Cascading Slides Help

Table of Contents


Cascading Slides is four applications in one:

The basic idea is to group your photo and/or video files into a bunch of categorized and sub-(sub)-categorized folders, and then declare them as an "album" in the application by pointing it to the root folder of your collection(s). You then navigate those albums using a hierarchical tree menu thumbnail view of your folders/files:

The application is designed as both a replacement for your operating system's image viewer/slideshow, and a complement to its folder viewer.

View a video tutorial by Softoxi

Main application menu

The main Cascading Slides window contains a list of your photo and/or video collection albums:

When you open an album, this main window will minimize itself by default to your system tray, and can be restored at any time by clicking the system tray icon:

Creating a new album

First, gather your photos/videos into a bunch of categorized (and sub-categorized) folders, all contained within one root folder:

Next, point the application to that root folder using the "Add new album..." action:

The first time you open a new root folder of media files, you will be asked whether or not you want to password encrypt all of the files within it:

If you choose not to apply encryption, then a new album view will be created:

Applying password encryption

If you do choose to apply encryption, then you will be stepped through a wizard that allows you to create a password before the view is created:

Make sure to read all the fine print before applying password encryption:

Browsing an album

An album view is basically a tree menu of thumbnails representing the photos and/or videos in a hierarchically-categorized manner:

You can use either the File menu in the navigation bar, or context-menus to access your options for the currently selected file/folder:

Folder favorites and "Refresh" (F5)

The default view of an album chooses folder thumbnails randomly every time the view is refreshed, which can be done at any time by hitting F5. If you want to choose a specific image to use every time, then you can "Tag as folder favorite" (or work favorites up the tree hierarchy with "Tag as parent folder favorite"):

Auto-hiding window navigation

You can auto-hide the navigation bar and/or thumbnail tree with File > View > Auto-hide (F7/F3):

Auto-hide will cause a navigation pane to only appear when the cursor is moved near its edge of the window.


When "Auto-landscape" (File > View) is set to "Clockwise" or "Counter-clockwise," then pictures with orientations (landscape vs. portrait) that don't match the orientation of the album viewport will be rotated to ensure they match:

This maximizes use of the viewport space, avoiding large empty spaces at the edges of the viewport, but it also tilts the camel, whose hump might not suffice to keep trade economists from falling off...

Slideshow mode

Use the window navigation bar (or Spacebar/NumLock) to start/stop the slideshow:

While it is running, you can change the direction of the slideshow flow (folder-to-folder vs. images-within-folder vs. random/shuffle). Keyboard navigation can also still be used to change direction and/or viewport state while the slideshow is in motion.

Playing videos

To open a video in your chosen video player, either double click on a leaf-node video thumbnail, or select File > Play video "..." (F9):

Once you open a video, it will become available via the "Recently played videos" list:


You can easily add and edit image captions with the caption icon (or Alt-C):

To toggle the display of captions in the viewport, type Shift-C.

You can customize caption appearance via File > Options:

File > Options > Viewport

File > Options > Window

NOTE: If you move a file within an album, its caption will be lost!

Resizing thumbnails

You can easily resize thumbnails with File > View > Thumbnails size:

Control the maximum size of thumbnails with File > Options > Thumbnails

Hiding vs. deleting files

You can suppress the display of files without having to delete them with the "Hide" command (Delete key):

NOTE: The file will also become hidden in your operating system's folder view.

You can toggle the display of hidden files with File > View > Show hidden files (Shift-H).

When you use the "Delete" command (Shift-Delete), the file will be permanently deleted on disk, rather than just moved to your recycle bin. This does not mean that the file is wiped clean from the disk, and it could potentially be restored later with file restoration software.

Positioning and "snapping" album windows

You can move a window around the screen by left-clicking and dragging anywhere in the album viewport. If you move the cursor all the way to edge or corner of the screen, then when you release the mouse button, it will "snap" into position at either half of the screen (or quarter when cornered):

You can also center a window on the screen with the F12 key.

Using the keyboard

Key(s) Function
Down/Up arrow Select the next/previous folder in the tree
Right/Left arrow Select the next/previous image in the currently selected (or expanded) folder
Spacebar/NumLock Start/stop slideshow mode (automatic time-delayed navigation)
* Random/Shuffle among the folders currently displayed in the tree
Keypad . Random/Shuffle within currently selected folder
Ctrl-Keypad . Return to the first pic/vid in the currently selected leaf node folder
Keypad 5 (or \) Toggle display of the thumbnails menu
Insert Toggle picture actual size vs. resized to fit window
Enter Explore the currently selected folder ("drill down")
Backspace Return to the parent folder of the current root ("drill up")
Home Return to the root folder of the thumbnail tree
Home, then
double left arrow
Return to the root folder of the tree, then "Collapse all" folders
End Jump to the last thumbnail in the tree
+/- Expand/collapse the currently selected folder (repeated - will select and then collapse parent folders)
/ Toggle "Auto-landscape" (counter-clockwise)
Shift-/ Toggle "Auto-landscape" (clockwise)
PgUp/PgDn Jump up/down the thumbnail tree one "page" at a time
Tap Ctrl/Alt Toggle display of the navigation bar
Ctrl-Enter Tag the selected file as the current folder favorite
Shift-Enter Tag the selected file as the current folder's parent folder favorite
Shift-Spacebar Pause/resume an animated GIF
Alt-C Open the caption editor
Shift-C Toggle the display of captions
Shift-H Toggle the display of hidden files
Ctrl-Plus Expand all parent folders within the currently selected folder
Alt-Plus Expand all sub-folders of the currently selected folder
Ctrl-Minus Collapse all sub-folders of the currently selected folder
Ctrl-E Export (decrypt) the currently selected file
Shift-E Export (decrypt) the currently selected folder
Ctrl-F Open the currently selected folder in the operating system's folder viewer (i.e. Windows Explorer)
Ctrl-N Create a new folder within the currently selected folder
Shift-T Refresh a leaf-node thumbnail
Delete Hide a leaf-node file
Shift-Delete Delete a leaf-node file
[ or ] Snap the album window to either half of the screen
Shift/Ctrl-[ or ] Snap the album window to one of four quarters of the screen
F1 Online Help
F3 Toggle auto-hide of the thumbnails tree
F4 Open the currently selected file for editing in your preferred photo/video editor (File > Options > Applications)
F5 Refresh/reset the album view
Shift-F5 Reboot the album window
F7 Toggle auto-hide of the navigation bar
F9 Play the currently selected video
F11 Toggle full-screen mode
F12 Center the album window on the screen
Ctrl-F12 Toggle auto-centering of the window on the screen (resized to fit each pic)

