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I need to create a gallery like this where clicking on the thumbnails loads a new image and caption in the area above the thumbnails:

enter image description here

I always prefer to not use plugins, but in this case I think I might be forced to as the in-built gallery system for Wordpress doesn't work for me (there's no easy way to remove images from the gallery set without deleting them, no easy reordering and captions seem difficult to implement).

Would NextGen be the best choice for this, or is there a paid option that's worth looking at and can this be easily styled?

Thanks for any pointers

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I can provide some example code but only if your comfortable with coding in the template files. Are you comfortable coding in the template files? – Brady May 6 '11 at 15:48
@Brady - thanks for the offer, I'm fairly comfortable coding, not an expert, but I've been writing code for some custom posts and custom taxonomies in a recent job, so I assume I'll be able to understand it. – Osu May 6 '11 at 22:35

For simple galleries, I usually code something up using Magic Fields. It gives the client an easy to use interface for adding images via the media library, with drag-and-drop reordering. Then I'll use a jQuery slider on the front-end, or I'll write my own.

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I'll have to check out Magic Fields - looks good. I often use Custom Field Templates for things like this, but it starts to get messy if there are lots images. How do you deal with additional descriptive text like captions? – Osu May 6 '11 at 22:39
@Osu - I create a duplicable group with an image field and a text field. It can get unwieldy with a lot of images. I haven't used Custom Field Templates since the earliest version, I'll have to try it out again. – Milo May 6 '11 at 23:10

I used Galleria (not a plugin) and custom coded functions up for wp gallery to do exactly the same as you require except the thumbs were listed vertically to the right of the large image.

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thanks for this, how would I incorporate additional fields for the images like captions and maybe another field? Is using something like the alt text via jQuery the best way? How about accessing the description meta data of the image? – Osu May 6 '11 at 22:37

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