z-index:500;
}

#slideshow-caption .slideshow-caption-container {
	padding:5px 10px;	
	z-index:1000;	
}

#slideshow-caption h3 {
	margin:0;
	padding:0;	
	font-size:14px;
}

#slideshow-caption p {
	margin:5px 0 0 0;
	padding:0;
}

3. Javascript

We will going to use call back function to display caption. This will solve the "Caption Is Appearing Before The Next Slide Syndrome" :). Not too much of changes in javascript but I do added a feature though. On mouse over the slide will pause, and resume it back on mouse out. I think it's a good touch.

$(document).ready(function() {		
	
	//Execute the slideShow, set 4 seconds for each images
	slideShow(2000);

});

function slideShow(speed) {


	//append a LI item to the UL list for displaying caption
	$('ul.slideshow').append('
  •  
'); //Set the opacity of all images to 0 $('ul.slideshow li').css({opacity: 0.0}); //Get the first image and display it (set it to full opacity) $('ul.slideshow li:first').css({opacity: 1.0}).addClass('show'); //Get the caption of the first image from REL attribute and display it $('#slideshow-caption h3').html($('ul.slideshow li.show').find('img').attr('title')); $('#slideshow-caption p').html($('ul.slideshow li.show').find('img').attr('alt')); //Display the caption $('#slideshow-caption').css({opacity: 0.7, bottom:0}); //Call the gallery function to run the slideshow var timer = setInterval('gallery()',speed); //pause the slideshow on mouse over $('ul.slideshow').hover( function () { clearInterval(timer); }, function () { timer = setInterval('gallery()',speed); } ); } function gallery() { //if no IMGs have the show class, grab the first image var current = ($('ul.slideshow li.show')? $('ul.slideshow li.show') : $('#ul.slideshow li:first')); //trying to avoid speed issue if(current.queue('fx').length == 0) { //Get next image, if it reached the end of the slideshow, rotate it back to the first image var next = ((current.next().length) ? ((current.next().attr('id') == 'slideshow-caption')? $('ul.slideshow li:first') :current.next()) : $('ul.slideshow li:first')); //Get next image caption var title = next.find('img').attr('title'); var desc = next.find('img').attr('alt'); //Set the fade in effect for the next image, show class has higher z-index next.css({opacity: 0.0}).addClass('show').animate({opacity: 1.0}, 1000); //Hide the caption first, and then set and display the caption $('#slideshow-caption').slideToggle(300, function () { $('#slideshow-caption h3').html(title); $('#slideshow-caption p').html(desc); $('#slideshow-caption').slideToggle(500); }); //Hide the current image current.animate({opacity: 0.0}, 1000).removeClass('show'); } }

Updates

2010-09-10: Thanks to Rezzie who nailed the IE8 issue! :)

Updated the article and scripts, the link issue is fixed. :) Sorry for the delay.

Speed Issue

This is one of the issue that has been haunted me for a while, but thanks to Sam, one of our reader, he pointed out this would solve the issue, but with mixed result in IE.

Sam's solution, you need to add this:

$(window).focus(function () {
	timer = setInterval('gallery()', speed); 
});
$(window).blur(function () {
	clearInterval(timer);
});

James Burnett's solution, you modify the gallery function():

function gallery() {
	var current = ($('ul.slideshow li.show')? $('ul.slideshow li.show') : $('#ul.slideshow li:first'));

	if(current.queue('fx').length == 0) {
		
		// grab next image and animate code in here
		......
		......
		......
		
	}
}

Also, did some research, found the reason why it's doing it: From jQuery Animate Documentation: Because of the nature of requestAnimationFrame(), you should never queue animations using a setInterval or setTimeout loop. In order to preserve CPU resources, browsers that support requestAnimationFrame will not update animations when the window/tab is not displayed. If you continue to queue animations via setInterval or setTimeout while animation is paused, all of the queued animations will begin playing when the window/tab regains focus. To avoid this potential problem, use the callback of your last animation in the loop, or append a function to the elements .queue() to set the timeout to start the next animation.

Sorry guys, I don't have time to put all these together. Please let me know it works.

Randomize Slides

Simple yet effective solution from another reader - Blastos

Before the ending of function slideShow(), put this in:

//Generate a random number
var randNum = Math.floor(Math.random() * $('ul.slideshow li').length);

//Randomly pick up a slide
$('ul.slideshow li:eq('+randNum+')').addClass('show');

Caption doesn't appear for the first slide

I think it has to be the ommitted A tag for some users. Ammended the script, it should be fixed now.

Conclusion

I have made a lot of tutorials, and I think it's good to do a revisit to make it more efficient and solve some of the annoying bugs instead of quick fixes. So, yea, from now on, I will check my previous tutorials and rewrite them. :)

Like this tutorials? You can express your gratitude by visiting my sponsors on the sidebar, bookmark it and help me to spread this tutorial to our friends! :) Thanks!

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488 comments
Carlos Gonçalves 5 years ago
I try to use <a> tag to link which slide to a specific page, but all are going to the same page, the link I put in the last slide. How can I fix it?
Reply
carlos gonçalves 5 years ago
In your demo the same error occurs
Reply
clydde 5 years ago
Randomize function no work.
Tested in IE 8 Chrome 16 and FF 8
Reply
clydde 5 years ago
ahhh, the Randomize work but it is necessary to remove the reference to the class of the first frame of Slide:

No Randomize <li class="show">

With randomize activated. <li>
Reply
clydde 5 years ago
I modified the code a bit to Randomize mode, if anyone is interested here it is the example:

Download http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DV9Z0FV9

regards
Reply
Kevin Liew Admin 5 years ago
Thanks clydde!
Reply
Ryan 5 years ago
Can I change the color of the caption? Its showing up gray, and hard to read.
Reply
Ryan 5 years ago
Nevermind, found out how to change the color... But how can I link the ALT text?
Reply
Akhil Mahajan 5 years ago
Hello.. and thanks for such a nice script. basically i want the slideshow to appear in the middle and below the menu tab which i have created for my website. any help would be great. Thanks again.
Reply
Ryan 5 years ago
First of all, very neat script !
I just have one question. Is there a way to fire some events with buttons like "next" , "previous" or maybe like "show(3)" for 3rd item ?

With such an addition the visitor will have the ability to scroll in between the images too.
Would be so cool.
Tx
Reply
Kevin Liew Admin 5 years ago
Hi Ryan, sorry it doesn't have that feature in this tutorial. But I can recommend you using nivoslider.
Reply
Amir 5 years ago
How would you go about adding an image to the sliding caption?
Reply
Ayman 5 years ago
Good work but I have a big problem, I have a menu thats show a drop child when the mouse go over it, the slider is shown above the menu child, how can I fix it? please help
Reply
Kevin Liew Admin 5 years ago
It's the z-index issue. You can set the menu child's z-index higher than this slideshow, or lower the value of this:

ul.slideshow li.show {
z-index:500;
}
Reply
Ashley 5 years ago
What am I doing thjs wrong? I see the first image, but then there is a black box above it on the page that appeared when I put in the js code. and nothing is working. help! :)
Reply
Ashley 5 years ago
Actually ignore my first comment because I figured it out, but now I am wondering how you can take out the hover over pause, and also make it go through slower. Thanks!
Reply
Kevin Liew Admin 5 years ago
Hi Ashley,

Referring to the Javascript section above, remove line 30 - 38. That's the hover event.

To make it goes slower, in line 4, increase the integer value. It's in millisecond.
Reply