Using the mouse

Mouse action Function
Double left click Toggle the window between maximized and normal state
Double right click Toggle the picture between actual size, and re-sized to fit the window
Mouse wheel Zoom/resize the picture
Mouse wheel click Advance the show in the direction of the current slideshow selection
Left click-and-drag Move the album window around on the screen
Right click-and-drag Move the picture around in the viewport
Quick left-right
(or right-left) click
Toggle "auto-landscape"
Right click + wheel Stop/start the slideshow

Editing an album

Simply use your operating system's folder views to copy/move new files into or out of the folders within the album. Cascading Slides should detect any changes and ask if you want to refresh the album view:

If it does not, select "Refresh" (F5) to refresh the view manually (you may need to do it a few times before the new files show up, especially if the number of files in the album is in the thousands).

If you make a change to a file and it isn't showing up in the thumbnail, you can refresh it from a leaf-node thumbnail via File > Refresh thumbnail:

Assigning video thumbnails

Currently, Cascading Slides does not create thumbnails for videos that use a screen capture from the videos. i.e., the default thumbnail is simply:

You can take your own screen capture (VLC Media Player has a nice, free solution), and then assign it as the video thumbnail:

Multiple thumbnails for a single video

You can also create multiple video screenshot thumbnails for one video, and then assign them all to the video by simply naming the screenshot files the same as the video itself, but with parenthesized numbers appended, and placing them in the same folder as the video.

If you have a video named Cool Beans.mpg, for example, you could assign multiple thumbnails by creating files named as such:

  • Cool Beans (0).jpg
  • Cool Beans (1).jpg
  • Cool Beans (2).jpg
  • Cool Beans (3).jpg

Customizing an album (Options)

Select File > Options to open a window that allows you to customize album views in many ways, such as selecting window/viewport color schemes:

Choosing viewer/editor apps

File > Options > Applications allows you to specify which applications you want to use for editing photos, and viewing/editing videos:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Cascading Slides free?

Yes, the base functionality of the app is free, but if you want to keep using the more advanced features after the free trial period, then you must register it.

How can I add or remove photos/videos in an album?

See Editing an album above.

Why haven't my new files shown up yet?

The larger the contents of an album, the longer it takes for the app to detect changes, and construct the updated view. If the album is password encrypted, it will take even longer as it first has to encrypt the new files. Be patient, and use "Refresh" (F5) to keep checking until they appear.

Where is album data (such as thumbnail files) stored?

The view data for an album is stored in a hidden folder named .SlidesData which is created in the root folder of the album. You can therefore rename and/or move that root folder as needed without losing the album data.

When you remove an album from the application's main menu, you will have the option to "uninstall" the view data, which basically just deletes the hidden .SlidesData folder:

Should I adopt a ferret?


What does "mockfideous" mean?

The question itself is mockfideous. Duh.

What file types does the app support?

The following image file types can be viewed and password encrypted:

  • .jpg/.jpeg
  • .png
  • .gif

You can browse, play (in your chosen video player), and password encrypt videos with the following filename extensions:

  • .mpg/.mpeg
  • .avi
  • .mov
  • .wmv
  • .qt
  • .3g2
  • .3gp
  • .asf
  • .asx
  • .flv
  • .mp4
  • .rm
  • .swf
  • .vob

What languages does the app support?

Cascading Slides currently supports eleven languages:

Will using Cascading Slides cause Tourette's?

*Beep* you for asking, you *beep*!!!

How can I restore my encrypted files to their original state?

File > Export (decrypt) file/folder will restore the files to their un-encrypted state, and open the EXPORT folder containing the restored file/folder.

Can encrypted folder names also be encrypted?

Yes, but only when they have been created via File > Create a new folder... (Ctrl-N).

If I stop using the full version (or the trial expires), can I still get my password encrypted files back?

Yes, so long as you remember your password(s). Decrypting (and viewing encrypted pics) is supported by all versions of the app, including the free one. You only need to purchase the full version if you want to keep encrypting new files.

What encryption algorithm is used?

Mockfid NOYB 4.2 (without Retsyn®)

Do aliens exist?

Yes and no. If by "alien" you mean extra-terrestrial, then no, not around these parts they don't. The distance between star systems is just too great for biological beings to overcome.

What most think of as aliens, or commonly the "greys" are actually our great-great-great-great-ancestors who once thrived in an advanced civilization near the equator during the Ice Age, but were forced to retreat into the ocean when the icebergs melted and caused the "great flood" that many religions speak of.

Installer says it needs Java...?

Download Java for free, install it, and then re-attempt the Cascading Slides install.


If you have any questions or comments, please email


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