jQuery Photo Slide Show with Slick Caption Tutorial Revisited

Written by Kevin Liew on 16 Dec 2009
190,661 Views • Tutorials


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.



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

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 {

ul.slideshow {

ul.slideshow li {

ul.slideshow li.show {

ul img {

#slideshow-caption {

#slideshow-caption .slideshow-caption-container {
	padding:5px 10px;	

#slideshow-caption h3 {

#slideshow-caption p {
	margin:5px 0 0 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


function slideShow(speed) {

	//append a LI item to the UL list for displaying caption
'); //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'); } }


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 () {

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.


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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subhojit777 8 years ago
Thank you Thank you Thank you so much
Blue C 8 years ago
if(current.queue('fx').length == 0), I don't understand this sentence, please show me.....
Erica 8 years ago
it is really what i was looking for! thank you!!

only a question: how to block the caption? I mean not to have the gray sliding up and down every slice...
if can, that will be perfect!
thanks again, great job
Erica 8 years ago
Hi Kevin,yesterday I've posted a question.
Forget about it, the script works great and in the comments there are all the instruction to do almost everything!
Yesterday I just not saw the 'more comment' link, so i didn't saw the questions already solved before.
Thanks again, grab job!
Nick 8 years ago
Any ideas on the best way to set different coloured text for different slide captions?
Jesse 8 years ago
How can I put multiple slideshows on one page. Would like to have 4 slideshows with different images all working at the same time. Yes its madness, but they want it :-(
Devon 8 years ago
I LOVE THIS SLIDER! I have used it for a few websites but now I am trying it on a new website minus the captions - however 1 major problem - the pictures aren't coming up 1 behind the other, when I remove the css I can see the slideshow perfectly but the pictures are in a vertical format instead of transitioning 1 behind the other. PLEASE HELP! Thanks in advance!
John 8 years ago
I am not getting the slides show instead, i am seeing three different images at once why is this the case
CHSAdmin 8 years ago
Well done! Read many of the comments and was able to create a version that Google Sites Users can embed by using the Google Gadget Editor.

Added click-through on the image "title" and included navigation within the slide indicator that "Joshua" offered up in his demo.

I have it running on our labs page: http://www.chscottenterprises.com/home/test

Thanks, great tutorial!
Sergio 8 years ago
I have one question: I want to place a image over the slideshow, to act like a frame. How can I do it? I suspect it is only with HTML and CSS, rather than messing with the script, but I have no idea how to do it.
Can anyone help?

By the way, this is a great script. Kudos to the author! =D
Sergio 8 years ago
I send a question earlier about overlaying a frame in this slideshow, but I found the answer. I was misplacing the div. Now everything works fine!
Congratulations again on your script!
cap6 8 years ago
hi-thanks for the slider-works brilliant!
However, Im trying to make the 'show' - stay static for two images in a row & again make it slide for the one after that.
As the caption is one & the same & think would be better to have it stopped (not animating-but show)
could you help with nay ideas how to tweak the jquery?
much appreciated
thank you
Scott 8 years ago
Any chance of getting next/prev buttons added? Great slide by the way...
Stacie 8 years ago
Same question! Pagination buttons would be even better!
bitra 7 years ago
Agree. Pagination buttons would be awesome.