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Light boxes
Buying images
Your account


Basic searches
To search our image database, enter one or more keywords in the search box, and click ‘search’. If you enter more than one word, the search engine will look for results matching all of those words, e.g. entering portrait queen will search for image records that contain the words ‘portrait' and 'queen', although not necessarily together.

Search tips
  • Exact phrase: Enclose search terms in double quotation marks in order to search for an exact phrase.
  • Example: entering "self portrait" will return images containing that exact phrase only.
  • Alternative words: Use or to find images that contain at least one of several keywords.
  • Example: searching for hat or cap returns image records that contain one or both of the words.
  • Exclude words: Use not or - to exclude certain search terms.
  • Example: looking for holy not family (or holy -family) will find all images that contain the word 'holy', and will exclude images that contain the word 'family'.
  • Wildcard: To search for parts of a word, use an asterisk (*) to indicate the remainder of the word
  • Example: entering Christ* will search for all words starting with Christ.
  • The asterisk can be placed at the beginning or end of a word.

Multiple techniques can be combined for an advanced search, e.g. Jesus and Mary -John.

Advanced searches
You can carry out a more specific search by clicking on ‘Advanced’ next to the search box. The Advanced search box will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Enter one or more words in the Advanced search box. By default all fields will be searched. You can deselect the relevant tick boxes to limit the fields to be searched.

You can use the ‘Fuzzy search’ slider to find words that are similar to the one you have typed in. This is useful if you are unsure of the spelling of a word or name. For example, if you type in ‘Cesanne’ and select fuzzy search, the search engine will look for similar spellings and will find the correct spelling ‘C‚zanne”. To widen the search, drag the slider to the left. To narrow the search and only look for very similar word, drag the slider to the right.

Viewing your search results
Search results appear as thumbnail images. You can choose to display 12, 24, 48, 96 or 128 images per page by selecting from the pull-down menu on the search results page. If your search has returned more than one page of images, use the 'previous' and ‘next’ links, or the page number navigation, on the right hand side of the search results screen to move between pages. To view image details, click on a thumbnail image, or on the 'View details' link below the image. This will take you to the image details screen showing a larger version of the image accompanied by a description and other relevant information. You can enlarge the image further by clicking on the image, or by clicking on ‘Enlarge’. Click on ‘back to image details’ to return to the image details screen. Click on 'back to search results' to return to the thumbnail results screen. You can calculate a price for using the image, or add it to your lightbox or cart from either of the image details screens.

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Light boxes

What are light boxes?
Light boxes allow you to store and group search results. To create a light box, you must be registered and logged in. On logging in, your light box will appear on the right hand side of the screen. Click on the ‘Light boxes tab to see the light boxes next to your search pages. You can have multiple light boxes for different purposes. To change the active light box, use the drop down menu in the right hand area. Images are always added to the active light box. Click on ‘light box manager’ in order to view all your light box options.

Creating, naming and deleting light boxes
To create a new light box, click on ‘new’, enter a name for the light box, and click ‘create’. Light boxes can be deleted and renamed as required.

Adding and removing light box images
You can add the image to a light box or to your cart at any point during your search. First select the light box to which you’d like the image added, then click on the ‘add to light box’ link below the image on the thumbnail search results page or to the right of the image on either of the image details pages. The image will appear at the top of the active light box. To change the active light box, select a different light box from the pull-down menu on the right, and click ‘open’. Images will now be added to the selected light box. You can remove an image from a light box by clicking ‘remove’ next to the relevant thumbnail image.

Moving and copying light box images
Click on ‘light box manager’. To move an image from one light box to another, select the light box you’d like to move the image to from the pull-down menu next to ‘move to’, and click on ‘move’. The same process is used for copying an image to another light box, using the ‘copy to’ drop down menu instead of ‘move to’. If you have no other light boxes, the pull-down menus will be empty.

Emailing and printing a light box
A light box can be printed or emailed by clicking the links in the light box area on the right hand side of the screen. Make sure you select the correct light box from the pull-down menu first. To email a light box, simply enter the recipient’s email address and an optional message. The recipients will receive a link to open your light box, and will be able to edit and save the image notes for the images in that light box. The recipient can also create a copy of the light box for their own use. To print a light box, click on print and select the type of information you wish to display with your images.

Adding and saving notes
To add notes to images in your light box, type into the ‘notes’ text box accompanying the image. You must click ‘save’ when you have finished typing in order to save the notes within the light box. If you do not click ‘save’, your notes will be lost.

