Only one project can be open at a time. The open project is often referred to as the 'current' project in the instructions and help text. When a project is opened (either by creating a new project or by opening an existing one) additional tab pages will appear to help you manage the open project. When you close the project those tabs will also be closed.
The program will automatically save any changes that have been made to an open project once per minute, assuming that any changes have been flagged as needing to be saved. It will also save the state of an open project when the program or the project are closed (including when the open project is closed prior to opening a new project).
Most of the program's controls will include a nearby help button (a small button with a question mark) that provides information about that control via a popup window. When you are first learning how to use the program it's a good idea to go through and read these help messages as they will give you a clearer idea of how the program works and may also give you insights about some specific issues you may have questions on.
This tab page shows the main instructions for the program, along with the buttons described below.
Checks if there is an update available for the program. If there is an update available then you will have the option to download and install it. Once the update has been downloaded then the 'Updates' folder that the update was downloaded to will be opened and you can then close the program and double-click on the downloaded 'JigsawFactoryUpdater.exe' file to install the update.
Opens the 'Updates' folder that any downloaded program update will be downloaded to. The update file will be named 'JigsawFactoryUpdater.exe'.
Shows a window with the license and legal information for the program. Click this to find out what you legally can and can't do with the program.
This tab page allows you to create new puzzle projects and also to open and manage previously created projects using the following page elements.
This textbox shows the name of the currently open project. If it is blank then there is no project open. The 'Rename' button allows you to change the name of the project.
This textbox shows the title text that will be displayed in the window titlebar of the jigsaw puzzle client program. If it is blank then the default 'Jigsaw Puzzles' window title text will be used instead. The 'Edit' button allows you to change the name of this title text.
This button allows you to create a new jigsaw puzzle project. A dialog window will be opened which will allow you to set the name for the new project. In the dialog window you can enter a name for the new project into the textbox and then click the 'Create Puzzle Project' button to create the new project with the name you entered. If you wish to abort creating a new project then you can click the 'Cancel' button. You can also click on the name of an existing project in the listbox to copy that name to the textbox. This can be handy if you want to use an existing project's name as part of the name for the new project. The newly created project will become the current project and you can then begin work on it. Any currently open project will be saved and closed before the new project is created. Note that the following characters can not be used in the project name: \/:*?"<>|
This button allows you to open an existing jigsaw puzzle project. A dialog window will be opened which will allow you to select the project to open. In the dialog window you can either double-click on the name of the project you wish to open, or click the name to select it and then click the 'Open Puzzle Project' button to open the project. If you wish to abort opening the project then you can click the 'Cancel' button. The newly opened project will become the current project and you can then begin work on it. Any currently open project will be saved and closed before the new project is opened.
This button allows you to close the currently open jigsaw puzzle project. Any changes will be saved before the project is closed.
This button allows you to delete the currently open jigsaw puzzle project. The source image files used for the puzzle images will be unaffected. If you wish to manually delete a puzzle project then open the 'projects' folder found in this program's main folder, find the folder with the same name as the project you wish to delete, and then delete that folder.
Clicking this button will open the website for this program in your default web browser.
Clicking this button will open the support forum for this program in your default web browser. Currently the support forum is a sub-reddit on Reddit.Com. You can use it to post questions about the product, support issues, bug reports, reviews, links to (family friendly) puzzle packages that you've made using the software, and anything else that relates to the software.
Copies the website URL for the Jigsaw Factory product website to the clipboard. You can then paste it into a text document, etc. If you want to let your friends know about the software then this is a fast way to copy the website address to use in a message or email.
Closes any open project and then closes the program. Any changes will be saved before an open project is closed.
This tab page allows you to add the images that you want to turn into jigsaw puzzles into the current project. You can use any of the three methods discussed below to add the images. You can add new images at any time. The new images will be added after the existing images on the sort list.
Select the source image files that you wish to turn into jigsaw puzzles, copy them to the clipboard, and then click this button to add them to the current project.
