So you want to put photos into your forum posts?

If you're like most of us in the Timiskaming Birds Forums, you will sometimes want to put your digital pictures into your forum postings.

You may want to use your photos to ask things like "What the heck is this bird?" or to say "Here's some documentation that I actually saw this unusual bird!", or just to show off your growing photographic skills with the rest of the user community.

Unfortunately, the Timiskaming Birds website does not have enough available hard drive space to allow forum users to upload photos directly into the forums.  BUT, you can embed links to them in your posts.  The idea is that the photos are already on the world wide web somewhere, and then you put a link to them inside your forum posting. If this is done correctly, the readers of the forum will not see the link, but instead will see your photo as if it were uploaded as part of the posting.

Here's how...

The easiest way to get your photos onto the internet somewhere is to open a free account with one of the photo sharing sites around, like Flick'r, Smugmug, or Fotki.  I've used Flick'r myself, but the others are also reportedly quite good, and easy to use. You can easily find all kinds of these photo hosting services with a quick search with GOOGLE.  Some sites you have to pay for.  Some make you put up with annoying advertising. Some sites have limits on the number of photos you can upload per day or per month. They all have their pros and cons, so you're on your own in deciding which photo hosting service you want to use.  

Once you have your photos on the web somewhere, to link them to a posting in the Timiskaming Birds Forums is as simple as pasting the URL into your post. But note that you paste the URL to the photo itself, not to the web page on which the photo sits.  If you do the latter, the readers of the forum will only see your hyperlink, and then they will have to click through on it to actually see your photo. If you link directly to the photo itself, the photo will show up in the thread for all to view while they read your post.

A Step-by-Step example using Flickr...

Here's some instructions to help you through some of the growing pains of adding photos into your forum posts from Flick'r. It helps a bit if you have two browser windows open. One will be open to your Flick'r site at the photo you want to paste. The other will be open at the Timiskaming Birds Forums, with a new posting started.

First, on your Flick'r page, open the photo you want to post. Above the photo you will see a number of icons, one of which is called "All Sizes". Click on that. It will take you to a new page with the same photo, but now with icons above the photo for different sized versions of that photo. Click on the size you want to use in your post. Generally you will want to use Medium size or smaller. The larger sizes are often too wide for the entire photo to show properly in a forum post.

Now scroll down to the area below the photo. You should see an area with a title that reads:

"To link to this photo on other websites you can either:"

There are two options there. Use the second option, which reads:

"2. Grab the photo's URL:"

There will be a box below this containing a long string the looks something like:

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/88/238864144_b1cc5d4454_o.jpg

Copy this to your Windows clipboard by selecting the contents of the box with your mouse,
and then pressing <Control> + C simultaneously on your keyboard.

OK. Now we're done in Flick'r. If you've reached this point successfully, you can close that browser window now.

Back in the Timiskaming Birds Forums, when writing a new post, there are a series of icons at the top of the editing window. One shows a small picture of a tree, about two thirds of the way across this tool bar. When you hover your mouse over this icon, it tells you that it is for "Insert/edit image".  (See diagram to the right.)

When you click on this button, you get a small window that allows you to paste the URL hyperlink for your Flick'r photo.


 


Click once in the text box to the right of the title "Image URL" to place your cursor into the box. Now paste the photo link from your clipboard into this box by pressing  <Control> + V simultaneously on your keyboard.

Now hit the "Insert" button at the bottom of this window.

If all has gone well, your photo will now appear in your post.

Finish editing the rest of your text normally, and hit the POST button at the bottom of the page.

Although these instructions are specifically for Flick'r, you should be able to adapt them to post pictures from other photo hosting sites.

Remember that, for other forum users to see the photos in your posts, your photos must be identified as public in your photo hosting account.  Otherwise other forum users may just see a link to the photos and would need a password in order to see them. In some cases, they may not even see a link, or might see an error message, depending on your photo hosting site.

 


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