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Buying images

What is the shopping cart?
The shopping cart allows you to buy and download images directly from The National Gallery Picture Library. All the images you can view online are available to download as high resolution files. You will be able to choose which size of file to download after the checkout process. You must be registered and logged in to use the shopping cart.

Before downloading any files you must calculate a price for your image/s based on your proposed image usage. Images can be held in the shopping cart with or without calculated prices. You will be asked to enter more general information about your project at checkout stage in order to generate your image usage license. In order to complete an online purchase, you must either have a valid credit or debit card, or, if you are a credit account holder with the National Gallery Picture Library, have sufficient credit in your account.

Adding images to the shopping cart
You can add images to your shopping cart from your search results and image details pages or from your light boxes. To add an image to the shopping cart, click on ‘add to cart’ link below the image on the thumbnail search results page or to the right of the image on either of the image details pages.

Viewing and editing the shopping cart
Click on the ‘Cart’ tab to view the contents of your shopping cart. The number of images in your shopping cart is displayed under the ‘Shopping cart’ heading. Images are grouped either as having prices calculated or prices not calculated. To delete all items in the cart, click on the ‘Empty shopping cart’ link in the top right hand area of the screen. To remove individual images from your shopping cart, click on ‘Remove from cart’ next to the image.

For multiple uses of an image within the scope of a single project, you will need to add the same image to your cart more than once. You can then specify different types of usage for the same image. The appropriate discounts will be added at the checkout stage.

Calculating image prices
You can calculate image prices whether you are logged in or not, but you must be logged in to add images with their calculated prices to your shopping cart. Before you proceed to the checkout, you must specify the type of license you need for each image by calculating a price. To calculate a price, click on the ‘Calculate price’ link next to each image in the image details page or in a light box. Select from the different types of usage that appear on the screen. You must select an item from each drop down menu to calculate a price.

When you have calculated the correct price, click on ‘Use this price’ to add the image to the shopping cart. If you wish to recalculate the cost, click on ‘Start again’ if you are in the calculator window, or ‘Recalculate’ if you are in the shopping cart. The total cost of appears at the bottom of your shopping cart.

If you cannot find the correct details to cover your planned image use, click on ‘contact us’ and you will be able to put the full details in a contact form to us. Your request will be handled by a member of staff, who will get back to you with a quote to suit your requirements.

To proceed to the checkout, click on ‘checkout’ at the bottom of your shopping cart. All those images for which you have a calculated image cost will be taken forward through the checkout process.

A summary of the items you are purchasing will appear on the screen. Click on the ‘Make payment’ button to launch the payment popup window. Please make sure you have a credit or debit card to hand. Once payment has been accepted, the popup window will close, and you will see a summary of your purchase.

After payment
After payment has been accepted, you can proceed to the download area to download your images. An email receipt will be sent out to you, or you can print out your invoice licence by clicking on ‘print-friendly receipt’ on the payment confirmation page. Information on your purchases will be stored on your ‘purchase history’ page.

Purchase history
The purchase history lets you view past orders. You can also check image download expiry dates here, and download images within three weeks of purchase.

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Your account

About accounts
By registering, you can fully benefit from the range of features on the Picture Library site. This includes creating and managing light boxes, and using the shopping cart and image download facilities.

Creating a new account
To create an account, click on ‘register’ in the top right of the screen, and complete the required fields and optional preferences.

Existing customers
If you are an existing customer with us, we can enable your account so you can use the web site without registering again. Please contact us to request access, and we will set you up.

Logging in
Once you are registered, you must log in by clicking on one of the ‘Log in’ links on the top right of the screen. Enter your email address and password to proceed and have access to all areas of the web site.

Editing your account
Your preferences and account details are accessed by clicking on ‘Your account’. You can edit your contact details by clicking on ‘Edit personal information’. Use this function to keep your address and other details up to date. You can also change your password, sign up for National Gallery Picture Library newsletters, or request a credit account. ‘Your account’ allows you to specify preferences relating to your use of the site, for example your preferred currency to be used in price calculations, and the number of images to display per page in your search results pages.

Forgotten your password?
If you have forgotten your password, click ‘Forgotten your password’ on the log in screen. You will be sent a new password via email. You can change this to something more memorable by logging in, selecting the ‘Your account’ tab, and clicking on ‘Change my password’.

Applying for a credit account
As an online account holder, you can apply for a credit account with the National Gallery Picture Library. This allows you to purchase images, subject to sufficient credit being available within your account, and be invoiced on a monthly basis. Credit account status is granted at the National Gallery Picture Library’s discretion.

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