Use this button to open a dialog window that will allow you to select the source image files that you wish to turn into jigsaw puzzles. Once you have the images selected then click the 'Open' button in the file requester to add them to the current project. You can select multiple image files in the file requester by holding down the control key on your keyboard as you click on the image files.
Select the source image files that you wish to turn into jigsaw puzzles, and then drag and drop them onto the grey box below this text to add them to the current project. Something to remember when dragging and dropping files is that the selected file you place the cursor over and drag will be the first file on the dropped list, with any selected files that came before it being placed at the end of the list. If you want to maintain the ordering of the files then you need to drag from the first file.
This tab page allows you to optionally sort the added images into whatever order you want them to be in. You can also select an image on this page and then go to the 'Create Image Descriptions' tab page and use the buttons there to open an existing description file for the selected image or to create a new one.
To sort puzzle images just click on the thumbnail button for an image to select it and then click one of the tall grey sort buttons next to the thumbnail buttons to move the selected image to that position. The currently selected puzzle image thumbnail button will be shown with a rectangle around it and the image will also be displayed near the top-left of the tab page.
The icon images above the tall grey sort buttons indicate whether or not the puzzle image shown to the right of the sort button has a description file available for it. A blank icon means that there is no description file. A tick means there is a description file that is not currently open. An asterisk means there is a description file that is currently open on the 'Create Image Descriptions' tab page.
The buttons and other elements discussed below allow you to make changes and get information about the puzzle images.
This button will delete all the files for the selected puzzle image, including the description file if one exists. The original source images will be unaffected. A confirm dialog will be opened that will allow you select whether to cancel or continue with the removal operation.
This textbox shows the temporary name assigned to the selected puzzle image. This name is used with the filenames of the thumbnails and large images stored in the project's 'thumbs' and 'images' folders (these will have a '.jpg' file extension), and also with the description files stored in the 'descriptions' folder (these will have a '.des' file extension). If you wish to create your own HTML image description files in an external editor then they will need to use this name followed by a '.html' file extension for the filename (eg. use 'fuxaqd.html' if the temporary name is 'fuxaqd'), and will need to be placed in the project's 'descriptions' folder. If a '.html' image description file is found then any '.des' version will be ignored.
This textbox shows the filepath of the original source image used for the selected puzzle image. Note that the source image isn't used by the program once the image has been added to the project, so you can move or delete it if you wish. This field just shows the filepath of the source image at the time it was added to the project in case you need that info for any reason.
These buttons move the selection to the previous or next puzzle image in the sort order.
These buttons move the selection to the previous or next puzzle image in the sort order that has a description file available.
This text displays the number of puzzle images in the project.
If this checkbox is checked then the description file for an image will be opened when the image is selected, if it exists. Any already open description file will be saved and closed first, even if there is no description file for the newly selected image.
The puzzle client program includes an 'About This Puzzle Image' tab page that is used to display a HTML page showing description information about the image currently being used for a jigsaw puzzle. The 'Create Image Descriptions' tab page in the puzzle generator program is where you normally create and edit that HTML image description page. You can also create and edit these files manually as discussed in the 'Manually Creating or Editing Image Descriptions Files' section below.
The image descriptions are optional. If a description file is not present for a puzzle image then the puzzle client program will just show a blank page in its place.
To create a new description file you first need to select the puzzle image that the file is for on the 'Sort Puzzle Images' tab page. Then click the 'Create Description File For Selected Image' button on this tab page to create a new description file for the selected puzzle image. If the selected puzzle image already has a description file available then you can click the 'Open Description File For Selected Image' button on this tab page to open it. When a new file is created or opened any already open file will first be saved and closed. You can use the 'Delete Description File For Open Image' to delete the currently open description file if you decide you don't want it. You can use the 'Close Description File For Open Image' button to close the currently open description file.
The page elements listed below allow you to edit and preview the description file.
This textbox allows you to edit the main title for the image description. The title will be shown at the top of the description page in large bolded text (in the HTML file it will be contained in a <H1> tag).
Displays the work area where the description sub-headings and paragraphs can be edited.
Displays the preview browser that shows a preview of what the final description will look like.
