Backlight 4 is now available

We are pleased to announce, Backlight 4 is available now!

Here is everything you need to know about the new version, including how to upgrade. So, let’s get right to it.

Purchasing Backlight 4

First and foremost, we’ve sent a newsletter version of this announcement to the TTG mailing list. That newsletter contains a special discount code for the launch of Backlight 4, and should be hitting inboxes within the next few hours (evening of Monday, April 26 PST). We cannot apply the discount retroactively if you purchase without it.

To upgrade, purchase Backlight 4, then follow the instructions below for upgrading from your current version.

Purchase Backlight 4 in our shop. If you have the discount code, be sure to use it during checkout before completing the purchase.

When purchasing, please use the same email address as for previous Backlight purchases.

There is no need to re-purchase owned add-ons. On upgrading to Backlight 4, the latest versions of owned add-ons will also be available to install.

New in Backlight 4

Backlight 4 brings a heap of new features and improvements. We published a Backlight 4 Preview video earlier in the month, so check that out if you haven’t seen it. For readers, here are the release highlights.

New Module: Pangolin Journal

A new module for design album set templates, Pangolin Journal allows the creation of layouts inspired by online publications.

To get started, check out our video, Intro to Pangolin Journal.

Publication Dates

Display publication dates on your albums! Set a past date to chronologically stamp the album, or set a future date to schedule publishing for works-in-progress. An album with a future publication date will be hidden from public viewing until that time is past.

Expanded List of Supported Metadata Tokens

The number of available metadata tokens has been hugely expanded for Backlight 4, for greater control over displaying metadata for your images.

New EXIF/IPTC Display Options for Albums

A new metadata panel can be displayed in pangolin-album, allowing you to dress your images with EXIF and IPTC data of your choosing.

New “Feature Enabled” Icons

New “feature enabled” icons appear in the Publisher’s list views, showing at a glance albums that are hidden, protected, cart or client response enabled, and more. It’s now easier than ever to know the current state of your content.

On-the-fly ZIP Files for Image Downloads

With the Client Response Add-on enabled, visitors can now download ZIP files of their selected images!

New Design Options

Throughout the designer, you will find new and enhanced options for customizing your templates, including new options for styling breadcrumbs, metadata display, and more.

Disable Social Media Sharing in Albums

We recognize a lot of people are pretty well over social media. You can now disable the social sharing buttons in your albums.

Backlight-managed Watermarking for Lightroom Uploads

We added native watermarking in Backlight 3 for image uploaded via the admin; in Backlight 4, watermarking has expanded to also support image uploaded via Lightroom Publisher.

New and Updated Template Presets

The downloadable template presets have been completely revamped for Backlight 4, and are now the best way to get started with new designs. Access the respository from within Backlight’s Designer, or visit directly to download the templates.

Aaaaand More …

  • Hides cover image for protected albums in sets, if the user is not already logged in to the protected album.
  • Adds options to specify inline reCAPTCHA terms and privacy links rather than the badge.
  • Adds Site URL into contact form messages.
  • Embeds Copyright IPTC field for Backlight-created renditions.
  • Allows albums to be reparented without breaking paths of Cover and Hero images set for ancestors.
  • Improvements to the JSON API.

Aaaaand Still More to Come

As with every major version cycle before it, Backlight 4.0 is just the beginning. Over the next year, we will continue to support Backlight 4 with additional features, including another new design module. Stay tuned.

Upgrading from Backlight 2 / Backlight 3

Upgrading from Backlight 2 or Backlight 3 is incredibly easy. After purchasing, you will receive a purchase receipt and download link. Ignore the download; you don’t need it.

Here’s a video showing how the upgrade goes down:

  1. Log in to the admin of your existing Backlight site.
  2. Visit the Backlight Modules page.
  3. Click the Update All Modules button at the top of the page. This will update Backlight to version 4, and all owned add-ons to the latest versions.
  4. After updating, revisit the Backlight Modules page, find the new “pangolin-journal” module in the list, and click “Install”.
  5. If using our Lightroom Publisher, download the latest version plugin from the top of the page, replace the version on your system, and restart Lightroom.

As always, you may review this video how to perform updates in Backlight:

How-to: Installing Updates in Backlight

Upgrading from Legacy Products

If upgrading from Backlight 1 or the older CE plugins, please visit the Upgrading page in Backlight documentation.

We Value Your Continued Support, and We’re Here to Support You

In close, we would like to thank you for your continued support and patronage. Backlight is a rare thing, a passion project fully supported by its audience.

April 30 is our anniversary! The Turning Gate has now been creating photo publishing tools for 14 years, and we’ve only been able to do it thanks to your support. We’re only two people, and paid upgrades help us to keep the lights on, so that we can keep building Backlight for you.

We hope you’re as excited about Backlight 4, and all of its new creative and workflow possibilities, as we are to deliver it to you.

We’ll be watching the forum like hawks for the next few days, so if you’ve got questions or issues with the new release, please post a message.