A few weeks ago, I found myself in a position where I needed a nice, simple, easy-to-use lightbox plugin for jQuery. After some searching, I found that there are quite a few different plugins for this purpose, and they all have their pros and cons. After trying a few different plugins, I finally settled on nyroModal.
During my search, I found Thickbox, but that, while being powerful and easily usable, is no longer under development (and hasn’t been for two and a half years). It looks nice, but there were a few quirks with it that I just didn’t like (they’re hard to quantify, but it just didn’t fit the particular application I was using).
I also came across a post on Line25 with a list of 10 different jQuery plugins for lightbox applications. I tried a handful of them. Shadowbox looked promising, but it requires a commercial license if you want to use it for commercial purposes.
Many of the other plugins I investigated only supported images, and I needed my application to allow for the potential of including inline content, Flash videos and more in the future.
I finally tried nyroModal and was very impressed. nyroModal is simple to use out-of-the-box. Basically, all you have to do is include the appropriate CSS and JS files, and then apply a class of “nyroModal” to the elements you want to open the lightbox. NyroModal is also extremely customizable. You can adjust almost every aspect of the lightbox as it’s applied to your page.