These buttons allow you to set the colors that will be used for various page elements (page title, sub-headings, paragraph text, etc) in the HTML code for the generated HTML image description files. There are three color sets that you can edit and use depending on whether you want to use the default set that is available to all projects, the set that is local to a particular project, or the set that is local to a particular description file. The default colors are used by default for all the HTML image description files. If you check the 'Use project colors instead of default colors' box in the 'Edit Project Colors' window then the project colors set in that window will be used for the description files. If you check the 'Use file colors instead of project or default colors' box in the 'Edit File Colors' window then the file colors set in that window will be used for the description files. The checkbox setting in the 'Edit File Colors' window takes precedence over the one in the 'Edit Project Colors' window.
This button will save the currently open description and then create copies of the current description file to use for each puzzle image that doesn't already have a description file. This allows you to quickly create description files for all puzzle images that don't have one while using the currently open file as a template for the new files.
(The page elements listed below appear in the description work area.)
This textbox allows you to set an optional sub-heading above the paragraph text (in the HTML file the sub-heading text will be contained in a <H2> tag). You can also include HTML code in this textbox. If you leave this blank then the sub-heading and the tags that contain it will be omitted.
If this checkbox is checked then the contents of the paragraph textbox below will be contained in HTML paragraph tags. If you want to use the paragraph textbox for code for a HTML table or some other block-level code then it can be useful to leave this unchecked.
This textbox allows you to set a paragraph of text that can be used to provide information about the puzzle image that this description file is for. You can also include HTML code in this textbox. If you leave this blank then the paragraph and the tags that contain it will be omitted.
This button will add a new set of sub-heading and paragraph text boxes at the bottom of the work-area.
This button will remove the bottom set of text boxes. Note that you can't remove the top-most set of text boxes, so there will always be one set visible.
You can include HTML code in both the sub-heading and paragraph fields. See below for more information on adding HTML code, images, etc.
When you right-click on one of the paragraph text boxes a context menu will popup with the standard edit options, along with undo and redo. The function of these edit options are fairly common knowledge and basically just do what their names suggest, so I won't cover them here.
In addition to the standard edit options you also have options to insert HTML tags into the text. These options are discussed below.
Note that the tag insertion options make use of the clipboard and will clear any cut or copied text found there, so paste anything that needs pasting before using the tag insertion options.
If you'd like to create a HTML puzzle image description file in an external editor rather than create and edit it via the 'Create Image Descriptions' tab page then you basically just need to put the HTML file into the project's 'descriptions' folder, give it a '.html' file extension, and give it the same six-character name as the puzzle image found in the project's 'images' folder that the description file is meant to provide a description for. For example, if you want to create a description file for an image named 'fuxaqd.jpg' then the description file would need to be named 'fuxaqd.html'. You can also find the six-character name you need to use by selecting the puzzle image on the 'Sort Puzzle Images' tab page and looking at the 'Temporary image name' textbox. When the puzzle package is built the program will first look for the '.html' version of the description file. If it finds it then it will copy that to the puzzle package. Otherwise it will look for the '.des' version of the description file and use that if it finds it.
Note that you shouldn't try to manually edit the files with a '.des' file extension that are found in the 'descriptions' folder for a project. These are binary files, and any attempt to edit them will cause issues when they are loaded. You should only edit the '.html' files.
You can also edit the '.html' image description files that are generated as part of the puzzle package. They can be found in the 'media\descriptions' folder inside the main folder for the jigsaw puzzle package.
The HTML image description files in the puzzle package are numbered starting at zero - so the file for the first puzzle image will be '0.html', the file for the second puzzle image will be '1.html', and so on. These files are loaded into the 'About This Puzzle Image' tab page in the puzzle software dynamically as they are needed, and will be replaced with a blank page if the HTML description file is not found. This means that you can add, remove, edit, and replace the HTML description files as you see fit. If the editing capabilities of the puzzle generator software are too simple for what you want to do and you know something about editing HTML web pages then you can create your own image description files.
Any links placed into the HTML image description files will open in the user's default web browser. Links must start with either 'http://' or 'https://' (these can be upper or lower case). Any link that doesn't start with 'http://' or 'https://' will be ignored.
