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Posting Pics

Posting pics on Grit's Forum


There have been a number of questions about posting pics on Sgt Grit's Forum. This actually works for most forums as well, but I will address Grit's specifically. There is an FAQ on the Forum, but it doesn't specifically address this question.

Get your picture online

First and foremost, the image you want to show has to be online someplace, just having it on your home computer doesn't work. This is one of the biggest problems I've seen, so if the picture you are about to use in the message has a name like
C:/My Documents/Example/0100510001.jpg then we won't be able to see it. That picture needs to be available online and available for the rest of us.

Here's the kicker; even if you have the picture online you can't always link to it. There are a number of websites that offer your own 'picture albums' including Imagestation and Yahoo! Photos but with Yahoo and many others, you can't link to the picture. For the time being, Imagestation allows you to link to your photo. We recently researched a new one, PhotoBucket and it looks like a winner! It even has tools that allow the owner to get the needed code just at the click of a button.

The other option that many folks don't realize is that they often have a limited amount of webspace available through their Internet provider (ISP) on a personal homepage. Exact configurations will be available from them, but the name will usually be some combination of your Internet Provider and your account name. My old website was from Earthlink, and my address was http://home.earthlink.net/~yuccaman - yours should be similar

What kind of files can I use?

Make sure the picture is a valid image file format. This means .jpg, .gif, or .bmp most commonly. You can't use an .htm or .html file for the picture since they are webpages, not image files. If you can save the picture as a .jpg, that will work best as those files take up the least amount of space. That means they'll load faster for folks on dialup. If you use Windows, you can often make changes to the image and save it as a .jpg file using the included Windows Paint program. Be aware that .bmp or .gif files are often pretty large, and for folks on dialup it can take a long time to download. "Saving a file as" means using the program to save it, and not just changing the filename on your own.

Uploading files

When I had Earthlink as my ISP they had a webtool that I could use to easily upload files. Comcast cable offers similar tools. Now that I am using a different ISP, I use a program called WS_FTP to manipulate files, since it's free and pretty easy to use. Download it from http://download.com.com/3000-2160-1572132.html but even with that, configuration will need to be done according to the instructions from your ISP. The good thing about WS_FTP is that the ISPs often have instructions for its use and configuration on their Frequently Asked Questions page.

It's Uploaded, Now What?

Once the picture has been uploaded, it should have an address called a URL. That means it's out on the web, and viewable for others. Once it's accessible like that, you can put that picture on the Sgt Grit's website.

http://www.yuccaman.com/aniflag/usaflag.gif is the URL for the flag on the right. Right-click the picture and go to Properties if you have Windows, or do whatever Mac stuff will get the image properties and you should see that the properties are the same as I listed above.

Once I type that filename in the brackets, my post would include an image like
This is a moving .gif image

However, simply putting that filename on the forum won't work, when you write a message you need to identify the file as being a picture so the forum will show it. When written as
[img]http://www.yuccaman.com/aniflag/usaflag.gif[/img] Sgt Grit's forum software will display the image in your post. Without the [img] and [/img] tags, the picture won't show.

I've got the picture online but don't know the name?

If you already have an image online and need the address, most Windows and Linux systems will let you right-click the image and get the properties. That's where you'll see the URL (address) http://www.yuccaman.com/corps/pics/sgt.gif for this picture: http://www.yuccaman.com/corps/pics/sgt.gif - Sergeant chevrons

Hopefully that helps, if not please let me know. Thanks.

e-mail Jim
created: August 11, 2003
Updated 15 April, 2005