Using the slideshow gadget with Search folders

Ben Betz has a pretty cool post about building some advanced queries in the UI (

Did you know that you can direct the slideshow Sidebar gadget to cycle through images in those same dynamic search folders?

David Washington submitted this tip.

The Short Story:

You can point the Slideshow gadget at a Search Folder.  You can do this by simply putting a search folder inside of an actual folder and pointing the gadget at the actual folder.


Here are the steps:

1)      Create an actual folder

2)      Perform a search of pictures

3)      Save search to created folder

4)      Point the Slideshow gadget at the created folder

5)      Make sure “Include subfolders”  is checked


The Long Story:

I have a ton of photos that I have tagged and rated, so I was a little disappointed when I saw that the Slideshow sidebar gadget doesn’t support search folders. I have search folders for “Top Rated Pictures” and “Pictures of Family” and I wished that I could just point the gadget at these instead of an actual folder. 


Due to the awesome-ness of search folders, they behave just like a regular ShellFolder so the sidebar gadget should support it but the version of SHBrowseForFolder that is being called is only showing File System folders. Determined to hack my around this limitation, I was up to my elbows in javascript when I found that a neat feature in the gadget code that will allow this functionality. If “Include Sub-Folders” is checked the code that adds pictures to the slideshow checks each enumerated file if it is a folder and recursively adds its contents as well.  Due to the aforementioned awesome-ness this includes Search Folders! To have a little more control over what pictures are displayed, I created a couple (file system) folders that contain search folders. I just point the Slideshow gadget at one of these and I have exactly what I wanted. I have multiple instances of the Slideshow Gadget running pointing to different saved searches.

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