For images embedded in the description pages to work the image file must be located directly in the puzzle project's 'descriptions' folder (for descriptions displayed as previews in this generator software), or in the puzzle client program's 'media\descriptions' folder (for descriptions displayed in the 'About This Puzzle Image' tab page in the puzzle client software). They can't be in a sub-folder or in a higher level folder. When the puzzle package is created the images found in the project's 'descriptions' folder will be copied to the puzzle client program's 'media\descriptions' folder. Only images with the 'jpg', 'jpeg', 'png', or 'gif' file extensions are supported. The filepath for the image must consist of two opening square brackets '[[', followed by the image filename, followed by two closing square brackets ']]'.
Example HTML image tag: <img src="[[your-cool-image.jpg]]" border="0">
The reason for the double square brackets is that the image filenames need to be replaced with absolute file-system links to the images when the puzzle client loads the HTML file, and having the filenames inside the double square brackets makes it easier to find and modify the image filenames.
This tab page is where you will create the generated jigsaw puzzle software package. The 'puzzle package' is basically just a folder which contains the various files and sub-folders needed by the jigsaw puzzle client software. The puzzle package folder will have the same name as the one you gave the project. You can copy and paste the puzzle package folder to wherever you want it to go. To run the jigsaw puzzle software just open the puzzle package folder by double-clicking on it and then double-click on the 'JigsawPuzzles.exe' file to run it (if you have file extensions set to not be shown then the executable file will be displayed as 'JigsawPuzzles' without the '.exe' part).
This button will create the jigsaw puzzle package from the current puzzle project. The puzzle package will be placed into the 'Output' folder inside the program's main folder. Use the 'Open Output Folder To View Created Puzzle Packages' button to open the 'Output' folder and view the created package.
This button will create a zipped version of the jigsaw puzzle package. The zip file will be placed into the 'Output' folder. The puzzle package will be placed inside the zip file. To copy the puzzle package, just double-click on the zip file to open it and then copy and paste the puzzle package folder found inside to wherever you want to store it. Any spaces in the filename of the zip file (which is derived from the project name) will be converted to underscores. This makes it easier to include the zip filename as part of a web address, etc. Note that you don't need to have created an unzipped version of the puzzle package to create a zipped version.
This button will open the 'Output' folder that the created puzzle packages are placed into. You can then test the puzzle software and copy and paste the puzzle package folder or zip file to a more permanent location on your computer.
You may have the file or folder open in Windows Explorer, or in a file editor or viewer. In this case changes to that file or folder may be temporarily locked. This may also involve files contained within folders that changes are being attempted with (bearing in mind that puzzle projects are essentially a folder named after the project, and renaming the project involves renaming the folder - which would change the filepath to any file inside that folder).
The permissions for the file or folder may prevent changes. The file or folder amy have been set to a 'Read Only' state, for example. This can sometimes be the case if files and folders are copied from read-only media.
You may not have the right user access to make changes to the file or folder.
If you are attempting to rename or delete a project then the best thing to do is to close the project if it is open and then go to the 'projects' folder inside the program's main folder, find the folder named after the project, and then manually rename or delete that folder. Note that in the case of a failed project deletion some of the files and folders contained in the project's folder may have been deleted - which is why it's best to manually delete that folder, as attempting to reload it in the puzzle generator will fail due to the missing files and folders.
If you are attempting to create a project then make sure that the 'projects' folder inside the program's main folder exists and is writable (right-click on that folder and check its properties).
If you are attempting to load a project then make sure that the 'projects' folder inside the program's main folder exists and that the files and folders for the project have not been deleted or tampered with.
If you are attempting to save a project then make sure that the 'projects' folder inside the program's main folder exists and is writable (right-click on that folder and check its properties), and that the folder for the project also exists and is writable. The 'data.prj' file for the project doesn't need to exist in this case, but if it exists and is read-only you won't be able to overwrite it with the new project save file. This also applies to the '.des' puzzle image description files found in the project's 'descriptions' folder.